Author Topic: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)  (Read 4639 times)  

Offline Jena H

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A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
« on: July 18, 2018, 03:40:31 pm »
As suggested on the (hijacked) AMS thread, let's get a thread dedicated to BookBub ads.  Any questions, suggestions, or theories can be posted here.

I'll start:  I know romance is popular on almost every site that attracts readers.  Is BB heavily geared toward that or any other specific genre, or does it equally represent most types of books?  For example, I wouldn't want to take the time & expense to run an ad for a hard-boiled mystery if the site gives short shrift to that particular genre.

Also, I'll need to educate myself about the whole issue of CPM vs CPC.  (Sounds like warring wrestling leagues.  :P )
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    Offline CassieL

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 04:55:18 pm »
    I'd also be curious to hear if people have had success running books at full-price or if they're mostly advertising books at a discount. (I've dabbled with the ads but mostly during other promos so don't have clean data.)

    Also, might be nice to link to some of the earlier write-up threads on the ads if anyone has any bookmarked.

    8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.

    Offline Nicholas Erik

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 05:29:26 pm »
    I'd also be curious to hear if people have had success running books at full-price or if they're mostly advertising books at a discount. (I've dabbled with the ads but mostly during other promos so don't have clean data.)

    Also, might be nice to link to some of the earlier write-up threads on the ads if anyone has any bookmarked.

    Old threads: Bookbub PPC Data w/ Examples | Analyzing Bookbub Ad Results | BB Ads: What's Working Now? (which also links to the first two, and is from 2018)

    On the topic of running books at full price: this works. I've done $4.99 for a boxed set (advertised as 50% off its $9.99 price) that did well. Right now, I'm running ads for an author for a full price standalone at $2.99 - $4.99. It's done very well at both price points.

    Problem is, the ads don't scale that well.

    It has to be tested on a book-by-book basis, too. Right now I'm running ads to a free book that have horrible CTRs and CPCs. So you have to test. I've been noticing CPCs going up and CTRs going down a little bit (might just be me). Then again, I've run $1000 in ads or so to that $2.99 - $4.99 book, so it might just be saturated.

    Nick

    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 05:35:06 pm »
    As suggested on the (hijacked) AMS thread, let's get a thread dedicated to BookBub ads.  Any questions, suggestions, or theories can be posted here.

    AMS Hijacker here! Good that you started this, Jena. FYI: I also run AMS ads.

    Quote
    I'll start:  I know romance is popular on almost every site that attracts readers.  Is BB heavily geared toward that or any other specific genre, or does it equally represent most types of books?  For example, I wouldn't want to take the time & expense to run an ad for a hard-boiled mystery if the site gives short shrift to that particular genre.

    BB covers a lot of genres. When you "target," you can Refine by Author or Refine by Book Category [genre] or both. I'm in Historical Fiction but I remember seeing lots of genre options (not sure where the full list is; you can access it by creating a ad). I'm sure Mystery is in there, if not different flavors of it.

    Quote
    Also, I'll need to educate myself about the whole issue of CPM vs CPC.  (Sounds like warring wrestling leagues.  :P )

    I'm currently doing CPM primarily because David Gaughran ran a while series of blog posts on this, and I just went with it. And am now used to it.


    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 05:39:36 pm »
    I'd also be curious to hear if people have had success running books at full-price or if they're mostly advertising books at a discount. (I've dabbled with the ads but mostly during other promos so don't have clean data.)

    I've now done two round of discounted BB ads ($0.99 and Free), and have just finished my first day of full-price. I tested a lot on the first two groups and got it down to some decent stats. Too early to tell on the full-price but will know soon, although I'm already seeing that it's not working as well as the discounts. BB is a "deal" type place, so people will naturally be looking for deals. However, I'm also seeing authors running full-price (SEE ERIC ABOVE), but don't know if they're successful. FYI: BB says: "Partners can use BookBub Ads to promote books, including full-priced books, discounted books, new releases, backlist books, audiobooks, novellas, single-author box sets, multi-author box sets, and short stories."

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 08:10:55 pm »
    AMS Hijacker here! Good that you started this, Jena. FYI: I also run AMS ads.

    BB covers a lot of genres. When you "target," you can Refine by Author or Refine by Book Category [genre] or both. I'm in Historical Fiction but I remember seeing lots of genre options (not sure where the full list is; you can access it by creating a ad). I'm sure Mystery is in there, if not different flavors of it.

    I'm currently doing CPM primarily because David Gaughran ran a while series of blog posts on this, and I just went with it. And am now used to it.

