Paying for Facebook Ads does not guarantee book sales.
I have used Facebook Ads a lot over the years for my teaching business and found them to be reasonably successful in attracting new local clients.
But when it comes to using Facebook Ads to increase my book and ebook sales, I have to say that I have usually been disappointed.
However, I had never taken the time to do a proper check, as when I ran my ads, I always had other forms of promotion in progress, so it was not possible to accurately say what was delivering sales.
To do as accurate a check as possible, I took the time to carefully arrange a three day period where I had no other form of promotion running.
No Kindle free ebooks, no Kindle Countdown deals, no Twitter promo posts, no promo blog posts and no KDP Ads.
By the second day of zero promotion, I immediately noticed that my daily KDP sales were dropping, so I had learned something valuable already.
The above promotion tools do indeed keep my sales and borrows ticking in.
Ok, now to Facebook Ads to get my ebook sales moving again.
I set up my ads to run on the third day of no other promotion, and ran a quick $20.00 blast of eight ads. Four titles, with separate ads for Kindle US and Kindle UK, and timed it for afternoon traffic in the US and evening in the UK. The result?
In fact, I was surprised by how successful my little ad blast turned out. 56 clicks to my Amazon book pages, and at a moderate cost of $0.36 per click.
By most normal measures, this would mean that at a conversion rate of say 10% I could expect 5 or 6 sales. So I waited 12 hours and checked my KDP sales.
Yes, look carefully. Zero, zip, nil, none and zilch ebook sales.
I checked 12 hours later, and my dashboard showed the same depressing result. Nought and sod all.
So why did this happen?
I have no definitive answer, except to surmise that people live inside their Facebook bubble, and even though they will click out to an external site, they return immediately to Facebook.
Also, when I think back to the success I had with my teaching business in attracting new clients, these came by way of contact from within Facebook by way of messages or email.
So in fact, I wasn’t making a click to buy sale, only a contact, with whom I could then directly negotiate.
In preparing this post, I came across an article by Donna Fasano, who documents the exact same experience with Facebook ads and ebook sales, which resulted in the same number of book sales as I got. None!
So, unless anyone can convince me otherwise, I have to draw the conclusion that Facebook ads have very limited value in gaining book sales.
The only positive I can draw from this exercise is that the 56 people who clicked onto my Amazon book pages will be getting reminder emails about my ebooks from Amazon in a week or two.
Meanwhile, I will immediately go back to re-setting my promotional tools that I know do work.