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Author Topic: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples  (Read 1320 times)  

Offline Nicholas Erik

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BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« on: August 16, 2017, 06:40:35 PM »
EDIT: I changed the thread's name from What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC? to BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples after everyone shared their data/creatives below; scroll down and you'll find all the CPC/CTR numbers in an Excel screenshot - thanks to all who generously shared

Also, if anyone else wants to share their CTR/CPCs/general BookBub tips, please post!

I'm getting hammered with $1+ clicks at the moment and fairly low CTRs (targeting to Urban Fantasy authors and the fantasy genre, depending on the ad). Was curious what CTRs you're getting, to see if mine are terrible or it's just that BookBub PPC ads are really that expensive.

I've run a few more ads, but here are the main ones that have cost me ~$150 or so.

My CTRs are 0.10%, 1.14%, 0.24%
My CPCs are $10.10, $0.75, $1.13 (respectively)

Each ad had 4000+ impressions. Targeting is US; I'm getting higher CTRs (and presumably lower CPCs), but much lower impressions in Canada/UK, so that data isn't really reliable.

$10/click is obviously a very expensive outlier, but I'm wondering if I can realistically get the other #s lower, and if so, to what extent.

It's a $0.99 book, for the record. Not really looking to make my money back (for teh rankz, I suppose), but $0.75 - $1/click is a bit too expensive for even lighting the launch furnace. I've tested a few different ad creatives and can test more, but before I commission a bunch of alternatives, I'm wondering if that's money well spent or chasing futility.

Anyway, if anyone has any recent #s, that would be helpful. Impressions are helpful, too, for context, since my Canada ad got 656 impressions but generated 17 clicks = 2.51% CTR, which is obviously better, but skewed by the limited sample. I'm basically wondering if BookBub PPC ads are viable at all (even for a launch, where you're willing to front the cost as a loss-leader/funnel starter), or if they're just a money furnace.

Nick
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 05:26:11 PM by Nicholas Erik »

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 07:26:22 PM »
Not necessarily recent, but...

For a free run in June in the US I had 11,645 impressions, 135 clicks, 1.16% CTR, $78.60 spent so 58 cents per click. That was for a fantasy novel.
For a 99 cent run in January for the same book I had 12,492 impressions, 129 clicks, 1.03% CTR, $30 spent so 23 cents per click.
 
For a 99 cent run in April in the US I had 886 impressions, 4 clicks, .45% CTR, $3.14 spent so 79 cents per click. That was for a romance novel.

I saw better numbers in some of the foreign markets.



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Offline LindsayBuroker

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 08:19:17 PM »
They're pretty expensive, yes. I ran some a little over a month ago for a scifi romance for my pen name (one targeting specific authors and others doing the PNR/SF categories). CPCs were different for different ads with the clicks being much less expensive on ads with higher CTRs.

I paid a lot less for those clicks in the first couple of weeks of the campaign when the CTRs on all the ads were above 2%. It was 41 cents for a campaign that averaged 2.21%. The book was selling well and I could afford to throw more ad money at it, so I let things run. Gradually, it got fewer clicks, and in the last week, the worst ad was at 1.28% which was about 77 cents a click.

I had several ads going with hundreds of thousands of impressions in the end so can definitely see the pattern of higher CTRs equaling lower CPCs.

I'll do the Bookbub ads again for the next Book 1 launch for the pen name (I know they hardly ever take scifi romance for their main ads, so it's not like these books were going to be seen later on in a traditional BookBub), but I'd throw everything at the first couple of weeks and then stop the ads once the CTRs fell. Early on, I had close to a 4% CTR, which was pretty awesome.

For the ads themselves, I snipped images from the cover art rather than using anything that looked like a book or had a book on it. I tried different text, including snippets of reviews with five stars on there. I also did a couple that said the book was only 99 cents or that you could "read it for free in KU." They all did pretty well, with the "read for free in KU" edging out the 99-cent ones by a little.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 08:22:32 PM by LindsayBuroker »

Offline PhoenixS

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 10:52:02 PM »
I ran some BB ads for a 99 Countdown early last month. US-Amazon only. Same creative, but I targeted different audiences, and some performed better than others, obviously. This was for a Science Fiction Thriller. Cover art but no book in the ad. Headline, tagline and price.

