Second set of free days: Postmortem

So, the second set of free days is over. On the one hand, it went quite well--two-and-a-half times as many free copies were downloaded as last time, and I got up to #2 on the science fiction:series free list!

On the other hand: Well, let's just say I paid a lot more than two-and-a-half times as much for the Facebook ads!

It's my own fault--I wanted to see what would happen if I really let a campaign run. (I can afford to be dumb with money on occasion.) So I set the budgets and per-click bids high, I broadened the groups that I advertised to, and I never brought down the per-click bid in the course of the campaign.

The result was a LOT of clicks. Wow. Many more clicks than last time.

But fewer of the clickers actually got books--I paid for a whole bunch of looky-loos. (Clicky-cloos?) Before I had many more downloads than clicks, and the volume of downloads tracked the volume of clicks pretty closely, suggesting that last time most people who clicked went on the grab a copy of the book. So I feel comfortable in blaming too-broad targeting: This time around, I managed to reach a lot of people who were interested enough to click, but not interested enough to get the book.

So: Keep your targeting tight--the temptation to broaden it is always there ("Maybe this group will like the book!"), but move slowly and skeptically (unlike meee!) into any area that isn't tried-and-true.

What's the takeaway for me? Since I do intend to have Trang go free, I'm glad to know that I can push the levers and have a result--and now I know which are the more-efficient levers.

Remember my advice to keep the per-click cost as low as possible? Standing by that one. Also, it's interesting to note how much the relative worth of your per-click bid can change. I bid the same amount that I wound up bidding last time, but this time it bought me far more exposure, presumably because there was less post-Christmas advertising to compete with. Likewise, the Goodreads ad was shown to ten times as many people Saturday as Sunday, presumably because more people happened to be advertising Sunday. So, definitely keep close tabs on results and drop your bid if you can.

I have one last free day before Trang gets out of KDP Select, but I'm not going to advertise on Facebook this time--I actually got an ad into BookBub! That surprised me because last time I tried they didn't even reply to me (of course, that was around the holidays, plus I thought something was off with the scheduling calendar), and this time I had the anti-profanity brigade pulling down my overall rating (did you know that if you've been to university, you aren't allowed to cuss?), but they accepted the ad anyway. Maybe that bit of controversy was just what I needed....