Facebook or Google – who should get a writer’s advertising dollars?

As a writer of suspense, my inclination is to tease you, twist things, and inject a bunch of mystery before I answer the title question. But fear not, o’ friend of the pen, ’cause I know we’re all crunched for time. So here it is, hands down, it’s Google.

I scheduled an ad campaign that centered on the fact that lots of people were going to receive eReaders this Christmas. Plus, it was the last week of December, and my latest book, The Brink, had been selected to be part of the Barnes & Noble Special Collections during December, the second time it has recieved that award. The more often a SP book is purchased, the more likely it is to turn the head of a B&N buyer, the more likely it is to be given some more shelf space in more B&N stores. I also linked the ads straight to The Brink’s eBook webpage on B&N.

Here are the ads, first Google:

  • New eReader?
  • Try the latest thriller from
  • “the next Dan Brown” for $8.
  • www.barnesandnoble.com/TheBrink
  • This ad was posted 74,560 times, and it was clicked on 466 times. The average cost per click as $0.23.

    Here’s the Facebook ad:

    New eReader?

    Facebook stats: posted 282,299 times, it was clicked 60 times, and the average cost per click was $1.16
    Let’s analyze the numbers. I got WAAAYYYY more clicks from Google for way less money ($1.16 per click on FB; $0.23 on Google) Also, due to the limitations of not being able to see if the people that clicked ended up buying books (I’ll have to wait until my quarterly report is posted from my publisher) I did see that my ranking on the eBook version of The Brink on B&N’s site did go way up.
    While next time I would run these campaigns at different times to really see how much using Google or FB impacted my eBook sales, I do think that people going onto FB are looking more to “hang out” or connect with friends than they are looking for products or services to buy.  Therefore, whenever I do online ads in the future, I think I’m going to stick with Google. I get alot more bang for the buck, and, in advertising, that’s the bottom line.  

    How Hugh Jidette can help build your author platform

    If you haven’t heard of Hugh Jidette, he’s a fictious candidate who’s running for president. While he isn’t real, he’s being used to gain awareness about the “Hugh-Ji Dette” problem in this country. For us authorprenuers (I just made up a word, like President Bush and Sarah Palin. Hmmm, Mark Fadden for president 2024?), Hugh Jidette is a perfect example of using humor to attract eyeballs.

    Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson’s long time sidekick on The Tonight Show, once said this about selling: “Make ’em laugh to get them to like you, once they like you, they trust you, once they trust you, you can sell them.” And while his critics would point out McMahon died bankrupt, that said even more about his ability to sell. He made to make millions of people laugh, which made them like and trust him over the years before he was able to piss all that money away.

    So, whether you’re a “serious artiste” or someone who thinks a compilation of fart jokes will give The Bible a run for its money in the number of copies sold, never forget that a huge part of your author platform is selling yourself. If you can make your readers laugh, they will probably like you; if they like you, they will probably trust you. Once they trust you, never give them a reason not to trust you. Do your best work. Make sure each word you write has a reason for being on the page. Make sure your next book is just as good as the last one. 

    So, fellow authorpreneur, what are you doing to make your reader laugh?

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

    ****************************************************

    Get a signed copy of The Brink 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING! Visit www.markfadden.com for more information. 

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    Here’s first base in your book marketing homerun

    I was actually planning on putting up another video that pertained to the plot of my latest novel, The Brink, when I stumbled upon Simon & Schusters Online Marketing Author Guides website. It is chock full o’ tips and tricks on using Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter, how to start a blog, etc. and best of all it’s geared specifically for authors. 

    Here’s the link:  http://www.simonandschuster.biz/author-resources/tips-for-promoting-your-books. Whether you’re just starting out with your book marketing or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s good information.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

    ****************************************************

    Get a signed copy of The Brink 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING! Visit www.markfadden.com for more information.

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    It’s time to leave the Batcave and press the flesh

    There are some really great blogs about writing, and more specifically, the art of marketing your writing. Case in point is today’s post from Eric at “Pimp My Novel.” Much like the Texas Rangers have been doing lately, he knocks it out of the park with his thoughts on networking. Writing may be art, but like John Grisham said, “never forget that writing is a business.” So, when was the last time you crawled out from behind your computer screen and did a little schmoozing?

    I’ve taken the liberty to copy today’s PMN post here. It really is a great blog and if you’re not following it, you should.

    Posted: 20 Oct 2010 07:00 AM PDT

    In a perfect world, mes auteurs, the writing business (like all businesses, enterprises, systems, &c) would be entirely meritocratic: everyone would get a fair shake, the best writing would be selected for publication, and talent, discipline, and hard work would pay off regardless of extraneous factors like luck, emotion, nepotism, and social status.

    Alas, dear friends, we do not live in a perfect world.

    Because of this, you have to do something besides read great books and write great books if you want to increase your odds of getting published: you have to network. And, as the name might imply, networking is… well, work. Details? Why, sure, if you insist.

