How To Advertise A Book On Facebook

Headshot of Matt Holmes By Matthew Holmes
Last updated on July 20th, 2021

Facebook Ads, the first love for a lot of authors; the bane of others. But the fact of the matter is that Facebook Ads are incredible at positioning your books in front of readers who may not have discovered your books in any other way.

You may be thinking “…but readers aren’t looking for books on Facebook; they’re looking on Amazon!” And whilst there is certainly an element of truth to that, there is no doubt that Facebook Ads can sell books; a lot of books.

To give you an example, in a recent book launch I ran, I sold 2,057 books in 7 days. 940 of those sales came from the Facebook Ads I was running as part of the launch.

We can’t track how many page reads were generated from the Facebook Ads, but we racked up 175,000 page reads in that same week, and I’m pretty confident that a good number of these came from the Facebook Ads too.

If you’re in this publishing business for the long haul, then Facebook Ads is a tool you cannot afford to sweep under the rug.

In this article, you will learn:
  1. Why Facebook Ads offer authors such an amazing opportunity to sell books
  2. Understanding the Facebook Ads Structure
  3. The 3 core components that make successful Facebook Ads
  4. Audience research and how to find readers who will love your books
  5. How to plan and create scroll-stopping Facebook Ads
  6. How to build your first Facebook Ads Campaign step-by-step
  7. Reviewing and optimizing your Facebook Ads Campaigns and the 5 most important metrics to monitor
  8. Knowing how and when to scale your Facebook Ads
Chapter 1

Some Facebook Ad Truths

If you have been a consumer of Facebook Ads and spent a few minutes (or hours!) scrolling through your News Feed, you will have experienced Facebook Ads, whether you are aware of it or not!


What you may be completely unfamiliar with, however, is the Facebook Ads Manager – the interface in which advertisers use to build, launch and manage Facebook Ads Campaigns.

And that is what we are going to focus on in this guide.

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of running Facebook Ads as an author, you may still be on the fence and not fully committed to diving into Facebook Ads, or comfortable handing over some of your hard earned money to Mr Zuckerberg (CEO and Co-Founder of Facebook).

So allow me to make the case for why Facebook Ads are worth your time, energy, resources and money. Can they really be as powerful as many marketers claim them to be?

In a word…yes. However, there is a caveat that comes with this…

Facebook Ads isn’t a get rich quick scheme of any kind, that some shady characters online claim they are. They take time; they take persistence; they take testing and they take money to refine.

For an in-depth guide about testing Facebook Ads, I recommend this superb, comprehensive article on Kindlepreneur: A/B Testing Facebook Ads For Authors.

Refining, more commonly known in advertising and marketing circles as optimization, is not something that requires a huge time investment. If you can find just 2-3 hours per week, you can have one or more Facebook Ads Campaigns profitably bubbling along in the background.

This is not to say that Facebook Ads are a set it and forget it marketing tactic; not by any means. Ads fatigue; Audiences fatigue. And you will need to freshen up your Ads and your Audiences to keep your Facebook Ads Campaigns performing at their peak.

Hopefully, this talk of optimization hasn’t put you off Facebook Ads! If not, let’s start at the top and cover the structure of Facebook Ads.

Chapter 2

The 3 Levels of Facebook Ads

Understanding how your Facebook Ads Campaigns are structured is vitally important before you start running Ads. Without this knowledge, it’s like building a house and not knowing what the foundations are made of!

There are 3 levels to Facebook Ads:

  • Level 1: Campaign
  • Level 2: Ad Set
  • Level 3: Ad

And here’s a visual representation of how each of these levels intertwine with each other:

Levels of Facebook ads

Important: To advertise with Facebook Ads, you will need a Facebook Author Page. Once you have your page, you will then be able to create a Facebook Ads Account and be granted access to the Facebook Ads Manager. To discover how to create a Facebook Author Page, as well as how to get the most out of it, be sure to check out this Kindlepreneur Article: How to Create a Facebook Author Page (And Tips for Using It Wisely).

Let’s explore each level of the Facebook Ads structure in turn.

Level 1: Campaign

Starting at the top, the Campaign level is where you set your Campaign Objective; what you want your Facebook Ads to achieve. Facebook will then optimize the Ad Sets and Ads within your Campaign towards achieving your chosen Objective for the lowest possible cost.

At the time of writing this article, you have 11 Campaign Objectives to choose from:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Video Views
  • Lead Generation
  • Messages
  • Conversions
  • Catalogue Sales
  • Store Visits
Types of Facebook Ad campaigns

When advertising your books on the likes of Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc, I always recommend using the Traffic objective. This will let Facebook know you want as much Traffic (clicks) to your book product page as possible for the lowest cost.

To achieve this, Facebook will look for pockets of people within your Target Audience (which we’re moving onto next) who have clicked on Facebook Ads in the past, as they are highly likely to click on your Facebook Ads too; as long as your target audience is relevant to your books, and your Ad itself resonates with your target audience.

The final decision you must make at the Campaign level is whether to turn ON something known as Campaign Budget Optimization, CBO for short.

There is a lot of debate in Facebook Ads circles about CBO! Personally, I find CBO delivers better results, cheaper results and, when turned on, requires less time to manage and optimize my Facebook Ads Campaigns, which is why I always recommend using it in most scenarios.

