Facebook Ad Basics For Authors

Facebook Ad basics for authors

I’m not as advanced as some, I don’t get into retargeting and I don’t spend huge amounts, but I have been playing around with FB ads and after experimenting a bit, I am having some nice results. Here’s what I do that anyone can do….

First, I go to the left side bar and click on Ads Manager. Then I click on create an ad….and choose Website, so the ad goes directly to Amazon. I am an Amazon Affiliate, so I find my book, then grab the affiliate link, and pop that url in where it asks for website.

Then it pulls up the ad choices. You can go to insights on your page first, to determine who your audience is and for my romances it’s women ages 34-65+ primarily, so I set that in.

Then I go to the interests section and there’s a lot of ways you can run FB ads, you can use a custom audience or a lookalike audience made from your mailing list or web page. That works well for some people…but I have had the best results by simply targeting other author pages in the interests section.

So, think about what big author your book most closely aligns with. I write sweet romances and one of the authors that works well for me is Debbie Macomber. So I type her name in interests and it comes up, so I select it. Generally, it’s only bigger authors with lots of followers who will come up. I have the best results when my pool of people is 500k or better.

So, from here, I either use the image that pulls in from Amazon which is the book cover….or I make an ad image—which is what I’ve been doing lately using www.canva.com. I have zero graphic talent and one thing I like about Canva is that it has pre-sized templates for FB ads, Posts, and page covers and is easy to use. So, I will make an ad using the book cover, a pretty background color and a bit of text. You are limited to 20% text, so a line or two does it.

Then you fill in your ad copy at the top, and subject line, then hit where it says more options and you can fill in another section of ad copy that is a teaser for the ad.

Pamela Ad

Next up is to pick your budget, I generally do $3-5 a day and I choose to let FB optimize, so I don’t put in a bid number. I let that happen…..

Then I click done and the ad goes on….

What I usually do when I am starting out a new campaign is to test a bunch of names to see which will get the best results. I usually will try 6 or so author names or author combinations (to get at least a pool of 500k) I set each up as a separate ad (not an ad set) with all the same information, only difference is the author. I’ll set each for $3 and then see which one gets the best results….then I’ll cancel the rest and run with the top one or two. I’m looking for results of .10 or better on a free book and .20 or better on paid….knowing that those numbers will come down after a day or two and settle in. .10 often settles in at .05 or .06 and .20 often comes down to .13 or .14 which isn’t bad on a $3.99 book.

My best ads right now run .02 or .03 clicks, and are a great way to give your books a lift, especially when you are in between releases. This latest campaign took my free downloads from about 150 a day to 300 on $3.

The paid one on 3.99 has been interesting. I didn’t think it would do much, but it took a book that was hanging out at 1-2 sales a day and 105k ranking to 5-10 sales a day and 20-30k ranking for $4 a day in FB ads.

The first screenshot below shows the click rate on the permafree.



The screenshot below shows the results on the $3.99 ad….that one I’m getting .10 clicks on and you can see it was doing really 0-2 sales per day, then you can see the sales kick in and on the days where it drops to nothing…were days I shut the ads off.


It’s nothing crazy, but it shows how small ads can make an impact. The ads to the permafree help drive traffic to the next book, which keeps sales of that one around 20 or so a day, plus borrows, so for $3, it really is worth it. On my other series, it helps to lift several books, so I am keeping the ads going 24/7.

On thing I learned is that shutting off the ads and then restarting isn’t a good thing, you can lose momentum and don’t always get as good a result.

Pamela M. Kelley lives in the historic seaside town of Plymouth, MA near Cape Cod and just south of Boston. She writes cozy mysteries and romances and you’ll probably see food featured along with a recipe or two. Be sure to sign up for her mailing list at www.PamelaKelley.com to hear about new releases.