Search:
 
 

Posts tagged with: ads

The Book Description and Ad Copy are Your Friends

A while ago, I wrote a blog post about why I had (reluctantly) embraced the synopsis. You can read the whole thing here, but the basic idea is this: by writing the synopsis before I started to write the book, I could make sure I had a story that was properly structured, with turning points in all the right places, so that it built to a satisfying climax.

Now that I’m self-publishing, I don’t write synopses anymore, but I do still outline my key turning-point scenes before I start writing. That’s a whole lot easier than writing a polished synopsis—yay!

Unfortunately, I’m not off the hook. The synopsis hurdle has simply been replaced by two others. Now I have to write the book description (that blurb you find on the back cover of the print book and on the book page at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, etc.) and the copy for any ads I want to run to promote the book.

I could save all this fun stuff (yes, that was sarcasm) for after I finish the book, but just like with my synopsis, I’ve found that it makes more sense for me to write them beforehand. Why? Because, left to my own devices, I write these convoluted plots that I absolutely adore, but that take pages and pages to explain to a reader. And, in a Facebook ad or book description, I don’t have pages.

By writing the ad copy and book description first, I know whether I can distill my hook down to a couple of short, compelling sentences. If not, no problem. I simply tweak the concept until I can—and I don’t have to rewrite a single word of my manuscript.

I start by writing my ad copy, because it’s the shortest. With only a couple of sentences to play around with, I stick with my hook rather than trying to give the reader a detailed description of the plot. I like to start with any popular romance tropes I’m planning to include in the book, and then show that I’ve put a unique spin on the tropes.

Example Facebook Ad - Pretty in Ink by Ava Blackstone

For example, the third book in my Voretti family series, Pretty in Ink, has both friends-to-lovers & fake relationship tropes. To put a unique spin on these familiar tropes, I gave my heroine an inconvenient tattoo of her ex-boyfriend’s name. Her (very conservative) parents are about to get their first look at the tattoo, and to keep them from freaking out and pulling the loan they’ve promised her to start her new business, she needs a boyfriend they approve of, with a name that matches her tattoo—and her childhood crush just happens to fit the bill. So, putting the tropes together with my unique spin, I came up with the following ad copy:

Liv needs a fake boyfriend whose name matches her tattoo. But can she survive a month with her childhood crush without falling in love for real?

You might have noticed that it doesn’t have all the details of my hook, like why Liv needs a boyfriend with a name that matches her tattoo—in a Facebook ad, I just don’t have the space—but it (hopefully) has enough to interest potential readers.

For my book description, I have more space, so I can expand on the ad copy to give some more detail. For Pretty in Ink, here’s my description:

 

Never close your eyes while you’re getting a tattoo—even if you have a pathological fear of needles.

All Liv Voretti wanted was a small, tasteful butterfly tattoo. What she got was her (now ex-) boyfriend’s name—the worst goodbye present in the history of the universe. With the tattoo about to be revealed thanks to a strapless bridesmaid dress, Liv comes up with a desperate plan to keep her judgmental parents from pulling their loan for her clothing design business. Convince the stable, responsible, incredibly hot family friend—who happens to have the same name as her ex—to pretend to be her boyfriend.

Even with your eyes open, sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of you.

The Vorettis are the closest thing to family Caleb has, and he’s not about to risk that relationship for a fling with Liv. She’d be bored with his predictable, color-inside-the-lines lifestyle inside a week. They’re just not compatible, even if she is the last person he thinks about before he falls asleep.

But when Liv comes to him for help, he can’t say no—not when he’s the reason she ended up with her jerk of an ex in the first place. But as their pretend relationship becomes all too real, Caleb must decide whether he’s going to stick to the plan, or take a chance on a woman who isn’t the person he’s looking for, but might be exactly who he needs.

 

Once I have my ad copy and book description done, it’s time for the easy part (yep, more sarcasm)—writing the book.

What about you? Do you like writing ad copy & book descriptions? Hate it? Any tips and tricks to share?

What I’ve Learned About Book Bub

Book Bub (BB) is a subscription service, which offers daily e-mails recommending free and discounted e-books to readers. Recently I was fortunate (after three rejections for my YA books) to have my Scottish Historical book featured on BB. With the feature coming up, I took the free RWA Webinar given by Carolyn Robertson of BB. Here is what I learned from her and from experiencing my first Feature Deal as a fairly unknown author. Please note that if I got anything wrong from the seminar, it is totally my fault.

Book Bub has ten million subscribers (okay, very impressed here). Most subscribers are over forty years old and tend to read a lot. Many are willing to read unknown authors. BB has about 1,620,000 historical readers who subscribe.

Book Bub has three opportunities for authors to have their books on their site. Featured Deals, BB Ads and Author Profiles. They are all very different beasts.

