Another day, another attempt at marketing my books, another fail…
I was feeling particularly optimistic at the start of 2019, and seeing a deal on a reputable, trustworthy Facebook group for authors that I have been a member of for over a year, I jumped at the opportunity to have someone manage my Facebook ads. Having seen multiple authors achieve decent success in upping books sales and pages read, I decided to give this avenue of marketing a chance.
A bit of background – I have run Facebook ads in the past (usually in conjunction with the holidays) and have had decent CPC (cost per click) ratios. Additionally, I have Amazon (or AMS) ads running passively, and have done so for over a year. The cost for Amazon ads is relatively cheap, and does transfer into sales now and again.
So, let’s get into where the failures occurred.
I signed up blindly. I did little to no research, other than recognizing the person whose company this is a USA Today best-selling author, and I have seen them in similar YA Facebook groups for a year. In the world of self-publishing and these sorts of things, word of mouth is almost always the way to go, and I wish I would’ve asked around.
I had no goals. Just saying ‘I want to sell more books’ is not a quantifiable goal. I didn’t ask exactly how many books would be sold, or what sort of returns I should expect.
I did not communicate up front (although, neither did this company). I didn’t outline my expectations, goals anything. Of course, the basic ‘sell more more’ I thought (perhaps naïvely) was implied.
Bearing this in mind – why I was paying for this service – is that they are meant to be experts on creating Facebook ads that drive potential customers to your books. That’s the point of it. I’ve tried creating and running ads in the past, and honestly, a few of mine have done better than what happened. So, in the first few days, I’m not sure what I expected – but I thought sales might go higher than say, 3 sales (actual numbers). Apparently, a fact I only learned after the ads were started was how we were apparently targeting KENP (that’s Kindle Unlimited pages). Which was never communicated to me. So I reached out and asked why my sales were so low.
So, some tweaks were made to the ads, which had little to no impact. I tried again to mention this and while I should’ve been up front about asking for a refund (which is what I was expecting), and was offered another month of ad management. Even after following up again, a week later, with funds committed, I sighed and chalked up this misadventure to another failure in the story of my journey as an author.
I disclosed my disappointing numbers at the end of the month, and the only response was: “We set up a bunch of ads for February which are running now, still within your ad spend budget. So, keep in mind, that wasn’t much money in ad spend. Obviously, the bigger your ad spend the bigger your reach is.”
Overall, how did my sales look for the entirety of their ‘management?’
55 – total books sold
7,600 – total pages read
1 – new review
Have you had a positive experience with a company who manages social media (specifically successful book ads on Amazon)? If so, I would love to know!
I’m not going to publicly name the company I worked with – if you’re very curious, please feel free to contact me directly and I’ll be happy to discuss who I worked with.