The Facebook Boosted Post

facebook boosted posts
You know how it is: you post something onto your Facebook Page, and no one sees it. It’s not like no one cares, its that your post is not showing up in their Facebook News Feed. It makes you want to do a frowny face 😦 !

Facebook obviously became really all about the money when it comes to Facebook Pages. Nowadays, it’s basically expected that you’ll pay some money to “boost” a post or your page so that someone will see it. This is really obnoxious, unless you realize how to make it work to your advantage rather than against you.

Facebook Post Boosts can work if you plan them the right way. They can even work if your Page doesn’t have a lot of Facebook fans yet. In fact, doing a post boost can mimic having your post shown in front of an audience that is targeted (not as fine tuned as a Facebook Ad in Power Editor, but good enough for the usual intents and purposes) and, depending on your budget, hundreds or possibly thousands of people that would be fans of your page if they had clicked the Like button. This is the reason why most people tell you it’s not that important to have a lot of Facebook Page fans anymore; you can’t get too many posts in front of them for nothing any more anyway, even if they are fans.

Now I’ll explain in detail what I have been doing the past 3 out of 4 weekends and give you some idea of what to expect. Last month I ran a deal on my first book and on the “box set” of books 1-3. I designed a Facebook Page post that looked like this:

FB boosted post 1I created the graphic according to Facebook’s normal guidelines for ads. Then I just put the link to the page I wanted people to go to (which was a special sale page on my blog with links to all the sellers, rather than a direct link to Amazon) and Facebook got the text generated from WordPress. I went in and changed a bit of it so it looked a little cleaner, and then I published the post.

The next thing I did was click the “Boost Post” button. If you don’t have an advertising account with Facebook, they will have you set it up before boosting your first post. If you are working on the desktop, a smaller box appears in the middle of the screen. It’s essentially Ads Manager Lite. You have the choice of a few different budgets (I picked $5.00 over 2 days, which was pretty much the minimum) and you can choose whether you want the post to be boosted to people who have already liked your page along with their friends and family, OR you can choose an audience that is targeted toward demographics and location, like with normal ads. The latter is definitely your better option, as there’s no guarantee that people who liked your page necessarily have friends that would like your content, and that would be a big waste of money. Not only that, but people who have liked your page might not appreciate that “Jane Doe liked this page” posts are showing up in their friends News Feeds. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know… Anyway, you have a minimum of four interests to add to your targeting, along with the country or countries, and the age group  and gender you want to target.

I easily ended up with about seven interests. Again, it’s not as micro targeted as Ads built in the Power Editor, but actually, I think the boosted post ought to be shown to as many people as Facebook thinks it’s possible. Also, with Boosted Posts, there is no choosing the aim of the campaign like website clicks, website conversions, or any of that. Instead, Facebook just boosts the post, and if people interact with it with post likes and shares, then Facebook makes it look like they are “charging you” for those interactions. Frankly, I didn’t much care about likes or shares (although the version of the post I used the second week got about 13 likes), I cared more about clicks to the page and how many people bought books and where they bought them from.

Facebook then boosts your post after they approve it. Yes, they have to approve Boosted Posts just like any other ad, which is why I made sure the graphic was up to specifications. If you use the Facebook Ads app for your smart phone, you can check on how your post is doing on the go. Facebook will send a message through Messenger when the post is approved.

The first Boosted Post I did with the budget of $5.00 over 2 days was 801 people reached (people who I never would have reached, even when Facebook wasn’t throttling Page posts to death like now). That resulted in about 3 post likes and one new Page like. The next one was shown to far fewer people (289) but it got 13 post likes. I noticed the correlation between more page and post likes = less exposure for the post.

