Updated: Jun 15

While Facebook advertising is hardly the only quiver in the book marketing playbook, it is one of the least expensive and far-reaching paid options available to indie writers. And, it can really work if done properly.

For many indie writers, the process for creating an ad on Facebook can seem opaque and complicated. This is basically because Facebook is really terrible at explaining their products to consumers, and have a series of seemingly arbitrary guidelines to advertising on their platform. But fortunately you have us, and we're going to spend then next few minutes walking you through the steps to creating a Facebook ad for your book.


The first of the seemingly arbitrary Facebook ad guidelines is that only "businesses" can take out ads. Don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to go and set up a business just to run an ad. What it actually means is that you simply have to create an author page, and that will be what you use to launch your ad campaigns. If you don’t have an author page and want step by step direction, check out our recent post on setting up Facebook Author Pages.


Once you’ve created your Author Page, getting started with your Book Ad isn’t too complicated.

  1. Just start by clicking “AD CENTER” in the menu at the top of your Author Home Page. This is where you’ll be able to create new ads, monitor existing ads, and get tips for creating better ads in the future.

  2. Then click the blue button in the top left corner, “CREATE AD.”

  3. This will bring up a bunch of ad options, but in this case you’re going to choose “GET MORE WEBSITE VISITORS,” since you want to send people to page to buy your book.


Now that you’ve opened the Ad Module, creating your book ad is actually fairly straight-forward. Facebook keeps things simple by allowing you to edit only a few variables. Working from the top to the bottom, here are the variables:

  1. The ad URL is the link you want users to go to when they click on the ad. In this case, it should be the link to purchase your book.

  2. The FORMAT is what imagery will accompany the ad. There are 4 formats: Single Image, Single Video, Carousel of images, and a Slideshow (a video created from 10 images).

  3. The HEADLINE is the short phrase that will present at the bottom of the ad next to the CALL TO ACTION button. Keep in mind, you only get 25 characters in this section, so make it count.

  4. The ad TEXT is your only chance to catch the user with your words. You only get 90 characters, so you'll need to make sure you get to the point fast.

  5. the last variable is the CALL TO ACTION button, which is simply the button users will click to go to your URL.


So, you've created some captivating images and text for your ad and you feel comfortable about how it looks. Next, you'll want to decide who the AUDIENCE will be for your ad. If you've never created a Facebook ad before, you'll need to create a new audience by clicking the CREATE NEW AUDIENCE link. Once in the CREATE AUDIENCE module, just follow the prompts:

  1. NAME your audience;

  2. Choose the SEX and AGE ranges;

  3. Choose your LOCATION preferences;

  4. Identify key INTERESTS your ideal audience has.


The last thing you need to do is choose the budget for your ad. You can choose between a daily budget or a total budget. The key difference is that with a daily budget, the ad will turn off once it reaches its daily limit. With a total budget ad, it will run continuously until the budget is exhausted. Once you've decided your budget, and you're happy with everything else, just click the "PROMOTE" button and your ad will be on its way for review.

Now that you've created your first Facebook ad for your book, it's time to monitor the results. Some key things to pay attention to:

  1. How much are you paying per click? Generally speaking, a well-targeted and designed ad should be able to get clicks for less than $1 each. if you're paying more than that, you may want to cancel the ad and reconfigure your message, audience, or images.

  2. How many book sales did you accomplish with your ad? In the end, how many book sales did you actually get from running the ad. If it was less than what you paid for the ad, then it probably wasn't a good enough ad. You may want to take a look at changing up the ad variables for the next run.

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