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SPF-022: Using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Ads for Effective Lead Generation and Book Sales

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Social Media Ads are a big focus of our work here at the Self Publishing Formula simply because the days when you could organically drive traffic to your website and book sales pages through normal social media interaction are gone. That’s not only because social media is becoming more and more crowded but also because platforms like Facebook are adjusting their algorithms to make that kind of reach virtually impossible. Why? Because they want you to use their advertising platform instead. In this episode James and Mark give a summary of social media advertising and why they feel it’s the best approach for every self published author to find and target a specific niche of readers.

Facebook Ads for Authors: Which came first, the course or the need for it?

You might expect that a guy who’s created a course called “Facebook Ads for Authors” would tout using Facebook Ads. It’s in his own interest, after all. But in Mark’s case, he didn’t create the course because he knew it would sell (though he did know that). He created the course because he understood the changes to social media landscape and figured out how to leverage those changes to his own benefit. If authors are going to be successful at building a mailing list and selling books through social media, one great way is going to be through social media advertising platforms. The course is one opportunity for you to make that pivot alongside Mark, gleaning his hard learned lessons without having to make the same mistakes he did. This insightful episode will have you thinking differently about your social media strategy as an author and help you understand the need to tweak your approach and how to do it.

Why not every indie author will get the same results from Facebook advertising.

You might think that once you learn how to use Facebook advertising as an author, you’re all set. But it’s not that simple. Every advertising campaign targets a particular niche or genre fan base. Your appeal to your ideal reader may be effective but they may not have the means to respond as you’d like. You’ll hear more insights about issues like this in this episode about social media advertising.

But there are other social media advertising platforms out there.

The Facebook Ads platform is the most mature of the social media options but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one that works. In this episode Mark and James chat about their experience using both Twitter and Youtube ads and give you some hard numbers on the results they’ve seen. Depending on your market those may be very profitable platforms for you to learn and apply to drive mailing list signups and sell more books by building a larger fanbase. Hear the basics of how these platforms work in this episode.

Driving opt-ins to your mailing list is just as important as selling books.

One of your goals with any advertising is to sell books. But keep in mind that it’s only ONE of the goals. Mark believes that even more important than getting that one time sale is starting an ongoing relationship with a fan who could not only purchase more books in the future but also become part of a community that supports your work over the long haul. That happens through fan conversations, word of mouth, online community interactions, and much more. Find out why Mark says that building your email list is the most important thing you can do as an author – and why he recommends social media advertising as the best way to do that.

Outline of this great episode

  • [0:40] Introduction to this episode of the podcast about paid advertising.
  • [3:52] The Facebook Ads course was created because Facebook works.
  • [4:45] Why organic Facebook interaction is not enough these days.
  • [8:03] Is Facebook still good for paid ads geared toward sales and list building?
  • [11:08] How lead capture is working on Facebook these days (2016).
  • [13:20] How Mark also offers a purchase option during his lead capture process.
  • [14:30] How Facebook works best for direct sales of books.
  • [17:24] Why every business needs a mailing list.
  • [19:12] How Facebook is working for selling books in Mark’s experience.
  • [22:43] The reality of how Twitter ads work.
  • [29:07] New experiments using Youtube ads.
  • [32:12] How to get a FREE conversion on Youtube ads.
  • [33:41] The different types of videos you can use on Youtube.
  • [37:25] The problems James had with getting Youtube videos U.S. to work.
  • [38:43] The up and coming social media ad platforms.
  • [41:15] Lead generation and remarketing on Youtube ads.
  • [44:26] The ongoing changes to social media ad platforms.

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SPF-015: Heading for $1.5m thanks to FB Ads – With Adam Croft

Can you imagine the day that all your efforts at self publishing – the hard work writing, promoting, and planning your books – finally pays off? Today’s episode is one author’s story about how that has finally come about. After writing for just over 5 years and self publishing a number of books, Adam Croft finally has a best seller to his credit. His latest book, “Her Last Tomorrow” is currently the #1 self published book on Amazon and he’s on track to make over $1.5 million from it this year. You can hear the account of his journey from his own lips today as he walks through the work and strategies he’s followed to get this latest book into the hands of thousands of readers.

Facebook Ads for Authors is a viable method of promoting your book.

But you can’t do it willy-nilly. There has to be a plan and a strategy in place to make the promotional efforts work. And it’s also got something to do with the book that you’re trying to promote. Adam tried Facebook ads before with other books but for some reason they weren’t the exact right fit to garner the attention he was hoping for. But this last time things appear to have fit just perfectly. Adam chats a bit about his success with Facebook ads and speaks highly of how it can be used to get your book into the hands of your perfect readers.

The money is coming in for his self published smash hit… but not yet.

As most self published authors know, once your book begins to make sales on Amazon there is up to a month lag between the actual sales of the book and the day you receive your royalty payments. The delay is understandable but it can make it difficult to finance continued promotions like Facebook ads. Adam openly shares about that difficulty and the decision he made to tap credit cards and family to finance his promotions in light of the revenue that his book sales was generating, but that he hadn’t received. Hear how Adam made the decision so you can make your own game plan for financing the marketing side of your self publishing business.

As an indie author, you must learn how to think like a business owner.

That’s because you ARE a business owner. You are the manufacturer and marketer, your books or writings are your products. There’s no “home office” that will take on the distribution and promotion of your books so you have to do it. Adam has been blessed with a keen understanding of that dynamic and the will to make both sides of the self publishing process – writing AND business – work in his favor, to the tune of $1.5 million this year alone. You can learn a lot from Adam’s approach as he outlines some of how he thinks about the business side of his writing platform, so be sure you take some time to hit the play button on this one and hear what he has to say.

