Amazon Web Services and Facebook Ads for Books

My husband and I spent our Monday working on our side projects.  As a modern day author, marketing and publicity is just as crucial as writing, so I make an effort to understand the current technology trends.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services is the latest rage, and I wanted to get myself acquainted with it.  My husband explained Amazon Web Services is like buying a computer at a hosted location. It has less restrictions than locations hosted by others, and best of all, its free for a year!

My husband and I setup my account, following step by step instructions from a youtube video, and patted ourselves on the back when we were done. Then what?

I had hoped Amazon Web Services would allow me to use Google Analytics for my blog. Google Analytics supplies statistics on who clicks on your site.  Eventually, I would like to use that information to tailor my blog and website to the interests of my readers.

My Fallout with Amazon Web Services

Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that most sites on Amazon Web Services use WordPress because they are easy and free to build. This was disappointing since free WordPress sites don’t allow free use of Google Analytics.

Another reason to use Amazon Web Services is to manage the computing power your site needs. While I have dreams and hopes of having a highly read website, at this point, WordPress can handle my number of readers.

I learned a lot, but ultimately, I decided not to use Amazon Web Services. I’d be interested in the benefits others are finding for their blog / author website hosted on Amazon Web Services.

Facebook Advertising

I wasn’t going to let my disappointment with Amazon Web Services ruin my day off. I turned to advertising, and where best to advertise but Facebook!

My goal was to determine what type of ads potential readers respond to the best. I created two ads.  One with a cover of the book and one with a witty picture. Both are included below:

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Facebook is picky about the amount of characters in the message and the amount of text in your picture. They also require you to create a facebook page for your service or product.  Here’s the link to my book series facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AfterlifeLessons

I setup a campaign for these ads with a budget of $100, and after a week I will go through the data and report back.  In addition to which ad resonated best, I will also see the breakdown by demographics, age, and geography.  Pretty neat!

What other facebook advertising tests are others running?

Recap of The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout Campaign

I may not have won Kindle Scout, but I learned a heck of a lot about blogging and marketing.  This blog post is recapping my 30 day campaign:

Launch on #KindleScout and a #CoverReveal

Using Real People as #Fictional #Characters – #ArtisticLicense and #TBT

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The Proper #Setting for a #MagicalRealism #Book

Vita

Made Up Words, the #Language of a #Fiction #Novel

Visumary and Ableptic Definitions

Who would you want as your #art #teacher?

Art Teacher

#MondayBlog – Mapping Out Your Novel’s #Fantasy #World

Map of Vita Post Mortem Academy

#BookTrailer #BookMarketing and #KindleScout

My #cat Baby Thor is #marketing my #book

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What Influences Your #Setting Descriptions?

The Dreadfort

Write in Your Own Voice

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Technology in Literature

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#BookMarketing for my #KindleScout Campaign

MarketingPlan

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3 Qualities of a Great #English #Teacher

English teacher

Ensuring the Proper Sequence of Events for Your #Book

Vita Calendar2

Managing Your Social Media Presence – #twitter #facebook #youtube #pinterest #wordpress #tumblr

Merciless Necropolis

A Cast of #Actors for Your #Book

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#BookMarketing and #TagsForLikes.com and #Einstein

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New York, the City I Love

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That Time I Elbowed Jimmy Fallon

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GhostFeed and Wikispirit

GhostFeed

Wikispirits

My Kindle Scout Experience

Introducing The Light of Supremazia on Amazon

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE LIGHT OF SUPREMAZIA!

Introducing The Light of Supremazia on Amazon

“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”

Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons series, is dedicated to those who have passed away, but who’s spirit remain with the living.

The book is now available on Amazon (CLICK HERE!).

About the Book

Think it’s difficult to get into Harvard University? Try Vita Post Mortem Academy, a prestigious high school where John F. Kennedy teaches a class called American Ghosts stories, Albert Einstein grades science tests, and history’s most brilliant and deceased minds make up the rest of the teaching staff. Not a problem for Jules Winklevoss, one of the few who can see spirits.

Getting into school was a cakewalk, but Jules learns not all spirits are engaging and inspiring teachers. Fourteen years ago, Jules’s family thwarted an evil spirit’s rise to power. Now, the evil spirit wants revenge on all Winklevoss’s, beginning with Jules. As if evil spirit problems aren’t enough, add best friend drama, unattainable boy crushes, and homework to the mix, and needless to say, high school is going to be dreadful. Jules is determined to protect her family and keep herself alive, even if that means delving into the world of the dead.

afterLIFE Lessons Book 1 - The Light of Supremazia

My Kindle Scout Experience

My Kindle Scout campaign for my book, The Light of Supremazia ended this week. Unfortunately, my book was not selected to be published by Kindle’s publishing house.

