Jeremy Reimer's Blog: Jeremy on Writing and Marketing

March 5, 2013

This was all possible thanks to Smashwords, who submitted my novel to the Apple Store and entered it in the competition to become one of 55 "Breakout Books" that will be featured on the Apple iBookstore UK and Ireland.

Here is the blog post with more details about the promotion:

http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/03/ap...

And here is the link to the iBookstore for Edge of Infinity!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/edge...
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Published on March 05, 2013 10:11 • 90 views
Well, the five days of free Facebook ads are now up, and I can report on the results:


Actions?
20
Campaign Reach?
32,362
Frequency?
2.1
Social Reach?
52
Clicks?
60
Click Through Rate?
0.088%
Total Spent?
$50.00


I set my ads specifically for people in the US interested in Reading and Literature. Out of the 30-odd million people in that category, my ad was shown to 32,362 people. Of the people who saw that ad, 60 clicked on it, and 20 people "Liked" the page.

For $50, that's $4 per Like. It is probably more effective to just go up to random people on the street and ask them to Like your page for $4 each.

The Likes did not translate into any sales. Which raises the question: why would someone "Like" something if they didn't want to buy it? Unless those 20 people were all former readers!

Overall, I don't think Facebook ads are cost-effective, at least not for me. They did get me over the 30 Likes threshold that allowed me to see "Insights" on my Facebook page, but that's about it.

So next week we're going to talk about Twitter.
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Published on March 05, 2013 10:09 • 53 views

February 27, 2013

I was about to leave the cozy confines of my friends in Facebook when I thought about placing an ad. It's easy enough to do-- I clicked on my Facebook fan page and clicked "Get More Likes". When it came time to put in my credit card number, however, I got cold feet. I didn't know how much they would charge or for how long, and had no idea what the result would be.

I'm not made of money here, and Mark Zuckerberg probably won't miss my few coins.

But an interesting thing happened. A week later I got an email from Facebook:

Hi Jeremy,

It seems like you tried to create an ad but didn't finish setting it up. To get you started with your first ad, we're offering you a free $50 CAD advertising coupon.


Well, cool! I clicked on the link and created an ad for Edge of Infinity. The object is to get more "Likes". You get to select the demographic that you want to target, so I chose United States -> Literature/Reading. This apparently hits about 24 million people, although obviously not all at once. For that you'd need much more than $50.

The ads by default cost $10 per day, so I will report back in five days and see if there were any results.
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Published on February 27, 2013 12:25 • 89 views

February 25, 2013

Everyone always says to use social media to market your new book. But what does that mean, exactly? Today we're going to look at Facebook.

It's relatively easy to make a Facebook fan page. You just sign into Facebook with your personal account, go to the page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and start making your page! Choose the Entertainment category, then select Book. Fill in the various blanks, and that's pretty much it!

Here are the pages I made for my books:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Edge-of...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-o...

You're supposed to be able to create a simpler URL (without all the numbers) but whenever I tried it, Facebook wouldn't let me create the page. Probably you need more Likes to do this, although they should tell you that before you start.

Of course, that's the easy part. The much harder part is getting people to your Facebook page.

You get people to see your page by getting other people (starting with your own friends) to "Like" the page, and then people who are friends with them will see the like in their timeline. I initially felt very shy and self-conscious about doing this. But it turns out that friends do actually like you and are happy to "Like" your page. Quickly, however, you run out of friends. You need to get 30 Likes to get to the "next level" on your fan page to get more information and stats. Mine topped out at around 25. Clearly I need more friends!

Will just making a page lead to sales? For me it did, at least a few, but I think these sales were to my friends. So we're back to the same problem we had before we started: how do we get people who we DON'T know to be interested in our book?

Next post will explore this a little bit more by switching to a different social network: Twitter.
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Published on February 25, 2013 21:43 • 102 views • Tags: marketing-publishing-facebook

January 15, 2013

I'm glad you found this tiny little corner of the Internet. My name is Jeremy Reimer. I'm a software developer and writer. Since 2005 I've written articles on computers and technology for the website Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com). I also write science fiction, which you can find here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/...

The purpose of this blog is to share some of the learning experiences I'm having as I try to figure out how to market my independently-published science fiction novels and stories. Welcome aboard!
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Published on January 15, 2013 20:21 • 117 views • Tags: independent-publishing, marketing, publishing, science-fiction

Jeremy on Writing and Marketing

Jeremy Reimer
How can an independent author get the word out? How do you market your books? What kind of sales are good, and what can you expect?

Come learn these things with me as I try to figure them out.
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