    My problem--or one of them--is that some of my books aren't clearly in definite genres.  My MG book is fine, and my non-fiction is self-explanatory, but two of my main series are not exact fits for standard genres.  So coming up with authors for targeting purposes could be especially challenging.  I'll have to see what info is available when I get a chance.
    Jena

    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 08:17:22 pm »
    ...I'm totally opposed to discounting on BB CPM/CPC ads. I'm advertising stand-alone women's fiction and I don't have a twelve-book series for sell-through to make up for a loss leader. What I liked and still like about AMS ads and would like about FB ads (if I could ever do one right) is the ability to sell my books at full price. Which after all is a bargain compared to most trad pubbed books. If enough people only do BB CPC/CPM ads for heavily discounted or free books, they will train the BB newsletter audience to expect that, and I'm screwed.

    Some late-night philosophizing...

    It depends on your marketing goals. Is it more about Visibility or ROI? Marketers have been discounting since forever to gain exposure and interest. Whether boots or books, discounting is part of commercial life and always has been. And don't forget: BookBub's claim to fame is its "Featured Deal." The word's right there: DEAL. It's only recently that they expanded to have CPC/CPM ads. So the audience is already trained... for the deal. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it (!) is to train them the other way. And I might be right next to you doing it.

    Quote
    Which brings up an interesting point. The ads only show what we put in them, so we have to pay for a click for the reader to find out the price (unless the ad trumpets FREE!). This is different from AMS ads, which do show the prices, but the same as FB ads, on which again we can choose to display or hide the price.

    Wait a minute... You're complaining because you have too much control over creating your ads? That's a new one on me. Put in the price if you want.

    Quote
    Would someone like to explain how CPM would work better than CPC?

    Been pondering this myself. Just found this on the BB site: https://insights.bookbub.com/tips-improving-roi-bookbub-ads-campaigns/

    "Tip #1: Try using CPC bidding instead of CPM bidding. [apparently, they started with CPM and later added CPC]
    "You can now choose between two different bidding strategies when setting up a BookBub Ads campaign: cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM).
    With CPM bidding, you choose how much you're willing to pay per 1,000 unique impressions (one unique impression = the first time an ad loads on a specific email opened by a specific user). You'll win impressions if you're the highest bidder for impressions by users you're targeting.
    With CPC bidding, you choose how much you're willing to pay for each click on your ad. CPC bidding is a lower risk to advertisers than CPM bidding because instead of paying for impressions that might turn into clicks, you only pay for actual clicks.
    For that reason, CPC can be preferable to advertisers seeking a positive ROI. CPC is also advantageous to advertisers who run effective ads and get high click-through rates (CTR). The platform more regularly shows ads that readers are actively clicking on, so the higher your CTR, the easier it is to consistently win impressions.
    Keep in mind that CPC bidding can make it harder to reach as wide an audience -- but if you're prioritizing a high ROI over a high volume of impressions, this may be a worthwhile trade-off."


    Which helps explain why I first went with CPM. I wanted the most/fastest visibility to see if it was even worth doing these BB ads; ROI was secondary. Now that I've gotten my feet wet with CPM, I might give CPC a try.
    « Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 08:19:51 pm by Harald »

    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #7 on: July 18, 2018, 08:27:12 pm »
    My problem--or one of them--is that some of my books aren't clearly in definite genres.  My MG book is fine, and my non-fiction is self-explanatory, but two of my main series are not exact fits for standard genres.  So coming up with authors for targeting purposes could be especially challenging.  I'll have to see what info is available when I get a chance.

    As I recall (half-asleep), you can mix and match. You're not limited to just one author or one genre (correct me if wrong). Just keep checking the boxes of all that apply. But WARNING: the broader you get in your targeting, the lower your CTR (Click-Through Rate) will be. I found that I had to narrow my targeting to get better stats.

    Here are the basics on all this:
    https://insights.bookbub.com/a-beginners-guide-to-the-bookbub-ads-auction-model/
    « Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 08:31:41 pm by Harald »

    Offline Simon Haynes

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #8 on: July 19, 2018, 01:16:20 am »
    While awaiting a 'proper' BB, I'm using FB, AMS and BB CPC ads. I rarely pay more than 12-14c per click, and I'm advertising two perma-free first in series, the goal being to hook them in to the rest of the series.

    With the BB itself, I've applied with a perma-free and a 99c book, and neither was picked up. Next time I'm going to try my box set reduced to 99c, which I believe someone on this thread suggested to me.

    I think advertising any book selling for over 99c would be very expensive up front, but I guess it depends if it's the first in a series or a standalone. For a standalone, there's no real benefit to chasing a free or 99c BB unless you were after reviews and exposure only.
     

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    Online Anarchist

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #9 on: July 19, 2018, 07:07:56 am »
    This goes without saying, but for PPC/PPV newbies...

