2021 has been a bad year for business – and I mean bad. I’ve sold four books since 1st January 2021 to now (1st October 2021). Four. In the same time frame, only 3717 KENP pages have been read – that’s roughly a quarter of the usual pages since 2018.
(For those who don’t know, KENP stands for Kindle Edition Normalised Pages where some of my earnings are determined by how many of my books’ pages are read.)
Have some pretty charts to see why I’m a sad panda.
Pretty abysmal, amiright?
After having a whine on Twitter and feeling rather sorry for myself, I realised that for the entirety of 2020 and 2021, I’ve written possibly two chapters on the still-as-yet-unnamed final novel in the Danethrall Trilogy. Other than sharing a few posts on Twitter and uploading a picture or two on Instagram, I’ve literally done nothing to promote/improve/market my novels, so the fact I’ve made sales (even minimal sales) and had any type of KENP read at all are things I should be grateful for, not whine about.
To try and rectify my situation (not to mention, be proactive) I decided to create my first campaign on Amazon Advertising.
I’ve always been quite afraid of ad campaigns – I could end up spending a bunch of money and get zero results in return. But realistically, if I’m grazing the bottom of the barrel anyway, what harm will it do to sink some money into my books and hopefully bring about better results? I like my books – I like writing! – so why not invest in my novels?
I set a budget of just over $16 USD for a week long campaign. Not a lot, but, as I pointed out before, I’m a chicken when it comes to spending money. If I see positive results from this campaign, I intend to run another with a larger budget, but until then I only want to dip my toes in. Chances are I’d get better results with a larger budget, but I’m doing only what I feel comfortable with, first.
Anyway. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of tutorials and this is what I decided to do:
Market: Amazon.com (US)
Dates: 10th October – 16th October 2021
Daily Budget: $2.34 USD
Default Bid: $0.35 USD
Targeting: Manual targeting
Campaign Bidding Strategy: Dynamic bids – down only
Adjust Bids By Placement: Top of search (first page) +10%. Product pages +0%
If this campaign is successful, I’m going to play around with increasing the ‘top of search (first page)’ bid up to +50%, possibly immediately, possibly over the course of a few campaigns. First page top of search is the golden position, it’s where I’ll get the biggest audience, so upping my budget, default bid and adjustment percentage will help me get to that spot, and hopefully increase my reader audience.
My budget is low, so the money I want to spend on keyword clicks is low too.
Broad terms: $0.21
Phrases: $0.28 USD
Exact: $0.28 USD or $0.35 USD
I used two prices for the exact matches – $0.28 USD for exact matches WITHOUT a suggested bid, and $0.35 USD for matches WITH a suggested bid. The reason why I did this was because the exact words/phrases with a suggested bid were a lot more popular with much higher suggested price ranges than the ones without a suggested bid. It made sense in my head, so that’s what I went with.
For a list of the keywords, please visit my Keywords page (titled Historical Fiction Keywords under the Extras category in the menu). I did NOT use all of the ones listed, but I did use a lot of them.
I only had two broad terms – Danethrall and Rise To Fall. I had 144 different keywords/phrases that I used for both the phrases and exact categories, which brought my total to 290 keywords.
Please cross your fingers for me and wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll be back with good news at the end of the campaign.
PS- I dyed my hair blue, what do you think?