For Authors: Progress of the Sales Drive & More on Ad Monitoring.

As of 8:13 AM PST, the female has sold 4,178 books in the US that qualify for USA Today. In total, she’s sold 5,299 copies of the book.

For 3 days and 8 hours of work, this is fucking incredible. She’s over the moon with delight. As she’s mentioned before, while listing on a solo effort is a dream of hers, the real goal here is to reach a lot of new readers–and hopefully be able to continue working on the Magical Romantic Comedy series on a more reliable level.

It’s not without downside. Pirates have been having a field day with the set, but she’s trying not to think too hard about the readers who want everything for free. (Please, go to your local library and request the books. The set is available in hardcopy, which your library can order for you. It’s also available in several large digital library systems.)

You can still read for free while supporting the authors who work hard to entertain you.

(Also, it’s becoming more evident that pirates are embedding viruses into the files they’re spreading, so all you’re doing is putting your computer at risk when you download books illegally. Did you really believe pirates are stealing material out of their kindness of their own hearts? Seriously. They’re trying to make money off of you, be it through ad views or ransomeware.)

The human, while sighing over this unfortunate reality, is dealing with it. There’s muttering. So much muttering. Curses are sprinkled throughout the muttering.

She’ll be all right. She understood this would happen going into this venture.

It just particularly sucks when the pirates go after something that’s $0.99, especially when the books within the set are worth ~$28.

Insert image of childish temper tantrum here.

At current, she has spent ~$8,900 to sell 5,299 books, which is $1.67 a book! This is below her target goal per acquisition! (Yes, that’s not for USA Today qualifying books, but while the human does what to list as a consequence of her efforts, she loves her readers wherever they’re from.)

It has cost her $2.13 per US reader, which is over what her hoped for $2 per sale figure was, but this is still delightful, and the human is very happy!

Where does she go now from here?

Into the slow swan dive of decline, alas.

While she still has budget, she’s not going to blow out funds unnecessarily. So, today, she begins the hard work of honing ads. All ads over $0.30 per click have been turned off. Any ads that creep over that amount face the same fate.

To try to work towards optimizing her ads, she’s taking the opportunity to reuse all the ads she turned off, lowering their spend substantially, and allowing them to run. The ones that hit into her target goals of below $0.30 a click will stay. The rest will go.

After this batch, there won’t be any new ads created.

So, the goal at this point is to get 700 US sales between now and Sunday evening. That should give her enough sales to qualify for listing without blowing through her excess budget.

Assuming she spends every penny she currently has allotted to ads, she will spend her entire $20,000 budget. (Yes, that’s nuts. There’s over $11,000 worth in queued ads to test out right now. Yes, yes, yes, that’s insane.)

But if she can get the cost per sales down to the $2 mark for that entire ad spend, it was money well spend and a promise made, promise kept.

It won’t happen. What will happen is that 50% of the ads she loaded in for the final half of the week will flop out of the gate with only $5-10 spent. This is how ads work.

You test something, find out if it works. You test it again, because especially on facebook, an ad that doesn’t work one day will do incredibly well the next. Then you test it again, because facebook ad system can be dumb.

The female can’t even with facebook ads sometimes. Once, she kept trying this one dumb ad, and for the most part, it kept hovering around the $0.25 CPC mark. She reloaded it for like the fifth time, changing nothing, ad dropped to $0.09 CPC and stayed there for hundreds of dollars of spend.

It can happen. But it sometimes means you have to test ads over and over and over, and you have to be willing to risk some money to figure out what sort of ads might work when the stars align.

By the way, if you get an ad that does work, change nothing. You can increase your budget, but it’ll stop working as well. ALL ads stop working as well over time. That’s how it works. But sometimes, you just get this one ad that is magical.

Love it when it happens.

I know some people are rolling their eyes over my allowed $0.30 CPC rating.

I am hunting for premium readers. They cost more money. I could get $0.03 CPC if I wanted to target readers globally. I don’t want to target readers globally. So, when you’re setting your goals, decide what kind of reader you want. Yes, you can get cheaper readers than what I target, but I am targeting readers who become buyers later. If your goal is pure ROI, you want to target anyone who will read your books.

I’m only targeting very specific American readers. This means my ads cost more money out of the gate.

The best I’ve ever had on a US ad campaign has been $0.09 CPC, and that’s on a premium, heavily restricted list.

Your mileage will vary.

Anyway, the female is really happy with her efforts, win or lose. Well, realistically, she’s already won. She started the week hoping to get 5,000 sales. (US Sales, but frankly, she’s taking the 5,299 total sales, strutting around the apartment like a lunatic, and taking it.)

One day, her true dream is to be able to do this with a new release. That is the real goal of her ventures and investing so heavily in the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

She wants to reach readers who enjoy her books and want to have fun adventures with her.

Will that happen? We’ll find out!

Stay tuned. At the end of the week, she will buckle down, sit down, and showcase off the best of the best for ads, the worst of the worst, and otherwise discuss the oddities that is book promotion on facebook.

Oh, were you wondering about her bookbub and AMS efforts?

She gave each site several thousand to play with, but she has no AMS or BookBub paid ads fu, so she’s spent pennies at either site.

Facebook and the BookBub Featured Deal has carried 99% of the weight of this venture.

Leave a Comment:

6 comments
Deborah Roill says May 2, 2019

I’ve been reading about Nora Roberts fight with stolen work. Thievery and I’m sorry it’s happened to you. I love your work. I don’t knowingly or get free stolen books. No one says what sites are the criminal sites. Anyway I wish you well and I’ll continue to enjoy wonderful books. Wish you conquer these problems.

Reply
    The Sneaky Kitty Critic says May 2, 2019

    Here’s a handy list of legitimate sites for you!

    Amazon
    Walmart
    Kobo
    Barnes & Nobles
    Apple
    Radish
    Libraries
    Author Websites (So, if you buy a book directly from, say, Ilona Andrews’ website (I don’t think they sell books directly, but if they DID have a store…)
    BookBub (They link you to these above sites)
    Instafreebie and similar but *ONLY* if you got the link to the book *DIRECTLY* from the author.

    If it’s free and NOT on one of those sites or handed to you DIRECTLY from the author, it’s probably piracy.

    Wattpad is a HUGE offender of my copyrights, and my stuff shows up there pirated all the damned time, so I don’t recommend Wattpad.

    Reply
Stephanie says May 2, 2019

I al

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Stephanie says May 2, 2019

Have digital. Now need hardcopy .

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Jennifer says May 2, 2019

On Monday your deal was featured on the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog (they do a daily deals post). In case you don’t already know them, they have a huge romance audience. Plus your deal was posted on the Mobileread forum in the Free/Bargain Romance books thread over the weekend. So you’ve gotten some quality free advertising as well as the paid stuff.

Reply
    The Sneaky Kitty Critic says May 2, 2019

    I saw the SBTB blog! That dropped right as I was ramping up the paid ads, which was super nice. I was thrilled it had gotten a mention! I haven’t heard of the other forum before, but that’s cool! Thank you for letting me know.

    Reply
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