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Thread: Facebook Ads

  1. #1

    Facebook Ads

    Last year I took out a $20 facebook ad that was targeted at fantasy readers. It was to promote a collection of fantasy short stories I had just self-published. The ad reached several thousand people and got 60 "likes," but I only sold 2 or 3 books.

    Anyone else try FB ads? Did you have success? How much did you invest, and how long did you run the ad?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Ed Ryan's Avatar
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    Hi Neo,

    Facebook ads can be tricky. I struggled with them as well. I did however find Joanna Penn has done a few podcasts and has some info on her site regarding them. Check her our at thecreativepenn.com - She also has links to Mark Dawson and some other folks who have FB ads down to a science.

  3. #3
    You should search the forums for this one because I know there's a few places where we've talked about this in-depth.

    A good ad campaign is about building credibility. It's better to get three different ads in front of 500 targeted people than to get one ad in front of a few thousand. That's because the first ad viewing will have a buy-through rate of near-zero, but it goes up a bit with each subsequent ad - even with viewings of the same ad. Especially with facebook, where you can decide exactly your target audience, go narrow and hit hard instead of shallow and wide.
    "Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G. K. Chesterton

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  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Devor View Post
    You should search the forums for this one because I know there's a few places where we've talked about this in-depth.

    A good ad campaign is about building credibility. It's better to get three different ads in front of 500 targeted people than to get one ad in front of a few thousand. That's because the first ad viewing will have a buy-through rate of near-zero, but it goes up a bit with each subsequent ad - even with viewings of the same ad. Especially with facebook, where you can decide exactly your target audience, go narrow and hit hard instead of shallow and wide.
    Both you guys had good information; thanks! I like the comment on the Penn site about having your covers be yellow. That made me laugh, because my latest cover is yellow.

    The bit about three ads to the same targeted group is very interesting. I'll give that a try. I have friends trying out FB ads, but it's hard to see, on the micro level, what works and what doesn't. You need a series of experiments over six months or a year.

    Still, FB ads are cheap, and you gotta love the targeted audience. Now to play around and try to increase sales...

  6. #5
    Senior Member Russ's Avatar
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    Facebook ads are fairly overused at the moment, and the information I am getting is that their response rates (for books anyways) are decreasing.

    Also, $20 doesn't take you very far in terms of data or recognition. There are threshold levels of saturation and spending requiring to create much of a dent and any staying power.

    I expect to have a whole bunch more hard data on how FB ads work in the next few months and will be happy to pass along what I glean from it.

    Goodreads ads apparently are producing some pretty good results at the moment.
    “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.”- John Wayne

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  8. #6
    Here are two threads where we've talked about this before.

    Does advertising on a Facebook increase your sales enough to make it worthwhile?

    How Facebook Ads Work

    Most of what was discussed won't tell you whether or not facebook ads will be worth the money, which beyond an anecdote or two comes down to data we just don't have, but it should give you some idea of how to do better with an ad campaign if you decide you want to try it.

    I personally feel that if you gave me a $200 budget to advertise a book, I probably wouldn't even consider buying ad space, and instead spend it on supporting material for content that I could try and distribute myself. Actually that is what I've done - I commissioned art for my Trope Reboot article series here on Mythic Scribes (much less than $200, though, and I don't have anything for sale). If I had the budget just for advertising, I would probably do more in that same vein.

    Also, you said this was for an anthology? Those are just tough to sell at all. The market for short stories is shrinking and just doesn't support new entries.
    "Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G. K. Chesterton

    Catch My Trope Reboots and Other Articles
    Help us get started with Project Mythlands
    Read With Us in the Anatomy of Fiction Reading Group

  9. #7

    Trying Another Facebook Ad Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by neodoering View Post
    Last year I took out a $20 facebook ad that was targeted at fantasy readers. It was to promote a collection of fantasy short stories I had just self-published. The ad reached several thousand people and got 60 "likes," but I only sold 2 or 3 books.

    Anyone else try FB ads? Did you have success? How much did you invest, and how long did you run the ad?
    Okay, MS members... I read your advice and read some other people talking about FB ads, and so I took out another ad and tried again. This ad was for a collection of contemporary fiction stories, some of which border on speculative fiction. This time I ran the ad for 2 days, $20 a day. It reached 600 people, and I got about 40 "likes." One (1) person followed the link to Amazon's page for the book I was promoting. That was all the response I got.

    Following the advice of someone I read on the web, I am going to repeat the ad in 3 weeks and see if that brings in more traffic. People swear that repeating the ad really works, so we'll see.

    While I'm at it, I spoke with a friend, who is impressed with a service called Books Butterfly. Has anyone heard of this? I looked it up, and it looks legit, but my question is, I already give away some free books on Smashwords. Why should I *pay* Books Butterfly to give away some free books?

  10. #8
    Senior Member Chessie's Avatar
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    I would take that $20 and put it towards Instafreebie to build a mailing list instead. It doesn't sound like you're getting even a modest return/breaking even. Instafreebie is a great place to put freebies as a way of getting subscribers, which will be to your benefit in the long run (a more targeted list than Facebook). My 2 cents.

  11. #9
    Okay. I ran the ad for the second time, two weeks after the last ad. Spent $20 for a one-day ad. Here are the results: I reached 600 people, got about 45 likes, and 1 person clicked on the ad to go check out the book I was promoting. In other words, pretty much the same results as the first time I ran the ad. So far, this experiment shows that Facebook ads, at least those with a small investment, do not give much ROI. Or, people are not interested in books by authors they've never heard of.

    At this point I'll point out that the book in question is a collection of short stories, and not fantasy but contemporary fiction. So this is the voice from another county. Still, it's interesting to see how Facebook members respond to collections.

    If you try taking out FB ads for fantasy novels, story collections, etc., post the results, so we can all see what happened for you!

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  13. #10
    Would you be willing to link to the ad you hosted?
    "Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G. K. Chesterton

    Catch My Trope Reboots and Other Articles
    Help us get started with Project Mythlands
    Read With Us in the Anatomy of Fiction Reading Group

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