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

June 30, 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 17 of 365

 In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #3 of 5
  • Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour – the store visit
  • Get The Nightstand Diaries emailed directly to you!

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #3 of 5

 I’m doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. I started with an ad that 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 and sent it out to the “Political thriller” interest group, which there were around 1,200 on Facebook. With that ad, I had 15 clicks out of 19,858 impressions, which translates into a Click through rate (CTR) of .08%. So I chanTime 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. Here’s a screenshot of the ad in the right hand column:


I also changed the interest group to ‘author James Patterson’ rather than ‘political thrillers.’ Here are the new numbers:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
06/30/2010 94,052 25 0.03 0.80 0.21 20.00
06/29/2010 54,210 29 0.05 0.69 0.37 20.00
06/28/2010 7,555 4 0.05 1.08 0.57 4.32
Lifetime 155,817 58 0.04 0.76 0.28 44.32

 As you can see, the Click through rate (CTR) is still pretty low, but that’s to be expected. I’m now going to change the interest group to “Conspiracy Theory”, which there are 16,280 people and see what happens.

 I’ve also signed up for Google Analytics of my website. It’s relatively simple to navigate through the process and, most important, its free. Hopefully, it will tell me where my website visitors are coming from and, more importantly, if they are buying a book so I can see if the Facebook campaign is worth it.

 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 – the store visit

Man, do I love Borders. I hope they don’t close their doors like this story on says they will.

Anyway, I took my two posters…


 flyers and bookmarks by the store today. They had 40 copies of the book ready to go for the July 10 signing, so I signed a few in case they had some folks in who wanted a signed copy but couldn’t make the signing (always carry a black Sharpie marker, like a college freshman with a condom, except you’ll actually use the Sharpie.)

 I got an email from the store manager later saying because I gave them all that loot, he’s going to make a special end-cap display to help with in-store promotions. Viva La Borders!

Get The Nightstand Diaries emailed directly to you!

 Lastly, I added an option if you want this blog emailed directly to you. If so, please look in the right hand column and submit your email. Hopefully, you’ll start getting it emailed to you tomorrow, if I don’t jack something up, or I’ve had a beer or two to kick off the holiday weekend early.

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