Advertising Experiment

face-1103708_1920Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, Instagram, Imgur…. the list goes on and on.  Social media is often an author’s best means of exposure, but it’s impossible to hit them all.  I think most of us just try to focus on a few.  For me, that’s twitter and facebook – along with my blog here.

Why those?  Well, I actually LIKE Twitter.  Facebook gives me a larger method of communications.  It’s literally about the characters in that instance.  Granted, the familiarity with it for many users is pretty nice.  And I might show up in other places later, but I’d rather be writing a book than writing a post to people I really don’t know.  I think my stories express more than my 140 characters or less ever could.  If I had MY way, I’d probably forgo social media completely, and just live the rest of my life in my dreamed up fantasies… I mean my books.

But, even if you build it, they won’t come unless they know it exists (to badly quote that old movie).  Which means I need to advertise.

Last month, I started an experiment.  I chose two different twitter blasts that had similar styles.  Both offered their services for just under $15 bucks per month.  Both put out a tweet once a day about my book.  The results?  One was MUCH better than the other.

BookTweep featured my cover art and a catchy phrase, with a clear link to the product.  I had fans retweet the post, comment to me about it, and direct message me.  Sales went up.

BeingAuthor cost me a couple bucks less, and gave so much less.  The post had an overpowering image of my twitter avatar posted next to the cover.  The catch phrase came right from the book’s description, but chose the wrong part!  “This is a complete novel without a cliffhanger ending”.  Yeah, that’s going to bring the masses in!  When I sent a direct message asking for a tweak, I got nothing.  After 20 days, it was adjusted, though.  Sales increases?  Not noticeable.

cash-1169650_1280I will definitely use booktweep again.  For $14.99/month I think it’s a great deal.  Granted, I don’t want to make my audience exhausted of the content, either.  We all know that most of the twitter lists for these massive marketing tweets are made up of other indie authors like myself, but that isn’t a problem.  I’m sure I’m not the only author who enjoys reading!

And now, I’m focusing ONLY on Amazon’s Marketing Services this month.  Each add requires a “minimum” commitment of $100, but that doesn’t mean you’ll spend that much.  Last time I ran an add through Amazon, I think I spent about $50 bucks.  The trick is to manage the advertising each day.  If it’s spending too much, tweak a few details, or even pause it.  Right now, I have two different ads running for One More Day.  The first is product based.  The second is interest based.  This allows me to see which method works best for that book.  As of today, it seems to be working better than anything else I’ve tried.  Sales for One More Day just overtook When We Were Kings.  Considering that book 2 of that series just came out on the 12th… that’s rather impressive to my way of thinking.

The only downside is that there are limits to what cover art can be used with AMS ads.  When We Were Kings had to get a SLIGHT cover tweak:

I prefer the cooler colored vignette on the left, but couldn’t quite replicate it on the right without losing the character details.  Now why did I have to make this change?  I mean, it’s almost inconsequential, right?  Because Tristan’s nipple violates the rules.  I’m serious!  The customer service rep suggested a cover alteration, so I’m trying it.  If the new cover is denied, then I will revert back to the preferred cover.  Otherwise, get used to seeing Tristan’s arm bent to prevent anyone from being offended and his man boob.

Here’s hoping the added draw to my work is worth it.

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