I've run a number of ads with Book Basset for a variety of genres. I've also run ads with groups that charge far, far more than $8. Every time I go back to Book Basset, I'm impressed with the quality of the results.
First, how Book Basset works. It's in essence laid out as a personal, daily blog of a friendly woman. You get great notes about what she's doing, how her chickens are doing, and so on. It's wonderful, It's part of the secret to their success. Readers look forward to getting these messages and reading them. They aren't seen as "marketing material" - they're seen as a friendly note. So people open them and read them.
There's the newsletter, which has 8,500 subscribers (as of October 2014) as well as the Facebook page (45,000 fans) and other feeds. Here's what a promotion on their website looks like.
So there's a few tasteful ads but mostly it's about her blog post and the books she's recommending. It's absolutely key that your cover image draw the eye, that the blurb draw them in, and that you have a good star rating. All of these are strongly visible to the reader and will be what compels the reader to click. If you don't have these basics nailed down yet, do it before you advertise. Otherwise you're creating a negative impression which will harm you going forward.
I always recommend running an ad for a FREE book. People click avidly on free. Have that then lead into your other for-pay books. But if you don't get them to try you, and realize they like your style, you won't then build the readership base for your library of content.
How about the results? Keep in mind that this is a list of "readers" in general, so not every person is going to like every style of book. That's natural and normal! Some people like horror. Some like romance. So you can expect a portion of the readers to click through, but certainly not all of them.
In my experience, I get 400 to 600 downloads per ad run. These reports are direct from Kindle's reporting interface and the top spike is the day of the ad run. Each one is a different, free book.
Again, I am doing these ad runs explicitly for free books, on Kindle only, as a way to drive in a volume of readers to try my style. A portion of those readers are then hooked and keep reading. So I want as many readers as humanly possible to start into the funnel so that when it filters down to those who connect with my style I get as many readers as possible.
At 600 downloads per $8 spent that is just over a penny spent per reader of my book. And the follow-through of these readers is fairly high - that is, a large percentage of these readers go on to buy my subsequent books. So these don't tend to be "free book collectors" who just download everything in sight but don't actually read anything. They tend to be people who will, if you give them a book they enjoy, keep buying the series.
In general, I highly recommend Book Basset for running ads. My suggestions here are:
* Make sure the ad is for a FREE Kindle book that then guides people into your other for-pay books
* Make sure your cover, blurb, and star-rating are stunning. That is what will get people to click
* Run just one ad per book! If you keep trying to hammer the same book to the same audience, you just can't get good results. Each month, feature a different book.
Featured Author Plan
BookBasset also has a featured author plan where an author can list up to five books. Some authors choose to use this to show all five books in a series. For example the free first one, the 99 cent second one, the $2.99 third one, and so on.
THIS DOES NOT WORK WELL.
Either someone likes the first book or they don't. Showing them more books isn't going to change their mind about liking the first book. If anything, they might not like one of the other covers and decide not to get into the series after all. You need that one first book to be POWERFUL. To seal the deal. And then once they read it they have to be sucked in. At that point it's the book's responsibility to get them hooked. Not the next book's cover.
The best way to use the featured author plan is to wait until you have multiple free intro books and promote each one. That way you reach a larger audience. Maybe one book is about dystopian wastelands and one book is about medieval romance. Someone might adore topic 1 and not be interested in topic 2. Maybe someone else is the reverse. And maybe someone loves both! By doing the feature you can hit five different groups at once, for one low fee. You don't have to do the normal wait-thirty-days before you run another ad with them.
So by all means use the featured author plan if you have multiple free series lead-ins. I've done this and gotten good results. If you're just planning to blast a single series of books, I wouldn't recommend it. It can actually cause more harm than good. What you want is people to focus on that first book, be blown away by it, and download it. You don't want them distracted from that mission. If they're not keen on the cover for book 2, or 3, you might actually dissuade them from trying book 1 before they get hooked.
FTC Note: I'm not associated with BookBasset in any way, and I'm not an affiliate. I make no money through this endorsement. I simply love BookBasset and am happy to recommend them to other authors.
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