If you read my post last month, you'll recall I shared the results of an experiment in which I ran a Facebook ad and an Amazon sponsored product ad during the last week of February and compared the results. As far as I could tell, all my sales came from the FB ad. Although it cost me very little, my Amazon numbers were dismal: 2,772 impressions, 10 clicks, and 0 sales. I decided I must be doing something wrong, so I decided to try again during the last week of March.
The important difference was adding more keywords. The first time, I used every category and combination of words I thought anyone might use to find books like Unwritten Rules and Boiling Point, my female bodyguard books. I also threw in the names of a couple of very well-known writers whose books are somewhat similar. I only ended up with about twenty keywords, even though every article I'd read said to aim for two hundred, and Amazon allows up to one thousand! I simply couldn't think of any more.
In the interim, I'd read another article with sound advice on how to find appropriate keywords. The author recommended checking your own books' pages, as well as those of similar books, and diving deep into the "Customers who bought this product also bought" listings. When I did this, I found a significant number of authors I'd never heard of who write some combination of romance, mystery, and suspense that includes humor. l added their names to my keyword list. I then dug even deeper, checking the "Customers who bought" lists for those authors, looking for more authors and books that might attract similar readers. You can do this almost indefinitely, but I stopped after I had doubled the number of my keywords.
Here are the results for the first week, so you can compare the numbers with my original experiment:
109,975 impressions; 54 clicks @ $.16 = $8.49 cost; 4 sales @ $2.74 profit = $10.96
Plus 2,371 KENP pages read @ $.005 per page = $11.86
Net Profit = $14.33
125,161 impressions; 57 clicks @ $.17 = $9.69 cost; 5 sales @ $2.74 profit = $13.60
Plus 1 sale of Small Town Christmas Tales, which I have to attribute to increased visibility @ $2.06 profit
Plus 4,254 KENP pages read = $21.27
Net Profit = $40.80
Total Profit for the week: $52.66
I was pretty darned thrilled with that, so I decided to keep the ads going. However, the impressions and clicks slowed considerably and sales dropped from 4 a day to 0 on March 31st, as if I'd discontinued the ads. I waited a full week with very little activity, except for a large number of KENP pages read (presumably by KU subscribers who had picked the books up the previous week.)
On April 7th, I decided to try adding a few more keywords. The impressions, clicks, and sales picked up again.
Here are the totals for the first three weeks:
129,558 impressions; 72 clicks @ $.16 = $11.26 cost; 6 sales @ $2.74 profit = $16.44
Plus 5,309 KENP pages read = $26.55
Net Profit = $31.73
129,683 impressions; 86 clicks @ $.19 = $16.34 cost; 10 sales @ $2.74 profit = $27.40
Plus 1 sale of Small Town Christmas Tales @ $2.06 profit
Plus 7,803 KENP pages read = $39.02
Net Profit = $52.30
From all this, I have drawn the following conclusions:
1. Keywords make all the difference.
2. Amazon metrics show me which keywords are producing the most clicks and the most sales so I can adjust accordingly.
3. I will probably have to make constant additions and adjustments to keep sales coming.
4. Amazon ads are much more effective for an unknown author like me if the books are part of the Kindle Unlimited program. Readers are more likely to take a chance if they don't feel like they're paying for the book--even if they are.
5. Unwritten Rules sells better than Boiling Point. This may be because it's the first book in the series, or it may be due to a more attractive cover or blurb. I'll have to give this some thought. One of the benefits of being an indie is being able to tinker with any aspect of the book whenever I decide to.
So. there you have it. Whew!