Experiments with Facebook Ads

EditingOver the past few days, I’ve been running a few experiments with Facebook ads. Most authors I’ve spoken to say that Facebook advertising is a waste of time and money, so my hopes aren’t too high going into it.

I’ve done some sums, and for them to make a return for me on the Bytarend fantasy series, I’d have to see 6 cents a click. At the moment, it’s closer to 50 cents a click, so there’s a ways to go before it would be profitable.

The thing Facebook ads could be very useful for, however, is a/b testing. Facebook allow you to specify a link to your website, which I’ve set at the moment to the webpage for The Bite on the Line. However, this could well be two pages, with different product descriptions, different layouts or different links.

With a Facebook ad, it tells you the age, gender, device and other information about the people that clicked. Meaning that you can find out who is more interested in your genre (if not necessarily your book), or at least who responds to the ad.

What I’ve found out so far is that the most people responding to my Hard Vacuum ad (an 80s action-movie style sci-fi) were male, aged 35-44. Which is what I’d expect. With the male 45-54 bracket next on the list.

For my Bytarend ad, the 45-64 males were the ones clicking most.

Both groups are approximately the same as me (male, 40) so I guess I write what I like to read 🙂

Facebook ads are something I really want to crack if I can. Unlike BookBub, BookSends, etc, Facebook ads can be set to run for weeks instead of a day. Combined with a permafree book, if I can get the click rate up, I can get a lot more readers to my books.


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For a limited time, I'm giving away the first two books in the Bytarend Fantasy series and the Hard Vacuum science fiction series for free.

Bytarend is fast, fun fantasy that'll have you on the edge of your seat. Hard Vacuum is hard-talking, violent science fiction and my tribute to 80s action movies.

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4 thoughts on “Experiments with Facebook Ads

  1. I’ve been listening to a bunch of podcasts and such on Facebook advertising. If you ping me tomorrow, I’ll try to dig out some of those resources.

    One thing I remember is that it’s really hard to get the right margins on a single book and that box sets at 9.99 is the way to go if you’re looking to get a positive ROI on the add itself.

    The other thing is to use the ad to get folks on your mailing list. You run the ad offering a free book in return for an e-mail address. The ROI on the ad itself is zero but qualified names on the list are worth rather a lot.

    • Yeah, I’m going off my own calculations for the series. In the past, 5% of people who read the first Bytarend book go on to the second one. 50% of those go on to the third one. So that’s 2.5%.

      Then 50% of people who clicked the webpage link from Facebook bought the book on Amazon. So then I’m down to 1.25%. The third book in the series nets me $2.74. And $2.74 * 0.025 = 6 cents. $2.74 * 0.0125 = 3 cents.

      However, I’m hoping with a little a/b testing, I can eliminate the 50% loss from the Facebook click to the purchase. Either way, I’m a long way off making it profitable, but it’s worth messing around with 🙂

  2. I think I’m going to try it once I have my full trilogy out. I think it is more useful if you have more then one thing for people to read. If it’s just one stand alone book, not so much. (Ya, I know yours is a series).

    Still, I’m not expecting much from it. If you figure any good tips let me know.

    • Gonna write a new post today with a few tips, but so far it’s not really as good dollar for dollar as the book email lists.

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