1 Nov 2012
I’m writing this blog after being awake for a 36 hours because I have to make money, which requires me to talk to people from around the world… arrogant bastards that refuse to live on USA time. So, if this blog makes no sense I apologize in advance. Hey, somewhere back in time I promised to run an ebook advertising trial and report my findings to my fellow indie authors.
Before running my test I read JA Konrath’s blog about how to sell books etc. He basically advises to avoid advertising at all cost. The only better advice I know of is not bathe with an electrical appliance.
My test indicates ebook advertising is a profound waste of money. Advertising may make you feel like an author, in much the same way that buying office furniture makes one feel like a businessman, but ultimately it will just make you poorer, which is a bad thing in countries that don’t reward profligate spending with food stamps.
I have to say on the list of wasting money Stumble Upon, in my book, is number one. Instead of spending money at Stumble Upon, I’d suggest simply tossing a handful of twenties out your car window, preferably in a the bad side of town because watching the 47%, i.e.,the rabble, scramble for free money will momentarily make you feel like Mitt Romney which is a feeling infinitely more satisfying than being molested by a Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleader, or perhaps, your favorite Sesame Street muppet – if you’re into that sort of thing. Geez, I seem to be losing my train of thought, ahhh back to ebook advertising. Yeah Stumble Upon…After you load up your Stumble Upon account with money you are asked if you want to target an audience or let the Stumble wizard do it for you. These questions are poorly worded for what Stumble Upon really meant to ask was, Would you like us to steal your money instantly or over a five minute time frame? I went with the instant option and within nanoseconds my web site was hit with a wave of traffic, none of which read a single page on my blog. I hate to think the worst of shaky entities, but I have a feeling some of my Stumble Upon visitors may have been widget-based life forms.
Although I could not ultimately determine any difference in their service second to Stumble Upon is Google and Facebook. I say Goog and Face are slightly better than Stumble Upon because they put you through an ad approval process before stealing your money, which makes you feel like less of an asshole. Google is world class at this ruse, you’ll be admonished for using capital letters in your ad and then a key word wizard will infer you’re dumber than a lamp post before suggesting a $65 per click key word to sell your $1 ebook. Facebook is based on demographics, so you can specify the group of people that will steal your money. You’ll also get a fancy bar graph that shows you that 0.003375897959% of the people that viewed your ad clicked on it, which, in case you were wondering, is the exact percent of people high on crystal meth in the USA at a given moment.
So, what’s a mother to do? If you want to sell one book and you have one hundred dollars to waste advertise on Goodreads.com. Otherwise, I suggest using social media to generate followers, which then may buy your book if you don’t spam and have something interesting or nice to say now and then. It’s not an instant process, but selling a book is not like selling car insurance, after all your not just asking people for 15 minutes of their time…