A structured approach to writing and business.

Adam loves his career as a fiction writer and he also loves the self publishing aspects of it as well. He approaches both with the same studied, careful approach so that he’s able to ensure that his goals, in terms of writing and book sales success, are fully met. From outlining his books methodically before he begins to write, to the discipline required to stay in the chair and do the writing, all the way to the number crunching required to make wise decisions about marketing and promotions, Adam is a great case study you can learn from. It’s all in this episode of The Self Publishing Formula podcast.

Outline of this great episode

  • [0:41] The introduction to this episode and a student of James’ course.
  • [2:19] How you can get involved in the Facebook course that changed this student’s life.
  • [5:00] The conversation with Adam Croft, student of SPF.
  • [5:42] The current standing of Adam’s book on  Amazon.
  • [6:52] How Adam began to see success with is Facebook Ads campaigns.
  • [8:00] Dealing with the lag between selling books and receiving the cash.
  • [10:00] Thinking about crowdfunding for successful authors.
  • [12:40] The overall story of Adam’s current success.
  • [13:40] Adam’s main tips for those who want to achieve what he has.
  • [15:43] Why writers have to think like business owners.
  • [18:43] The plot of Adam’s current best seller.
  • [19:55] Adam’s other books prior to this one.
  • [21:30] The direction Adam believes he’ll be going with his books in the future.
  • [22:35] How Adam structures his writing day in terms of habits.
  • [25:03] Software, structure, and Adam’s approach to writing.
  • [27:30] How it feels to be the #1 self published author on Amazon.
  • [29:00] The webinar on June the 7th with Adam.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

Webinar coming up on June 7th – Details and SIGN UP HERE.

Mark Dawson’s Facebook Advertising for Authors Course

Adam’s current best seller: Her Last Tomorrow

Scrivener – writing software

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SPF-013: Masterclass: A detailed look at a book launch – With Mark Dawson

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There are many, many things that go into a successful book launch. For a self-published author it can be enough to make your head spin. That’s why it’s such a great thing to have an experienced and successful self published author like Mark to walk you through his own best practices and mistakes. That’s exactly what you’ve got on this episode because Mark recently launched his most recent novel and took the time to record his own thoughts and comments each day as he progressed through his launch sequence. You’re going to be the beneficiary of his hard work as he walks you step by step through the things he did.

74% open rate and 53% click rate from Mark’s beta team.

One of the practices that many Indie authors have implemented is an advance or beta team of readers who serve the author in a few very important ways in exchange for a free, advanced copy of the book.

  • #1 – These readers help tighten up plot holes, errors, and oversights through feedback as they read the book
  • #2 – They provide reviews on Amazon and other retailers once they book is live on their platforms
  • #3 – They also can be a great source of encouragement and affirmation for the author

Mark’s beta reader team was fairly large (over 700 people) and they were very active in this most recent launch. You can hear how Mark fared and the role the beta team played in this episode.

Facebook advertising to accompany the book launch.

Once Mark had sent out his book to the beta reader team he began thinking through ways to leverage the book to his mailing list. Not everyone he mailed to opened the email, so he decided to upload that mailing list to Facebook and target ads for the book directly to those people who had not opened his initial email. That put the opportunity in front of them again in a way that many responded to by purchasing the book. But that wasn’t all he did with Facebook. Once the soft launch was over Mark used Facebook to advertise the book to specific segments of people, especially those who had liked or followed his pages, and sales benefitted greatly. You can hear how Mark went about making his Facebook advertising decisions in this episode.

The most successful launch to date.

Within the first few days of launching his latest novel Mark’s book was able to break into the top 100 books on Amazon and his U.S. sales were over 1600. That kind of success is the direct result of a well-planned, strategic launch using a variety of tools and approaches to market the book. You can hear Mark’s insights and feelings about the entire process as well as hear his insider tips about what he did and why.

How Mark helped his launch with a launch party.

Since his last book launched, Facebook has rolled out its live video streaming platform in full force. He’s already been using Facebook live video a bit and knew that he had a significant number of people who followed him on Facebook. So, with a beer in hand, Mark sat down in his home office and interacted with thousands of fans the night of the book launch. The post was shared all across facebook and got lots of attention all across the platform, boosting his books sales even more.

Outline of this episode

  • [1:32] Preview of next week’s episode AND a powerful upcoming webinar on Facebook ads.
  • [5:10] Mark’s audio diary for his book launch: Getting things to the proofer and editor.
  • [6:19] The manuscript is heading to the advance team.
  • [7:46] 74% open rate and 53% click rate for the manuscript sent to the beta team.
  • [9:51] Received the manuscript from the copy editor – 50 to 60 emails from beta readers.
  • [12:10] Cover reveal and prologue sent to the beta team & on Facebook. Positive responses. Pre-order links sent.
  • [14:45] Final changes made to the copy edited manuscript, sending for formatting.
  • [15:52] The soft launch: over 100 reviews already.
  • [18:08] The final touches done for the launch emails – 50,000 emails on the way.
  • [20:25] The most successful launch results: 1637 copies sold in the U.S. Broke the top 100.
  • [22:00] Using Facebook ads in conjunction with his email list and cover art.
  • [26:43] Total sales figures well after the launch.
  • [28:13] Reviewing the cover price – $17,000 profit so far.
  • [29:20] Spending more on Facebook this time.
  • [32:20] Things that went wrong during this launch.
  • [34:22] The Facebook numbers.
  • [36:00] The launch party and results of it

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