I skipped last week, since the sale was ending and it was Mother’s Day. This weekend, I did a bit of a different post boost: I have a link to a blog post I did about the difference between Steampunk and Gaslamp fantasy, and I have a CTA at the end of the post for mailing list sign ups. I’m hoping to get a couple of new mailing list sign ups and a few new free book downloads with this boosted post, but since it’s not done yet, I don’t have much to report about the success of this one, aside from that I already have 3 post likes, one new Page like, and some more traffic to the actual blog post. We’ll see if the approach I’m taking with the mailing list sign ups is too subtle (I don’t have the über obnoxious pop up box on my site yet, but I’ll do it if I have to!)

Do you have any experience with Facebook Boosted Posts? Do you prefer just straight ads instead of the light version you get with Boosted Posts?

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Getting More Followers on Twitter: My Observations

deep dive

Referring to my debut post on this blog, I had 268 followers on Twitter at the beginning of 2016. I am now up to 333 followers as of May 9, 2016 (I am following 320, FYI). And I have not done any post boosts or advertising on Twitter as of today. I actually meant to try it out but I never got around to it :-[

I have to admit that many of these new followers are social media marketing people, and a few fellow authors. But they are organic followers, and I followed back a good number of them because they appear to be accounts I’d like to hear more from.

The one MAJOR thing that I did differently was actually posting more often! I may have mentioned the DrumUp app I downloaded a little while ago. I have to admit I don’t consistently use it every day, but with the ability to find content that I can tweet about dealing with subjects relevant to what I concentrate on has definitely boosted my visibility on Twitter.

This was not done with the cutesy hashtags like #motivationalmonday, #throwbackthursday, or even #amwriting (and not a single tweet, to my knowledge, had #DonaldTrump either…) I’m actually not even sure how much hashtags work on Twitter any more! I know they seem to have more impact in surprising places like Google+, and definitely are important on Instagram.

I have started up my account with Buffer. What is the difference between Buffer and DrumUp? It’s actually a big difference; on Buffer, you can schedule whatever kind of posts you want, including links to your own blog or landing pages, etc. With DrumUp, the power there is mostly the content curating. This is where to get the “other people’s content” part of your social media strategy. Buffer, however, takes a bit longer to set up every day, which is the price we pay for the flexibility. Frankly, I do not want to spend more than fifteen minutes a day with Twitter related business.

But here is the burning question that I’m sure the authors want to know most of all: does all this effort sell more books? The quick answer: possibly, but it takes time to build the momentum. Last week, I used Buffer to schedule a tweet reminding people that I have a permafree book on Amazon; two people clicked the link to Amazon, and I presume they downloaded the book. I’m setting out to beef up my mailing list, and I think I will use Buffer to tweet and tweet the link to the sign up page. I have nothing really to lose as long as I don’t make every tweet about my books.

I think Buffer is going to be excellent for tweeting book quotes and things like that, once I have them set up.

So these are my observations about building up my Twitter follower base.

click here to find out

How Google AMP Could Affect Authors

I took a little break from the social media explorations, and recently returned to work, so it was back to the podcasts again. I decided to give a listen to the Social Media Marketing podcast and the most recent episode was a real eye opener! It is an often tense discussion about the AMP initiative and what bloggers and website owners should know about them.

AMP is an initiative that Google and other companies are starting to implement in order to aid with the mobile website browsing experience. AMP actually stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and, as the official website for the initiative states:

For many, reading on the mobile web is a slow, clunky and frustrating experience – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Google wants to have mobile pages that load very quickly. Studies show that if a web page takes longer than 2.5 seconds to load on a mobile device, 40% of potential visitors leave the page!  That is a great deal of possible audience abandoning your content if you have slow loading pages! So, the prevailing logic used to be, “Make sure your website has a mobile version so it loads faster. Google will give your site priority if it’s optimized for mobile users.” Anyone with a WordPress site (regardless of whether it’s a WordPress dot com site like this one or a self-hosted site like my official website) tended to have a mobile version almost automatically with their themes. I know many other providers of small to mid size websites and blogs (like Weebly, Wix, Blogger, tumblr, et al) also have this feature.

But AMP is going to take things several steps further.

