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Make Your Books Sell Like Crazy Using Facebook Ads

Scaling Up with Paid Advertising - for Authors

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Make Your Books Sell Like Crazy Using Facebook Ads

By Lucas Lee-Tyson – founder of Growth Cave

You’ve spent hundreds of hours crafting your book. You’ve wrestled and struggled and battled to craft the right words and sentences and paragraphs. Finally, after laboring for week and months, you finish your book.

With great excitement, you publish it on all the appropriate platforms. Then you sit back and wait for the sales to start pouring in.

Except that they don’t.

Of course, your mom buys a copy of your book. And occasionally you see a small spike in sales when you post about your book on social media. But for the most part…

…crickets.

You check your sales numbers every morning and come away disappointed. But you don’t know what to do. What if I told you that there was a way to get your book in front of your ideal audience so that you consistently sell copies of it? Because there is.

It’s called Facebook Ads.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through a simple tutorial on how to create powerful Facebook ads that help sell your books like crazy.

 

 

A Facebook Ads Case Study: Over $11,000 in Sales for an Artist

As a Facebook Ads consultant, I get to work with a lot of different types of businesses. However, one market that I see struggle the most with paid advertising are artists and creative types.

I recently worked on a campaign with an artist who designs and sells adult coloring books. Her business was going well, but selling such a unique product made it difficult for her to utilize Facebook’s advertising platform.

While we got off a to a bit of a slow start with her campaign, in January and February of this year she has sold $11,381 of her products with just $1,954 in ad spend, or a 582% ROI!

 

 

Today, I’ll be giving you a behind-the-scenes look of this exact campaign and showing you step-by-step on how you can create similar campaigns for your books.

 

 

Why Facebook Ads?

You might be thinking, why should I spend money on Facebook ads? Can’t I just post on different social media platforms and get the same results?

Answer: no.

See, here’s the thing about Facebook. They want to keep people on their site for as long as possible. When you post a link to your book, that link takes people off Facebook. But Facebook doesn’t want people going to Amazon, it wants them to continue watching videos and hammering that “Like” button.

Because of this, Facebook’s algorithm simply won’t show your post to many people. No matter how many times you post about your book, you simply won’t be able to reach many people.

Additionally, the majority of the people you’re connected to on Facebook probably aren’t your ideal reader. For example, let’s say you’re a sci-fi author. How many of your friends are into sci-fi? Probably not a huge percentage.

However, by running Facebook ads, you can get your book in front of a massive audience of hardcore sci-fi lovers.

The simple truth is that Facebook ads allow you to reach an audience you couldn’t reach otherwise. This audience is made up of the people most likely to buy your book. That, in a nutshell, is why you should run Facebook ads for your book.

 

 

Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Now that you know just how powerful Facebook ads are, let’s talk about how to get started creating them.

First, you need to have a page, not just a standard profile to run Facebook ads. To create a page, follow this simple tutorial put together by Facebook.

Once you’ve created a page, you’re going to head to the Ads Manager to get started. Facebook Pages provide an option to create ads from within Facebook’s normal user interface, but it is not nearly as powerful or robust as the entire Ads Manager.

You might have heard about ‘boosting’ your posts before, to get them more exposure. This isn’t what Facebook Ads really is. Similar to as I said before, using the ‘Boost’ tool is not nearly as powerful as the Ads Manager.

 

 

Creating your first Facebook Ad

Once you’re in the Ads Manager, it’s time to create your first Facebook ad. Thankfully, Facebook makes it really easy. Click the “Create” button to get started creating your ad.

 

Select your Objective

When creating ads, Facebook gives you numerous “objective” options. In other words, Facebook wants to know what you’re trying to accomplish with your ad. The objective that you select here is actually very important. This is because he objective you choose is what Facebook will optimize your campaign around. For example, if we select the ‘Engagement’ objective, Facebook is going to show our ad to people most likely to like, comment, and share our post.

Your goal as an author should be to get as many people clicking on your ad and seeing your book as possible. For this reason, we’re going to be selecting the ‘Traffic’ objective.

 

 

Once you select your objective, it’s time to name your ad campaign. For the tutorial, I’ve simply written, ‘Book Advertisement #1’.

 

Create your Audience

Now it’s time to create your audience. This is where you get to determine exactly who sees your advertisement. It’s also where you really get to tap into the power of Facebook advertising.

Remember, Facebook has over 2 billion daily users, and they have a lot of data on their users. As an advertiser, you get to use that data to help sell more of your books.

