Friday, May 11, 2018

As Far As Promo Goes by Margo Hoornstra


To change around the title to a question - How far does promo go? Answer: Not nearly far enough.

At least I’ve found that to be true from my limited knowledge and experience on the topic.

Last time on these pages - April 23rd to be exact - I talked about a couple of Sponsored Product promotional advertising campaigns I’d started with my self published titles.











To refresh your memory, my set up was simple. I entered the names of 75 or so authors with books similar to mine, AND established track records. In other words, with a substantial number of favorable reviews. The idea being that traffic on their buy pages (impressions) would bring traffic to my buy pages (clicks). Next was a daily expense limit of $5.00 and bid limit of 25 cents.

Initially, as I noted then, I realized some pretty substantial activity. A few actual sales, more KU/KOLL pages read. So, this is how promo is done, I thought. (Rubbing my hands together with glee here) Now to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labors. Right?

Not exactly.

Over time, like within two short weeks, the impressions dwindled, the clicks as well. And sales of both kinds came to a standstill.



Coincidentally, I attended a local writers conference shortly after I started all this. As happens when writers get together these days, the discussion turned to promo in general and Amazon ads in particular. Turns out those figures of mine weren’t nearly sufficient to generate much of anything. According to those who know much more than me on the subject, the optimum number of keywords is at least 200 and preferably 300 or more. In fact, 850 was an amount tossed around as not being out of the question.



Think the more the merrier.

Plus, the 25 cent bid and 5 dollar a day limit was lacking too. It seems the more the merrier applies here as well.

Although I plan to add many, many more keywords as my time allows, so far, all I’ve had time to do is raise my bid limit to 50 cents and my daily cost limit by a dollar to six. Even with that, the sales and borrows on those books are revving up again.



My takeaway from all of this is simple. Activity, any activity on the Amazon Sponsored Product advertising front is key. Hopefully, adding more keywords little by little will keep the momentum going.

How far does promo go? As far as you’re able to take it.

Do you agree? Any promotional words of wisdom to share?

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my WEBSITE

16 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

My experience is that a .99 cent price gets more clicks, but you loose money on it unless you have more books in the series those buyers will also purchase. Harder to get clicks on a 2.99 or 3.99 book, but you make money. I don't have one of those that is self-published, long (more pages read for KU), and also part of a series, but I might try it with my historical to see what happens. These ads are a work in progress to make the process function correctly.

Vonnie Davis said...

My mind is too muddled right now to make sense of what you've said. That goes double for Rolynn's post yesterday. I've cut and pasted both your posts to a file. When I'm in a thinking frame of mind again, I'll revisit your words of wisdom.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I have no advice or wisdom. I've been battling the promo beast for a year with a concerted effort and still have no real data. I can't do the Amazon thing because I'm not self-published but I have heard from everyone the importance of key words.

Rolynn Anderson said...

As my aunt would say, 'This is one mell of a hess." 850 key words? Really? I've watched Brenda's journey this past year and Alicia and Alison keep at the Amazon Ads and now I hear Margo and Jannine are in the auction as well. All with spotty effect. I found out the name of someone who does the Amazon Ads for me...I'm going to try that next. Stay tuned.

RE Mullins said...

I read these posts and my mind absolutely fogs. Of course, as a young girl scout, I even had trouble selling cookies. My approach went something like, "You don't want to buy any do you?"

I daydream about having a bright assistant to worry about these things and to advertise for me. Of course, I can't afford one. This isn't just laziness speaking - it's simply I've no head for business.

Margo Hoornstra said...

As far as I'm concerned, Jannine, I'm Grasshopper and you are...I can't remember...from that one television show. You know. The guy...The guru kinda guy. Anyway, on the advice of our own Alicia Dean, I inserted the buy link for my latest traditionally published, On The Surface, into my two self published books, and I am seeing some action, I think, from that. I say, I think, because I can't be sure what exactly is generating some sales there. Works in progress to be sure. We may well crack this particular nut eventually. Or not.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Oh, Vonnie. You say the word when you're ready and I'll personally round up the necessary peeps to go over this. Take care, my friend. Hugs and special thoughts.

Margo Hoornstra said...

It is discouraging, Brenda. I know the effort and time you put into your promo project. Far more than I would have had the ability to do. It is frustrating. But, all we can do is keep plugging away. Plus, remember we do this for the love of words and such. Sales are essentially a bonus, as sad as that fact is.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Mell of a hess to be sure, Rolynn. Keep us posted on your person who does the ads. Another thing I heard about at the conference was KDP Rocket. It's apparently a software program, available for $97 that will 'find' appropriate keywords for you. In fact that was where the number 850 was brought up. I thought it might be worth the price to purchase, provided you get to keep using the program and the $97. cost is not simply for a one time use.

Leah St. James said...

I'm clueless, just soaking up all the collective wisdom and experience in this group to (hopefully) put to use some day! Thanks for sharing!

Margo Hoornstra said...

You and me both, Robin. I sort of washed out in the Girl Scout cookie selling department too. The only time I was able to sell them effectively is when my daughters were selling and I took the order sheet to work. I actually tried the virtual assistant route for a time, a friend on a minimal monthly basis. The results were extremely underwhelming. Onward -- I guess.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Soak away, Leah. I'm stumbling along with everyone else. Hope one of us eventually comes up with the magic silver bullet. Wouldn't that be nice?

Andrea Downing said...

As I've said before, who knows what works? And what works for one author, or even one book, doesn't necessarily work for the next. :-(

Margo Hoornstra said...

You just kind of nailed it, Andi. I’m a firm, firm believer in plain old dumb luck. MOST of the time, anyway.

Diane Burton said...

I am so glad I'm not the only one where this ad stuff goes in one ear and out the other. Nothing is sticking. Not because it's boring...more like overwhelming. I can't quite wrap my mind around this stuff. However, I'm so glad you all are sharing your experiences. I'm sure I'll soak up some of it and when the time is right, it will all make sense.

Margo Hoornstra said...

You nailed it too, Diane. All of this stuff so hurts my head. It is nice to have company in the confusing maze. See you Thursday.