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

July 7, 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 24 of 365

 In this issue:

  • Facebook campaign changes
  • Get sales info or die tryin’
  • A cool plot device for a mystery
  • ‘Pimp My Novel’ – a blog name I wish I had thought of

 Facebook campaign changes

 I’m just going to go ahead and call July my Facebook ads month. Although I’m still flying blind as to how effective they are in the sales dept., I can see that some folks are clicking on my ads. Plus, as I change and tweak them, I can see which ones at least peak interest and which don’t so I can use them during my ‘search engine ad’ month, which will be August or September.

Here’s today’s ad campaign #s:

Campaign Run Status Last Updated Budget/day Clicks Impressions CTR (%) Avg. CPC Spent
07/07/2010 1 21,669 0.005% $0.72 $0.72
07/07/2010 9 54,504 0.017% $0.60 $5.43
07/04/2010 43 196,924 0.022% $1.16 $50.00
07/07/2010 60 354,461 0.017% $0.72 $43.04
07/02/2010 67 218,665 0.031% $0.76 $50.92
  Totals       180 846,223 0.021% $0.83 $150.11


I had 9 people click on the Lewisville Borders book signing invite, but they didn’t actually RSVP. Do people normally do that on Facebook invites of people they don’t know?

 I also stopped the eBook ad and started a new ad entitled “Fiction come true.” Here’s the screenshot with it:


When folks click on it, they are taken directly to my homepage.

 Get sales info or die tryin’

 This title is my homage to Fitty.  Have you seen the pics of him after he got so freakin skinny for that movie role? It reminded me of the dude in the movie Seven who got strapped to the bed for a year and eventually swallowed his tongue. Christian Bale (aka Batman) also did a similar mad diet for the movie The Machinist. These guys are something else. What they’ll do for their art form.

 On the last blog, I explained how I found out how to get current sales info from through Nielsen BookScan. Being so used to getting free information over the web, I thought it’d be gratis. Oh no. Each report is $85. Damn! And eBook sales reports aren’t available yet. I have an email into my publisher about getting some info that isn’t “historical” (i.e. month old sales reports) by Internet standards, so again, we play the waiting game.

 A cool plot device for a mystery

 I saw this article about the “Grim Sleeper” and then read about how he was eventually caught through his son’s DNA. What a cool plot device for all us mystery writers! 

 ‘Pimp My Novel’ – a blog name I wish I had thought of

 I will readily admit that Eric’s blog is waaay better than mine. He works in a sales dept. of a publishing house. A direct quote explaining his blog: “There are a lot of blogs out there that cover the agenting and editorial aspects of book publishing, but here you’ll find out what happens to your book after it’s been acquired.” Check it out, it’s a cool blog packed with good information.  

 And as always, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step…

 Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow.