Last year, I experimented with Facebook’s pay-per-click ads. I wrote out my thoughts in two blog posts: Do Facebook Ads Work for Authors, Part 1: Set Up and Do Facebook Ads Work for Authors, Part 2: Results. Since I’m a huge fan of Goodreads, I decided to try out their pay-per-click ads* since it sounded very similar to Facebook’s. You write a short sentence or two to entice people to click, and only pay when they do click. You’re also able to narrow down your target audience, something I love about these types of ads. I usually add in keywords like “urban fantasy,” “fae,” “magic,” and the names of a few urban fantasy authors since I think their readers may also like The Shadow Reader.
Goodreads gives you a few more characters than Facebook does, so I was able to include a couple more words in my ad. That didn’t seem to help, though. I started my ad on June 10th, and as of today, I have a total of 4 clicks.
A couple of weeks ago I changed the text of my ad so that it was exactly the same as the text of my Facebook ad to see if that made a difference. No. I’m getting less than one click a week. Contrast that to Facebook where I had several clicks a day, and quickly reached my $25 cap.
I have to admit, I was surprised my Goodreads results were so much worse than my Facebook results. Goodreads is a READING community. I thought people would be more interested in finding new books. On further thought, though, maybe they prefer to find new books through their friends reviews and not through advertisements.
Also, I think Facebook ads are much more visible than Goodreads ads. For the Goodreads pay-per-click ads, you usually have to scroll down quite a ways to see the small advertisement. Plus, I think there might be too many PPC ads running on Goodreads site. When I click through my account, I see different books almost every time, and most of the time, those books aren’t ones that I would read (not my genres).
So, my overall impression of Goodreads Pay-Per-Click ads? Not worth the effort.
Have any of you tried out Goodreads PPC ads? What did you think of them? And where is your favorite place to run ads of your books?
* The ads I’m talking about our the small ads with a tiny picture of a book and a few lines of text next to it. I’m not talking about the fancy square ads that are easily seen above the fold. Those ads are way out of my marketing budget.