Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Facebook ads: Are they worth it?

I'm going to share with you my experience with Facebook ads. There are a lot of variables here, of course, and I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had a different experience.

I set aside $10 a few weeks ago to run several ads on Facebook and see what happened with book sales. I let Facebook do the bidding for me, so it only took about four days and my money was all used up. However, it was enough time for me to collect some interesting data.

I created three ads with these titles: Young Adult Thriller, Suspense Novel, Mom Fulfills Dream.

Each ad had a brief sentence summing up the book. One had a sentence from a reviewer, one had a summary sentence, and one had a sentence about the history of the book. The book ads had a photo of my book, while the Mom ad had an author photo. Beneath the summary was the price of $2.99. If anyone clicked on the ad, it led them straight to the Amazon.com page for purchasing the ebook.

I had a few expectations. I designed the ads around different target groups, expecting only certain people to like certain ads. I expected them to attract people, though. I also expected that if people clicked on the ad, they would more than likely be interested in buying the book, and do so at the purchase page.

In reality, the book ads attracted very little attention, receiving only one click each. This could be because a) there are too many books available b) it just didn't look that interesting to people.

On the other hand, to my surprise, the Mom ad with the author photo and a one-line history of the book's publication process, received nearly 20 clicks. This surprised me. But here's the thing. The 20 clicks DID NOT EQUAL SALES. I sold the same amount of books that I usually do. Believe me, I would've noticed if there'd been so much as a ten-book sale increase. So why did these people click? I believe these were moms who saw the title "Mom Fulfills Dream" and thought for $2.99, I was going to divulge with them how to fulfill their dreams.

Either that, or they were men who thought my picture was pretty and were disappointed when the click took them to an Amazon.com page for a book.

My final consensus was that Facebook ads are not worth it. Even with my targeting parameters, I either didn't hit my target audience, or they just weren't interested. It's possible that if I'd run the ad for longer time, people might have clicked on it more, but I don't think so. I don't usually start paying attention to an ad because I've seen it so many times, I start ignoring it so that  I don't even notice it's there. I did not see a return of my $10 investment, which is quite sad.

If someone else has had luck with Facebook ads, please comment to know what could have been done differently. I won't try again, but someone else might.

For more details information of Facebook ads, check out this information here.


Rebecca Belliston said...

Good to know. I was thinking about doing a facebook ad for my book. I think I'll hold off. Thanx.

Rebecca Belliston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Daines said...

Very interesting. Personally, I don't even glance over at the ads column on Facebook. This is good to know, thanks for sharing your information!

KarenG said...

Fascinating, Tamara! Thanks for sharing your experience! I've never been tempted to use a Facebook ad, and now I know I won't. I'm looking forward to hearing your summary of how Kindle forums worked for you too.

Jane Isfeld Still said...

I have always wondered about that. Thanks for the info. $10 to get a question answered. Good investment.

Kate said...

I've used them to advertise our beef business. The same thing happened. A lot of clicks we had to pay for but it didn't equal any immediate sales.

Anonymous said...

I think your comment that there may be too many books out there is the main thing.

I've wondered about such ads, but I've been almost totally reluctant to try them. Glad you shared this experience. And now, like KarenG, I'm curious to know what you experienced in Kindle forums. I've heard good and not so good about them.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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