In order to accelerate a web page for maximum loading speed, a web browser like Chrome or Firefox needs to not have to process Javascript and PHP and many other more advanced website building languages. In fact, straight up HTML gives you the fastest loading pages, so AMP, basically, is seeking to strip down pages to the barest coding.

The reward your page will get if you use AMP is TOP priority for your pages or site in Google Search. Already, some of the biggest sites (especially news sites like The Washington Post, BBC, The New York Times, to name a few) are using AMP pages. Why? Because they want their pages to be the top pages that show up in Google Search for any news story.

What does a site give up in order to be AMP optimized? Well, that’s the big question, because stripping a site down to the barest HTML means a LOT gets taken out of the coding:

  • No more navigation menus, apparently.
  • No more pop ups at all, not even one to grab someone’s email address on the way off the site.
  • Speaking of email, no more opt in forms.
  • No more social sharing buttons, especially the social sharing that keeps count of how many times an article or post has been shared already.
  • No comments!
  • I don’t even know if something like SumoMe can be used.

Just by looking at that list, you can see why someone like Michael Stelzner would start having a meltdown over this news. What, no social sharing buttons?  And for anyone trying to build an email list (and frankly, who isn’t trying to build an email list these days) is in for a bit of a trial, not having that nice and easy opt in form on the website page…

How do you know if you should use AMP or not? The quick answer would be no, but some analysis is needed before jumping to that conclusion. Your best bet is to go to your Google Analytics and check for some things:

  • Check if your traffic is more mobile than desktop. If you’ve got more than 50% traffic coming from mobile, if I were you, I’d pay attention.
  • Check to see if that mobile traffic is coming to you from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or anyplace else besides Google Search. If the majority of your website traffic is not coming from Google Search, stop here and do nothing! Your traffic is coming from social media, sources you don’t want to cut out of your pages by removing social share buttons! Otherwise, if you find that traffic is coming to you from Google Search, give some serious thought to AMP, at least on some of your pages.
  • If your Bounce Rate is high (meaning that people don’t go clicking around your site much, but visit the page they were directed to) then for some posts on your blog and pages on your site, you might want to consider AMP. Who needs navigation if they aren’t using it anyway? I can think of one great page to use AMP: the Landing Page! Suddenly, the pesky navigation bar and social sharing is gone, and you can have people tap the shiny red button to redirect them to your email list opt in forms (like with Mailchimp, you can just have them go to the form hosted on Mailchimp rather than have a pop up form appear when they tap the button).

Now, the question is: if a website plans to use AMP, how do they do it?

  • If you have a WordPress hosted site like this one is, then you don’t need to do a thing, because AMP is already being used. Since we don’t have the ability to embed much on these WordPress hosted sites anyway, there’s little to lose by having AMP on our sites.
  • If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, there is a free plugin you can download here. However, according to this article (which is the link to the same Social Media Examiner article above), there is another plugin (also free) called PageFrog that will give you better control over using AMP on your site. Some website owners might decide to use AMP on some pages but not all (this might be me).
  • Other publishers are starting to implement it, but information on implementation for Blogger, Weebly, Wix and others is scant at this point. If you are using one of those platforms for your site and you are interested in AMP, try the Help centers for these platforms.

At this point, AMP is still a decision you can make regarding your site (unless you’re using WordPress dot com), but from what I can tell, AMP is going to become a bigger factor as Google starts to further reward search ranking with implementation. There will probably come a time when work-arounds using plain HTML will have to substitute for some of the pretty plugins and Javascript we’ve been using on our author websites. What do you think of AMP? Do you already use AMP, and have you seen a difference in your website traffic from Google Search?
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My Deep Dive of My Author Website: End of Week 1

deep dive (1)

Well, in last week’s post, I spoke about what I wanted to do to revamp my author website, which was put up in sort of a rush last September. All I have to say so far is this: so much for this project taking only a week! Where I thought I would be remodeling, I’m now bulldozing!

