GoodReads Sponsored Ads: The Final Stats

Time span of the Ad Campaign:  18 days, From Sept 4, 2016  to  Sept 21, 2016

The Clicks.  For the sake of clarity I have shown the total clicks over time (without the ad breakdown), which just has one smooth line depicting how many clicks the campaign got as a whole during the 18 day time period.  (The breakdown graph which depicts clicks-per-ad over time, is shown at the end of the discussion just for giggles, but my discussion will focus on the overall total graph.)

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-43-44-amI created the first two ads on Sept 3rd, and quickly adjusted them and they were up and running again on Sept 4th.  Things started off kinda shaky (as you can see below, no clicks for the first 3-4 days but by Sept 7th the ads were clicking and they really never stopped.  Right up until I let my funding for the campaign run out, the clicks were flowing.  There’s a steep drop-off early on Sept 21st (see the slight kink in the downside of that last peak?) that’s when the money ran out.  As with anything, that’s pretty much when the fun stopped (lol).  I had intended Broader Reach to run for a full month (30 days) but no dice…ran out of funding, so in an odd way it was a victim of its own success.

Another thing to notice…see the sharp drop offs between each of the three highest peaks?  One at Sept 11th/12th…and another at Sept 17th.  Those are weekends and Mondays just after a weekend…Viewership and traffic always decreases over a weekend.  I’ve noticed this even with my blog traffic.  The weekends are always slow.  Why??  Well, because people have other things to do on the weekend besides play on the computer all day.  (laundry, activities, visitors, etc.)  For some strange reason, Labor day weekend did not follow this pattern as much…I think because it wasn’t a typical weekend…most folks got an extra day off (Monday) that they normally wouldn’t have had.  That likely explained the deviation.

As promised here is the breakdown graph that shows the clicks-per-ad.  Nothing useful to gleam here except to say that…(obviously), some ads were more attention-getting than others. screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-45-34-am

The Views. Below is a graph showing the same time period Sept 4th – Sept 21st, only its looking at views (overall) instead of clicks.  Its more subtle, but you can still see the dips in the viewership at Sept 11th/12th and Sept 17th (weekends/Mondays).  The highest viewer peaks happen during the work-week…the same is true for my blog traffic.  Its a very steady pattern.  Thus…I generally never make big important announcement posts on the weekends because I know, no one’s looking.  Just something to consider when you’re planning your posting schedule and also when you’re developing your next book’s Marketing/Promotional strategy.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-43-13-amFor those that want to see the views-per-ad breakdown…see below.  This table is less informative because of the quantity of ads.  The only info that can really be gleamed from it is that some ads were more popular than others. (The noise at the bottom is ads that received only minimal views.)

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-45-17-am

Broader Reach Campaign

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-44-28-amThe Ad Statistics

There were a total of 23 ads under the Broader Reach campaign.

8 of the 23 ads received no clicks at all.  (Viewers ignored them).

15 of the 23 ads received at least 1 click (15 ads caught at least 1 person’s attention.)

82 Total number of clicks for all 15 ads.  (WooHoo!)

 

Dominic’s Nemesis (9 ads)

21 of the 82 clicks were for ‘Dominic’s Nemesis’ ads

Its Top performing ad received 8 clicks.

5 new to-read/book-adds.

1 new rating on GoodReads (5-Stars!) for ‘Dominic’s Nemesis’.

 

When Lucifer Met Calamity (14 ads)

61 of the 82 clicks were for ‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ ads.

Its Top performing ad received 17 clicks.

4 new to-read adds.

 

* 272,341 total views for the ad campaign.  Note: Its impossible to separate out the views per book.  I’d have to count each view, each day, for each ad (you see where I’m going with this?)  And even if I committed the time to dividing them up, I’m not sure it would mean anything since, as I have alluded to in the previous post, there is some doubt on my part as to whether these views are unique or not.  I don’t think they are.  Thus, I’m not going to waste my time calculating a dubious statistic.