I'll be doing a repeat of this same ad starting tomorrow, so I'll have comparisons by Monday, if I can remember to come back to this thread. CPC averaged 51.4 cents. 47.1 cents. [Obviously my calculator was drunk the day I originally posted this.]

« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 07:21:01 AM by PhoenixS »

Offline HopelessFanatic

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 09:11:26 AM »
I'm getting on average a CPC of 0.30 and a CTR of 2.1% (this is across all recent ads. I run a lot of ads.) My best ads do even better. One of my more recent has a CPC of .06 and a CTR of 4.58%.

Caveat, I run ads for ROI right now. With releases, I'm not as careful for ROI so I bid higher. ($15 instead of between $7 and $10). Like I said, I run a lot of ads. Each ad is targeted to only one author and to one country. Which means at a lower bid, spend is slow. Great for the long term since I'm making a good ROI, terrible for a short burst to affect rank. The danger of using a lot of ads when you're look for rank, is simply that you go through spend so fast that you're spending hundreds at a time.

I have a couple of authors I target that always give me amazing results. But saturation is real when it comes to super targeted BB ads so once CTR goes down, I pause them.

I know a lot of people prefer to use BB ads for new releases, but I find bidding high on AMS ads during a release provides a better ROI and rank boost. Doing both together is even better since there are always diminishing returns.

Haven't had a release recently (though I'll be doing release BB ads next week.) Looking back at my data, I'm estimating a cpc around 0.60 and a CTR of about 2%. Some ads did much better, and a few did much worse but I stop the really expensive/ineffective ads rather quickly (usually at about $20 in spend.)

Offline Nicholas Erik

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 12:44:25 PM »
Thanks everyone for the data! That's extremely helpful and gives me exactly the targets I was looking for. Now I need to go back to the drawing board and come up with some new ideas.

Nick

Offline C. Gockel

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 02:28:57 PM »
I have had decent luck with full-length novel box sets in KU / Sci-Fi ... clicks were about 20-cents each.

Right now I'm running free books and free box sets only. For the box set clicks are less than 10-cents. For the book clicks are less than 15-cents (I turn them off otherwise.)

Australia / UK / Canada tend to be cheaper, probably because no one is trying to list there.

Combined click-rate is 3% on my current live ads.

Should mention I used to do banner ads for a Fortune 500 financial firm, so may have a better feel for it than most folks.


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Offline PhoenixS

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 07:47:23 AM »
So, to honor my promise to follow up with a comparison between July and August runs...

Same book (my personal single-title, standalone science fiction thriller).
Same creative (only the sale end date changed).
Same price - 99 cents (on Countdown).
Same author targets - although I did segregrate them a little differently.
Same vendor/region - Amazon US only.
Same bid prices.
Same comparable, modest spend.

I ran the BB ad 4 days this month instead of just the 3 days I did in July, but I'm only using the first 3 days of the August BB run (Aug 17-19) here to compare to.

July (47.1 cents per click):



Aug (30.1 cents per click):




This time around, one subset of authors outperformed the others by a magnitude of 2-4 times. And, of course, that's the ad I had the most issue with trying to get BB to serve all my budget for at the bid I'd made. Sadly, I had to leave 9 bucks on the table.

This was at the end of Day 4 (22.5 cents per click overall average on that day). That's 11.8 cents per each of the 73 clicks for the 9.95% CTR. Man, if I could scale that, I'd do that all day, every day. :D




General Notes:

I've found click rate to be a little higher and CPC a little lower for everywhere that isn't Amazon US.

Likewise, click rate is higher and CPC lower for free books and box sets. For the SF I've run, Amazon US tends to return a 4-6.5% CTR for freebies. Off Amazon US, the freebies do 0.5-1% better. (I can't, however, get those same returns for romance. Yet. Ever? Who knows.)

Targeting matters. Refining that targeting matters even more. Test. Test. Test.


And, my creative, fwiw:



Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 07:51:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing Phoenix. When I'd run the ads before I'd done the standard book cover on one side, small teaser on the other, but now I think I may have to try a non-book cover ad next time around and see how that does.