There are some things I managed to do that I’ve been wanting to do since I started the website. One was to ditch the MyBookTable plugin. I deactivated it this morning, so, as a result, I had a blank books page. All the info is gone. I could, in a pinch, copy what I put on SB James, Doing the Write Thing’s book page, but frankly, at this point I get very little traffic to my website that I need to worry about being caught with the guts of my site pretty much on display. Right now, I have a placeholder Inventor’s Son Books page with a slideshow of the covers (which, come to think of it, isn’t half bad for doing something on the fly). And the blog is the first page that comes up when someone goes to sbjamestheauthor.com, which features at the moment a nice big fat image of my boxed set, so I guess it could be worse…

websiteinprogress03072016

And here’s the best thing I managed to do this week: fixed up the image on the free book offer page. I think it looks very nice now, especially now that The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning actually looks like it comes as an eBook:

freebookpageinprogress03072016

(There’s a guy that does really awesome book cover mock-ups at covervault.com and what is even more awesome is that they are FREE!)

So now what I have to work on is an entirely new hierarchy of the book pages, because I will be starting a new series this year, and that will most likely be before I wrap up The Inventor’s Son, so that series needs its own page, then a page for “Work in Progress,” where I will have a teaser for the new series…

I think it’s time for me to bring out the big guns: I’m reading a book by Vinny O’Hare about what to put on websites. I thought I was up to snuff on some of this, but I am having problems because I’m too close to the project, I’m thinking. Well, I have to give this one another week 😦 .

In other news, my experimenting with the DrumUp app is going pretty well. DrumUp is an app that helps you find articles or interesting things to easily tweet or post on Facebook or LinkedIn. They have you type in some keywords, and they pull a load of articles off the internet for you to simply tap on the “Schedule” button. Then they actually schedule for you different times a day to post. There’s a free version that lets you post up to three articles per day, and there are various levels of premium membership that lets you post a lot more with many more accounts. I think I might use it just for Twitter. I’ve already had a bit of response on there from the articles I’m posting, and I don’t imagine that using it for my Facebook page is actually worthwhile. I have not tackled Buffer yet, so I can’t compare, although I think they are two vastly different services at any rate.

I learned about DrumUp from the Social Media Examiner, which is one of those “must read” websites if you want to learn about all sorts of things related to social media. I also listen to their podcast, most of the time the shorter one (because they actually have two). The short podcast has TONS of info crammed into a ten minute podcast, so I definitely make a note of the URL they give me at the end so I can go and see the show notes!

So, maybe I didn’t waste tons of time this week, but I know I have a lot further to go. See you next week!
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The First Place to Begin the Deep Dive: My Author Website!

deep dive (1)

After a lot of deliberation about where to begin this mission to bring more awareness of my author brand, I decided it has to start at the one place that all the social media is supposed to point to: my author website.

Here’s what a visitor sees when they first go to the site, as of Feb 28, 2016:

sbjtheauthorhome22816

For over a year into my publishing career, I did not have a self-hosted website. I had my WordPress dot com blog, and contemplated a second blog dedicated to more Steampunk themes. The WordPress dot com blog is alive and kicking, btw, so there is no issue that it was taken down or redirecting or any of that. In September of 2015, I used the long Labor Day weekend to set up my author website using GoDaddy, both for the domain name (which I had purchased separately earlier in the year) and for the WordPress dot org hosting. I also used Simon Whistler’s guide on his Rocking Self Publishing website to help me at least get something up and running.

Now, I’m going into a deeper dive.

This week, I will be tinkering with my website in between writing. I have two new series coming out later this year, one of them tied to The Inventor’s Son (in that it takes place in the same universe), so I’ve been doing a lot of writing. That is why this website overhaul needs to take place in a week or less.

