Author Topic: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned  (Read 14844 times)  

Offline JustinBell1974

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Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2017, 06:22:07 am »
I signed up for this course about a week ago knowing that I'm a prolific writer but a horrific marketer.  To all the folks saying that the information is readily available via Google, KBoards and other places, you are absolutely correct, of course it is, but it's so easy stumbling down a rabbit hole and ending up in places that really lead you in the wrong direction.

As Nicholas said, when it comes to courses like this, it's not just about the content or material, it's about the structure and being able to easily follow through Mark's fantastic step-by-step instructions.

I took his SPF101 course and I've only started scratching the surface on implementing some of his suggestions and already I've gone from around 50 downloads of my first novel (permafree on Amazon) to nearly 7,000.  Those 7,000 downloads have cascaded into improved sales for Book 2 (nothing dramatic, but a 125% increase over what it was doing) and have given me the confidence and the structure to develop future release plans.

I think having a direction is invaluable.  That's been my biggest struggle as an independent author, just not knowing the steps to take and not having any direct resources (that didn't often directly conflict with each other).  Mark's courses have been extremely valuable in setting a foundation and making me feel at least a little bit smarter and more confident about where I want to take my writing career.

This is coming from someone who is scraping the bottom of the barrel for sales ($80 earned so far in 2017  :-[ ) but as someone who only made $80 all of the last 2 years on his own work, this is a decided uptick, especially considering I've only begun putting his recommendations in place.
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    Offline Germanikus

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #51 on: November 08, 2018, 02:10:12 am »
    Nice try - adding the affiliate code and getting this post back into visibility ...

    Offline Andra M

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #52 on: June 03, 2020, 01:36:49 pm »
    I just got word that Mark's course has officially opened up again for new entrants. I know there are a lot of members here who are already in, but for those who aren't and are considering it, I have nothing but good things to say about it.

    Self Publishing Formula's Ads for Authors

    I joined about a year or so ago, and although I was doing well before it has made a big difference and taken my fiction to another level. What's really impressed me is how the course is frequently updated with new material that gets added at no additional charge. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that change is constant and you can't place all your eggs in one basket, whether it be promo site ads, Facebook ads, etc. Now there's info in the course on Amazon Marketing Services ads, Youtube ads, Twitter, and more. I guess it's time to get with the program for 2017.

    I just got a notification that this course was open and it's one I've been thinking about. Does anybody know how many books you should have out before you should get the course? I only have 1.
    « Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 02:00:50 pm by Andra M »

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #53 on: June 03, 2020, 08:58:07 pm »
    I just got a notification that this course was open and it's one I've been thinking about. Does anybody know how many books you should have out before you should get the course? I only have 1.
    I bought this course last year. I couldn't tell you how many advantages it has, because there is just so much stuff! It makes no difference if you have one book or 100, it is worth getting. You can be learning how to launch your first book or how to wake up your others. Also, it is always up to date. Any new stuff, any changes are automatically added to the rest. There's not as lot of stuff I recommend, but if you're serious, I definitely recommend this.


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    Offline josephdaniel

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #54 on: June 03, 2020, 09:22:15 pm »
    Excellent, excellent course.

    Joseph Daniel

    Offline PermaStudent

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #55 on: June 04, 2020, 02:42:46 am »
    I just got a notification that this course was open and it's one I've been thinking about. Does anybody know how many books you should have out before you should get the course? I only have 1.
    You can email and ask. They're very friendly responsive.

    For anyone else who's wondering: It's $849 this year, or a little more if you opt for the monthly payments. That made me pause because I'm a thrifty saver since birth. It's a lot of money, even if you view it as an investment or business expense.

    I signed up. I've got a decent backlist now, too many names that I trust have endorsed it, and I'm ready to commit the hours.
      I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #56 on: June 04, 2020, 09:43:06 am »
    My pause is this. It can get expensive to take a course like this and then you have to really start spending on ads.

    There are a lot of free resources out there. Tons. Take a first shot at those and you need to invest the time.

