The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

 June 29, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

 Day 16 of 365

 In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #2
  • Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour

  MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #2

 With the month of June coming to a close, thus ends my stint on the barnesandnoble.com Rising Star award winner page. The buyers at B and N use the results to see what books they will give store book shelf space to, what I like to call “the most expensive real estate in the world.”

 Therefore, as a last ditch effort to pump up my numbers, I am doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. Yesterday, my ad read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” There was also a cover pic. I set my budget at $20 day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option. I only pay when someone clicks on my ad. With that ad, I had 15 clicks out of 19,858 impressions, which translates into a Click through rate (CTR) of .08%. Time to change the ad! I changed it to read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time. “A masterful storyteller” – Writer’s Digest and I selected people interested in ‘author James Patterson’ rather than ‘political thrillers.’ Hope my CTR will rise. Stay tuned.  

 I checked in with my publisher, iUniverse, to see if there’s a way to see in real time if the ad led to more people buying the book online, but there’s no way to do that. In fact, I won’t know any sales #s until the end of July due to paperwork processing times. Holy $#(%$#  *&#!!!!

 With Facebook ads, it seems that people either love them or hate them. They either work really well or not at all. Again, if you want another in-depth story of doing Facebook ads, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”

 Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour

 With a little less than 2 weeks to go before my 3rd signing event at the Lewisville, Texas Borders bookstore, here’s what I did today to get ready for  it:

  1. News release (please see below) sent to the following: Dallasnews.com (Dallas Morning News online portal) Guidelive and metro desk, Lewisville Leader , www.hellolewisville.com
  2. Okayed postcard invitation proofs (to be sent to Lewisville City Council) and picked up signing posters at my local FedEx Office. They’re fast, open late, and super nice staff.  That place rocks! 
  3. Contacted Lewisville Chamber of Commerce about putting news release in their weekly enewsletter.
  4. Contacted Lewisville book club members. 2 groups have Facebook pages!
  5. sent email to Friends of Lewisville Library & Lewisville library staff members inviting them to the signing
  6. sent event info to Dallas Observer through their event posting site.
  7. sent Greater Lewisville Newcomers Club an email about the event. Why? I saw on their site that they sponsor a book club.

 Kenny Green, the Lewisville Borders Sales Manager, said the 40 books he ordered are already in, so I’ll see if I can drop by tomorrow with posters, flyers, bookmarks, and see if I can sign some books to maybe do a little pre-sales.

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