Uh oh. It’s that time again. Time to talk about our least favorite thing as authors – marketing. *Cringes* Sorry, but it has to happen sometime. If you want to be successful as a self-published author, you need to do the marketing as well as the writing. A while back, I discussed how my sponsored product ad went on Amazon (you can read the article here)
I decided to do a product display ad for my romantic comedy, Fat Girl Begone! I’ve wanted to try a product display ad because I think they look pretty spiffy. (The sponsored product ad looks basically the same as when your book comes up in a search.) You can write your own copy with the product display ad. The number of characters is limited, so you’ll have to get inventive. Here’s what I came up with:
I was embarassingly excited about doing this ad. I thought the copy looked good. And the reviews were looking good as well. What could go wrong? Well, the first issue is cost. You have to have a minimum budget of $100 for the ad. That’s a big budget for one ad in my limited experience. BUT you only pay when someone clicks on the ad. So, I swallowed my fear and continued.
The next issue I had was the start and end date. I don’t know if it has anything to do with me, but I was unable to chose my start date. Very frustrating! What I finally did was get the entire ad ready to go and hit save ‘save as draft’ instead of ‘submit campaign for review’. I waited until the day before my book went on sale to hit submit. Mistake. Big mistake. I’m used to Amazon accepting any changes in my books within a few hours. It took two days for Amazon to accept my ad. My sale was nearly done by then!
Finally, my ad was accepted. It took a while for the campaign to gain momentum. But how’d it do in the end? See for yourself:
As you can see, there was a decent number of impressions (the number of times the ad is shown): 17,563. The problem is that only a small percentage of those actually click on the ad. In my case, a mere 1.5%. Egad! That’s depressing. And I’m not sure why that is. Is my book unattractive? Is the synopsis unappealing? Or are customers just immune to ads as our lives are overfilled with them?
The next step takes a bit of detective work, because you pay for the clicks whether the customer buys the book or not. This is indicated in the spend column. A click does not automatically translate to a sale, however. At $2.49 per copy, I receive a royalty of $0.87 per book (although my book was on sale at the start of the campaign, I’m ignoring that for simplistic sake. Also, it was only one day of the 90-day campaign.) According to Amazon, I earned an estimate $58.07 in royalties, which translates to 67 book purchases.
Breaking it down, I come up with the following. Of the 17,563 persons who saw my book, only 67 actually went ahead with a purchase. That’s less than half a percent. If that’s not depressing enough, Amazon includes the advertising cost of sales (ACoS), which indicates that I’ve spent 29% more on the ad than I earned.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what to think about this. I often spend more on advertising than I actually earn in book sales. I keep at it because exposure, exposure, exposure. And, every once in a blue moon, I get another verified book review. So, will I do another Amazon product display ad? Probably. I may wait until I have more reviews and see how that compares.
Anyone else out there do a product display ad? How did it go? What are your thoughts?