Friday, June 15, 2012

Goodreads Advertising Tips

Having got my first batch of "content" up and running, I'm moving into a new stage with my ebook sales website.

Marketing isn't called marketing in digital book land, it's called Discoverability. How on earth do you get your books in front of the browsing reader's eyes and tempt them to your sales page?

That, says everyone from minnow me to Big Six publisher, is the question. Advertising has to come very low down the scale for start-ups with tiny budgets. So far I've read some books, dipped my toe into GoogleAds and Facebook Ads and lost a few dollars.

Until very recently Amazon KDP Select, with its free lending days was, if you could accept their exclusivity clause, a good method. Offer your ebooks for free for 5 days out of every 3 months, ratchet up "sales" which promote your  other titles and then get real sales when the freebie starts charging again. All thanks to Amazon's complicated ranking and "also bought" system. Now the Algorithms have changed, and, for reasons too complicated to go into here, this isn't so good. See Karen Woodward's blog for more.

Goodreads advertising isn't new, but I've only just discovered the DIY "self-serve" version where, like FB and GoogleAds, you can target your book ads to specific readers (via their favourite authors) with  minimal investment. The Goodreads' forums is where the Fifty Shades of Grey saga started: reader word of mouth. With 19 million unique visitors per month, all of them readers, this has to be worth investigating. Goodreads have just issued a detailed breakdown of an advertising campaign - discussed here at Digital Book World.

So far I have got absolutely nowhere. When I emailed to ask what I was doing wrong I got a very helpful response then a follow-up attaching the Goodreads "Self-Serve Best Practices" PDF. Now that is service. Thank you Goodreads and thank you Margo. You can find the PDF in a Toolbar widget to the right of your ad campaign dashboard.

First, my ads are over targeted.

* remove any age and country targeting and keep it to just authors or just genres.

* Run two ads under the same campaign. Sharing the funding, target appx 5 genres in one ad and appx 8 - 10 authors in the other.  Stick to authors with a rating of more than 25,000.

* Keep Tweeking the ad copy. A call to action at the end of the wording, like "click to read more" or "add to your shelf" gets more clicks.

Tick the "engagement box" at the end of the ad to reveal review stats.

You can tailor how much you pay per click. Goodreads recommend 50 cents per click for good ad visibility.

Add your book as a giveaway prize and advertise it in your ad.

I've done the giveaway thing. This will cost the copy of a paperback plus world postage (probably to Australia if your luck is like mine). The giveaway listing can last for a long time, though, months and months, and it will stretch your Discoverability.

26 June Campaign End : Well, my 3 little mini-campaigns have nearly run their course. What have I learnt? Make 3 or 4 ads with different copy (wording) under the one campaign and see which one gets more attention. Then ditch the others and try your top ad against some different copy. I also learnt that targeting particular authors brought very low returns as opposed to targeting genres. So I gave up on the author target thing. Then I gave up altogether. For the return on clicks and "Adds" not worth it. The time needed to get the perfect copy is, for me, better spent elsewhere.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


liz fenwick said...

Thanks for this...have been wondering how it all works.

knightesshope said...

You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: the Powerful Woman Writer Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

Go to and pick up your award.

knightesshope said...

P.S. I would love to interview you and have my readers learn more about you and your books. Send me an email: KnightessHope (at) gmail and I will send over the interview questions

Stephanie Zia said...

Not sure if it'll help with anything yet, Liz, but seems worth a try. Thank you so much Knightesshope, have e'd you today :)

Hazel West said...

Thanks for the tips. I've got my add running right now and it's frankly, not doing all that great. In fact more people have found my book because of the giveaway I put up instead of the add ;) I'll have to rework it.

Stephanie Zia said...

Hope they work for you. I'm still not sure. Seeing way more views and hence a few clicks from genre rather than author target.