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Offline Nicholas Erik

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Re: What CTRs/CPCs are You Currently Getting w/ BookBub PPC?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 12:43:40 PM »
Thanks again, everyone. This data was tremendously helpful. I aggregated all the data into an Excel sheet - including C. Gockel's and Phoenix's update since I last posted - so it could be viewed side-by-side. Note that I only included the data for paid books, not the free ones. Here's the screen-cap:



Benchmarks and Tips from This Thread

These seem realistic for paid titles, based on what people have shared:

CPC: $0.25 - $0.50
CTR: 1.5% - 4%

If you're not hitting those marks, it doesn't mean your ad is a failure. Your genre/sub-genre might be more competitive. It is, however, cause for further analysis. The numbers usually change for the worse as you get more aggressive with your ad spend. So if you're doing BookBub ads for rank, and spending aggressively, expect higher CPCs ($0.60+) and CTRs at the bottom of that range.

Targeting is critical. The same creative can have massively different results, so separate your author/genre interests out one at a time until you identify the ones that work.

Finally, ads decay over time (this is true for all platforms). An ad won't stay at 4% CTR forever; it will drift down until it needs to be retired. Monitor your ads.

Also, here's my data:

19 ads (all over the past two weeks); $312.56, 40,858 impressions, 236 clicks; $1.33 CPC; 0.58% CTR

For the lolz: ran 9 ads on Facebook over the same frame. $451.69, 39,948 impressions, 927 clicks; $0.49 CPC; 2.32% CTR

5 different ad creatives:



I ran a sixth ad using the BookBub template maker. It cost $8.34 a click targeted to Supernatural Suspense. You're probably better off running your own creative.

> urban fantasy trilogy.
> $0.99 book, enrolled in KU. All three books in the series were $0.99.
> the first two were sent to the first book (Lightning Blade). The last three were sent to the series page, where all three were available for $0.99/ea.
> as noted by everyone else, definitely lower CPCs/higher CTRs in UK/CA. Just not a ton of impressions to be had, unfortunately.
> targeting the Fantasy + Supernatural Suspense genres murked all the CPCs/CTRs. They generated 25,016 impressions with 62 clicks at a cost of $176.30. $2.84 CPC / 0.25% CTR. Abysmal.
> one reason the genre targeting devoured over half my budget is because those are big interests (250k+), whereas the author targeting is usually smaller.
> all five creatives had one ad targeting Fantasy or Supernatural Suspense. I started killing them later in the campaign, when it became apparent how badly they were doing. That helped a few of the images.
> excluding the Fantasy + Supernatural Suspense genres, my aggregate CTR/CPC was 1.12% and $0.78. Not great, but significantly better.
> the red ad had the worst targeting, so that partially impacted the results. Still, it seems the BookBub ads perform better with a little text.
> I started doing one author or interest at a time for the last ~12 or so ads, which worked better. Some authors performed terribly, others well, even within the urban fantasy genre. If you're targeting one author at a time, this generally means your daily budget won't be spent if it's much higher than $5. One genre at a time still happily munches through $10/day, and I would imagine decently far beyond.

The genre targeting might work better if it's tighter - BookBub doesn't have an urban fantasy interest, so that could be the culprit. I was surprised the genre targeting worked so poorly here, because on Facebook it usually does better than many of the author interests (although, again, on Facebook you can actually target urban fantasy or dark fantasy).

Just goes to show: test.

Also, it's probably better to be conservative with your budgets and spends, even if you have money to burn. All these platforms will gladly burn it for you; you don't need to help them along. Start with smaller budgets; I could have saved $100 by just monitoring the Fantasy ads and seeing they were getting 2 clicks for every thousand impressions. After that happens three times, you have a good idea it's not working. No need to confirm it with three more ads.

I have zero idea what impact these had on the launch, since I was running Facebook and AMS ads, as well as emailing my list. Always good to track things diligently, right? Sarcasm aside, there's no real way to track the ROI off these things. You can't use affiliate links in emails, so that means your only option would be to send people to a clickthrough page on your website with links to various retailers. That's going to drop the number of people who reach the retailer page considerably.