Right now I have some features that I want to improve or change:

  • I’d like to fix up the theme. I changed this blog’s theme and I like that it’s cleaner and not so in your face. I would like to change my website’s theme from Misty Lake to another theme, which may be a free one or may be a premium one, I don’t know yet.
  • My books are presently displayed using a plugin called MyBookTable.sbjtheauthorISTBpage22816 I don’t like the plugin for a couple of reasons, the most important of which is that I cannot use Amazon affiliate links with the free version of the plugin. I am adept enough with coding that I should be able to achieve something like a carousel-style display that will take a visitor to the full page description that will have an affiliate link that I can track more effectively than I can now. I started using this plugin on the advice of Simon Whistler’s very thorough tutorials, but they are a bit outdated and the functionality of MyBookTable has changed as well. One other issue I have with MyBookTable is that I need links to my books on sites where Tolino is used, as well as for Scribd and 24Symbols, where people can borrow my books, since I’m not in Kindle Unlimited with The Inventor’s Son. MyBookTable does not, to my knowledge, have the ability to link to them. One final thing I want to be able to do is direct visitors to get The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning directly from me rather than through any of the online retailers, since that is a better version of the book, and I can add people to my mailing list.
  • I want to get my art gallery up the way I want to it display.
  • I want my blog to be up to date there, without too many old posts that were ported over last year from the other blog, since at that time I thought I might be getting rid of that blog.
  • Whichever theme I pick needs to have a really good menu system, one that is visible at all times. And there needs to be a good hierarchy system as well.
  • I want to fix up my landing pages so that I can host them on my website. Right now they are hosted on Weebly, and I don’t like that at all. It was a temporary fix, and now I want a more permanent one.

I do not think I will have much more time to do much else, but I’m thinking that’s going to be enough. Once I get the website spruced up. then I will concentrate on various social media sites one at a time to help boost traffic to my website. By next week, the makeover should be complete and I can post the results here for you to compare!

What Skillz I Bring to the Table

title image for ASMDD post

Now I think it’s time to discuss my unique skill set that I bring to this endeavor.

The first skill is, naturally, the writing skill. I’ve been writing a long time, starting while I was still in middle school. Before that, I liked to make up stories and draw, but while I was in seventh grade I started writing. Once I got to high school, the journaling became a bit more formal, and in junior and senior year, I had to hand the journal in periodically to be graded on frequency and content. I did not give up writing once I left high school, however. Instead, I accumulated thousands of pages of writing that most likely will never see the light of day, especially in its current form. Other writing was done where people could read it and comment on it, and I honed a lot of my writing skills on sites like Fiction Press and Wattpad.

The second skill I have, which isn’t mentioned much in the toolkit of the author, is HTML coding and website building. I became interested in website building long before I could use it as an indie author, and for years I experimented with building some sites on GeoCities (remember them?), Angelfire, Tripod, anywhere I could host something for free. It wasn’t until much later on, once WordPress and Joomla and Drupal appeared and took a lot of the hand coding out of the equation for many would-be website builders, that I realized that I could still use some of this knowledge…

code view in Sigil
Cue in Halloween screams here!

One of the most important marketing skills an author can have, IMO, is the ability to offer a beautiful product to their customers. Many authors have to have formatters and cover designers, either because they cannot do those things themselves or because it is too time consuming for them to do it themselves. Because I don’t get frightened by that nasty looking coding in that image, I can format my own eBooks using Sigil to fine tune the compiled EPUB I get from Scrivener (there are more details about my work flow on my other blog, and this is the first post about that process). More importantly, going forward with the Author Social Media Deep Dive, when I venture into creating Twitter Cards and putting tracking pixels in landing pages for Facebook, I can handle it without calling my webmaster…

Speaking of covers, I can say that I’m getting my more skilled with image manipulation than when I first started indie publishing.

This is the very first book cover I put on The Inventor’s Son when I published it:

iscover1800by2880 (2)
If you dig around on Goodreads, you might still actually see this one!

And this is my 2015 redeux (one of many, as followers of my other blog can tell you) which, I can safely say, I’m happy with:

The Inventor's Son
It took me three different programs to create
this cover (well, actually, it’s technically four)!

