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.
This week, we chatted with epic fantasy author Garrett Robinson (http://garrettbrobinson.com/) who got his start with genre hopping and serialized fiction before deciding to settle in and focus on epic fantasy. Several novels later, he’s selling a lot of books and making a great living.
Here’s some of what we talked about:
Outlining and planning when you’re building a big world with multiple series and storylines
Juggling multiple series and having publication schedules that satisfy the readers and make marketing doable
Why it took three books and a boxed set before the ball really started rolling for Garrett
What kinds of book covers are expected for epic fantasy
Live vlogging a novel as a way to interact with readers and also as an accountability tool
Creating a YouTube channel where videos actually convert to book sales
Why Garrett is sticking with KDP Select for the time being
The perks of getting a Bookbub ad while in Kindle Unlimited
Why he’s enjoying Tumblr as a social media platform
Author Platform Rocket — a resource Garrett uses for generating Facebook leads for his mailing list
Tips for Facebook advertising (don’t be shy — imagine yourself as a marketing firm that was hired to plug your books)
If you want to get Garrett’s first book for free, stop by his page and sign up for his newsletter.
We chatted with indie thriller author Mark Dawson today, someone who found success before he started tinkering with Facebook advertising, but who then really ratcheted up his sales and earnings by figuring out what’s working over there. He now runs a course to help other authors and has several free instructional videos up at Self Publishing Formula. If you like what you hear in the interview, you may want to check them out.
Here’s some of what we covered:
Setting up advertising campaigns versus running boosted posts (Mark doesn’t bother with boosted posts)
Sending people directly to Amazon to buy books or, even better, sending them to a mailing list sign-up page and giving them free books (i.e. your starter library or series starter) in exchange for an email address (never advertise just for likes to your Facebook page)
Setting a bid price for ads versus letting Facebook choose in order to optimize clicks
Choosing a target audience (i.e. as a thriller author, Mark targets fans of Lee Child) based on interests that are likely to make them fans of your work
Does it matter if you’re in KDP Select and your books aren’t available everywhere? Will fewer of your clicks convert?
Do certain genres perform better than others with Facebook advertising?
How much can a new author just jumping in expect to spend?
Using Chrome and the Facebook Power Editor for greater control over your ads
Taking your existing mailing list, importing it into Facebook, and creating an all new custom audience to target based on the interests of your current subscribers
Advertising consistently, day-to-day, versus just advertising when you’re doing a book launch or a sale
Tips for making it work even if you’re in a small niche without any big-name authors to target