Nick
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 05:34:27 PM by Nicholas Erik »

Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 05:16:40 AM »
I got the infamous Hogwarts email and started a BookBub Ad today for my full-priced boxed set. I chose CPC (rather than cost per mil) and targeted four authors and two genres (true crime and crime fiction). I made it clear in the ad creative that the book is on kindle (to prevent clicks from others that only use other platforms and hopefully get KU reads) and audio (hopefully to spur audiobook sales).

Is it good to target four authors and two genres? I've seen varying advice on that in reading the BB CPC ad threads here. I'll report on my results. It's nicer than AMS (what isn't) but not as nice as Facebook's ad system. Fingers crossed.
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Online Donna White Glaser

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Re: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 06:46:19 AM »
This thread is interesting but there aren't too many responses. Does anyone know of a BB ad tutorial ala Mark Dawson's FB ads?
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Offline Nicholas Erik

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Re: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 11:58:03 AM »
I got the infamous Hogwarts email and started a BookBub Ad today for my full-priced boxed set. I chose CPC (rather than cost per mil) and targeted four authors and two genres (true crime and crime fiction). I made it clear in the ad creative that the book is on kindle (to prevent clicks from others that only use other platforms and hopefully get KU reads) and audio (hopefully to spur audiobook sales).

Is it good to target four authors and two genres? I've seen varying advice on that in reading the BB CPC ad threads here. I'll report on my results. It's nicer than AMS (what isn't) but not as nice as Facebook's ad system. Fingers crossed.

I don't think there is a CPC option, unless they're split-testing something that I don't have access to. BookBub Ads are served by impression.

Target one author at a time. I wouldn't bother with the genre targeting unless you write something that appeals to a super-broad reader base, like a James Patterson or Lee Child esque thriller. Even then, I'd target the authors instead of the genres. All my ads targeting genres have horrific CPCs (like $2+).

Once you know an author is a fit for your reader base, you can combine some of them into one ad. I still prefer to run individual ads, using the authors who are the best fit for my work (I determine this going by CPC/CTR). Mark Dawson, I believe, has started targeting small/mid-tier indies and had success with it. You probably have to roll a few of them into an ad to get a decent audience size. But I haven't had much luck with that.

The click prices vary heavily with genre + the retailer you're targeting. Non-Amazon tends to be cheaper.

This thread is interesting but there aren't too many responses. Does anyone know of a BB ad tutorial ala Mark Dawson's FB ads?

Mark is adding a BookBub tutorial to the next update of his Ads for Authors course. He can chime in with more details about what that might entail. Otherwise, I don't know anyone offering tutorials.

Nick

Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 12:07:19 PM »
I don't think there is a CPC option, unless they're split-testing something that I don't have access to. BookBub Ads are served by impression.

I definitely got to choose CPC. At first I only saw the option to pay per mil impressions, then suddenly I saw a CPC option below it. I may have triggered that to appear based on some other option I chose? But I definitely got to do CPC. I'm going to remove the genres and make copies of the ad for each individual author. Thanks for the tips!
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Offline HopelessFanatic

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Re: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 04:21:48 PM »
I definitely got to choose CPC. At first I only saw the option to pay per mil impressions, then suddenly I saw a CPC option below it. I may have triggered that to appear based on some other option I chose? But I definitely got to do CPC. I'm going to remove the genres and make copies of the ad for each individual author. Thanks for the tips!

Just to clarify here, if you target both an author and a genre in the same ad, Bookbub will show the ad only to "fans"(which is both followers and people who have clicked a book by the author) of the author in that genre.

For example, if I target Shannon Mayer and Supernatural Suspense, it won't show my ad to someone that likes/clicks supernatural suspense without also being a Shannon Mayer target.

Adding a genre to an author simply narrows the target further, rather than expands it. Adding an additional author expands. Adding an additional genre expands.

It's weird, but that's how it works.

I just checked, and I didn't find a way to change bids from CPM to CPC so I wonder if this is a new feature or something.

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: BookBub PPC Data w/ Ad Examples
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2017, 03:15:42 AM »
Mark is adding a BookBub tutorial to the next update of his Ads for Authors course. He can chime in with more details about what that might entail. Otherwise, I don't know anyone offering tutorials.

Thanks, Nick - just saw this. Yes, I've got a BookBub CPM ads module ready to go for the Ads course launching on November 8.

And as a PS: you can do CPC bidding, but they are slowly rolling the option out.