Next in a series of posts featuring the winners of the 2023 Christian Authors Network (CAN) Excellence in Marketing Awards. Allen Brokken won first place in the fiction Web Presence category.

The 2024 marketing awards will open in November 2023. CAN members, please be thinking of how you can enter the awards. See the guidelines at

Interview with Allen Brokken

Towers of Light seriesHi, Allen. What book(s) were you marketing to win this Excellence in Marketing award?

The Towers of Light Series. It’s a Middle-Grade Christian Fantasy series.

What was the goal of your marketing campaign?

The goal of the Christmas 2022 marketing campaign was to double sales from the previous year.

That’s an ambitious goal! How did you decide what activities to include?

I focused on Facebook ads with some support from Amazon ads. In the months running up to the Christmas buying season, I found ad copy, audience targeting, and keywords that seemed to provide solid outcomes.

Great combination! What was your favorite aspect of your marketing campaign and why?

By the time I got to the actual Christmas campaign things had become fairly mechanical with daily checking costs per clicks on various ads/keywords. So I’d say the highlights were a couple of super fans who jumped on my Facebook posts and shared their perspective about the books in the comments and then shared the posts with their network.

What results surprised you the most?

Sales were 8 times the previous year. Double would have been good, so getting 8 times was really nothing short of miraculous.

Wow! That’s impressive! What new skills did you need to learn for your efforts to succeed?

Oh so many things. I spent a lot of time on both Facebook ads and Amazon ads in learning not only how to make the ads but how to tune audiences and keywords. I’d say the most significant learning I had wasn’t something I found in an article but stumbled upon on accident.  If you use the Facebook ad manager to create the ad, then every time you change the audience, it effectively creates a new post and you lose comments, likes, and shares on that content. However, if you create the post first then use the Boost Post option all of that stays indefinitely even if you make changes to the audience etc. This was a game changer because it gave the post much more engagement and the comments either answered questions for people or encouraged them to look further.

Thank you for sharing that secret! I wonder how many in our audience know this.
How did you determine the return on investment?

This was a really simple calculation as it was advertising spend against sales revenue for the period. I wasn’t running any other ads at the time and all other launch events, etc. had completed a few weeks before.  So the investment was pretty much what I put into ads and the revenue was tied to book royalties and direct sales.

What marketing advice would you offer other writers?

This campaign was effective because it connected to the customers’ core values. The tag line was “Fantastic Family Time Reading, Christian Values to Last a Lifetime.”  This helped people to see my books would help connect their family while upholding values that mattered to them.

Allen BrokkenAlways good to identify and target the customers’ needs! How can readers learn more about your writing?

You can find more about my writing at

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