Kindle Countdown Case Study: Day 6

Day 6 Stats 

Book #1 Sales: 168
Book #2 Sales:
Book #3 Sales:
Paperback Sales:

Total Sales:

Page Reads:

Rank USA:
Rank UK:

Royalties: £173.69

Facebook Ad Spend:
BookBub Ad Spend:
£15.00 (approx)
Amazon Ads Spend:
£10.00 (approx)
Promo Sites Spend:
£106.63 (approx)

Total Ad Spend: £247.00 (Approx)

Profit: -£74.00 (approx)

No Profit? A Loss?

The first thing you’ll notice from the above stats is that we actually made a loss yesterday; this is mainly due to the cost of the promo sites, as, unless you have a BookBub Featured Deal, it’s difficult to make any profit directly from the promo sites.

But we’re ok with this, because the profit will come after the promotion has ended, when we’re high in the store, so we’re getting more visibility, and the price of the books have gone back to their standard prices of $2.99 for Book 1, $3.99 for Book 2 and $2.99 for the companion novel.

Also, with all the visibility the books have had over the past week, there would have been lots of KU borrows; we can’t verify how many, as Amazon doesn’t provide us with that information, but as people start reading the books they’ve borrowed, we’ll see the page reads come in and we’ll start claw back some of these losses.

Profit was never the objective of this promotion; it was visibility and bringing new readers into the series in preparation for the launch of Book 3. With the amount of sales over the past week, we are likely to see an increase in email subscribers too - we have a short story as a reader magnet at the back of Book 1 which has been popular with readers over the past 3-4 months since we introduced it. 

Facebook Ads

Once again, as is pretty standard practice with launches and promos, I increased the Facebook Ads budgets today, by around 20%, which should stand us in good stead for the final day tomorrow.

The Facebook Ads themselves are getting a few comments, shares and reactions, which is great as it’s social proof for the books themselves. It's difficult to build up a huge amount of social proof on any single Facebook Ad in 7 days without putting thousands, even tens of thousands of pounds/dollars into ad spend; however, I'll take all the social proof we can!

The cherry on the cake, it also helps to reduce CPC’s a little too. As we are scaling however, it’s unlikely we’ll see much, if any, of a reduction in CPC’s, because the more you scale, the higher the CPC cost.

I mentioned yesterday that Facebook stopped short of spending our full budget on the ads and I was concerned that they may have put an account spending limit on us.

Suffice to say, they haven’t!

They spent around £115 of our £125 allocated budget, so I’m happy with that and it’s reassuring to know that we can spend more tomorrow for the final push without being throttled.

BookBub Ads

We found gold! The new creative with the ‘Ends Tomorrow’ wording and the same layout as the winning creative from Day 3, has definitely done the trick; and I’ve also found 3 strong comp authors to use for tomorrow's big push and for future promotions that returned CTR’s of between 3.72% and 4.5%, which is fantastic - anything with a CTR over 2% is good, over 3% is better, and over 4% is pure gold!

There was one target that performed extremely poorly (0.39% CTR) with this 'Ends Tomorrow' creative, but at least I know this is an audience problem rather than a creative problem.

And sending people directly to the series page on Amazon has definitely made a huge impact; just make sure that you mention the number of books and the price on your ad and that your ad is congruent with your series page - i.e. if you say 3 books for $0.99 each on your ad, make sure there are 3 books on your series page and that readers can buy all of them for $2.97 if they so choose.

Despite spending around £93 on BookBub Ads to find this gold, it’s worth every penny, because of the huge conversion that BookBub Ads produce; they are the only advertising platform that is dedicated to books, outside of Amazon.

On top of the conversion, everything I’ve tested this week so far has generated invaluable data I can use going forward - audiences (comp authors) and creative (layouts and copy).

Amazon Ads

I turned off the UK Amazon Ads today, as they just aren’t doing anything in terms of sales or page reads, but they are spending a bit of money and I’d rather put that money into BookBub Ads that I know are working much better than the Amazon Ads.

I’ll keep the Amazon Ads running in the USA as they are starting to kick in a bit more now; still not profitable, but they are generating 1-2 sales per day, plus some page reads, so the algorithm is starting to associate my ads with sales, which will help with relevance and CPC’s.

The Lockscreen Ad still hasn’t had any impressions yet, so will leave it another couple of days and then look at increasing the bid and see if we can get something moving. With the bids being pretty high for Lockscreen Ads I’d feel better if the books were at full price anyway, to be honest, as it helps with ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

Promo Sites

We had 3 promo sites booked for today: 

From a units sold perspective, these promo sites have made up for the drop in sales yesterday which is great. I can’t track which promo sites did the brunt of the legwork in terms of sales, as it’s tricky to track the performance of individual promo sites, particularly during a launch or a promo. 

Despite the higher Ad Spend on Facebook, I’m convinced that the promo sites helped with the increase in sales today.

All 3 promo sites together cost a total of $135 (£106 approx) and whilst I’m unlikely to know what the ROAS was on this spend directly, it’s helped give the books a boost in ABSR and therefore produce more organic sales.

So overall, I’m happy with the performance of these sites and I’ll be using them again for the launch of Book 3.

If the launch was only a month away, however, I wouldn’t use the same promo sites again; I like to leave it at least 3 months before using the same promo sites to allow the audiences on the platforms to build up more and avoid the same readers seeing the same book again. Likewise, a lot of the promo sites have this type of limit setup so that their readers don’t see the same books on sale too regularly.

Plan For Tomorrow, Day 7, The Final Day

Despite the loss today, I’m pleased with how things panned out. Bit of a shame we didn’t break the Top 1000 in either the UK or USA stores, but hopefully we can achieve that tomorrow for the final push.

Speaking of tomorrow, my plan is to leave things pretty much as they are. I’ve got some new Facebook Ads scheduled with ‘Ends Today’ copy to introduce scarcity. And I’m leaving the campaigns that have been running all week as they are; the total budget on Facebook Ads tomorrow is around £200.

With the USA Amazon Ads, I’m going to leave alone completely as they are doing ok; not profitable yet, but they are learning and improving each day. 

With the BookBub Ads, I’m going to use a similar approach as I’ve used today and change the ad copy on the creative to ‘Ends Today’ and using the same winning layout.

As I’ve now found some winning audiences in the USA, I’m going to roll these out to the UK as well tomorrow and see if we can achieve some good CTR’s here too. I’ll just change the ad creative to use the “£” symbol rather than the “¢” symbol; you’ll get better results when you tweak the ads to suit the audience you’re targeting, which makes a lot of sense and is one of the key fundamentals of advertising.

On top of this, I’ll keep an eye on the ads throughout the day (once the BookBub email has been sent out) and keep topping up the budgets of the campaigns that are performing well.

We also have 5 Promo Sites booked for tomorrow, so I’ve stacked them up for the final day to see if we can break into the top 1000 on both the USA and UK stores and ride the wave of the higher rank for as long as possible.

So that wraps up Day 6 of the KCD promo; I’ll be back tomorrow for a summary of the final day!