Ad Assessment: What I learned from trying everything.

Last weekend I had the largest sale of my entire indie author career. I spent the most money on advertising than I ever had before. I had the largest mark-down I’ve ever had on a book, and I had certain goals that I had hoped to achieve.

Well, how’d it go, you might ask?

Actually, the results were a mixed bag. I did not achieve the completely random number of sales which I had hoped to achieve, but I did sell a bunch of books and that’s always helpful. I absolutely lost money, which is not unexpected as I’m certainly not anywhere near the point where I’m making significant money off my books. (not that that is my ultimate goal in writing – it isn’t) This sale did give me a chance to evaluate some of my marketing strategies.

  1. I learned that one website (which I have used before in the past) definitely delivers. I’m going to refrain to say which because I’m not here to give anyone else a competitive advantage. I think everyone should learn by trial and error, like me. 🙂 But I have come to realize that whenever I can get on this website for advertising, it’s worth it, so I’ll continue to seek it out.
  2. I tried several other websites and the results were disappointing. They, of course, make great claims, and seem to have some good options for not a ton of money, but in reality, the results weren’t there. I’m not going to publish the names of these websites either because I don’t mean to disparage anyone in particular. Perhaps these websites have been effective for other authors. They haven’t been for me.
  3. What about Facebook? I did run some Facebook ads in conjunction with my advertising blitz, and the results were not as good as in the past. But Facebook continues to be an important feature in my overall name recognition struggle. I’ve been able to continually add new likes to my page, and that can only be a positive.
  4. Twitter. I’m sorry. I still don’t get Twitter. I really must be missing something. I wish someone could make me like it. I just don’t.

My trial and error approach to advertising has yielded some positive results which I will continue to try to exploit. It’s a constant struggle between being willing to spend significant money (which I don’t have) or just letting your books sit idly and unnoticed. I’ve learned a lot and I’ll continue to push in all directions to try to find the best possible ways to expand readership.

The most important part of my entire promotional program is simply not to give up. I won’t. I haven’t. Let’s keep it going.

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