As many of you might know, Facebook is a big thing in the book publishing community for generating sales. It’s particularly important for me since my writing doesn’t exactly hit the tropes in the genres that they’re written in (see the giant discussion in r/ProgressionFantasy about A Thousand Li or the fact that I have a PoC bisexual lead for the System Apocalypse). As such, while my work might have great name recognition; existing audiences are generally tapped out.

The other problem with the sub-genre I’m in is that while it is organically growing; the number of individuals actively growing the sub-genre themselves (via advertising, etc.) is pretty low. 

That’s all to say, I need to advertise if I want to keep earning (especially for my backlist).

The Problem with Facebook

Many of you might have heard that Facebook saw a huge drop in their share price a few weeks ago. You might not know that’s because of the change in iPhone’s cookie tracking methodology that messed up their advertising platform. Android is about to do the same too, so that’s going to hurt things even more.

On the backend, it didn’t seem to matter much. Oh, efficiency dropped a little but not a huge amount. It cost me $0.05-0.10 a click more when it first changed.

However, two weeks ago (roughly at time of writing) Facebook started making changes to their audience dynamics.

And suddenly, our CPC shot up hugely. We went from around 1500 clicks for our budget down to 1100 clicks. That resulted in a significant drop in our daily revenue too (roughly what I would say to be around $200 a day).

Potential Solutions

The simplest thing to do is to increase our budget. If we are spending a $100 a day now, if we lost 27% of our readership, we just need to increase our budget to say $130 a day. That’s now going to get us back up to our previous levels (all else being equal – and, of course, it might not be).

Problem is, this change might have to happen again when Android kicks their non-tracking options in. If we see similar (or probably HIGHER!) levels of alteration to our audiences, we might be paying nearly a $100 more to generate umm… $200 more in sales? Maybe. 

Still, you might say, it’s a net benefit right?

Yeah. But when it comes to marketing budgets, you have to remember that there’s additional cost involved beyond just the money you give to FB. From time managing the work to finding new graphics to writing the headlines to just recording and analysing sales. Nevermind the fact that there is a time delay in sales too.

So what can you do?

Find new marketing avenues. That’s the big job for this year. We’re looking into a variety of options, and if you’ve got any feedback of where you learn about books to read, I’d love to hear it. 

Because I can see the death knell for FB here and now. Finding new advertising centers seems to be a requirement if we don’t want to see a huge drop in sales this year (we’re already going to since we’ve got this huge blank space in the summer for our publishing schedule AND we ended the System Apocalypse). 

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