Two Months In

Happy November! Halloween was yesterday and I heard my first Christmas carol today. Crazy.

Two months in and I only sold two book in October. Good thing I’m playing the long game, huh? I did have a great first moment for a new author. One of the (few) readers who read the book contacted me and told me he loved it and even used the word ‘amazing.’ I suppose every artist wonders if anyone else will like what they produced when they put their first work out there. I certainly did. That positive feedback is pure motivation as I work on Andromeda Rhoades Firestorm: The Local War (Book 2), still on schedule for early 2023.

I’m continuing my personal development in marketing. The first month I did no advertising and had 6 sales. I’m figuring people found Andromeda Rhoades Liberation: The Local War (Book 1) through the “Books published in the last 30 days” option on Amazon. Last month, I did automatic advertising where Amazon chooses where to show my book: 1,363 “impressions” (number of times the advertisement is shown), 6 clicks, and 0 sales. Epic Fail! The two sales I did have were not related to the advertising. So, this month I kicked off a new advertising campaign using targeted keywords and phrases.

When I researched marketing before publishing Andromeda Rhoades Liberation: The Local War (Book 1), I found two schools of thought. One school said use targeted keywords, the other said use automatic advertising where Amazon decides where to show your product. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I will never use the automatic option again. Why? Amazon doesn’t tell me where it is showing my ads. That’s a problem. When a book has lots of impressions but few clicks, as mine did, it can mean two things: either the cover art isn’t enticing people to click on the ad, or the ad is being shown in the wrong places. Without knowing where the ad is being shown, I can’t answer why people aren’t clicking on it. Therefore, I will use targeted keywords from now on. Amazon shows how many impressions per keyword or phrase and if they converted to clicks and sales. That will tell me which keywords or phrases are getting clicks and related sales, and which aren’t, so I can remove them. Gotta love that data! Oh, one important fact about AmazonAds: you only pay for clicks, not impressions. With only 6 clicks, my total spend in October for ads was $1.86. Not an expensive lesson, thankfully.

Since I’m playing the long game, I’m only making one major change a month. That way, I can better see if something works, or doesn’t. If I continue to get few clicks, then that means the cover art isn’t selling. If that’s the case, I may try new cover art for Andromeda Rhoades Liberation: The Local War (Book 1) when I commission the cover art for Andromeda Rhoades Firestorm: The Local War (Book 2). If I get clicks but no sales, which is true of the 6 clicks I did get in October, the internet tells me that means the book description on my Amazon book page isn’t selling. If that is the case, I will change it in December to match what is on the book. [My Amazon book description is longer because Amazon’s algorithms use the book description to determine where it shows the book. I wanted more descriptive phrases for the algorithms to use, but it does make the book description wordier than I like.]

Ultimately, the research I did suggests that advertising doesn’t really make sense until the author has at least three books to sell. Hopefully, by the time I publish my third book, I’ll understand this marketing thing a whole lot better.

That’s all for now. Have an Awesome day!

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