Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Google Ad Words is an interesting way to advertise online. Signing up is fairly easy, and then short, targeted ads, which the advertiser writes, based on an interactive form, direct internet users to a designated website. Of course, at that point it is up to the site owner to develop a compelling “Let’s buy!” message. Aye, there’s the rub. (My apologies to Mr. Shakespeare.)

After a week, I realized that ten people had clicked on one of my ads and been directed toward my website. Perhaps more interesting, the number of impressions, or ad listings, had zoomed past one thousand. During a roughly two month long campaign, 269 people have “clicked through” and my ads have run more than a million times. I’ve seen several “Google Alerts” as well, so the ad campaign has gotten people checking me out.

Will this increase my sales at all? Neither of my publishers have shown a single sale via their sites, but it can take months for third party sales to show up. My budget for this endeavor was to spend less than a con visit, and having spent the same amount as one night at the Chattanooga Wingate, it is time to cancel the campaign. I rather doubt that I will earn as much as I spent, so this is yet another failure if “Return on Investment” is the only measure of success.

However, being a writer is all about sharing stories, and doing the Google campaign is much like seeking a berth as a sci fi con guest, or like making a speech at a library or a civic club event. Quite simply, I’m trying all reasonable avenues to get my books into the hands of readers, so they can enjoy my stories, and perhaps they’ll recommend one of my tales to other readers as well.

When the new year rolls in, I’ll be exploring one or two other ways to market the two books I have published. Anyone out there seen a “book trailer?”

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At Jan 23, 2007, 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Sun Singer said...

gI ran Google adwords and some misc banner campaigns when "The Sun Singer" first came out, but neither one returned more than a fraction of the cost of doing it.

I'm becoming convinced that since readers (when selecting fiction) choose authors they know, I should have taken more time building up an "Internet Presence" through multiple blogs, squidoo lenses, comments left on other blogs, submissions to ezines and Associated Content. Without a publisher to create buzz, writers are going to have to figure out how to do it. Unfortunately, if a reader doesn't know my name before s/he sees the title of my book, s/he is unlikely to buy it.


At Jan 24, 2007, 8:33:00 AM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Really, this was an experiment for me in how the whole Google Advertising thing works, as much as anything else. I tried out their basic service, then I moved to the more advanced one, including trying to target specific sites, demographics, and bidding for search. The sites which seemed to give me the most hits were things like "quote of the day" or something similar, which seemed rather odd to me, but that is why I chose to experiment.

In some cases, words like "mystery" were $5 per hit, and I had trouble figuring out who would bid that high! Certainly, I didn't ever bid beyond fifty cents, and on those I lost money even if each hit had resulted in a sale at Fictionwise.

However, I did see Trinity on Tylos move up at FW, and it did sell something at WCP, but until the February royalty statement comes, I won't know how many copies I managed to sell.

I'll be interested in seeing how things go with your blogs, ezines, and so forth. I made more $ on webdesign in ’06 than with my writing, and I think that will be the case in ’07 as well.

As for the AdWord campaign, I can truthfully tell webdesign clients how it works, and that was one of my original goals.


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