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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm a bookbub advertising noob. I've been running ads for the last week just playing around with the platform and running CPC ads.

I saw some advice that said if your CTR is less than 1% then the ad probably sucks and you're better off trying a wholly different creative.  I followed that method and finally got an ad with about a 1.5% CTR at about 12 clicks. However, I got no sales.

These numbers are small so I'm wondering whether I can even extrapolate from such a small sample.

What would people suggest as a next step? Persist with this creative and try and increase the number of clicks by targeting a wider audience? Drop the price of the book to see if that gets me more sales? Try a different creative altogether (assuming that my creative is the problem because it doesn't match the book well enough and people are coming to the book with a different idea of the theme). Something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. That's good to know. I have my book at $2.99.

If people are selling at $0.99 then wouldn't they be making a loss even if they got a sale for every click? 
 

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Simon S said:
Thanks for the response. That's good to know. I have my book at $2.99.

If people are selling at $0.99 then wouldn't they be making a loss even if they got a sale for every click?
On single books, sure, but most people are advertising the first book in a series and depending on sell-through to make money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
J. Tanner said:
On single books, sure, but most people are advertising the first book in a series and depending on sell-through to make money.
Would you say it's possible to make a profit on bookbub advertising a standalone book? Seems to me you'd need at least one in three people who click the bookbub ad to actually buy the book. That seems ambitious.
 

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It's very hard to make a profit of a standalone book unless it's able to sell for >$7 or so.

Many people I know run a loss on ads and only make it up when people buy their 3rd or 4th book and later books are all 'profit'. So you're competing with people who rely on their sell through.  And it is also much easier to sell 4 books for 2.99/3.99 each than 1 for 4x that.

 

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Simon S said:
These numbers are small so I'm wondering whether I can even extrapolate from such a small sample.
Nope.

Other people's experiences might provide good reason to alter your approach, but your data on their own are wholly inadequate to conclude (or even suspect).. well, anything.

My rule of thumb: Suspend all judgement prior to getting 100 clicks on an ad. Don't even pay attention; any clicks (or lack thereof) prior to that point are meaningless. At 100 clicks.. if it looks like (as best you are able to measure) these clicks have yielded in the range of 0-1 sales, it's maybe sorta reasonably safe to infer that there is some kind of an issue. If the performance is a little better than that, but still below hopes/expectations, it might just be randomness. Statistics, confidence intervals, something something.

We all play fast and loose with ad testing, of course. It's not feasible to adhere to scientific standards for assessing correlation when you're just trying to sell books - and I say this as someone who spends a lot of advertising moneys and does a lot of testing. Still, there is a tendency to make really premature performance assessments, especially among those with very small advertising budgets. Understandable, though not exactly conducive to success.

Simon S said:
Would you say it's possible to make a profit on bookbub advertising a standalone book? Seems to me you'd need at least one in three people who click the bookbub ad to actually buy the book. That seems ambitious.
I don't know anything about the Bookbub, but I profitably advertise (full price) standalone books with Facebook ads.
 

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I have been monkeying around on Bookbub ads for a couple of weeks and following advice from David Gaughran's book.

It is a nightmare to try to sell a $2.99 book. I have tried and have had a trickle of sales but not worth the investment over the long term.

This week I am working on a $0.99 book promotion and will share results on sales vs. the $2.99.

Makr
 

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Simon S said:
Would you say it's possible to make a profit on bookbub advertising a standalone book? Seems to me you'd need at least one in three people who click the bookbub ad to actually buy the book. That seems ambitious.
You've done the math. The odds are really long.

For the less skilled, Amazon ads are the place to push full price books, and for the highly skilled, Facebook is a possibility.
 

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I have two BookBub ads up currently: 1 is around CTR of 1.5%, the other is 3%. The best part about both is that they max at only $5 ad per day at .40 bids. I've run BB ads over the past two years and these are my prized ones. I love the low bidding because it garners me clicks at much less money (all my ads used to be over 60cent bids). I got 17 clicks on my best ad yesterday for only $5. That's a great deal for the expense, IMO.

I do advertise books at my usual price of $3.99. In fact, I rarely advertise for $.99 books, so I'm not sure I agree on 1dollar only books being viable. Of course, you'll get more readers interested at $1, but you'll also make less royalties back. People do bite at higher prices at BB. I've even sold a couple at $4.99 this month from BB in Kobo.

Here's the thing--expect to lose a lot of money experimenting. I've run upwards of 50 ads on BookBub over the past two years. I dread it when BookBub bills me.

Your ad creative should look super cool and you should have a nice snappy tagline. Use Canva and create your own ad. And, like stale manuscripts, be ready to toss ads that suck. It's true that you should watch an ad for a few days, but if I barely see any interest, I'll discard it within a day and move on.