    1. Networking is necessary. While some of you may have a strong negative—yea, perhaps even visceral—reaction to the prospect of spending any of your writerly energies doing anything apart from reading and writing, you need to understand that networking is a necessary part of the writer’s life.

    Think of it this way: if you’re interviewing two candidates who are more or less identical on paper and equally impress you in person, are you going to go with the candidate who was initially recommended to you by your Most Trusted Bro, or the guy who walked in because he saw your ad on Monster.com? Exactly. And, unsurprisingly, agents think the same way. This goes back to what I was saying two weeks ago about who you know: there’s a certain amount of prerequsite what (read: good writing) you’ve got to have, and after that, it’s all who.

    This is absolutely not to say that you must know someone in the industry in order to get published. All I’m saying is that the more people you know, the more doors you’ll open to opportunities that you might otherwise have missed by being an unknown quantity.

    2. Chances are, you know someone. Think about the people you might have a connection to in the industry. Does your best friend have an agent? Is your fraternity brother working in the industry? Do you have friends of friends in mfa programs, literary agencies, independent book stores? Is your aunt a book conference junkie? &c &c. Make a list of the people who you could reasonably ask about the industry, representation, getting your foot in the door, and so on. I’m willing to bet you’ll come up with more than you might at first expect.

    3. If it turns out you know no one, don’t despair. Okay, let’s say I’m wrong and you know absolutely no one in the industry (worse, you don’t even know of anyone who might even be related to the industry in the most tangential way). You’re not doomed if you query agents to whom you haven’t been recommended or haven’t met at conferences, so long as you follow their guidelines and send them a well-crafted query. In fact, if you get a “close, but no thanks” e-mail from one of them, you can refer to this if and when you query them with a different project down the line.

    In the meantime—and if you can afford it—consider attending conferences, readings, workshops, and other literary events, and do your best to meet industry insiders (authors, agents, editors, librarians, sales(ahem)people, &c) and develop strong professional relationships with them. The publishing industry isn’t really as impossibly huge as you might think, and any given person who’s been in it for a few years will have a lot of connections that might come in handy when you’re trying to sell your book.

    4. Relationships require upkeep. A quick note on the above: all relationships require work, and professional relationships (especially in this industry) are no exception. If your friend lands your dream agent, don’t let jealousy consume you: foster your relationship with that friend, ask about him or her, trade work, and hopefully down the line he or she will be able to help you get representation via recommendation to his/her agent, getting you in touch with an agent or editor who may be interested in your work, and so on.

    The flip side of this issue is: don’t be creepy. Don’t reply to form rejections from agents in an attempt to be Super Best Bros. Don’t pitch your MS to agents or editors at/in inappropriate times/places (e.g. the bathroom at T.G.I. Friday’s). Don’t corner your friend of a friend’s girlfriend’s brother’s former roommate at a party because he once worked at a publishing house after college. You get the idea.

    That’s all I’ve got for today, bros and she-bros. If you have any comments/questions/epiphanies/ideas/vitriol/profound insights/divine revelations, you know where to go.

    See what’d I tell you? Great stuff.
    BTW, I’m on vacation until Sunday, so we’ll pick up next week. Until then…

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

    ****************************************************

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    Get 20% off when you order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate unique gift at http://shop.markfadden.com/

     

    Direct mail strategies to sell more books, or, really, anything

     

    I know what you’re thinking, direct mail is so… done. It went the way of all relics from the 80s, like these two guys and that ‘Choose Life’ t-shirt that’s in the same box up in the attic with your leg warmers and Walkman.

    But, a recent study by Exact Target showed that 76% of Internet users are influenced by direct mail when making a purchase online. While direct mail may not close the sale anymore, it can, at least, start the conversation and/or direct people where to go on the web to find you and the internet storefront that sells your books (or jewelry, or leg warmers that might just come full circle and be the next big thing.)

    When you get some time, read the post about direct mail strategies on the nextdayflyers.com blog. I use NDF for all of my printing needs (bookmarks, postcards, business cards) Not only are they FAST printers, they have the best prices I have ever seen. (5,000 bookmarks for $165? No one can touch it) AND they have customer service that knocks the bell off every time.

    If you’re thinking about doing a direct mail piece to advertise your book as a Christmas gift, now’s the time. It’ll take a few days to create it, and a couple weeks for the turnaround (unless you go the way expensive, overnight route on printing and delivery). That puts us in November. If your book is available at the online stores, it’ll take a week to 10 days for them to ship it out, and don’t forget that shipping gets backed up around the holidays. So let’s say 2 weeks. Yup. Go ahead and order your midnight oil right about now.

    If you’re a numbers person, the conversion rate you should be shooting for in your direct mail campaign is 10%. That’s a really high rate, most only get 3-5%, but your goal should be high, right? So get cracking on creating that direct mail piece. You know you want to incorporate some wisecrack about the 80s in it now, don’t you?  That would be totally rad!

