Tales of a Rookie - Part 3

Self-promotion is a necessary evil of indie publishing. I could just hand it over to my agent, except I'm my agent. I feel a bit like Barf from Spaceballs:

Last week I posted a book trailer for 43 Seconds on my Facebook page. You may have noticed an enticing "Boost Post" button sits at the bottom of your page posts. I've always ignored it. But there it sat, calling to me like a siren leading a sailor to rocks. 

So I Googled it, and the internet told me never to press that button. Instead, just go light a handful of my own money on fire. It would have the same effect.

Of course I immediately pressed the button. Sure, the wisdom of the internet said it was pointless, but I was willing to conduct a ten dollar experiment. The boost button creates a type of ad which shows up in people's feeds. Just like regular ads, you configure your target audience and create a duration. When the duration and money are used up, the ad ends.

I boosted my video trailer for two days in the United States targeting men 18 - 55 using keywords related to science fiction. I added a link to my Amazon's book page with a teaser "Hop in the pilot's seat with James for 99 cents at http://amzn.to/28TDGpt." As the two days progressed, Facebook sent me cheery updates about all of the extra reach my post achieved. At the end, it gave me a summary:

Fifteen hundred people reached (which means, appeared in their newsfeed) with 364 video views. Facebook autoplays videos, so this was really 364 autoplays. 27 people actually clicked the play button on the video. Zero people clicked on the teaser link. The Likes/Shares were existing Facebook page fans.

Interestingly, demographics are also reported. Twice as many people in the 18-24 year old bracket had the video play in their feed. Because these were autoplays and not actual clicks, I interpreted this as 18-24 year olds were more likely to have the science fiction keywords in their interests, meeting my ad criteria. It's also possible Facebook simply has more users in the 18-24 age bracket than older brackets.

Lastly, the final test: sales. No impact on book sales. Doh! The wisdom of the internet was right.