Scroll down to the “Audience” section of the page and select the key demographics of your audience. Be as specific as possible. If your book is geared more toward younger and middle-aged women, you can narrow your audience to only include them.

 

 

I would recommend setting up what’s called a split test. Create multiple campaigns targeting different age ranges and genders and see who responds best to your ads.

Facebook also provides an option called Detailed Targeting, where you can input Interests that Facebook provides. In other words, you can create an audience that shares specific interests related to your book. For example, ff your book is a legal thriller, you may want to choose an audience that likes John Grisham. If it’s a romance novel, maybe consider choosing an audience that likes Nicholas Sparks.

 

 

Generally speaking, you don’t want your audience to be too broad. The more characteristics you can give Facebook, the more they can narrow your audience. For example, if, for some reason, your audience likes yoga, then include that as well.

Similar to as I said above, you can also create a split test testing different Interests. For example, instead of having both John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks in the same ad set, you could split them up into their own, individual ad set. This will allow you to measure the performance of both independently and see which is working best for you.

As you choose your audience, Facebook will show you how many people you can potentially reach with your ad. Ideally, you want the arrow to be in the green, which indicates a sufficiently narrow audience.

 

 

Next, you’re going to set the budget for your ad. This can either be a daily budget or a lifetime budget. An ad with a daily budget will run indefinitely and only spend the amount you’ve allotted for each day. An ad with a lifetime budget will run for a set period of time and then stop when all the budget has been used.

 

 

Almost all campaigns I set up using a daily budget of around $10-$20 day, for the simple reason that if something isn’t working at a low budget, throwing more money at it is not going to magically fix it. It’s far better to start small and work your way up as you see things go well.

 

Create a Compelling Ad

Now it’s time to actually create your ad. This is where things get fun. First, you need to select an image. The cover of your book is a great place to start for an image. You could use a video if you wanted, but for the sake of this tutorial, let’s stick with images.

 

 

However, one thing to note. Facebook doesn’t like images that are more than 20% text. You may need to play around with the photo so that the text on the cover of your book doesn’t make up more than 20% of the image.

Once you’ve selected your image, it’s time to create some compelling text to go along with it.

This is where you can get creative. Create a headline that jumps out at people and grabs their attention. Then underneath, use your skill with words to draw people into your ad.

Do whatever you can to make your ad as eye-catching and clickable as possible.

 

 

Next, put in the link that you’re sending all the traffic to. This will be the page where you’re selling your book.

 

 

 

Finally, put in a headline and newsfeed description. It’s important to note that this is what is displayed under the image, not above it. Really, your text serves as your headline. This headline should simply reinforce what you’ve already said in the text.

 

 

Once you’ve filled out the Headline and Newsfeed description, it’s time to publish your ad! That wasn’t so bad, right?

 

Evaluating the Results

After your ad has finished running, it’s time to evaluate the results. The simplest way to do that is to examine the number of sales you had while your ad was running. Did your ad generate clicks and did those clicks lead to sales?

If the ad didn’t generate clicks, then it’s a sign that you need to get more creative with your ad. Try experimenting with different images or even video.

If your ad generated a lot of clicks but not many sales, it’s a signal that the landing/sales page for your book isn’t particularly compelling and probably needs to be altered.

In either case, don’t be afraid to experiment. Your first ad probably won’t be a home run. You’ll need to test different versions of your ad and book page until you find the right combination.

But one thing you can be sure of is that the more ads you run, the more exposure your book will get. The more exposure it gets, the more sales it’s bound to generate.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Writing a book involves so much work that you would be crazy to not want to get it in front of as many people as possible. That’s where the power of Facebook ads comes into play.

Facebook lets you use their incredibly powerful advertising platform so that your book can get the exposure that it truly deserves.

So what are you waiting for? Start creating those ads!

 

Lucas Lee-Tyson is a Facebook Ads consultant and serial entrepreneur. He is also the owner of Growth Cave, a place where marketers and entrepreneurs alike can learn how to create and manage their own profitable Facebook Ad campaigns. You can also find him on Twitter.

 

 

And now we want to hear from you! Have you used paid ads to grow your audience and exposure? What’s your #1 struggle getting your ads to work? What’s your #1 tip? Leave a comment!

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Marcy McKayLucas Lee-TysonChristie WildJudyCharlene Recent comment authors
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Mary B Rose
Guest

I can’t tell you how perfectly timed this is! I feel clueless about Facebook ads. I had purchased a class through Fiverr and was trying to do YouTube video tutorials but neither was very helpful…

This was exactly what I needed! It’s specific to authors and also a crash course for newbies. Just skimming over this article helped alleviate my anxiety about getting my feet wet with FB ads! Thank you so much!