A Featured Deal (FD) is an ad sent out to subscribers in a one-time e-mail. Featured Deals go through a stringent selection process. Only 10-20% of submissions are accepted. There is a flat rate fee for being featured, based on the discount for the book and under which category it falls (Historical Romance on sale for $0.99 costs $604). The featured deal goes out to all subscribers in the book category.

Featured Deals Books:

Must be full length

Free or discounted for a limited time (lower price is better for selection)

A specific book can be a FD once every 6 months.

An author can have a FD once every 30 days.

Submit one month before your scheduled discount.

Authors can submit the same book over & over. It may be accepted at a different time & depends on what else has already been accepted.

 

What helps your book to be selected?

Good reviews – BB reads them

Author accolades

Multiple buy sites

Good historical performance

Content Fit – this can change based on trends. At the time of the seminar, historical trends for selection were Regency, Mistaken Identity and Marriage of Convenience. Infidelity and drug use did not fit well and were not selected.

Take seasonality into account – Christmas book in November

75% of selected titles are Indie Published, 25% Traditionally Published

In the Notes box for submission, say hello to BB reviewers.

 

Book Bub Ad Campaigns are ads placed at the bottom of the daily e-mails to subscribers.

Any author can promote any book at any time.

Author determines bid, budget and schedule – the bidding process is somewhat complex and is better described on the BB Partners web site.

Ads should be 300X250 pixels.

A URL for each ad should be distinct for a particular retailer.

Authors can choose their audience.

Running low budget tests ($10 – $20 each), to figure out best audience categories, is suggested.

An author can set up an audience who targets another author’s fans (similar books).

Partners@bookbub.com can help set up these creative ads.

 

Author Profiles is a place for all authors to showcase their e-books on BB for free.

Log onto BB and claim your Author Profile for free.

Put your new releases under your Author Profile before release or within 7 days after release to take advantage of BB’s free New Release e-mail to your BB followers.

Authors can only list e-books on BB’s site.

 

So, how about my FD? My book, CAPTURED HEART, is a Scottish Historical Romance published in 2012. It is 100K words and is the first book in a five-book series. My publisher discounted it to $0.99 for a two-week period. My book takes place in the 16th century and involves a mistaken identity. It has 75 reviews on Amazon (4.4 star average), and overall it has 455 ratings.

For the last year my poor book has been languishing around the 300,000 ranking number of paid kindle books on Amazon. At my request, my publisher submitted it to BB, and it was selected to be a Featured Deal (much jumping up and down at my house). My publicist created some ads I could use for the sale on social media. I also decided that I would pay to advertise the sale before and after the BB Featured Deal. My publicist thought advertising afterwards could keep the Amazon numbers up longer. The day before the sale started, it sat at 523,965 on Amazon’s list. (yeah, rock bottom). Here’s a table showing what happened after that.

 

Date

Time

Promotion

Amazon Paid Kindle Books Ranking

Jan 29

 

Before my $0.99 sale

523,965

Jan 30

 

$0.99 sale, advertise through social media

49,747

Feb 3 (Friday)

7:00 AM

Author Billboard Ad

59,800

Feb 3

9:00 PM

 

86,156

Feb 4 (Saturday)

10:30 AM

 

149,815

Feb 5 (Superbowl Sunday)

8:42 AM

BB Featured Deal

231,934

Feb 5

11:29 AM

 

52,091

Feb 5

2:08 PM

 

626

Feb 5

7:30 PM

 

74

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 6 (Monday)

6:37 AM

 

67

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 6

12:00 PM

Book Sends Ad went live at 11AM

78

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 6

9:39 PM

 

126

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 7 (Tuesday)

10:25 AM

Book Sends Ad ends at 11AM

198

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 7

4:55 PM

 

270

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 9

3:06 PM

 

864

#4 Scottish Historical

So, it looks like the small ad didn’t help, although it could have given some people a first glance at the book, so that when they saw it on BB, they bought. BB was indeed amazing for me, sending my book from 231,934 on Paid Kindle Books to 67 in one day. The Book Sends Ad (which cost me $90) may have helped my numbers stay up longer. I also ran a small ($10) FB ad on Sunday with the BB Feature Deal, and my publisher featured my book sale on their Steals and Deals page. It was a combined push, but BB was the main player.

What does this mean for my sales/royalties? I don’t know yet, but I will let you know if I see a good or bad ROI. Plus, the other four books in the series moved up significantly on the Amazon list (300K up to 14K).

Have you had a BB ad or Feature Deal? Did you have a good ROI? Where else have you run successful ads?

The Latest Comments

  • Addison Fox: That’s an awesome point, Vivi! Using this from the character’s POV is an incredibly...
  • Addison Fox: Thanks, Diana!!
  • Addison Fox: Thanks, Bev!! 🙂
  • Vivi Andrews: I love this Addison! I also love the idea of putting it into our books. No one us trying to be the...
  • Diana Layne: Loved this, Addison.

Archives