Top Performers

For ‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’, this ad (see below) received 17 clicks over the course of the 18-day ad campaign.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-7-43-21-am

For Dominic’s Nemesis, this ad (see below) received 8 clicks over the course of the 18-day campaign.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-7-44-37-am

 

Honorable Mentions

‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ proven performer.  It received 11 clicks over the course of the 18-day ad campaign.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-7-45-28-am

‘Dominic’s Nemesis’ proven performer.  It received 5 clicks over the course of the 18-day ad campaign.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-16-19-am

Other Positive Outcomes:

Increased traffic on the Writer’s Journal Blog and my Pinterest boards, new likes on Facebook.  But also, the valuable knowledge that this experience has imparted about running an ad campaign.  This knowledge while not directly translatable into financial gain has the ability to be profitable.  Now I know what to do and what NOT to do when I sit down to plan my marketing/promotional strategy for Gabriel’s Demons.

Conclusions:

Overall, the ‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ ads were (clearly) more popular, garnering 3 times as many clicks as the ‘Dominic’s Nemesis’ ads (21 vs 61 clicks).  I attribute this to 3 factors really.

  • The title of the book itself.  ‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ is just a more evocative title…it catches the eye.  That’s why I chose it.  This was no accident; the original title of the book (if you’ll think back) was “Calamity Jones”, which I liked, but I felt was a little too corny.  ‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ on the other hand…Viewers see the title and their first thought is…What?  Is she serious?  (Of course not, its a Romantic Comedy!)  The point is, the title is a great hook.
  • The suggestive title, and the names of the characters, the lawyer jokes…they all have built-in quips, in-jokes, turns-of-phrase, innuendos, and cute little sayings …all ripe to use in my ad content.   Thus, it was very easy to spin a variety of different ads for the book.  The ad titles were easy to create.  The book itself is very quotable.  It also has humorous chapter titles which were easily converted into eye-catching ad content.
  • There were more ‘Calamity’ ads than ‘Nemesis’ ads.  So, of course ‘Calamity’ ads were more frequently seen and clicked.  Why create more of one than the other?  Well, because I could.  And because it makes sense.  ‘Calamity’ ads were performing well and I could come up with new ones very quickly/easily.  Whereas ‘Dominic’s Nemesis’ is not as quotable…a great book, but it has a darker more complicated premise and very intricate storyline, deeper metaphors…etc.  Dominic’s Nemesis is just harder to capture in 40 characters or less (which is all you get for the Ad title).  My point…I need a better strategy to come up with ads for Dominic’s Nemesis.

 

It is important to note that although ‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ won the ad wars (popularity-wise) it was ‘Dominic’s Nemesis’ that received more book adds by GoodReads’ members and a new 5-star rating during the course of the campaign.  (which means at least one person bought, read, and rated the book on Goodreads within the time frame of the campaign.)  The lesson learned here is that…sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  The ‘Dominic’s Nemesis’ ads while less numerous and less popular were overall MORE effective with the viewers that did engage them because they yielded more tangible sales and ratings conversions.

Despite all the things (mostly negative or pessimistic) that I’ve read and heard about GoodReads Ads, I must disagree.  I believe they can be highly effective and very worthwhile but only for Indie Authors who…

  • Are serious about marketing/promoting their book(s).
  • Have specific and realistic outcome goals for their ad campaign.
    • Increase Blog traffic (link ad to your blog)
    • Promoting a new release in existing series
    • Increase to-read adds (coupling ad w/GoodReads Giveaway)
    • etc.
  • Are willing to put in the work/effort to make their campaign successful.
    • Monitoring progress daily
    • Identifying trends & customizing ads to take advantage of them.
    • Edit/Updating ineffective ads to mimic top performing ads
    • etc.

The Ugly Truth:  If you’re not All-In, the ads will just waste your time, money…and frustrate you.

 

Related Posts:  GoodReads Sponsored Ads: An Indie Perspective

D. Alyce Domain

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