Nick Stephenson
Admin

Awesome, Mary! I have a bunch of other FB ads resources coming up this week – keep an eye on your inbox 🙂

Raza
Guest
Raza

Awesome. I want to hire Lucas to run my FB ads for me.

Marcy McKay
Guest

Such a helpful post. Thank you! Do you need to have a certain number of books published fore you jump into Facebook advertising? I have one novel, one novella and one short-story out (all featuring the same main character). Is that too small of a list to be effective with FB?

Lucas Lee-Tyson
Guest

Hey Marcy,

The number of books you have won’t affect with your results with Facebook Ads. You could get started with just 1 book 🙂

Marcy McKay
Guest

Great. I’ll try it.

Jinx Schwartz
Guest

Read the article carefully. Thanks for all the info. I am still a little confused however, when it comes to selling my books on Facebook. I have two FB pages, on author page and one personal page. If I send people to my “Landing” page, should I have another page with just my books on it? My author page doesn’t seem to work for more than alerting fans to new deals and news. Can you aim us at a successful author landing page on Facebook?BTW, I am interested in using the service of a business like your to push my… Read more »

Lucas Lee-Tyson
Guest

Hey Jinx,

Maris summed it up nicely, what you will be doing is crating a landing page on your own website to send traffic to 🙂

Best,
Lucas

Maris
Guest

He means a landing page on your website, not FB. Basically, you need to have a simple page that includes link(s) to where the visitor can purchase your book. Google “author landing pages” or similar to see examples.

Linda Gabriel
Guest

Great article. One point of correction, book covers are exempt from the 20% text rule. https://www.facebook.com/business/help/980593475366490

Adriana Licio
Guest

Love all those screenshots, they make the whole article even more helpful and clear! Can I use FB Ad to advertise my Reader Magnet and get people signing up my to ML? Is the word “Free” allowed within a FB Ad, like in “Grab your free book”? Thanks a lot!

Lucas Lee-Tyson
Guest

Hey Adriana,

Yes, using Facebook Ads to grow your mailing list is a great strategy. Facebook allows the usage of the word ‘free’ as long as it is not related to income claims (ie. learn how to make $500 a month for FREE!) which I’m guessing won’t be a problem for you 🙂

Best,
Lucas

Nina
Guest
Nina

Maybe I am missing something but you mention in your intro that you will show us how you set up a successful campaign for a printed book. Which is fascinating because this is a difficult product in regards to ROI (a printed book will deliver a much slimmer margin to the author than an ebook) and it’s difficult to earn back the money on FB ads. But the following text is about setting up FB ads if you have never touched them before. It would be great to get additional information how you make FB ads work for printed books… Read more »

Amy
Guest

I’ve had great success using FB ads for mailing list signups. The key was to make the image and text super compelling. I studied a handful of other authors’ ads to get a feel for it and mine has done really well. Sending an ad to a paid book hasnt been as successful but I’m still testing. The biggest struggle here is the copy used to drive the traffic. It’s very tricky get it right!

Judy
Guest

may I ask – how much do you have to pay per click to get mailing list sign ups? I have a book to give away to signees, so I’d think I shouldn’t have to pay very much. It would have to compete with mailing list builders like AXP where I’d estimate I pay 5¢ per name.

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[…] Sell Like Crazy with Facebook Ads | Your First 10K Readers […]

Charlene
Guest

Hi, when you say to use a link to the page where we’re selling our book, so you mean directly to the retailer or a page (for example, a landing page) on our website that then potential readers will need to click through again to get to the retailer page?

Lucas Lee-Tyson
Guest

Hey Charlene,

Ideally, you will send traffic to a page on your own website. This will allow you to use the Facebook Pixel to have full control over the traffic you purchase through Facebook. After they get sent to the landing page you will either 1. have them clickthrough again to the retailer page or 2. join your mailing list so you can promote to them over time 🙂

Best,
Lucas

Christie Wild
Guest

This is what I’m wondering too.

Christie Wild
Guest

Great article for beginners, but it seems like a LOT of details were left out. Like how do you track sales in a traffic campaign? What about pixels?

Just because people click over to the landing page where the book is for sale doesn’t mean that everyone is going to click the buy button. Seems like a conversion campaign would do better.

Lucas Lee-Tyson
Guest

Hey Christie,

Conversion campaigns are generally best-practice however for a lot of authors that sell their books through sites like Amazon you won’t be able to use them, simply because you can’t install the Pixel on an Amazon product page. The best you can do, then, is to drive traffic.

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