    Facebook ads work well if you can narrow your demographics and genre. For some genre's they don't work.

    Before spending this kind of money...however, good the course...you need to think of what your strategy and objectives are.

    Most importantly...don't believe what people are telling you about their profits/sales. Don't. Many are selling or getting a referral (affiliate fee).

    Mark

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #57 on: June 04, 2020, 11:20:36 am »
    My pause is this. It can get expensive to take a course like this and then you have to really start spending on ads.

    There are a lot of free resources out there. Tons. Take a first shot at those and you need to invest the time.

    Facebook ads work well if you can narrow your demographics and genre. For some genre's they don't work.

    Before spending this kind of money...however, good the course...you need to think of what your strategy and objectives are.

    Most importantly...don't believe what people are telling you about their profits/sales. Don't. Many are selling or getting a referral (affiliate fee).

    Mark
    I am pretty sure Mark Dawson's courses have no affiliate associations to offer. I would agree that people sometimes exaggerate their sales figures, but you need only look at their rank if they sell on Amazon to discover the truth. Mark Dawson's books are always among the best sellers; he is one person who practices what he preaches. Yes, advertising is expensive and can gobble up any profits for months or even years to come, but that depends on what you want out of it. I can honestly say that I haven't made much so far, but that's because I haven't had much to spend.


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    Offline PermaStudent

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #58 on: June 04, 2020, 01:10:19 pm »


    <Snip>
    I would agree that people sometimes exaggerate their sales figures, but you need only look at their rank if they sell on Amazon to discover the truth. <Snip>

    This is the truth, and it's part of what I did to evaluate my interest in the course. I went back through this forum and others to find those who took the course, looked people up on Amazon, and then counted how many in my genre had better ranks than me. Some have clearly moved on from publishing, some are still hanging in the hobby range (nothing wrong with those choices, btw), and more than I would have expected are ranking better. Obviously, one never knows what people are spending vs. earning to hit those highs, but what I could see from my internet stalking was good enough for me.
      I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #59 on: June 04, 2020, 11:51:45 pm »

    This is the truth, and it's part of what I did to evaluate my interest in the course. I went back through this forum and others to find those who took the course, looked people up on Amazon, and then counted how many in my genre had better ranks than me. Some have clearly moved on from publishing, some are still hanging in the hobby range (nothing wrong with those choices, btw), and more than I would have expected are ranking better. Obviously, one never knows what people are spending vs. earning to hit those highs, but what I could see from my internet stalking was good enough for me.

    Look at Mark's own ranking; that always sways me. If someone is offering a super duper marketing course, but their own books rank no higher than mine, I think they are making little from their books and trying to boost it up with selling courses. Also, Mark's a really genuine bloke who'll always help you. You also get facebook groups where you can mill over stuff with other members and you've got 30 days to get your money back.


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    Offline anotherpage

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #60 on: June 05, 2020, 07:41:24 am »
    My pause is this. It can get expensive to take a course like this and then you have to really start spending on ads.

    There are a lot of free resources out there. Tons. Take a first shot at those and you need to invest the time.

    Facebook ads work well if you can narrow your demographics and genre. For some genre's they don't work.

    Before spending this kind of money...however, good the course...you need to think of what your strategy and objectives are.

    Most importantly...don't believe what people are telling you about their profits/sales. Don't. Many are selling or getting a referral (affiliate fee).

    Mark

    Yeah, maybe the only one benefiting here is Mark, which kudos to him for coming up with the idea. Selling How To's has been around since the beginning of time.

    I will say this, Mark is a genuine guy and deserves to do well for his efforts. ( Whether those efforts will help you is another thing entirely)

    Long before he did this course he had found ways to sell his own books ( though the marketplace was very different back then ).

    However, like any course online, I would caution newbies, don't take the words of those who have purchased, whether in video form, testimonials or forum posts (as they will always justify their purchase even if they aren't getting success. No one wants to look gullible, and no one wants to admit they didn't follow instructions.) 

