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message 1: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Hello everyone,

So I decided to give google's advertising a shot and here are my results. I began the campaign on Jan 15th and let it run until Jan 22nd. I set the limit at a 10 dollar a day budget and put 50 dollars in my account. They charge a 5 dollar start up fee. Then I entered a bunch of key words. The most popular key word was Historical Fiction. I received most of my clicks from the keyword Barnes and Noble and most of my impressions from the keyword Amazon.

So this is how it looks on the high and low. On the 15 of Jan I received 17 clicks costing me 12 dollars. On the 19th I only received 2 clicks costing me.63 cents. By the time the campaign was over I received 83 clicks. I then owed google another $13.28 on top of my fifty.

Now the question is: How did this help me? Truthfully, I have no idea. While I could visually see my fan base increase when I did a Facebook Ad, with Google Ads, I have no idea if this Ad led to any sales, and I know it did not add any fans to my FB page.

Has anyone else tried Google Ads? What were your results? Do you believe it helped your sales?

message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Morrow (robertmorrow) I've used Google Ads for about two months. My rating is "close to worthless." The data is inaccurate (this morning they showed I had 1031 impressions that came from nowhere with zero clicks after reporting 12 impressions the day before). Early on I discovered that most of my impressions were on an Urdu language website, which isn't exactly the target market for contemporary American fiction. As soon as I limited geography to US-UK-Canada-Australia-New Zealand my impressions plummeted and clicks went to zero, which tells you there's a lot of competition for that space.

You really have to clearly define geography, play around with keywords, make sure those keywords are identical to the keywords in your meta data on your web pages and in general spend a lot of time without getting any results by which you can measure your efforts. It's valuable only for increasing general hits to your website, which can marginally help with search engine prioritization (or so I'm told). After thinking about it from a practical perspective, I realized I don't know anyone who ever bought a book from a Google ad---most people I know go to Amazon and use the reviews to help them decide.

The best advertising I have used so far is Goodreads, and I'm not just saying that to be nice. When I did the giveaway last month, hits to the website tripled during the week-long campaign and the number of people adding Ringing True to their to-read list quadrupled. I'm going to start running an ad on Goodreads tomorrow, so we'll see how that works, but the giveaway does get people to pay attention (and it's a very nice thing to do). When you think about it, it makes sense: we know the people on Goodreads are in the market for books. We don't know that about someone who does a Google search, but I'll bet searches for porn and Justin Bieber are more frequent than searches for historical fiction!

message 3: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments I love the idea of doing a giveaway,Robert, is this a complicated task to do? I would have no idea how to start a giveaway. How many books did you give, and how do you decide who wins? With the results you achieved, I'd love to try it. Thanks so much for your input.

message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Morrow (robertmorrow) It's pretty simple. Go to and read the instructions carefully. It's only for titles that are not yet released or was released during the last 6 months. Goodreads members check the list of giveaways and click on a button to indicate they're interested. Goodreads uses an algorithm to select the winners, then send you the addresses for mailing. You can also specifically request reviews from the winners (although the winners are not obligated to do so).

I gave away five books and ran my giveaway for a week. I have noticed that others used longer periods and I will probably do so when I do my next giveaway (probably in March). I have already received one review and two others are reading the book now.

message 5: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Love it, Robert, I will give it a try. I think I'll order some more books first. Thanks.

message 6: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Hi Robert,

So I put my book A Necessary Heir by LA Hilden in the Goodreads giveaway until March 5th. In the day in a half it has been listed I have 333 people who have entered the contest and close to forty people have added my book to their shelves as to-be-read. Wow, I'm very happy with Goodreads, I can't imagine the numbers by March 5th. Thanks so much for the great advice.

message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Morrow (robertmorrow) Great! I'm happy I could help.

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