Do Book Ads Really Help Create More Sales When Launching Your Novel?
Launching Your Novel With Ads
They say writing your story is the easy part when it comes to selling your novel.
From experience, I can definitely say this statement is true.
After completing my children's book Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss, I went right to work on launching my book. My end goal: Become a #1 Best Seller.
At the time, I was following Cara Stein's program where it dives deep into how do have your book rank on Amazon(where I was planning on selling). One section in particular spoke about creating ads.
The section on ads went into full detail on where to promote, when to launch, and how to fill out the ads correctly.
But before I jumped into working on those ads I decided to work on Facebook and Instagram ads which I would promote on my personal pages. Even though promoting on your own site is talked about in the the program this was one thing it did not delve deep into when it came to the best way to talk to your followers.
Facebook, Instagram, and the Blog
For Facebook and Instagram, I created a countdown for the book launch. When creating the ad I wanted something that looked different, but similar to my book. So I pulled color inspiration and small details from my story.
I made an advertisement for 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days, 2 days, 1 day, and an Available Now. Along with the photo, I would come up with a story somehow related to the writing process or fun facts. These were a big hit!
"As some of you may or may not know I have been working on a children's book for the past year. I am excited to announce Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss will be launching as an eBook on Amazon, February 9th! This started over 11 years ago when my senior English class was assigned to write and design a retelling of any fairytale story. At the time, Disney's Princess and the Frog was just released, and I knew many of my classmates would be using the story as their guideline. I was not one to jump on the band wagon. For over a week, I tried to write retellings of other stories, but I kept going back to Princess and the Frog. So, I finally caved. With the assignment due in just two days, I wrote a Frog Prince retelling and hoped it was good enough. To have it stand out, I designed the illustrations with good old colored construction paper and an endless supply of glue sticks. In the end, I was pretty pleased with my completed assignment(friends from high school might remember this being read out loud in English class). Now 11 years later, I've taken it to the next level. Instead of construction paper, I hired a digital illustrator to make the story a reality. Together we created something amazing! I want to give a quick shoutout to Kate McPherson for assigning the homework and for always making class fun! Thank you to friends and family who have supported the journey over the last year. Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss has been such a blast to work on. Mark your calendars for February 9th! Until then, you can check out my site www.kalikuzma.com. P.S. For anyone who is curious... I got an A+ on the assignment :)"
From what I wrote, you can see I made the advertisement personal with a story that connects readers, tagging specific people, while also promoting the launch and my blog. This post was a huge hit and everyone was excited for the book.
Here is another post I wrote for the countdown where people got to see more behind the scenes with fun facts.
"The COUNTDOWN continues as Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss will be available to purchase in eBook format 3 DAYS from now! What better way to celebrate then with 3 fun facts about the book! 1. Princess Gabriella is named after a character from High School Musical. I was obsessed with the series growing up. I used to watch the original, the singalong, and the dance-along versions back to back in 1 night! Unlike the musical there is no singing in Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss. 2. The illustration process took over 10 months from start to finish. This includes finding an illustrator to receiving the last illustration back in October. The requirements for character design, color pallet, and scene set up took over two weeks to nail down before starting the process. 3. There are 2 endings to the story- the original and then the newer version. Last January, I decided to change the ending as the original was too cliché. I've always loved when stories have a fun little twist so I had to add one to my own story! I hope you enjoyed some fun facts about the book! Remember to mark your calendars for February 9th when Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss is available in eBook format on Amazon. It's the perfect Valentine's Day gift for a little one. If you want to read more about the process I upload new blog posts every Monday at 9am to my blog. I have fun stories, tips and tricks about self-publishing, book reviews, and more. You can subscribe to get the latest updates and details. www.kalikuzma.com"
So like the first post, I once again was able to not only promote the book, but the blog in a fun way. I even told them the perfect reason to buy it-Valentine's day was coming up and it's the perfect gift for a little one!
These posts did great with engagement, and it only took me a few minutes to create on Canva.com.
I used Fiverr to create more professional looking posts related to the book. These showed potential buyers how the book would look in eBook format and in physical copy. These were excellent to use for the cover reveal, blog posts, and also for people to realize it was a tangible object they would want to own.
This is the photo I used for the cover reveal which everyone seemed to enjoy.
This picture I used to show people the story was available in eBook format.
I had an array of these with I would use for more commercial sounding advertisements which were direct and straight to the point that I was selling a new children's book.
These also did well with engagement, but not as well as the other's which had a story connected to it.
Besides the promo shots, which I received 10 for only $5, the rest were free and tailored to my liking which my followers seemed to love.
Bookbub, Amazon, Bknights, and More
Once I had launched the more personal ads to my followers, I turned my attention to the other ads listed in the Cara Stein program.
These were easier in the sense I just had to fill out some paperwork, upload the cover and book blurb, and the site would do the rest, but for a fee.
With the fee comes millions of followers which can see your advertisement, and then turn into a sale.
In the program it was said only the first 4 listed sites would be needed to become #1 best seller. I did some more reading and found several other sites which were free or cost between $5 to $10 to promote. So along with the top four listed sites, I decided to promote on the others as well.
BKnights- 50k followers
Bookbub- 3M followers
Booksends- 120k followers
Bookrunes- 20k followers
Booktweeters- 500k followers
Ebookhabit- 500k followers
Ereader Nation and Justkindlebooks- 685k followers combined
Like I mentioned, these were easy to fill out and I got a response from an actual person by email saying they had received my submission.
Bookbub was slightly different in that you needed to upload an actual advertise compared to the cover. For this, I went to Fiverr again, to have a professional work on it. From my experience, I do not recommend doing this as everyone gave me ads which looked nothing like how I wanted to represent my book.
Because Bookbub had the most followers, and other people had great success with the site I decided to make my own advertisement. Not only does it represent my story, but is more clear than what I had been given.
So how did these fair compared to the other personal advertisements?
Once my launch week was over and all ads had been run I compared the personal ads I created versus the others.
Somehow the personal ads had beaten all other ads combined. From Amazon and Bookbub alone I had more than 30,000 views which converted hardly any sales. Even after following the Cara Stein program step by step.
Now am I still glad I went through with these ads. Of course!
Without them I wouldn't have been able to become a #1 best seller which was my final end goal.
From personal experience, I can say ads do sell more books!
If you have a following I suggest connecting potential buyers with a story they can relate to as the standard advertisement may not resonate with them. Other than time, these are mostly free and fun to create.
As a first time self published author, I still have plenty to learn when it comes to advertising a story. I'm sure it's something that will take practice to nail down, and those standard ads such as Bookbub and Amazon will be more beneficial to me in the long run as I will get more bang for my buck!
So before launching your next novel take time to research what will be best when converting clicks to sales. It could help you become a #1 best seller.
In the comments below, tell me where you advertise your novels and if you create your own ads for your followers.