    The key is and this applies to any course, take everything with a grain of salt.

    In this case, be sure to look at the authors' book rankings who gave testimonials... NOT Marks (He had a massive backend of subscribers that was built long before he did this course)

    Look at the books of authors who have taken the course... That's what determines if what they are doing on the backend is working.

    If their rankings aren't below 5,000, chances are they are struggling to sell.

    If they haven't released a book in years, ask yourself why.

    FB advertising isn't what it used to be 2,3, or even 5 years ago. It's been saturated by a flood of indies and regular businesses and that's driven up the cost, leading authors to throw in the towel (I've made it work but through grunt work and years of testing but even I encounter ads that fail. And I will tell you it's not what it used to be. It's not a magical way to sell books.)

    That's because creating ads is only ONE part of the selling machine.

    Your covers, title, blurb play a massive role and make up a larger percentage.

    If you have crap covers that don't fit with the genre or look amateur ( Ding! Sorry, you are out)
    If you have a title that doesn't fit in with the genre (Ding! Sorry, play again)
    If you have a blurb that makes no sense and is waffling (Ding! Sorry, you lose)

    Then of course it goes without saying, if you manage to sell, the book must be good otherwise people won't come back.

    If you can tell a good story you can build a loyal audience.

    As for Amazon?
    .
    Amazon advertising isn't brain surgery if you can take the time to dig into the help files, browse a few youtube videos, forums, and are willing to test by spending lots of money you can make it work. (i.e Working means.....For every $1 you spend you should get that back PLUS more )

    Also after shelling out whatever the cost is for the course, you must have money ready to go and are willing to spend (i.e $1000 or more a month ), and, ideally at least 3 books or more.

    However, if you need someone to hold your hand, you think this is some magical push-button method, or you just enjoy hanging around an FB group singing kumbaya, then, by all means, jump in and get wet but don't go complaining to others if you come out soggy and with little to show.

    Please, also note that if you come out soggy it may have nothing to do with the course, and everything to do with your expectations, if you applied the contents, and your book covers, titles, and blurbs.

    What Mark is offering here is great for newbies, lazy bums who don't want to read help files, and those who think Aladdin is real.

    For the rest of us, we'll do the heavy lifting and see you in our rearview mirror.  ;D
    « Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 08:07:02 am by anotherpage »

    Offline PermaStudent

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #61 on: June 05, 2020, 11:26:46 am »

    What Mark is offering here is great for newbies, lazy bums who don't want to read help files, and those who think Aladdin is real.


    Also, those of us who have more money than time to throw at a problem. All I'm expecting is to achieve a level of competence in a few hours/days that otherwise might have taken me weeks/months. I'm happy to dig into help files once I know enough to know what I'm looking for.

    I have heard people with a hard-earned, working mastery of ads describe them as magic, though. So, I guess I do believe.  ;)
      I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.

    Offline Corvid

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #62 on: June 05, 2020, 03:24:43 pm »
    Someone with a great reputation and proven track record, who knows a lot more about this critical thing to your business than you do, is selling their expertise, and they can greatly increase your knowledge-base a lot faster than if you were to do it yourself. If you have the means, why wouldn't you do this? Seems kind of a no-brainer.


    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #63 on: June 05, 2020, 05:34:55 pm »
    I like to learn from my own mistakes and control my own destiny. I just believe everyone has there own sweet spot and it starts with a good book and a passion.

    Success cannot be stored in jar, sold and replicated. Why?

    1)  Social media marketing has changed dramatically over not just 7 years but one year. 
    2)  You cannot teach dumb luck. Most success stories have an element of just dumb luck.
    3) Not everyone has the ability to risk money they cannot afford to lose. There is no guarantee spending thousands a month on facebook ads will work.

    I am fine with someone making their living selling a story to other authors. My advice is to save the money and figure out your own path.

    Mark

    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #64 on: June 05, 2020, 05:45:10 pm »
    Ads are a multiplier, for sure. They can do wonders for a marketable product. But how well they do really depends on the product, and how well you can communicate "this is why you should buy this book" to readers across platforms and with your packaging.

