How I boosted my book to 30x more people

ebookI finally bit the bullet. I boosted a post on Facebook.

For years, I’ve seen that annoying little message you get on your author page about paying to boost your posts. Because I’m cheap (and still suspicious of social media’s REAL intent, i.e. who needs to know what I buy, who I connect with, and what I like? Creepy…), I refused to give it a try. If my books can’t make it on their own merits, so be it – I’ll be content with small audiences, extremely limited financial reward, and the personal gratification that I haven’t caved to crass commercialism.

And then last month after I started getting consistent raves about my new thriller “Heaven’s Gate,” I thought, “What the heck. It’s only $20.”

Actually, it ended up being $60, since I decided if I was going to experiment, I wanted to see what a week of boosted posts could do rather than one day, which is what $20 will buy. Knowing that most buyers need to be exposed to a product seven times before they buy (do you know the Rule of Seven?), I figured one day of boosting was throwing away cash, but seven days might just convert into some sales. I can now tell you, without reservation, that $60 worth of boosting on Facebook can go a long way in giving your book exposure and building your audience, and now I can’t wait to give my other books the same treatment.

Here are the numbers from my week-long experiment:

  1. Organic reach peaked at 305 on Day 7, while paid reach was 9045. That’s 30x more people reached than my normal posting! Not only that, but thanks to my OCD tendencies, I checked one last time on Day 10 (remember I only paid for 7 days of boosting) and was happy to see a new total of 9432. The post was still being shared after my paid boosting! Score!
  2. I monitored my book’s print and ebook rankings on my amazon Author Central page (you do have one of these, right?) for the boosting’s duration. By Day 6, my ebook ranking had reached 924 in the Paranormal category after starting on Day 1 at 3366; the biggest jump was from Day 1 to Day 2, which tells me that first burst of posting made an impact that powered the rest of the week. Recalling the Rule of Seven and the impact of repeated impressions, though, I looked again on Day 18, only to find my ebook ranking better than ever at 831!
  3. As for print, my book moved from its initial 76,331 ranking to 8535 on Day 5. Clearly, somebody was paying attention.

Even knowing that rankings are a superficial measure (rankings don’t equal sale units), I decided that post boosting may not be such a bad idea for marketing after all. While the actual sales numbers are still in question, I know for a fact that more people have seen my book’s cover thanks to post boosting than would have otherwise. And that’s one step closer to buying my book.

Have you tried Facebook post boosting? What was your experience?

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8 thoughts on “How I boosted my book to 30x more people

  1. I have a part time business and I’m a recently published author. I have tried post boosting and have mixed feelings about it. (Did you sell any books during that boosted posting?) I definitely think boosting improves visibility. But I tend to think that you have to throw a lot more money at it (and consistently) to really make a difference.

    • Hi Joanne! Since this was my first go-round with FB post boosting, I haven’t had experience yet with repeating the boost for consistent exposure. I do know that I did see some sales on my author central pages on amazon.com; that’s a great outcome, but I knew going in that my primary objective was to increase visibility, which I know happened. I’m sure the more you boost, the better for audience building, but I have yet to decide how much of my marketing budget I want to use on FB. Clearly, it will only be one component of my media strategy, and that’s an important take-away: you need a comprehensive strategy to maximize what you can accomplish across all social media platforms.

    • Hi Diane! I was surprised at how it could reach so many so fast. As I mentioned in the post and in my reply to Joanne, though, you have to be clear on what your objective is (visibility) because it’s not the same as sales.

  2. I regularly boost my posts to create buzz for my book which releases today. I also want more exposure to my blog. I won’t have actual sales numbers until the book is out for awhile but it has increased my visibility by a large margin. I’m a fan.

    • Your comment that the book needs to be out for a while is correct, since you can’t gauge impact on sales by one promotion. Hopefully, seeing it even briefly in their feeds will capture some people’s attention, but closing the sale is a longer term proposition when you’re working with the life of a book, I think. Thanks for checking in!

    • I used the boosting after my book had been out for almost 3 months, Kathryn. That way I could incorporate some key words from reviews that I felt might make an impact, since great reviews are more motivating and memorable for people when they hear about a book. I also used my hook – one sentence that catches the reader’s attention. For Heaven’s Gate, the hook was “What if science actually proved that heaven exists, along with life after death?” So that led the post, followed by a few quick comments. If you want to see the actual post, go to https://www.facebook.com/Archangelsseries/ and scroll down to July 27. Whenever I post about a book, I keep in mind that it is – first and foremost – sales copy.

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