Unbroken round two

Okay, I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer. Since ending the Unbroken campaign in January, I’ve seen book sales trickle down to previous levels or 40 to 50 a month. I was liking the 100 books a month better. And Laura’s book is kicking butt on all of the best nonfiction lists. And as more people finish reading her book, the larger my potential audience becomes.

So I started up the campaign again. I’m not doing anything with the aviation specific campaigns. Just Unbroken. I also did a budget experiment that had some interesting results. My default budget for both search and display was set at .50 cents a click. Naturally, Google doesn’t want to waste their time on a paltry .50 cents a click, so they gave me the dreaded”your campaign is budget limited” warning. They also said that everyone of my keywords and keyword phrases were not high enough to appear on the first page. Even though my average ad position was 1.9, meaning that it was just me and one other advertiser who were targeting keywords related to the book Unbroken.

But I wanted to see what would happen if I raised the default bid to Google’s suggested bid price of $1.54.

Now, when you’re paying for clicks on a product that has as low of a profit margin as a book, you have to be very careful with your budgets. So knowing what the typical bounce rate is for these ads, and what the likely conversion rate might be, and what my profit margin is, it makes absolutely no financial sense to bid that high for clicks. I would lose money. But I was curious. So for one day I raised the default bid to $1.54 per click and set my daily budget up from $3 a day to $8 a day.

The result was on the day with the higher budget my average CPC was .82 cents per click (total cost $8.25). I received 10 clicks then ran out of budget and the ads stopped running. The next day I lowered the default bid price to .30 cents a click and set the daily budget back to $3 a day. The result. Nine clicks at an average CPC of .21 cents a click for a total cost of $1.90. So I got one more click out of the $8.25 day. What about ad position? My average ad position with a default bid of .30 cents was 1.3.

The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t always blindly go with Google’s automated suggestions.

There was one other interesting development since shutting down and restarting the campaign. I touched on it in the last post. It was an Amazon.com discussion someone had posted asking for suggestions on what to read next now that he had finished Unbroken. You may remember that I unabashedly added my book to this list of recommended titles.

One of my primary goals with this whole Unbroken campaign experiment was to gain new general nonfiction readers. Since the discussion was first started, the list of recommended titles contains some of the best nonfiction books written in the past decade. Here’s just a few of the titles recommended so far:

Skeletons on the Zahara
Ghost Soldiers
Into the Void
Into Africa
3 Cups of Tea
Into Thin Air
Shadow Divers
In the Heart of the Sea
A Long Way Gone
Neptune’s Inferno
The Lost City of Z
In Harms Way
Lone Survivor

I’ve read nearly 80% of the books listed above. I’ve reviewed many of them on this site. Just search do a search on the book title in the search box at the top. It’s the readers of books like these that I most want to reach. And since adding my book to this list sales have gained momentum. I can’t say whether it’s this discussion or my PPC campaign that’s driving sales, but something’s working.

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