    Make sure you set up a tracking system before devoting significant capital to ads. Track authors, ad creatives, CTR, etc.

    I favor spreadsheets. But even tracking metrics on a legal pad is better than nothing.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

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    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #10 on: July 19, 2018, 11:19:52 am »
    This goes without saying, but for PPC/PPV newbies...
    Make sure you set up a tracking system before devoting significant capital to ads. Track authors, ad creatives, CTR, etc.
    I favor spreadsheets. But even tracking metrics on a legal pad is better than nothing.

    Absolutely. I like to use Google Docs where I keep a running inventory with appropriate screenshots to visually capture key elements/metrics/trends per ad. Then I do a short summary with bullet points and conclusions after a campaign run.

    Offline danpadavona

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #11 on: July 19, 2018, 12:02:39 pm »
    Following this closely.

    The best CTR achieved so far was just below 2%, and the target was me.  8)  Most other CTR's have been significantly worse, but I'm working on it. I find it interesting that Adam Croft noted in a Facebook thread recently that he has been getting great CTR/CPC numbers by using the auto-generated ads, rather than designing his own. I've tried auto-generated and designed my own in Photoshop. Haven't noticed much difference in CTR, so I guess I need to work on author targets.


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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 01:16:17 pm »
    I'm fairly new to BB ads, so this might sound silly, but has anyone else had their CPC ads consistently slow to a crawl after X amount of impressions served?

    I've been doing a lot of testing for the past month and a half, and I've noticed my ads often skyrocket to around 1-1.5k impressions then gain instant snail-status. I'll get a trickle of only a dozen or so impressions each day afterwards.

    It seems to me like that shouldn't be the case, and that it's definitely something I'm doing wrong.

    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #13 on: July 19, 2018, 01:17:29 pm »
    Krylo, this is exactly what a lot of us are seeing.

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 01:31:11 pm »
    Krylo, this is exactly what a lot of us are seeing.

    Ah, I see. Thanks for letting me know! Is CPM seeing the same issues? I might give it a try instead.

    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #15 on: July 19, 2018, 01:36:50 pm »
    Ah, I see. Thanks for letting me know! Is CPM seeing the same issues? I might give it a try instead.
    I've got one scheduled to run Friday-Sunday on a KU book for its free days. I'll post back and report any differences. Unless I see drastically different results from my other campaigns, though, I think I'm done with BB ads after this. So far I'd have gotten far more value by putting the money into upping my AMS ads.

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    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #16 on: July 19, 2018, 01:53:18 pm »
    Following this closely.
    The best CTR achieved so far was just below 2%, and the target was me.  8)  Most other CTR's have been significantly worse, but I'm working on it. I find it interesting that Adam Croft noted in a Facebook thread recently that he has been getting great CTR/CPC numbers by using the auto-generated ads, rather than designing his own. I've tried auto-generated and designed my own in Photoshop. Haven't noticed much difference in CTR, so I guess I need to work on author targets.

    I'm not believing Adam Croft. You tell me which is better (one by BB, one by me):



    BTW: I'm getting over 2% CTR.

    Offline SeanHinn

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #17 on: July 19, 2018, 02:06:55 pm »
    Some actual conversion data:

    I set up some pages for some books to collect some conversion data. (Yes, I know an offsite page will not convert as well as an Amazon page, but I wanted to send traffic from BookBub ads and Facebook ads, to get a comparison of how the traffic "converted"). Basically, it was set up like this: there's an ad for a book running on BB and another on FB. Those ads send traffic to a page that describes the book, and allows someone to then click through to buy (or download via KU) at Amazon.

    Identical landing pages. Targeting as narrow as I could reasonably make it on both BookBub and Facebook.

    Conversion rate from BookBub traffic:

    1.4% over hundreds of clicks, average CPC over $1

    Conversion rate from Facebook traffic:

    20% over thousands of clicks, average CPC under 40c


    I cannot imagine how it is possible that people clicking on a BookBub ad - people who have asked to get emails about books in a specific genre! - can convert so poorly when they end up on a landing page. And this includes potential KU borrowers, as the call to action button on the landing page was, "Get it now - $_.__ or Free in Kindle Unlimited"

    BookBub ads suck eggs. Rotten, stinky eggs.

    Edit: Also, the average time on page for BookBub traffic was 2 seconds, versus 27 seconds for FB traffic. 2 seconds? That's junk traffic right there.
    « Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 02:10:07 pm by SeanHinn »

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #18 on: July 19, 2018, 03:17:49 pm »
    This goes without saying, but for PPC/PPV newbies...

    Make sure you set up a tracking system before devoting significant capital to ads. Track authors, ad creatives, CTR, etc.

    I favor spreadsheets. But even tracking metrics on a legal pad is better than nothing.

