Meet a contrarian author, H. Ann Ackroyd of TransomPress.com, a Historical Fiction writer. She is one of the authors who took me up on my Facebook Ads Marketing For Authors Consultation
Ann isn’t like any other Historical Fiction writer; she writes her two books in a rhythmic prose format, which isn’t a common phenomenon among authors in the same book genre.
Just like many an indie author, Ann loves writing, and she would rather keep writing than find ways to market and promote her books, which to her is way too much trouble, and that’s why Ann approached me to help with the marketing aspect of her career as well as getting her books out there into Amazon and Kobo both in digital and print format.
With Ann’s reply to all my simple and basic questions to help figure out how best I can help and what specific book marketing plan will be cool for her books, I arrived at a simple book marketing plan using Facebook (mainly Facebook Ads) and Goodreads.
One of the greatest pains for you as an author will be how to market and promote your books – unless you are just writing for the fun of being called an author.
Ann previously had none of her books available in Kindle format or Paperback cover.
After discussing with her ways she can get her books out there, she agreed to let me help her get her books into the Kindle Store, as a Paperback book on Amazon, as well as into Kobo stores.
Ann, in her first mail to me, mentioned the fact that it would be hard to really find books that are similar to hers, and therefore, might pose a problem of acceptance. But I knew that could be one big advantage, in the sense that we could make that her Author Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which would separate her from other authors.
In the past few months, I’ve come to realize that indie authors like us are overlooking one of the best book marketing channels out there, which many would never have thought of.
And that book marketing channel is simply called Facebook Ads.
After having all the books ready on all those online bookstores, I dived straight into getting her books into the hands of her target book-reading audience.
After some back and forth emails and phone calls, I came up with a simple book marketing plan for her as summarized below:
Plan #1: Enrollment into the Kindle Select Program
To enroll one of her books, Across The Rift (which isn’t yet published as Audiobook, unlike her other book which has an audiobook version), for Kindle Select Program which offers five days to give away free copies of the Kindle version in exchange for a five-month exclusivity right to the digital version of the book.
We decided to give this a try; to either confirm or disprove my prior prejudice against the program. And considering the free giveaway offered by KDP would help to drive up the ranking for the book on Kindle Store, and later, sales – after the giveaway period is over.
This is proven by reports from authors who have used KDP in the past.
If we give away free copies of the Kindle book and invite lovers of graphic historical novellas on Facebook to download the free Kindle book, chances are we might get some of them to later come back and leave a review if they love the book. This would also help to get the book up the visibility ladder on Amazon Kindle Store.
Plan #2: Use Goodreads
Use Goodreads Ads to get people who will love to read her book to download the book from Amazon Kindle Store during the second period of the five-day giveaway.
The first two free days were used only for Facebook Ads, and the final three days were for Goodreads Ads. This is so not to screw the results of each campaign and to help track and know what works best between both.
Goodreads is the Facebook for serious authors and book readers, and it’s the largest gathering of book lovers and authors in the world.
Plan #3: Use Goodreads and Facebook Ads
To try Goodreads and Facebook Ads to see if they could drive book sales for Colonial Adventure and Other Stories. This was her second book, also published as an audiobook which made it a little hard to enroll for the KDP program.
This was just meant to be an experiment and had the lowest budget allocated to it, since in my experience with Facebook Ads for almost a year now, Facebook isn’t a store to sell anything but works best as a platform to gather people who might want what you are selling or offering, engage with them and get them into a sales funnel with a free giveaway.
This is just a sport many savvy internet marketers and even firms are playing every single day. Nothing stops you, as an author, from playing in the same field to attract your book audience and make them fans for life.
Plan #4: Grow Her Author Platform
To grow her author platform via her website.
This involves growing her email list and getting traffic to her website (and blog). This also includes growing her Facebook Author Page with targeted Historical Fiction Facebook Fans.
Let me be clear here – Ann’s books were just about a week old on Kindle Store before I started the Facebook Ads campaign. And for those few days, there were no book sales.
Across The Rift: Result Of the KDP Enrollment + Facebook Ads
The First Day of the free giveaway of the kindle book resulted in forty-four free downloads in all the major stores of US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
The second day of the free giveaway of the kindle book resulted in a huge spike in ranking across all the major Kindle Store.
In the US Kindle store all together: forty-seven downloads.
The book also rose to #1 in the Historical Fiction category of the US Kindle Store, #76 in the Short Stories Category of the same store and ranked #3,829 among the free books listed overall.
In the UK Kindle Store altogether – three downloads.
The book rose to #2 in the Historical Fiction category of the UK Kindle Store, and it ranked #6,210 among the free books listed overall.
In the Canada Kindle Store: two downloads.
The book rose to #44 in the Short Stories category of the CA Kindle Store, and is ranked #2,302 among the free books listed overall.
But in the CA Kindle Store, one of the guys who downloaded the free Kindle copy left a five-star review for the book.
Facebook Ads Copy Performance for Across the Rift
The three ad copies all did well, but one performed much better than the others. The ads that performed the best are shown below:
The best part is that this best-performing ads copy is what I used for the Goodreads Ads Campaign – this is just simple logic that if it worked best on Facebook, it should also appeal to more people on Goodreads.
That is just the best part of testing various ad copies to see what works best and what doesn’t.
Colonial Adventure – Result of Running A Direct Sales Ads
This is the only minus for my Facebook Ads Campaign for Ann’s books.
For like $19.45 spent for this direct sales campaign, it brought no sales whatsoever, which I’d, however, predict before even starting the campaign.
This confirms the belief that people aren’t on Facebook to buy and shop for books, and authors should stay away from thinking about selling books directly using Facebook Ads.
The best way to use Facebook Ads is not for direct selling but to get books in the hands of people who will love to read them without involving them to buy anything.
This is the reason for my first option of a free Kindle Book giveaway; getting them to opt-in into an email list to download maybe a free chapter of a book, a review copy, and so on.
This will also help more in building a targeted email list of well-targeted book audiences which will always be useful in the long run to sell books later to them – after they have been engaged with some useful follow-up email messages.
I will be implementing this plan for Ann in days to come – to help her grow her author platform and email list.
Facebook Ads works and will work for you as an author if you approach it the right way.
If you love to explore this great tool for your book marketing purpose, download a FREE Facebook Ads Book Marketing Cheat Sheet that shows you FOUR Cool Hacks you can use to get a positive return from your Facebook ads to spend.
And if you prefer a more detailed guide that shows you:
- Best ways to use Facebook Ads as an author to get results.
- Basic facts you need to know about Facebook Ads for selling books before you start running ads to sell your book.
- What you need before you create a Facebook Ads.
- Step by Step Guide To Show You How to create a Facebook Ads Campaign.
- A Little Trick You Can Use To Get Ideas For You Facebook Ads Campaign From A Competing Author.
- Anatomy of a Great Facebook Ad.
- Recommended Resources to help you learn more about Facebook Ads for Book Marketing
Then get a copy of How To Sell Books Online: The Facebook Ads Marketing Plan That Sells Books