In the name of education, I am breaking the taboo. I am sharing my finances with fellow authors.
Here is a post that reveals all my book sales, all my profits, before ads and giveaways. I just started up an ad for each of my books and will be posting after pics and numbers so you can witness the results of a Facebook ad. The Goodreads Giveaways are already available.
Feel free to compare your stats and to share this post with authors only.
We’ll never learn if we don’t start collecting numbers.
Angela B. Chrysler
30 October 2015
And here it is! Statistics! For the sake of our education, I am throwing my sales and profits out there for all to see so they can get an idea on what sales looks like within the first year of release, before and after purchasing ads.
Review. It is 30 October 2015. I have two books out and am preparing to release my third book, which is really a short story I wrote that appear in an anthology.
The release dates are:
Dolor and Shadow 31 May 2015
Broken: 11 September 2015
Amor Vincit Omnia: 11 November 2015
To date, here are the sales.
Please note that the October payment I received yesterday, reflects sales from August.
Here is current unpaid sales.
$18.46 USD is scheduled for payment in November to cover September’s sales. December looks like $11.31 USD to cover October’s sales.
At this point, I have networked, built events through Brain to Books, advertised only through Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, and have held two Goodreads giveaways.
I have signed up for KDP, allowing me to use Smashwords. Here is the info for Smashwords:
Dolor and Shadow sells for $3.99 on all platforms
Broken sells for $2.99 on all platforms
- Can generate coupons for free eBook giveaways
- Smashwords distributes to Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Kobo, and Apple Books, and all major eReaders accept Kindle.
- Smashwords includes a widget
- The process to format and upload a manuscript to Smashwords is so complicated it requires a manual
- Almost no one uses Smashwords or has even heard of it
- Smashwords generates almost no sales
- There are no paperback options to buy on site
- It is so easy to upload to Amazon
- Everyone knows and trusts Amazon
- Amazon owns Createspace to link books to Paperback
- Audio books are also an option for authors
- Amazon owns Goodreads and links buy options to the largest reader platform in the world
- You have to purchase your own book and “gift” it if you are running a giveaway through Amazon
- Amazon is a retailer and does not distribute
- Amazon has no widget
- You can not charge less than $2.99 per book unless you are signed up for KDP Select
Here are the results of those Giveaways.
Broken ran for 6 weeks. Dolor and Shadow ran for 4 weeks. Both offered 10 books.
My sales? With a Dolor and Shadow giveaway ending on August 17, I made $8.10 USD. Nothing great. Okay, it was one of my saddest months. Now where I did see a rise was in the number of “To-reads”. Let’s look at those.
Prior to the Dolor and Shadow giveaway, I had 22 people “to-read.” See the difference. With Broken, I had 14 people “to-read.” Make note, Since the Dolor and Shadow giveaway, 470 people had marked Dolor as a “to-read.” Almost 50% of entries, selected both books as “To-Read.” I am calling those potential buyers.
Running Ads on Facebook Before and After:
Now. The Ads.
I read this article. Read the lines:
IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE MONEY. PERIOD.
Advertising In 2015 Is So Darn Simple
…and said, “Okay.” Let’s try this out.
I looked at my bank account and decided I could afford $30.00 USD.
Step #1 – Create a post. Make it look good because once you “boost” the post, you can not go back and change a thing. I did not know this and am not happy with the ad presentation at all. This is the post:
And the full post…
This is the ad as seen on “Desktop News Feed” and “Mobile News Feed.”
You must spend at least $1.00 USD per day and can choose however long you want to run the ad. For instance. If you put only $1.00 on the ad, you can only run it for one day. If you put $5.00 USD on the ad, you can run the ad for five days. If you put $5.00 USD on an ad and try to run it for seven days, it will come to .71 cents USD and you will be asked to increase your budget or decrease the length of your campaign.
Due to this formula, when I decided to run this campaign for one month, I had to increase my budget to $35.00 USD. Today, I added $9.00 to the budget so more people can see it and uncovered a gambling addiction I may have. I love risk taking and upping my chances. This is a dangerous game I am starting. Awareness goes a long way. NOW! Moving on…
Please note: Video receives the highest attention and activity always. If you have a trailer, use it! If you don’t, get one (Here’s my guy) or use a graphic instead, which brings in more activity than just plain text, though not as much as a video.
Also, Facebook reviews all ads to confirm you have followed their guidelines. One of the things they look for is ensuring that your image has less than 20% text in it. Read more on their guidelines here.
Now. I had $25.00 sitting in another account, so I decided to use that to promote Broken. Without adding much thought, I built this post.
Simply not as attractive. I will be taking a moment now to rework the ad. I can not edit it. I tried. I am going to try and end the campaign, publish a new post for Broken, and start a new campaign.
And here is the new ad!
Far more aesthetically pleasing, which should boost interaction. To delete the ad, you go to your “ad manager. The campaign ends. I ended my campaign with $23.48 USD left so that is what I budgeted this ad for.
YES! The changes made a HUGE difference. In an hour, I received the same amount of “people reach” as the first ad running 24 hours! Here is the current stat on theses posts and sales.
I will be providing updates to monitor sales with ad length.
05 November 2015
1 Week later…
Just a reminder… This is with a minimum budget of $1.00 USD per day. It is the lowest paid ad Facebook allows and I am running two ads for 30 days.
Dolor and Shadow…
Authors! We need to collect stats. If you are comfortable with sharing, please your stats to [email protected] Your information can remain anonymous. Only your genre and publication date will be posted.
Two Weeks + in! 16 November 2015
So, I missed the weekly update, but here it is a few days late.
Here is what the ad for Broken has done…
Here is what the ad for Dolor and Shadow has done…
Overall performance from Facebook…
But this is what you really want to see… How have the ads helped sales… Have a look. Ads began running on 30 October 2015. To date, I’ve sold three books.
Take my hand and descend into the bowels of darkness! Join me and follow so that you may lay upon your death bed and say that you have tasted the sweet nectar that flows from the earth! Adventure so that you can say you have lived… and receive a monthly newsletter from me.
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