    Okay, I've run AMS ads, but I'm a BB ad newbie, so I'm showing my ignorance here....

    1) I assume BB has a dashboard or other data page to display your results...?

    2) By 'tracking system,' do you mean a way to manually note your own progress?  A copy/paste, or type-in-yourself kind of deal?  (I've done that with AMS, so at least I've got that going for me. 8))

    3) When you say "track authors," I assume you mean the author names you've used for targeting purposes, to see how successfully the ad hits those targeted readers.

    4) Tracking CTR... sounds similar to the AMS data of Impressions/Clicks, showing how many people who saw your ad actually clicked on it.  Yes?  No?

    5) I think when I breezed through the BB ad site the other day, I saw the term 'creative.'  Seems to me that refers to the background and/or format of the ad itself.  Is that correct?  I guess some people create multiple ads and test which version is most effective.  (That sounds too much like work to me, lol.)

    Thanks.
    Jena

    Online Anarchist

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #19 on: July 19, 2018, 03:26:39 pm »
    1) I assume BB has a dashboard or other data page to display your results...?

    Correct.


    2) By 'tracking system,' do you mean a way to manually note your own progress?  A copy/paste, or type-in-yourself kind of deal?

    Yes.


    3) When you say "track authors," I assume you mean the author names you've used for targeting purposes, to see how successfully the ad hits those targeted readers.

    Correct


    4) Tracking CTR... sounds similar to the AMS data of Impressions/Clicks, showing how many people who saw your ad actually clicked on it.  Yes?  No?

    Yes. I also track CPC (cost per click).


    5) I think when I breezed through the BB ad site the other day, I saw the term 'creative.'  Seems to me that refers to the background and/or format of the ad itself.  Is that correct?  I guess some people create multiple ads and test which version is most effective.  (That sounds too much like work to me, lol.)

    I'm was referring to the ad design, including copy and CTA (call to action).
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #20 on: July 20, 2018, 08:02:12 am »
    "Why BookBub CPM ads beat CPC every time"

    Not my statement but David Gaughran's, who's just emailed an article to his subs. He makes a convincing case. You can go to his website (DavidGaughran.com) and sign up to see the whole series. [FYI: I have no incentivized connection to him beyond enjoying his writings about these things]
    « Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 06:08:32 am by Harald »

    Offline Harald

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #21 on: July 20, 2018, 08:17:02 am »
    Unfortunately, what you (or I) think is irrelevant. All that matters is which one converts best. I have auto-gen ads reaching 4-6% CTR consistently. Where a book converts better with a custom image, I use one. Where auto-gen works better, only a fool would ignore it.

    Hello Adam! Well, of course you're right (about "what converts best"). But I've been designing marketing materials for decades, and I can also get 4-6% CTR, but I'm not going to go with a less-impactful design. More important for CTR, in my view, is: (A) the offer, (B) the headline, (C) the call to action. Those I'm willing to test and play with. But if I can duplicate an Auto-Gen on my own and tweak it, why wouldn't I?
    « Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 06:09:32 am by Harald »

    Offline dgcasey

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #22 on: July 20, 2018, 12:38:20 pm »
    One of the things I'm toying with on my ads is not sending readers to specific stores like Amazon, Apple, Kobo, etc. I don't know how they divide up the impressions to each different retailer, so what I am experimenting with is sending the reader to my D2D Universal link which has all the links to all the different stores.

    I went back to all my past BB emails and clicked on the ad at the bottom to see where it took me and 100% of the time it was to Amazon. I have a hard time believing that none of those authors had other retailer links set up.

    Anyway, it's just an experiment to see how it works.

    Offline TheLass

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #23 on: July 20, 2018, 02:51:31 pm »
    I went back to all my past BB emails and clicked on the ad at the bottom to see where it took me and 100% of the time it was to Amazon. I have a hard time believing that none of those authors had other retailer links set up.

    Your retailer preference is probably set to Amazon only.

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: A new BB ad thread (re ads only, please)
    « Reply #24 on: July 20, 2018, 02:57:28 pm »
    One of the things I'm toying with on my ads is not sending readers to specific stores like Amazon, Apple, Kobo, etc. I don't know how they divide up the impressions to each different retailer, so what I am experimenting with is sending the reader to my D2D Universal link which has all the links to all the different stores.

    I went back to all my past BB emails and clicked on the ad at the bottom to see where it took me and 100% of the time it was to Amazon. I have a hard time believing that none of those authors had other retailer links set up.

    Anyway, it's just an experiment to see how it works.

    The thing about this is making the potential reader click twice--the first time to your D2D Universal link, and then again (second time) to click on the book/store they're going to buy from.

    Anyway, I'll be interested to hear your results from this experiment.
    Jena

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