What To Do About Peaks and Troughs in Book Sales



So, your Ads are working great one day, book sales are up, page reads are up, royalties are up, CPCs are looking good, CTRs are strong.

The next day though, sales are down, royalties are down, CPCs are up, CTRs are down.

What's going on?

Why are the results so volatile and fluctuating all over the place?

Why is there no stability?

All of this boils down to Ad Variance.

And today, I'll be breaking down what Ad Variance is and also, how to combat it.

Let's discuss...

What Is Ad Variance?

If the above scenario is something you can relate to (which most authors can!), you're probably wondering what's going on and how can you stop this from happening.

The short answer is, you can't. Not 100%, anyway.

Your Ads are being seen by different people each and every day and different people react in different ways to your Ads. Some will resonate with them, some won't.

And if a larger percentage of people who see your Ads one day buy or borrow your book, it's going to have a bigger (positive) impact on the bestseller rank of your book, therefore providing more organic visibility, sales and borrows.

The next day, a different pocket of people will see your Ads, and perhaps fewer of them will buy or borrow your book, resulting in a poorer bestseller rank (which, on Amazon changes every 60 minutes) and therefore, less organic visibility, sales and borrows.

The other factor that plays a role is your budget and the CPCs (Cost-Per-Clicks) you're paying.

Advertising is a simple supply and demand situation; there's only so much inventory (placements) for Ads on Facebook and Amazon.

The more advertisers there are competing for these spots, the higher the CPCs of your Ads will be.

New books are also launched every day, and advertisers increase budgets every day, and run more ads every day...

There are so many factors that play a role in how your ads perform that are completely outside of your control.

So, that's a quick look at why Ad Variance happens.

Now, let's look at what you can do about it...

How To Combat Ad Variance

In short, the best way to combat Ad Variance is to increase volume; i.e. increase the number of people who are seeing your ads.

Here are some ideas for showing your Ads to more people:

– Increase budgets

– Target new audiences

– Target bigger audiences

– Start advertising another book

– Begin advertising in another country

– Run some different campaign types (Amazon Ads only - i.e. Sponsored Brands)

I have found that increasing volume provides more stability, which makes sense... if you're showing your Ads to fewer people, there's less opportunity for sales than if you were showing your Ads to more people.

The other answer to how to combat Ad Variance is much more simple...

Don't worry about it!

There is absolutely no difference between consistently selling 50 books per day, every day, over the course of 1 month, versus one day selling 10 books, the next day, selling 19 books, the next, 68 books, the next, 57 books, etc, and it averages out to 50 books per day over the course of the month.

Clearly, that example is slightly exaggerated, but you get my point...

It's not the day-to-day that matters, it's the results over an extended period of time that truly matters.

So, if an ad performed poorly yesterday or the day before, it's no biggie.

But, if an ad has been consistently performing poorly for 2-3 weeks, then yes, that's something that needs your attention.

If you're looking at your Ads every other hour throughout the day (I’m guilty of this, believe me!) and you’re getting super stressed, tearing your hair out thinking about how you can rectify the situation when sales are down one day, you are in too deep.

You also become very susceptible to jumping into your Ads dashboards and making big changes and adjustments to your campaigns that could actually have a negative impact on the performance of your Ads.

Don't do that.

Instead, do this:

– Look at the bigger picture

– Look at data over an extended period of time (at least 7 days)

– Identify trends in the data

– Optimize based on the data

– And don't fret about the peaks and troughs in your sales, page reads and royalties

I know it's tough not to worry about the seemingly random highs and lows of your book sales, but trust in the process, pay attention to the law of averages and enjoy the ride.

To Your Success

– Matt

Whenever you're ready to conquer advertising for your books, there are 3 ways I can help:

1. Jumpstart Amazon Ads → Discover the exact system I use to sell 100's of books every month with Amazon Ads, in just 60-90 minutes per week.

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