Creating an Effective Goodreads Ad

Creating an Effective Goodreads Ad

When I began my Goodreads ad campaign, I wasn’t happy at first. I had trouble trying to get clicks. I thought I had created a good one, and I thought my cover alone would draw people into seeing it. Well, I found a thread on Goodreads with one man claiming that it does work. Many others replied, absolutely unhappy with their experience. I think I may have even commented, too, telling everyone that Goodreads ads were a waste of time. But because I had sunk 50 dollars into the campaign, I was determined to make it work. Even if no sales resulted from it, people are at least still looking at it and maybe adding it. So I decided to change the description entirely. Here is a screen capture of everything I did to create the ad that is earning me clicks now. Out of the 50 dollars I have spent, 23 dollars have been used since January. I consider that a victory, as many people struggle with trying to get clicks at all. GoodreadsAdIgnore the Campaign Goodreads Giveaway part. That is over with, but the destination URL simply takes you to the book, not to the page where you can sign up for the giveaway. Instead pay attention to the ad description. This is what will earn you more clicks than anything else. My original ad description was simply a rip of some sentence from the synopsis of my book. That wasn’t earning any clicks at all for the week it had been put up. However, once I changed it to this description, it slowly began to receive clicks. The description is short to the point and shocking. Witches are worse than murderers? That’s a big shock factor. Finding out her brother is one and they have to flee or risk dying? That’s another draw-in. These words alone convey a few things: This book is going tell a story about witches who live in absolute fear because they know they are going to be ruthlessly killed upon being discovered. The heroine, Amelia, is completely selfless and will do anything for her little brother, so it’s a story of sibling love. The cover helps as well. I shrunk this screen capture, but if you have ever found this ad on Goodreads, you would be able to read the entire title, along with my name.

Here is another picture detailing what also helped.

GoodreadsStatsI have two ads running. You can have multiple ads running, if you want. Notice that my click-to-rate for the second ad is 0.04%. You want it to be 0.05%, but my goal, really, is to use up ALL of my funds, as many writers who use Goodreads ads can’t even manage that. But look at the genres. The first ad might not have a high CTR because it targets less genres than my second ad does. However, my first ad yesterday received 5 clicks, and my second ad received 0. That was a CTR of 0.09% from yesterday. Each click also uses 50 cents, which is the minimum you should be using. This could affect how often Goodreads is willing to show your ad. I have also allotted a cap of 10 dollars a day. This may also reflect views. However, the views are very arbitrary. I have tried looking up why this may be, but I have found nothing.

Here is a line graph detailing my views:

Line ChartAs you can see from the line graph above, it takes a lot of views to receive a click. You can also see I have certain days where I peak and other days where I don’t. I can’t explain why this is. For three days now I have had clicks because of all those views you are seeing from the 25th to the 27th. But today, it doesn’t appear I’ll have any clicks, so my Goodreads daily report will probably show 0. It’s a very strange pattern for me. For 3 days I’ll have clicks, and then for 2 or 3 days I won’t have any. I cannot explain why this is, but it’s a miracle I’m receiving clicks at all, as many, many users of ads do not receive clicks…never.

All in all, I know I have created an effective ad campaign due to the usage of my funds. Will I do another ad? Probably not. It’s great for exposure, probably great for getting people to add your book, but I can get people to add my book through means that don’t cost money, like Twitter, Tumblr, and this blog, as well as the myriad of interviews and guest blog posts I do. Not to mention I still have some print books left that I can use to do a giveaway on Goodreads to celebrate some sort of milestone in my author life. I’ll probably do another giveaway once my publisher gives me the contract to The Stars Are Infinite ;).

I hope this helps. Any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments or e-mail me at


  • Every Friday I will be doing a post on publishing, whether it be publishing news or a column from me responding to articles about publishing–with statistics, of course.
  • Every Wednesday I will try to do an author update post about what is going on in my author life–something inspirational–ending it with a picture quote from When Stars Die.
  • Pau has been live-tweeting my book, and here is her review. I normally don’t post reviews others have done, as I am an EXTREMELY modest person, but because she live- tweeted it, I decided to go on ahead and give her blog a nudge. I want to warn you that there are spoilers in the latter half. Follow her on Twitter! She’s fantastic, an avid reader, hardcore lover of books, and I appreciated all her live tweeting. It was fun to read her reactions as she was going through my book.
  • I am also going to try to do one Youtube video per week. I haven’t decided what I want my theme to be. I may answer questions people have posed in the past, or I may do something else entirely. Currently I am watching John Green’s Youtube channel to gain some inspiration. I would also love to do something with my ballet, like detailing my journey as an adult dancer while I’m simply practicing by myself. However, that would require my fiance to attend my dance class at least once a week to record my practicing.
  • I’m pretty much going to blog on here every other day so I can also blog on Tumblr.

7 thoughts on “Creating an Effective Goodreads Ad

    1. It’s really hard to create a tagline that will effectively lure readers in. I wish I could have gone into more detail about how to do this. Every book is different, and so every writer is going to need different advice on how to do this, depending on what he/she has written.

  1. I’ve never heard of anyone ctually generating sales through Goodreads ads. BookBub is supposed to be very good for actual results and there was another one, I’ll try to find it.

    1. The Fussy Librarian, to me, is actually a lot better than BookBub, because this site doesn’t charge ungodly prices for getting put once in a newsletter that doesn’t guarantee sells. TFL, too, has tons and tons of subscribers now. The most TFL charges is 3 dollars, and you can sign up again thirty days after your book appears in its newsletter.

  2. Amber, I’m not published, but if ever I am, this is very useful info. Thank you 🙂

    Also, you may want to consider, in your description, that it’s her “little” brother. When I first read it I imagined a teenager and both of them fleeing as equals, as a “team.” I think if you specify it’s her little brother, it helps paint the protectiveness involved.

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