Summary of AMS Ad Experiment

Today I ended my 45-day-long experiment with Amazon ads to promote my book, Star Riders.  Here’s a summary of the results:

Overall, I received 229,259 impressions.  That means my ad was shown almost a quarter of a million times!  Out of those impressions, I received 223 clicks, where people chose to see more information and went to the Amazon page for Star Riders.

So that’s an overall click-thru rate of 0.10%. Of the 223 clicks, I sold 10 e-books and 8 paperbacks, as well as 7,323 page reads on Kindle Unlimited (KU).  I calculate that to be 12.4 clicks per sale.  I also estimate the total royalty to be $80.93, for which I paid $83.63.  Almost breaking even.

I read an email recently from Mark Dawson, who teaches marketing for independent authors, and he said his recent AMS campaign of over 2M impressions had a click-thru rate of 0.3% and a sale rate of one per 5 clicks.  So I’m in the ballpark, at least.

I also looked at my statistics for the 25-day period after I changed the blurb (see my previous post on what that was about). It certainly seemed to have a positive effect; I went from 17.0 clicks-per-sale with the old blurb to 9.5 clicks-per-sale with the improved blurb.  So I’m keeping that.

What’s next? I still feel like I don’t have enough reviews (10 at the moment), and I’m thinking of doing another sale (probably free) to drive downloads. I need to improve my Call-to-Action at the back of the book, as well as put another one at the front (according to my latest research). If I can promote the free sale, I can get lots of downloads, and a fair number of those should result in reviews as well as sign-ups for my email list.

How to promote it? There are several sites that have large lists of readers by genre who will send out ads for a price. I’ve mentioned some of these in previous posts, but I’ll go into detail on a few of them here.

Freebooksy has 116,000 sci-fi readers they will send your ad to for $70. The book must be free (at least during a promotion), and they don’t require a minimum number of reviews.

BookBub has about 10x the readers, but also a bigger price tag of $529.  If the book isn’t free, but priced between $1 and $2, it’s $1,310.  They claim on average, this sells about 2,040 books, so if you have a $1.40 royalty on a $1.99 book, that would achieve around $2,800 for the $1,310 price.

Bargain Booksy has two different categories: 90,000 readers for $35, or 207,000 for $70. Books must be priced between $0.99 and $2.99, and have at least 20 4-star reviews (so that’s out for me).

Finally, ManyBooks sends out their newsletter to 150,000 readers (although that seems to be all genres, not just sci-fi) for just $29. They require only 10 reviews, with an average of at least 4.0 stars (for which I do qualify), and the book must be free or discounted by 50% or more.

So I’m thinking of trying it out with a 5-day free promotion, using both Freebooksy and ManyBooks. But first I have to improve my Call-to-Action, and preferably with graphics this time.

Stay tuned for more!

If you have any thoughts or recommendations, please leave a comment.

Author: RickAAllenSF

Semi-retired engineer, now a SF author

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