Burning Money…

…also known as advertising.

One of my goals during this journey is to learn how to advertise without setting money on fire.

I’ve used 3 advertising strategies so far, Amazon ads, Bookbub ads, and newsletter promotions.

Results are as follows:

  • Amazon AdsOh look! My sales went up! It cost me how much?? I can get Amazon to spend my money and get results, not amazing results by any means, but I did see my sales increase.
  • Bookbub AdsWell, that money disappeared into thin air. I can get Bookbub ads to spend my money and zilch. Zero effect.
  • Newsletter PromotionsHmm, I guess people were right about them losing effectiveness. I used 3 newsletter promotions to rather lackluster results.

I’ve seen many authors advise not to start advertising until your third book is out.

I don’t agree with that.

I want readers to be waiting for my third book.

I want readers to be hovering over the preorder button and weep in joy when my book finally appears on their Kindles. Okay, maybe not weep. I’d settle for being happy that the book they’ve waited for is finally theirs to read.

The thing is, readers can’t be waiting for something if they don’t know it exists.

So I advertise…

Another reason advertising book 1 is important is that you learn what’s working and what’s not. My lessons cost me money. Don’t be like me.

I changed blurbs and advertising strategies with the following results:

  • Blurb 1 + medium-bid Amazon ads + newsletter promotions = 45 sales over 1 month
  • Blurb 2 + Bookbub ads + low-bid Amazon ads = zero sales over 21 days
  • Blurb 3 + high-bid Amazon ads = 34 sales over 12 days.

I’m not happy with Blurb 3 but it’s getting more sales than Blurb 1 or 2. I definitely need to work on my conversion rate and figure out what the issue is there. I had 521 clicks but only 34 converted into sales. That has to be improved.

Above are the results of the ads from Blurb 3. The numbers makes me cringe when I see how much I’ve spent versus how much I’ve made in sales. And I haven’t even shared what I spent on Blurb 1 and Blurb 2 ads. But I keep reminding myself that right now my objective is to capture readers. I want them to give my book a chance and hopefully they’ll enjoy it and move on to the next.

I’m starting from a position of zero readership. I’ve accepted that Book 1 will be a loss-leader and established how much money is allowed to be burned in the chase for readers. I’ve allowed myself a grace period in 2019 to spend in order to gain readers but I will have to be more fiscally responsible in 2020.

I need to fix the numbers above over the next three months so that I can launch into 2020 in a stronger position with advertising.

#2020Goal: Stop burning money on advertising.

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