Advertising on Facebook for the author

I’ve been experimenting with Facebook advertising this summer and, to be honest, I have no idea if what I’m doing will be successful. But I have learned a few things already to pass on.

Identify who you need to reach. What well-known authors are in your genre? What’s the age range for your book? If you are publishing only to e-readers, then identifying people who are fans of the Kindle or the Nook are important.

Frequency is critical. Readers need to see an ad multiple times before it becomes effective. You’ve advertised to 500,000 people but each person has seen the ad twice? That’s not likely to generate sales for you. What’s the magic number? For a long time, marketers said it was seven, but I suspect it’s higher in this age of multitasking and shorter attention spans.

You can reach a small audience very quickly. I learned you can saturate an audience really, really fast. Within a week, on a four dollar a day budget, I had reached every fan of The Frugal E-Reader an average of 40 times. Now that doesn’t mean they SAW the ad 40 times. But even if they noticed it one out of four times it appeared on their Facebook page, that’s a lot. They probably now recognize the cover and title. I think my total cost was $19 because I didn’t hit my daily max every day. I had to suspend the ad before I started annoying the folks at The Frugal E-Reader. There is such a thing of seeing an advertisement too many times.

A longer campaign can reach a bigger audience over time. My current ad is for 95,000 women who are 64 years old and are fans of the Kindle. (If I expanded the age range, the target size would have become too big to be effective.) I’m running the ad on the same four bucks a day limit, probably up to Aug. 2 and then a few additional days after the book goes on sale.

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More social networking goodness, if you want to read more.


Filed under ebooks

5 responses to “Advertising on Facebook for the author

  1. Thanks for sharing. Actually, I did Facebook ads a couple of months ago. I had set up a page for my children’s book series called “My Hare Line”. My daily limit for $50, and that adds up quickly. I had 300 likes, but I’m not sure I actually sold any books. I was thinking on giving it another shot.

    Patsy Henry

    • Wow, that is a big daily budget. I should have mentioned that the ads do link to my Facebook author page and that now has 100 “likes,” which is great considering my first book hasn’t come out yet ! I probably spent $100 to get to that point.

      I would encourage you to try another campaign, for at least two weeks. Drop the daily limit down to $10 and try a target audience of 100,000 or less and see if that causes any significant change in your sales. (I’m assuming that this is an ebook, which lets you check sales anytime you want, rather than a paper book where you don’t get the results for months.)

  2. Linda Yezak

    I ran a couple of FB ads, then studied the corresponding weeks on my Amazon author page. The “likes” I got for my fan page didn’t translate into sales that week. Nor did they when I ran an ad on Goodreads, although I did pick up some folks who added Give the Lady a Ride to their wish list.

    I wrote a post about my marketing experiences on one of my blogs, AuthorCulture, if you want to compare notes. I can’t really claim to be a success at marketing yet. Darn it. 😀

    • I have no idea if what I’m doing is going to lead to any sales or not. Guess I’ll find out over the next month and then make adjustments. I am convinced that there is a way to be successful at Facebook advertising. The question is whether I’m smart enough to figure out what that is!

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