I can apply these skills to creating posts on various social media, where, anyone who is even slightly knowledgeable can tell you, images and video are where posts are headed, not merely text in 144 characters or less. While it’s true that I’m not going to need to go crazy with every image I have to create, and there are lots of free or inexpensive sources for images and such (like Canva), I still like the ability to manipulate an image freely and quickly.

Now I can talk about resources I don’t have and need to build up:

My most precious resource is time, which I don’t have very much of, TBH. I’m not sure many indie authors, or anyone else, does either. I just read someone else’s blog post where he states that he deactivated his Facebook Profile. While I can understand doing that, I know, in order to fully participated in the Author Social Media Deep Dive, I’m going to need Facebook. And Twitter. And Pinterest. Actually, any social media site has the potential to be a time suck. One of the most important questions that can be answered by the Author Social Media Deep Dive is “Can I get the maximum benefit from this site without putting lots of time into it?”

My next deficiency is the eagerness to participate in a lot of social media discussion, retweeting and other things that the more gregarious among us have. I know a lot of authors aren’t into all that social stuff either. Yes, I went to see the Star Wars movie, and no, I really don’t have the time to write a whole long blog post about what I thought about the movie, nor do I think most of my Facebook friends want to discuss all that either. This tendency to believe that no one cares about what I’m posting might be the biggest blind spot I have. Obviously, someone cares that I’m posting; I actually do have people reading this blog, my other blog, and visiting my website.

This is going to be a very interesting experience going forward: I’m challenging myself with all this, and I think it’s high time I challenged myself in this manner.

My First Foray Into Facebook Ads

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Over the past couple of days I experimented with some Facebook ads. If you’re an indie author or publisher and you haven’t been under a rock, you might have heard that some indie authors have been building up their mailing lists and selling boxed sets with Facebook ads. There have been claims that Facebook ads help “explode your mailing list” or “help you get reviews” or “help increase your sales exponentially.”

It was around this time that I became interested in starting this blog, as well. And now, I have a few results that are very preliminary, so I will be keeping you updated on any tail results…

Keep in mind the following things:

  • I write YA Steampunk with a very strong paranormal element.
  • I have four books out now, having released the most recent novel-length book almost a month ago.
  • I use the first book, which is novella-length, as a “permafree” book.
  • My books are not in Kindle Unlimited.

Anyone familiar with how Facebook ads work will know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t, here’s a real quickie lesson:

  1. When opening up a Facebook ads account, you need to have a Facebook Page, not just a Profile. And, the Page needs to be connected to the Profile that pays the bills. In other words, if you’re like me, who has two Profiles (one personal and one for my writing name) and one Page, the Page needs to be attached to the personal Profile unless you have a credit card with a business name on it. I recently had to transfer the admin duties to my personal Profile from my writing Profile in order to do ads. Don’t worry if you have the same situation, it’s pretty easy to fix. Just friend yourself (heh) and have the personal Profile take over admin duties of your Page. Then you can unfriend yourself if you want ;).
  2. Once the account is open, there are two ways to create and manage ads: though the Ads Manager page or by using the Power Editor. Power Editor is not widely available; for one thing, you need to use the Chrome browser and for another, you need to download it. I suggest if you are a complete newbie and want to see it in action, go to Mark Dawson’s website that he created for this kind of stuff. The free video course is a HUGE help. I suggest watching them a few times before actually attempting to tackle the Power Editor.
  3. You will see that you start out be creating a Campaign. The Campaign level is for deciding just what you’re trying to get as a result of this effort. There are a lot of choices, but the ones most pertinent to indie writers are clicks to website (your choice of website) or Website conversions (which is more like the email list sign up campaign thing). I made up a Campaign for direct clicks to website. Mistake I made: I should have made up a campaign for clicks to just one website. Or maybe just should have had only one ad running. See below.
  4. Once you make a campaign, Facebook has you make up a Adset. This is where you get to determine who you want to target for this particular ad you’ll be making, and what your budget is. This is where I think most people can make costly mistakes, especially if you have no idea who your audience for your books really is. I suggest taking a look at your Goodreads books pages and see who rated your book well. If you are able to look at what other books they have read, see if there are any noticeable patterns. Do people who read your book tend to put the same types of books on their shelves over and over? Make note of the authors. Also, then look at the also-bots on your Amazon books pages. Are there any crossovers? Those are the authors you may want to associate your book with. Insofar as my budget, I picked an ongoing campaign and a budget of $5.00 a day. (I noticed later on that you can edit this amount once the ads start running, so if you’re looking to spend less than $5, you might be able to edit it that way.)
  5. Once your adset is finished, then Facebook has you design the Ad itself. There are parameters for the image if you create your own. I figured out, to keep Facebook from sending a nastygram about too much text, to not put any text in the ad image at all. Here is a picture of the ad image I used:
    FBadscreengrab
    The preview of the News Feed ad (desktop)