Stay tuned for another blog post with the link to buy the book on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing website (aka self publishing).

I am sad, but as I mentioned in my first post at the beginning of the campaign, it was a great marketing effort and a way to get supporters involved.

As the days ticked by and I reviewed my stats, I had a feeling I wouldn’t win. The are bloggers out there with tens of thousands of followers. When they post their book on Kindle Scout, they automatically have tons of votes. I’m not saying this is unfair, just a reality. Blogging and writing books isn’t my day job, so I was starting from a few yards behind already.

I also wonder if the cover sells the book on these crowd-sourcing campaigns.  How many people actually read the free excerpt from my book?

Or perhaps September is a bad month to market a young adult book since most kids are back in school?

Kindle Scout is vague when it comes to the actual parameters to “win.” For others who are looking to try Kindle Scout, here are the stats from my campaign:

KindleScoutStats2 KindleScoutStats1

GhostFeed and Wikispirit

Its fun inventing things for my novel. I love putting a fantasy twist on existing items. Here are two of my favorite from my book, The Light of Supremazia.  It’s trending as HOT on Kindle Scout!  Three days left to vote for it on Kindle Scout!  CLICK HERE!!!

GhostFeed is a social, content-driven news and media site reporting all things relating to the spirit-seeing world. It has updates on the latest spirit gossip and nostalgic lists of spirit-seeing pasts.

GhostFeed

Wikispirits is a collaborative encyclopedia about all things spirit related. Want to know who was the first principal of Vita Post Mortem Academy?  Look it up on Wikispirits.

Wikispirits

Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout here!

What do you invent for your fantasy novels?

That Time I Elbowed Jimmy Fallon

What better time than now to tell you about my serendipitous moment with Jimmy Fallon?

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The Year: 2003.  It was Christmas time during my freshman year at New York University.

Thirty-Fourth Street was lit up with strands of red and green lights and packed with tourists.

My best friend, Emily, had taken the Long Island Railroad, and when I picked her up from Penn Station, she gave the bums a tentative glance.

I was going to assuage her concerns.  I had just finished my first semester, and felt on top of the world. Manhattan was my kingdom, and I was going to show my best friend how I reigned as queen.

We walked along Sixtieth Street arm and arm, our heads held high, immune to the cold and unaware of our innocence. Bursting through the old time-y double doors, passing by the opulent and playful oddities, we announced our arrival.  We were the most important people there.

I walked straight up to the distracted hostess…

…and waited…

…and huffed…

…and waited…

…and put my hands on my hips…

…and waited…

…and right as the hostess looked up with a condescending smile, I felt someone push against my arm to get past.

No.

I was the queen in her kingdom. No one was going to get their table before me.

I pulled up to my tallest height, pushed my elbows out a little more, and would. Not. Let. This. Person. Past.

Just as I was about to give this guy a piece of my New Yorker mind, I caught of glance at the line-cutter.

Giggles erupted.  It was Jimmy Fallon.

Too high to notice, Jimmy probably didn’t have a clue what just happened, but Emily and I went from confident, controlled ladies of Manhattan to hysterical, little girls.  We rushed out of the restaurant as quick as possible.

afterLIFE Lessons Book 1 - The Light of Supremazia

Unrelated to anything I just wrote, vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!  CLICK HERE!!! 6 days left!

#BookMarketing and #TagsForLikes.com and #Einstein

Book marketing is not a clear cut task.  There are no guaranteed marketing plans, and there’s lots of advice out there that might not work for you.

Ensure you have a solid product, because content is king.  Otherwise, the rest is up in the air.

Since there are no foolproof promises, I thought I would try as many techniques as I could. One friend’s blog advised to jump on the newest trends and try to ride the wave.

I liked that advice, so when another friend told me about #TagsForLikes.com, I went for it.

IMG_0556.PNGOnce you download the app, you search for the topic you will be instagramming about, and the app provides all the trending hashtags.  Copy those hashtags into your post and voila!  My post below tripled the amount of likes I had been receiving.

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So far, it seems to be working pretty well.

Perhaps it’s a stupid trend, but as Einstein says:

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Speaking of Einstein, want to hear more of his witty quotes?  Vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout.  It’s about a school run by spirits, and Einstein’s a teacher!

How do you stay on top of the latest #bookmarketing ? Join @alanasiegel in the discussion (click to tweet)