May 25th, 2012

Facebook freeze

Fan of Jennifer Crusie?

Why, yes. Yes I am!

"Fans of Jennifer Crusie have found a new author to watch." Discover Catherine McKenzie!

This is what a Facebook ad tells me at least two days out of three when I log on to my account over there. I notice it--I'm always going to notice when someone gets compared to Jennifer Crusie! I have clicked on it. I have followed the link to the book purchase page on Amazon. I haven't bought the book, though. And maybe that's the point.

In all the news of Facebook becoming a publicly owned company this week, I was more interested in the revelation that General Motors pulled their huge advertising account because it wasn't effective. See, I have advertised on Facebook too. I bought an ad for The One That I Want when it debuted last Christmas, and my publisher has advertised Forget You. The reason I thought this was a good idea was that when I'm on Facebook, I sometimes click on ads for books like the Catherine McKenzie example. But now I'm inclined to side with GM: Facebook advertising isn't effective for my books.

How do I know?

I have been conducting a survey of my readers. You can still take it here. Anybody can stumble upon it and answer the questions...but because the links to it are posted on my web site and social media accounts, I figure most people taking it are readers who have bought one of my books--maybe more than one--and liked my work enough to follow or friend me. This is the best kind of reader, the kind I want more of. In the survey, I was trying to figure out how I attracted the attention of those people in the first place so I could do it again for the debut of Such a Rush in *gasp* 45 days.

Question 2 asks, "How did you hear about me in the first place?" As possible answers, I list everything I can think of. 308 people have taken the survey so far, and though there are some clear winners, every possible answer has gotten at least a few votes, except two. Receiving zero votes: "Facebook" and "online ad"--despite all that advertising I did! This was the most surprising thing I found in the survey.

Another question asks how you receive news about my books, and Facebook is a very popular answer to that question. But that's a separate issue. According to my results, social media sites are a great way for me to keep in touch with current readers, but they are an abysmal way to interest new people. And I think this is reflected in my own behavior regarding Catherine McKenzie. I looked, I clicked, but I didn't buy. There just wasn't enough information and context to motivate me to make a purchase.

What do you make of all this? Do you click on Facebook ads or ignore them, and why do you suppose that is?

I am learning a lot from the survey. But the most important thing I've learned so far is how informative a survey is! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to give me this feedback.
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