    Just FYI, here’s the all-important mobile version of the ad:

    I'll tell you about the Likes and Comments later on...
    I’ll tell you about the Likes and Comments later on…

    And if you want tips about how to make up an ad, refer to Mark Dawson’s site videos and there are other blogs that will give you tips and advice about how to make the ads up. I can also do my own solitary post just on creating images for Facebook ads…

Once you’ve got these three things set up, the ads can start running.

The dumb thing IMO that I did with the first ads was to put all four ads in one campaign and under the same adset. This dropped my relevancy score to a 4, which didn’t help with the cost of each click. The less “relevant” Facebook thinks your ad is, the more money they will charge for each click. Let me explain what I did.

I set up the campaign, as I said, to direct clicks to a website. The website gets determined by the actual ad, so what I did was create the campaign, created an adset of 13-18 year olds who liked certain authors I had noticed on Goodreads that were matches over and over again on the shelves, and I also wanted them to be eBook readers, so I targeted Kindle fans, iBook fans, Nook fans and Google Play fans. And I made an ad, same as the one above, but each with a link to a different store, to download the permafree. The results were not too great, and I realize now what I should have done was create a different adset for each store, and put the applicable ad under each adset. Instead, Facebook treated the ads as though they were A/B testing ads rather than ads I really wanted running all at the same time. So first they ran the iBooks ad, which got the first clicks. Then Facebook ran the Amazon ad, which got five clicks and one Like. After that, Facebook started the Nook ad, which got two clicks. I don’t think they ever got around to running the Google Play ad, because I pulled the plug on that adset and assessed.

I think younger eBook readers like iBooks. I’m not sure they are that enthused about Amazon. Oddly, the Nook clicks cost me the least, but what Facebook does is averages your cost per click, so if you want to see what each click is actually costing, look under each individual ad.

No males clicked on the ads, and Facebook showed the ads overwhelmingly to females. And Facebook had to show the ad to thousands of users in order to get the clicks I got, like over 3000 kids. So my average cost per click was about $0.56. Not too hot for low ticket items like a free eBook…

I decided to try one more adset. This time, I targeted 35-65+, and I got a MUCH different response! The initial clicks were as low as $0.12! I only ran the one ad you see above. Way more clicks, more downloads (since with Amazon you get that info almost in real time) and far fewer impressions needed in order to get twice as many clicks. I got 8 Likes on the ad. One enthusiastic lady tagged about 5 friends in the comments, and another one of her friends left a comment, and I think I got two Shares also. Not too shabby for an ad I ran less than 48 hours! I stopped the ad last night before all $5.00 was spent, so for this entire campaign I have spent $14.52.

With any luck, the people who downloaded my permafree like the story enough to buy The Inventor’s Son. I like the idea that I’m targeting people who I am pretty sure will like my books rather than promoting to the people who subscribe to these BookBub type list that are really in it for bargains. These people who downloaded The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning were not on Facebook to shop, but they went and downloaded the book anyway. This thought encourages me as I keep Facebook ads as a possibility to get my books in front of readers.

What do you think? Have you tried Facebook ads to promote your books yet? What keeps you from doing it?