SFFMP 151: All About Bookbub CPM Ads and Becoming a #1 Bestseller on Amazon with Adam Croft

Today’s guest, Adam Croft, had a lot of great information to share about how he hit it big with a stand alone novel after writing two thriller series. Facebook ads played a part in his success with his first breakout novel, and we asked him about that, but lately, he’s been experimenting with Bookbub’s CPM ads (banners that you can pay for that run in their emails independent of their sponsorship program). We asked him about how authors can make the most of that program, even if they haven’t been able to get sponsorships with the big gorilla of advertising.

Here are some of the details we touched on:

  • Not following all the write-in-series advice all the time — Adam’s biggest hit was a stand alone thriller.
  • Writing hooky Facebook ads that draw people in and can sell a full-priced book.
  • Reaching #1 in the entire Amazon.com and Amazon UK stores with a new release.
  • If it’s possible to leverage former bestseller status to sell more books.
  • The difference between Bookbub’s paid sponsorships that we all covet and rarely get and their CPM advertising program that anyone can sign up for.
  • Targeting categories versus targeting specific authors.
  • Why targeting big names with Bookbub’s ads isn’t necessarily the way to go.
  • Whether the Bookbub ads are better for new releases or older titles or both.
  • Using affiliate links to help gauge how successful your ads are.
  • How the Bookbub CPM ads can work even if you’re marketing cross-genre novels or books in niches that don’t usually get picked up for their regular sponsorships.
  • Using ads to restore interest in older titles but doing tighter targeting for these, whereas you might go broader for a new release to get as many eyeballs on it as possible.
  • How Bookbub lets you link to individual stores in specific countries.
  • Making sure, before you get that big hit, to have your mailing list set up so that it’s easy to sign up for and people get something.

You can visit Adam on his website, his Facebook page, or Twitter, and make sure to check out his books. His series starters, Too Close for Comfort, and Exit Stage Left are free on Amazon and in other stores.

 

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SFFMP 147: Mastering Facebook Advertising for Authors with Michael Cooper

We had a great show tonight with Michael Cooper, the author of HELP! My Facebook Ads Suck and also a science fiction author writing under M.D. Cooper. He’s been experimenting constantly with Facebook ads and had some amazing advice, a lot of it different from what we’ve heard before (Lindsay, who hates Facebook ads, is tempted to give them another try!), and the proof is in the pudding. He went from very modest sales to having months where he made $25,000+ from his science fiction novels (and no, he didn’t spend $30,000 on Facebook to make that much — Lindsay asked).

The show was so jam packed with information that we’re not going to attempt to touch on everything in the show notes here, but here’s a little of what Michael talked about:

  • Why you should never use your book cover (or any text at all) in the image of a Facebook ad.
  • Michael’s spreadsheet to help you figure out the read-through rate in your series, how much you’re earning per customer you get into your funnel, and how much you can afford to spend to acquire a reader.
  • The PDF file Michael mentioned: Facebook Ads for Fun and Profit v2.
  • Why you should start ads at $5 a day max and only increase the spend if they prove they’re doing well.
  • Creating a fan page to launch your advertising campaigns from instead of a business page.
  • Using Books2Read as a place to direct readers if you’re creating ads to appeal to readers on all platforms and not just sending them straight to Amazon.
  • Why Michael isn’t a fan of using Facebook ads to build a mailing list — he sends people straight to buy his books.
  • Doing long-form sales copy rather than simply creating a short snippet.
  • Why you should create different ads for different countries instead of just targeting all English-speaking countries.
  • Why Michael prefers to run ads on 99-cent or full-priced ebooks rather than permafree titles.
  • Creating character-based ad copy to appeal to female readers versus more plot-based copy for male readers.

You can find Michael on Facebook, on his science fiction author website Aeon 14, or he’s also active in the 20Booksto50K Facebook group.

Definitely pick up his book, HELP! My Facebook Ads Suck. And take notes while listening to the show. Thanks for listening!

 

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SFFMP 134: When to Hire a Personal Assistant, Facebook Live Events, and King Arthur Fantasy with K.M. Shea

On today’s show, we talked to return guest, fantasy author K.M. Shea. She specializes in retold fairy tales and King Arthur fantasy, and she’s definitely exploited the fact that these are fairly small and underserved sub-genres. If you have any interest in fairy tales, check out her last interview with us: Retold Fairy Tales, Kindle Unlimited, and Finding Less Competitive Categories.

We talked more about her King Arthur series today and also about some of the business/marketing things she’s been working on in the last year. Here are some of the details we covered:

  • Whether it makes sense to go back and deeply edit one of your early books or series.
  • Whether the fairy tale niche is still fairly underserved and if it’s easier (compared to popular categories like urban and epic fantasy) to break into the Top 100.
  • Finding a personal assistant to help with your author business, when it’s time and where to look.
  • What the going rate is for an author PA or VA (virtual assistant).
  • How much work do you need to have to outsource before someone might be interested in hiring on?
  • Do you need to worry about non-disclosure agreements? Sharing passwords?
  • Kitty’s experiences experimenting with Amazon ads, Facebook ads, and free Bookbub runs for a couple of her fairy tale novels.
  • Doing Facebook Live Events alone and with other authors, and whether these things actually sell books.
  • Kitty mentioned Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans site and how she works to cultivate a good relationship with her readers.
  • Whether joint author promos can be effective for selling your own books.

You can visit KM Shea at her website or on Facebook, and check out her books at Amazon, including her retelling of Beauty and the Beast and Enthroned, her first King Arthur story.

 

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SFFMP 127: Book Launch Tips, Mistakes People Make with Amazon Algorithms, and Writing a Trilogy in 12 Weeks

Today, Chris Fox joined us to talk about book launches, book RE-launches, reasons why the Amazon algorithms may not be plugging your book, and writing a trilogy in twelve weeks. The author of non-fiction titles such as 5,000 Words Per Hour and Writing to Market, he’s joined us twice before on previous episodes:

Writing 5,000 Words an Hour and Selling Zombies and Werewolves

Selling More by Writing to Market + A Novel in 21 Days

Here’s some of what we covered today:

  • What Chris has been up to since finishing his Void Wraith Trilogy, the military SF he wrote to market last year, and how it ended up doing overall.
  • Why he’s writing a trilogy in 12 weeks and planning to release the books in rapid succession.
  • Some of the benefits of writing more than the first novel in a series before publishing any of them.
  • The importance of taking time off and taking time for passion projects.
  • Strategies for launching into crowded niches.
  • Whether Chris will do 99 cents for his launch of Book 1.
  • Using Facebook and Amazon ads to find a target audience and whether they’re proving effective (and affordable) right now.
  • Why it’s worthwhile to think about your character names instead of just throwing things out there.
  • Accountability tricks for sticking to one’s goals.
  • Launching a novel when you haven’t built up a list yet.
  • Why you might not want to tell everyone you know about your new novel — the confusing effect that can have on Amazon’s algorithms.
  • Relaunching a novel or series that didn’t do well out of the blocks.

You can find Chris and his video series on his site or on his YouTube channel. You can order Write to Market and Six-Figure Author on Amazon, and his new book, Relaunch Your Novel, will be out in May. You can also check out his fiction, starting with Destroyer or No Such Thing as Werewolves.

 

 

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