    Obviously, it's not easy or everyone would do it.

    Mark's class is great for newbies and you will easily save $800 in ad costs from his knowledge. But, yes, you really shouldn't take it if $800 is a stretch, because even with the class, you will still have a trial and error process with your ads. And it might be another $800 before you're seeing a solid ROI. Or it might be more, if you don't have a product that's easy to sell.

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #65 on: June 05, 2020, 11:02:43 pm »
    I am reading people stating here that it is great for newbies and yes, it is. I also know someone who makes a good living from her books and has even written and sold books on marketing herself. Yet, after that, she paid for Mark's course. She must have felt there was more to it than what one can learn from the help files.

    What Mark does is go into the intricacies of every ad platform to give your ads a fighting chance of being seen. He started off with $5 a day budget.

    Of course, if your books don't appeal, then you will be wasting your money.


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    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #66 on: June 06, 2020, 09:08:09 am »
    Last word of caution. Facebook ads are not what they started out to be. Facebook only cares about your data and cash inflow. They don't make money by you selling books.

    This is why I warn people to thread carefully in putting money into Facebook. Mailing lists etc....were all good strategies when no one else was doing them. Nowadays, people are inundated with emails and the impact is not what it once was as a strategy.

    Same for free giveaways...People have hundreds to thousands of books on their "to read" lists unlike just 5 years ago.

    Mark

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #67 on: June 06, 2020, 10:51:19 am »
    Last word of caution. Facebook ads are not what they started out to be. Facebook only cares about your data and cash inflow. They don't make money by you selling books.

    This is why I warn people to thread carefully in putting money into Facebook. Mailing lists etc....were all good strategies when no one else was doing them. Nowadays, people are inundated with emails and the impact is not what it once was as a strategy.

    Same for free giveaways...People have hundreds to thousands of books on their "to read" lists unlike just 5 years ago.

    Mark
    Well, I'm getting a 250% return on my ads, on Facebook, so yes they do work, providing you target them properly and have something to sell. At the end of the day, with Mark you can't lose because you can try it for 30 days and if it doesn't work for you, you can get a refund.


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    Offline SkyScribe

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #68 on: January 13, 2021, 02:01:10 pm »
    Well, I'm getting a 250% return on my ads, on Facebook, so yes they do work, providing you target them properly and have something to sell. At the end of the day, with Mark you can't lose because you can try it for 30 days and if it doesn't work for you, you can get a refund.

    I agree. Facebook makes money on their ads and doesn't care one way or another how many books you sell, but that doesn't at all mean that they can't be used correctly to sell your books in an efficient manner that makes a profit. It's a competitive marketplace, and when the alternative is to sit on your hands and stare at a flat line in your KDP reports, doing something to get the word out about what you have for sale is necessary to see a better result.

    Offline jb1111

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #69 on: January 13, 2021, 04:03:51 pm »
    I've never advertised.

    I've seen at least one KBoarder swear by FB ads.

    Also, I've seen at least a handful of FB eBook ads in my FB newsfeed, and they seemed to be aligned with many of the things which I've 'liked' on FB. At least reasonably well. FWIW.

    Offline SND

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #70 on: January 14, 2021, 04:21:40 am »
    I got the 101 course a couple of years ago. For Ads I'd rather save myself the $800 and instead pay approx. $15 in total for:

    Amazon Ads Unleashed by Robert J. Ryan
    Bookbub Ads Expert by David Gaughran
    Help! My Facebook Ads Suck by Mal Cooper

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors OPEN -- What I've Learned
    « Reply #71 on: January 15, 2021, 08:10:31 am »
    For newbies...$800+ on a course is good chunk of change for most authors. There are NO GUARANTEES with any course you take. And no one should be posting that anything which gives that appearance.

    There are a lot of freebie tools and your best investment is your own time doing research...just my opinion.

    Mark

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