The problem with these posts is that all this depends on so many factors related to genre, your book, past visibility etc. For revenue, it's hard with a single book (I mean, it's hard for revenue period in advertising). A series is probably the only way you'll make back full cost or profit, unless you're a big name writer. Personally, I'm not only looking for revenue, I'm looking for visibility & familiarity with my books and my writing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
juliatheswede said:
Read Bookbub Ads Expert by David Gaughran before you do keep advertising. Sounds like you're making all the mistakes I made when I tried BB Ads last year. No. 1 rule: You have discount to to 99 cents if you expect to have any success. Read why in the book.
Thanks. I had heard about that book but figured I would experiment a bit first to get my head around the way bookbub works. You're right, now would be a very good time to read it.

boba1823 said:
I don't know anything about the Bookbub, but I profitably advertise (full price) standalone books with Facebook ads.
Good to know. Facebook was next on my list of things to try.

markpauloleksiw said:
I have been monkeying around on Bookbub ads for a couple of weeks and following advice from David Gaughran's book.

It is a nightmare to try to sell a $2.99 book. I have tried and have had a trickle of sales but not worth the investment over the long term.

This week I am working on a $0.99 book promotion and will share results on sales vs. the $2.99.

Makr
Cool. Look forward to hearing how that goes.

alhawke said:
The problem with these posts is that all this depends on so many factors related to genre, your book, past visibility etc. For revenue, it's hard with a single book (I mean, it's hard for revenue period in advertising). A series is probably the only way you'll make back full cost or profit, unless you're a big name writer. Personally, I'm not only looking for revenue, I'm looking for visibility & familiarity with my books and my writing.
At the moment I only have one book published but I have written novels two and three and plan to publish them this year. Currently working through novel four. So, my short term goal is not to get too heavily into the advertising but to learn the ropes a bit, try and find some things that work and then hit it harder when I have more books to sell.
 

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Personally, I never had any success with Bookbub advertising. I had a good CTR on my free book promo, but I could never really justify any spending on paid books - and I have a full series in KU. I've had much better luck in general with Facebook.
 

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At the moment I only have one book published but I have written novels two and three and plan to publish them this year. Currently working through novel four. So, my short term goal is not to get too heavily into the advertising but to learn the ropes a bit, try and find some things that work and then hit it harder when I have more books to sell.
That is the smart way to go. I have few series now with good sale-through and obviously that is how to make the bulk of the money. I have been testing ads targeting smaller authors (like he describes in the book) since Friday and my results are phenomenal. Clickthrough rates up to 4 % and good conversion of the 99cent book advertised (thriller). It does have 72 reviews and a 4.2 average, so that's probably helpful to make the clicker buy. I'm also seeing lots of sales on the next two books that are $3.99 and $4.99. So I'm very excited about BB ads going forward. This is with my first test ad this time and I'm very happy I read that book before giving BB ads a second try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
juliatheswede said:
That is the smart way to go. I have few series now with good sale-through and obviously that is how to make the bulk of the money. I have been testing ads targeting smaller authors (like he describes in the book) since Friday and my results are phenomenal. Clickthrough rates up to 4 % and good conversion of the 99cent book advertised (thriller). It does have 72 reviews and a 4.2 average, so that's probably helpful to make the clicker buy. I'm also seeing lots of sales on the next two books that are $3.99 and $4.99. So I'm very excited about BB ads going forward. This is with my first test ad this time and I'm very happy I read that book before giving BB ads a second try.
Can I ask, how did you find which authors to target?

It seems to me that as authors we probably have a skewed view on which authors count as similar and this might work against us in marketing.

For example, it seems to me that a lot of readers religiously stick to a genre. As marketers and advertisers are we better off targeting leading authors in the same genre as our book even if as authors we wouldn't consider that author to be similar to our own style?
 

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Simon S said:
Can I ask, how did you find which authors to target?

It seems to me that as authors we probably have a skewed view on which authors count as similar and this might work against us in marketing.

For example, it seems to me that a lot of readers religiously stick to a genre. As marketers and advertisers are we better off targeting leading authors in the same genre as our book even if as authors we wouldn't consider that author to be similar to our own style?
Short answer: also-boughts. Long answer: This is why you have to read this book before doing the ads. It explains your question very thoroughly. I swear, I don't know Gaughran, but that book really was a game changer, so I'm very grateful I read it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
juliatheswede said:
Short answer: also-boughts. Long answer: This is why you have to read this book before doing the ads. It explains your question very thoroughly. I swear, I don't know Gaughran, but that book really was a game changer, so I'm very grateful I read it.
Got it. Buying the book now. Thanks. 8)
 
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