We all know the old adage: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It’s what comes to mind when I think about advertising for my books.
Advertising is expensive, especially for independent authors with lean budgets. Is it worth the money? I believe it is.
Last month, I conducted an experiment using Amazon ads with my latest novel, Murder in Aspen Notch. I found 300 keywords that seemed to best fit my book and genre, then set the cost per click higher than I ever had before.
Experienced ad users may laugh at my parsimonious 51 cents per click. My $10 a day, didn’t cover the number of clicks I was receiving so, with a throw of caution to the wind, I upped it to $26 a day. Clicks increased astronomically; sales rose nicely though not to the extent of my ad cost. My Kindle Unlimited reads were thousands of pages per day, more than I’d ever had. Those, however, are not included in the income-generated report.
When my ad cost reached $300 and my sales $200, I shut it down. My ad costs were too great, and I was operating at a loss. Immediately, sales dropped to $0; KU reads hovered around 200 pages. Obviously, my ad had worked.
After a week of no sales, I decided to try again. I stayed with the 51 cents per click, but set my daily budget to $15. I used some keywords that were successful previously, but found another 200. I culled those that showed I had no chance of competing with the more costly sponsored ads. I didn’t have the resources to extend to $1.50 or more per click. As soon as my campaign went live, book sales and KU reads increased. Amazon ads work.
Experts advise that something’s wrong if people click, but don’t buy. The cover may be enticing, but the blurb isn’t. A keyword may be generating an ad in the wrong genre or I haven’t attracted the right reader. There may also be other authors searching for keywords, clicking on my ad to see if the book fits as a keyword to use in their ads. It’s complicated, for sure.
One of these days, I’ll get it right. If anything, I’m persistent. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.