There are many different places you can advertise your book. Goodreads advertising space, Google ad words, Facebook and many small independent blogs and book sites.
So why did I choose Facebook?
OK, you got me. I had a free $50 voucher for Facebook advertising that I recieved when I signed up with my hosting company! Seemed a shame not to use it.
Creating the advertisement
Facebook ads are small and short. You need something to grab your reader, and encourage them to click on your link. A photo is important, make sure it's the exact dimensions that Facebook specifies, so you don't waste any space, or have anything cut off. Since Facebook ads are landscape, your book cover probably won't be suitable. I used the same images though, to give the same feel.
You have 90 characters to go with your picture (including spaces), so you need to make them count. A short phrase is all you can get.
Here's my ad for Reckless Rescue. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
I was blown away by the amount of options you had when targeting your ads! You could choose locations, language, age ranges, gender, single/married/relationship, education etc. Then you could select both broad categories, and specific tags for your ad. I tried to make my range as large as I could, while still choosing options that I thought would put my ad in front of the people most likely to click on it!
I set my budget for $5 a day, meaning my $50 would last for 10 days. You pay small amounts for the number of views, and slightly more per click. Facebook seems to spread this out over the day, so you won't run out of money half way through the day, the only difference, I guess, is how many times your ad is displayed througout the day.
Come on, get to the point – Did it Work?
Well, that depends on what you're hoping to achieve out of it. Did I have hundreds of people buying my book all of a sudden? I wish! No.
What I did get was more likes on my facebook page. I started out with 22 likes – mostly friends and family. By the end of the 10 days, I had 241 likes! I was pretty happy with that increase.
In case you're new to my blog, I love stats and graphs, so as much as anything, I really enjoyed watching the line go up on this graph, it certainly made me feel productive.
One thing I found really interesting was that the increase in likes was higher than the likes Facebook recorded through direct clicks. You can see here, the blue bars are the ad clicks, the red bars are the likes Facebook recorded, and the green bars are the actual extra numbers of likes I had.
I can only assume that this is because other people see their friends liking a page, and check it out too?
How does it sell books though?
Initially, I had my ad set up so that people arrived on my Facebook page when they clicked on the ad. I left it that way for two days, until I had 50 likes, then I switched it so that people landed on the app that displays my book information. To my surprise, this didn't decrease my likes any! And I did get a few click throughs to Amazon on my book (which I could tell, because I used my Amazon associates links!)
It's hard to tell if this sold any books at all (no sales were directly recorded as a result of the clicks), but it did get my books cover and blurb in front of 200 new people!
Would I do it again?
For $50, I think it was a pretty good investment. I'd probably be willing to try it again some time in the future. I'd also like to look into other forms of advertising, like GoodReads and Google Ad words. Now if only someone would give me a voucher for those…
What forms of advertising have you tried? Any you'd recomend? Do you click on ads, and if so, what inspires you to click?
All this month I’m participating in the A-Z blogging challenge, writing a blog post for each letter of the alphabet, on every day of the month except Sundays. Check back regularly to see what else I have in store for you.