Last year, I did something a little different. I kept track of everything related to marketing. Duh, I know, but it wasn't something I'd thought about previously. In the interest of looking at this more as a business, I charted the data to see where I was spending my marketing dollars, how effective each campaign was, and other junk.
Here's what I learned:
I spent $329 on ads last year. From those ads, I made (to date because that last ad is still bringing in revenue) $491. That's like a 33% return on investment. From what I've read, you should be happy with about a 20% ROI on book ads, so I'm pretty pleased with that number.
The best return I saw percentage-wise was from a set of ads I did for the SCIU books with Authors' Billboard. Three ads for $6 each netted me a 79% ROI.
Other notable returns were through Bargain Booksy (about 25% ROI), Ereader News Today (about 50% ROI), and Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Bargains (run in conjunction with an ENT ad, so not sure about ROI).
The worst return was any time I tried to pay for ads for Project Hermes. One of those was also with AB, the other was with Bargain Booksy. Since I've seen awesome returns of 20% or more from ads with both of those venues for other books, I blame the book and not the venue. It's probably the blurb. Might be the cover. I'll have to do some more research.
Another thing for me to consider is that I was very proactive on Facebook groups for some of my marketing campaigns, but not for others - and the PH sales were part of the 'others' group. Also, PH is a standalone.
One of the tanking ad campaigns was for my Dennis Haggarty books, but I did another campaign for those books later in the year that did well. That might be timing. I guess. Maybe. And, again, I might not have pushed the FB groups much during the first campaign. Also, one of the venues I chose to advertise with was an unknown and, upon further investigation, they were mostly retired in place at the time of my ad. (Research, people. I didn't do mine, so I paid the price.)
The December sale for the SCIU books - which is still earning me some money - was with Bargain Booksy and a new-to-me venue called Book Adrenaline. Right now, it's running a 25% ROI.
I have a sale set up for Sleeping Ugly this coming week - the 16th thru the 22nd. An ad should go out in the newsletter for Authors' Billboard on the 18th. We'll see how that goes. I haven't advertised SU yet, so it's kind of an unknown.
I'm also going to be setting up a sale and advertising for the Once Upon a Djinn books for next month. If I can get off my leaden butt. Those usually do well. I'm going to try a new-to-me venue again - Book Barbarian (if I can get a slot - they go fast). That along with maybe something through Author Billboard and PUFB should see some nice returns. :fingers crossed:
As with everything, your mileage may vary. These are my experiences alone. Market at your own risk. And all that disclaimer, 'don't sue me if you don't get the same results' kind of verbiage. Hell, your books could do better than mine, for all I know.
Any questions? Wednesday I might go over the nitty-gritty of creating advertising for these venues. It's really not that hard, but worth talking about.