You have to celebrate the victories, and this is a big one. Ratings and reviews are a large influence on how readers decide to choose a book. Earlier in the week, I saw my 100th rating come up on Goodreads. I have a ways to go for reviews (49 at the moment), but that’s still nothing to laugh at from an independent author.
With 100 ratings in there, I’m sitting at an average rating of 4.07, which (to me) means most the peopl who read my books like my books.
I’m very appreciative of every one of those reviews. I’m very humbled and honored that people not only put in the time to read my books, but even took a moment to throw a rating at it.
Yet another two weeks in a row with some reviews to share! I still don’t think I get reviews consistently enough to warrant a “review day” post on my schedule, but if I keep getting them (this regularly), that might change.
The first review I’d like to share is a three-star review for Caught from Deedra. She was kind enough to post the review Amazon, Goodreads, and Audible.
I’m always so happy to receive reviews. Both of these reviews were every bit as informative and helpful as they were kind (even in how they expressed what they didn’t like). I thank both these reviewers.
If you’ve read any of my work, would you please consider leaving a rating and/or a review on Amazon, Goodreads or both? It really does help.
I just love it when reviews come in! So I’m happy to share this 4-star review for Stealing Freedom.
This (click the link)review was only a sentence, but it’s a moment the reviewer took to offer a rating and a few words, and those words were particularly encouraging because he took that moment to say he liked the end. He even went the extra mile and left the same review on Goodreads, which is just an amazing help.
If you’ve had a chance to read the story (or any of my work), I’d appreciate it if you also took a moment to drop a rating and/or review.
I’ve made no bones about the fact that marketing is something I don’t understand. Oh, I have as much economics training as the next Associates Degree holder, but to be honest, I only know enough to know I don’t know what I’m doing.
My idea is to create a marketing journal. I’ll track what I try and how it works. Then I realized others might be interested in seeing what I’m doing. Maybe they know how to do it better and will help a guy out, or maybe they’re like I am, and this will help them at least be as successful as I’ve been.
This is my first entry under this Marketing Journal tag, and I don’t know how often or regularly I’ll post these. Most marketing campaigns have some sort of cost associated with it, and money just isn’t a thing I have.
I noticed Goodreads has started an add campaign system a while ago, so I thought I’d give it a try.
How it works: Well, if I can figure it out, it’s pretty easy. You start by clicking here. It’s the summary and description of how it works in general.
Like I said, advertising usually costs money. For this campaign, I set a limit of $50. For anyone smarter than me: is it completely unreasonable to think the money you invest in campaigning should at least result in the same amount earned in sales? What’s the ration of profits earned against advertising dollars? For me, I would consider this a gain if I simply get 50 people to add my book to their TBR lists. I’d be ecstatic if I sold 50 copies of my book. But I need to be told if that’s just a pipe dream.
I have a daily cap set at $5 a day. That cap is based on my Cost Per Click. I established my Cost Per Click originally at $0.5. So when I started, if 10 people clicked my link, I wouldn’t get any more clicks, but I wouldn’t lose any more money from my budget. I’m not sure how big a deal that is to be honest. My whole campaign is built to end when the $50 I invested runs out, so weather that runs out in a day or a month, I’m not concerned either way.
Now we come to the part I think might be of interest to those like me. I set up my add to target women who like a group of genres. I was very broad, basically clicking any genre my book comes anywhere near to fitting in. The first day I had 70 views. The second day I had 73 views. I didn’t have anyone click my link. I’ve mentioned before that interaction matters to me. So I changed it up. I shifted so the campaign only targeted men.
I’m a man. I wrote a book I liked. I wrote a book my best friend and brother in law might like. But when I looked at Goodreads and Amazon, I realized that the BULK of my sales and 5-Star Reviews were, in fact, from women. That’s why I chose women first. Watch this: When I shifted from women to men, my views plummeted from 73 to 22. I can say I wrote this book for whoever I want, but the fact is, women are more interested in my book than men. I shifted the campaign back to women the next day and ended with 100 views. After four days, I had 165 views, but no clicks. Time to switch it up.
Goodreads also has a feature that allows you to target people who rated a group of Authors. So if I select authors I think my book is like, anyone who gave all of those authors 3 or more stars will see my add. This is awesome. I chose Dean Koontz, Christopher Golden, Mike Molina, James Patterson and Dan Wells.
I had 23 views.
My theory is that the list of authors I gave is very broad. Only two come any where near each other, and even that is a stretch. So if only a small percentage of people read that combination, it reduces my reach. Now, this would have been fine if those 23 views also mean 23 clicks, but it didn’t. In the interest of science, I switched it from women who liked those authors to men. Again, I dropped to 16. Still no clicks.
So I changed my approach. I switched my audience to women again. Then I went back to genres. This time, I reduced the number of genres to those I felt BEST represented Bob. I chose Ebooks, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, and Thriller.
In one day, I received 3,562 views. I also received 3 clicks. Two people added me to their TBR lists. The next day I received 3,362 views and one click. I was very happy with the views and the clicks were improving.
The help section in Goodreads recommends if you want to increase your click through percentage (CTR) (percent of people who click your link from those who view your add) to change the add summary. At this point, my add was an image of the cover with the following: “Dead Like Me meets Supernatural. A story about life from the perspective of those who watch over the dying.” In an effort to increase that CTR, I changed it to, “Dead Like Me meets Supernatural. A substitute teacher must collect the souls of the dying. How does one live, when his real job is death?”
Whenever you change your ad, it takes a few days for Goodreads to approve your ad. So my ad shut down for a few days until it was approved. When it came back up, I received 2,720 views, but no clicks. I’m going to let this campaign run for a few more days with these settings. If I don’t get back above 3,000 views, or I don’t get any clicks, I’ll go back to the original add and see if those numbers climb back up.
That’s where I’m at right now. I’ve had 10,040 views and 4 clicks for a CTR of .04%. (Goodreads says the results span from .05-.5, so if I can get to .25, I’ll call that a solid first time average).
I hope this helps those trying to figure out ways to reach viewers. Of all the campaigns I’ve tried outside of conventions, this is one I feel best about because I already know I’m getting my add in front of interested readers. That’s priceless to me. Facebook and Twitter adds can be refined to interests, but people are finicky. I would not call someone who likes Harry Potter a fan of Fantasy. The reading of one book doesn’t make you a fan of genre. I’ve read two romance novels. I hate romance. I actually liked one of those books. I read it because I wanted to learn from the structure and style. Any genre is the same really in that regard. BUT, to be able to target readers who like those genres or the authors those book match is awesome! I’ll keep you all posted in how this goes.
In the review, she talks about books that keep her guessing and checking to see if her theories were right, which she said mine did.
That really makes an author feel good. When someone sits down to write a book, there’s always a part that they hope, “Man, this is the part that’s supposed to make the reader leap for joy or realize what’s about to happen.” To think Bob did that for any readers is an honor.