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

    ****************************************************

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    Get 20% off AND FREE SHIPPING when you order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate personalized gift at http://shop.markfadden.com/

    Book Signing Behaivor aka A Sure Fire Way to Get Readers Interested in Your Baby

    I love book signings. I may have mentioned in past posts that I DO NOT SIT DOWN! And neither should you. When I’m not signing books, I float around the store like a butterfly, but a determined butterfly with a specific mission. Armed with a handful of bookmarks, it is my goal to pass out as many of them to as many customers as possible. I always have one eye on my signing table in case someone is there waiting to get a book signed. 

    But here’s something new I learned at my signing at the Lewisville, Texas Barnes & Noble yesterday. It seems so simple. In fact, it’s idiotic that I haven’t been doing it from the start. The wonderful Community Relations Manager Debbe France mentioned it just in passing, in fact she was so matter-of-fact about it, the words almost passed me by. As I was setting up my signing, I told her that I like to walk around the store and hand out bookmarks, and if she’d be okay with that. She said she would, then she added, “make sure to have  a copy of the book with you to hand out to people that seem interested.”

    Boom. Show your customer the product. Simple, right? I’ve been so concerned with showing them the brochure of the product when this whole time, the product has been merely feet away and available for a test drive. Oy vey! How dumb could I be?

    So, I quickly changed my approach. Now, this takes a little feel on your part. You have to feel out your customer in just a few seconds, but most of us can tell if a person is open to being talked to or not. The ones that were, I handed them a bookmark to break the ice. If they were in the mystery or thriller section, I asked them who their favorite thriller author was. If they were in the cooking section, I asked if they liked thrillers. If they were young people, I asked them if their parents liked thrillers. Those questions let me know if my book was going to be something they would enjoy or want to buy as a gift. If the light was still green, I would excuse myself, jog to my signing table and grab a copy book. I would make sure to give it to them with the promise that the first two pages would totally suck them into the story. More often than not, they ended up buying it. Consequently, I had a very successful signing and nearly sold out of books.

    Sometimes it’s the simple things that make all the difference. And it is also those simple things that we often overlook. People are in bookstores because they want to preview books. Getting them to preview your book is probably 75% of closing the sale. A little small talk and a sincere interest in building a relationship with each of those readers will generally take care of the other 25%. Go get ’em, Tiger.  

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

    ****************************************************

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html

    Decreasing your bounce rate

    Bounce rates are important. Don’t know what a bounce rate is? You should. In the words of John Grisham, “never forget that writing is a business,” and bounce rates are the heartbeat of today’s author’s online platform. Whether about a website or a blog, your bounce rate shows you the percentage of people who bounce off to other websites or blogs rather than surfing more content on your site or blog. Chances are if you have a high bounce rate (high percentage) then folks aren’t interested in your site and they aren’t interested in your book. If you sell copies of your book on your site (and you should) then a high bounce rate is an area of concern. As soon as you finish reading this post, you should go fix your site or blog to lower your bounce rate. Don’t know where to find your bounce rate? Check your site analytics or blog statistics information.

    How to lower your bounce rate? I got these ideas from Karan Labra’s article on techfudge.net:

    Target the right audience.

    Bloggers tend to get high bounce rate because they may not be targeting the right audience. If you get visitors who aren’t looking for the content you provide then you give them no reason to stay on your site and navigate more. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you target the right people.


    Know what your visitors expect.

    If you are not able to provide what your visitors are looking for then they might not be concerned what else you have to offer. They will simply leave your page if they do not find what they were expecting . Just know what your visitors want and try to fulfill their needs.


    Internal linking

    Internal linking is a great way to keep your visitors preoccupied with your site rather than letting them think of visiting another website. Interlinking related pages is the best possible way to make your readers aware of the stuff you have to offer which interests them.

    Well you can use different plugins like:


    Modify your navigation.

    Integrate your categories in the navigation itself and make it reachable by your visitors. This will allow them to lookout more content and help them stay on your site for longer.


    Have a unique design

    Having a unique design makes your blog distinguishable from other blogs and will help your visitors register it in their minds. Moreover the more appealing your design is the more readers will it attract. People would like to stay on your site for longer rather than visit sites with ugly layout and bad navigation.


    Engage into discussions

    Carrying out healthy discussions on your blog will make it look alive and will make new visitors engage into those discussions too. This will make them stay longer on your site and thus again help decrease the bounce rate.


    My concluding words would be that, just keep investigating what your readers are looking for and provide what they are really searching for. Answering their real questions is the key to success. Be informative and helpful and you will see a significant improvement in your stats.”

    Good advice, right? More good advice comes tomorrow night as I recap my meeting with the North Richland Hills Lions Club. There’s gold in them there unusual venues, fellow writers! I also got some great ideas on improving our author presentations to community groups. If you follow these steps, you should double your potential book sales. You won’t want to miss these ideas!

    Until then,

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

    ****************************************************

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html