Every indie author at some point has looked at Facebook ads as a way to increase revenue. Many may have even dabbled with very little success, but we still keep trying. I want to start by saying that I am not a Facebook Advert expert and haven’t had success every single time, but I wanted to share with you a few things I have picked up along my journey recently. Take a look at our blog post with how to sell your book using Facebook Ads.
I recently did a training on Facebook Adverts and was actually blown away when my first few gained amazing results but like I said not everyone has had results. We have to remember that a lot of the time is trial and error for finding what works and that every book is different.
Remember you aren’t always going to make a profit on your adverts and more than likely, initially you are going to make a loss. Facebook Advertising is a great way to get your book in the sights of potential readers, but not every reader is going to want to check out your book.
The stats below show one month to the next with running a daily advert for the wonderful Holly Gill.
Tip One - How to sell your books with Facebook Ads
Select a book that is already doing well, start with your bestseller. And remember that by best seller it doesn't have to reach the top 100 in the Amazon store but the book of yours that is already selling. By selecting this book you're already increasing the potential for it being successful as you are likely to have reviews on your Amazon page.
If that book is part of a series, always always go for book one! By selecting book one you are likely to get the read throughs on the entire series, thus increasing the potential for your advert to be successful. Remember that the aim isn’t just them reading one of your books, it’s for them to go back and read everything you have ever written or will write. We want to convert them into a fan of all your books.
Tip Two - How to sell your books with Facebook Ads
This is a big one. There is absolutely no point in setting a budget of £1 a day. You are not going to get enough conversion to see any big results and actually in all fairness you are wasting your money.
The lowest budget I would allocate is £5 a day and I wouldn’t run an advert for any less than 5 days, over time your Facebook learns who would be most beneficial to see your advert, it’s learning each day who is more likely to click your advert so helps them establish where they should be sharing it, but if you only have your advert live for a couple of days you aren’t giving Facebook a chance to learn where your advert will be most effective.
I highly recommend that if you can't afford the £5 a day, save up in a different account so that you can run a minimum of £5 for a good couple of weeks, this way it will allow you to see whether your advert is gaining any traction.
Tip Three - How to sell your books with Facebook Ads
This one is all about your graphic, and can really make a huge difference to whether your advert is hitting the mark or not. Think of the advert as your billboard, you want the graphic to grab people's attention to get them to stop scrolling.
Create a scroll stopping advert
And this sounds crazy but don’t include your cover, even more so if your cover is of a raunchy nature it will never get passed Facebook’s checks. However I have found that the adverts that don’t include the cover are way more effective than those that do.
Darker adverts do better than light adverts, quite frankly I have no idea why! This is my personal opinion but if you think about your Facebook app on your phone it's all white, so when something is darker it draws your attention to it. Now there's actually no proof to this apart from personal experience. I ran an advert for Koko Heart and used bright colours. The advert wasn't producing results as we were hoping the moment we swapped it out BOOM, the page reads were flying!
Sex Sells .. cliché but true! We all love some spice and saucy right? So the strategy here is to give the visuals of raunchy without too much that Facebook bans your advert.
No bare chests they will say NO straight away and I know, I've tried.
Nothing that implies sex.
See the examples below of some of the adverts that have got past Facebook and been able to run which still showcase sexual appeal without being too hot for Facebook to handle.
Snappy one liners, I always tend to use snappy reviews for the graphics, keep them plain, simple, nothing which is going to take them any length of time.
Consider the sizes for where you are placing your advert. Square works well for newsfeed etc but stories, reels and other areas require different size images.
Tip Four - How to sell your books with Facebook Ads
Always use Amazon links, even if you're wide, Amazon is the leading distributor of ebooks and I know how infuriating that can be especially when they have your pants down on KU page reads and such but for readers this is the place where most will buy their books.
The link shows on your advert where the link will take them, if it's a link that people aren’t sure of they will be wary which will stop them from clicking it in case it takes them somewhere sinister, see the example image below.
Another tip for links is use your Amazon Affiliate link, that way you can track any purchases through that link but it will also mean you will earn a few pennies for each purchase made through your link. To Learn more about Amazon Affiliate check it out here.
Tip Five - How to sell your books with Facebook Ads
Advert Targeting, this is a huge topic and really would need a few blog posts to cover effectively, but I will give you one tip for this, you will require multiple ad sets for different countries. For example if your amazon link takes you to the UK amazon you don't want to be targeting the UK and USA.
You can set up multiple ad sets within the one advert, so the best thing to do is set one ad set up targeting the USA, and then one for the UK, AUS etc. It will also allow you to see which advert in which area is the most successful. It will still only use your £5 a day budget as long as you set them up within the same ad.
Need more help?
If your mind is more boggled than it was before or you're really not sure where to start please do reach out, I now offer a package for authors. Check out the information below if you wish to work with me on your Facebook advertising, also if you are part of my Author Membership there will be a workshop which is accessible which takes you through it step by step.
Want to stay up to date with our latest tips, strategies and cover feel free to sign up to our newsletter below and also receive a free book launch checklist to your email.