But we’ll cover CBO in more detail later on when we start building your first Facebook Ads Campaign.

For now though, let’s move onto Level 2 of the Facebook Ads structure.

Level 2: Ad Set

The Ad Set level is where you dive into the weeds of targeting; your target audience; who you want to show your Facebook Ads to. The targeting options include:

  • Location: Country, State, Postcode/Zip Code
  • Gender: Men or Women or both
  • Age: 18-65+ (and all ages in between)
  • Detailed Targeting: For example, authors, books, TV shows, films, genres, etc.
  • Language
Targeting Facebook Ads

Targeting is where Facebook Ads comes into its own. The social media giant is renowned for the incomprehensible amount of data it has on the 2.6 billion people who use its platform. This data has certainly got them into some trouble over the years!

As an advertiser, however, we can tap into all of this data and the knowledge that Facebook knows about its users, to make sure we are only showing our ads to people who are likely to enjoy our books.

For example, if you know your readers are:

  • Female
  • Aged between 35 and 55
  • Live in London
  • Own a dog
  • Love skateboarding
  • Are married
  • A Mother to teenage children
  • Have a Master’s Degree
  • And work in the Legal Services sector…

You could potentially target them! However, I’m not saying you should! Despite how ridiculous the above targeting example may sound, this level of granularity is entirely possible with Facebook Ads and it should give you a good idea of how much data Facebook has on its users.

Throttling the Facebook Ads algorithm as much as the example above is going to limit the reach, performance and results of your Facebook Ads by a significant amount.

Instead, as we’ll cover later in this guide, you need to put a lot of trust into Facebook as they have an even better idea of who your target audience is and where to find them; dare I say it, even more of an idea than you, which is pretty scary!

Once your Facebook Ads have run for a few days and collected some data, then you can start optimizing your Campaigns based on that data.

You also set the Placements for your Facebook Ads at the Ad Set level; where your Facebook Ads are shown within the Facebook ecosystem. At the time of writing this guide, you are able to show your Facebook Ads on the:

  • Facebook News Feed
  • Facebook and Instagram Stories
  • Instagram Feed
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Video Feeds
  • Facebook Right Column
  • Instagram Explore
  • Messenger Inbox
  • Search
  • Apps and Sites
  • In-Article

The best option, in my experience, is to let Facebook decide where to show your Ads (as I mentioned previously, Facebook knows more about your audience than you do yourself!). I therefore recommend that you set your Placement settings to Automatic Placements.

You will probably find that your Facebook Ads predominantly show on the Facebook News Feed. However, by selecting Automatic Placements, you allow Facebook to test different Placements and potentially find alternative places in their ecosystem that deliver lots of clicks at a low cost – which is exactly what you want!

We’ll cover Placements in more detail when we’re building your first Facebook Ads Campaign. For now though, let’s move onto the 3rd level of the Facebook Ads Structure.

Level 3: Ads

Finally, we have Level 3, the Ad level. This is where you build the actual Facebook Ad that readers will see whilst they’re scrolling through their Facebook News Feed, Instagram News Feed or wherever they are in the Facebook ecosystem.

Your Facebook Ad is made up of several assets:

  • Media (Image or Video)
  • Primary Text (also known as Ad Copy)
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Website URL
  • Display Link
  • Call-To-Action Button

Below, you can see a Facebook Ad example with each of the different assets individually labeled. I’m sure you will recognize this sort of layout and style from your own Facebook News Feed!

Facebook Ad example fiction book

We’ll be diving much deeper into creating scroll-stopping Facebook Ads later on in this guide, as we build out your first Facebook Ads Campaign.

As you can see, from a surface level, the structure of Facebook Ads is very simple with these 3 distinct levels:

  • Level 1: Campaign
  • Level 2: Ad Set
  • Level 3: Ad

This simple, 3 level structure is immensely beneficial when you understand it, because once you are accustomed to the Facebook Ads platform, actually building out your Facebook Ads Campaigns is relatively straightforward.

Chapter 3

The 3 Core Components of Successful Facebook Ads

Successful ads can be broken down into 3 different parts.

At the core of any successful Facebook Ads Campaign (or any advertising or marketing campaign, in fact) are 3 critical components:

  1. An enticing, no-brainer offer – this offer doesn't have to be price-related; an entertaining few hours of reading and escapism can be just as powerful and enticing to the right reader; which brings me on nicely to…
  2. Targeting the right readers (target audience) – finding the right readers on Facebook Ads can take some testing, but when you do find them, your Facebook Ads can work like gangbusters
  3. Creating a scroll-stopping Ad – there are a lot of distractions on Facebook and Instagram; your Facebook Ads need to stop people in their tracks, take notice of you and, if you’ve targeted well, click on your ad and buy your book

And that’s it! Sounds simple enough, right? Before you jump head first into creating your Ads, however, it’s worth planning things out; as you’ve seen, there are a number of different variables associated with Facebook Ads (i.e. audiences, ads, etc.) and if you’re not keeping track of what you’re testing, it’s going to be difficult to know what works and what doesn't work.

Let’s dive into it.

Chapter 4

Planning Your Facebook Ads Campaigns

Let's break down the levels of a successful Facebook Ad.

As we’ve just discussed, there are 3 core components that create a successful Facebook Ad:

  • An enticing, no-brainer offer
  • Targeting the right readers (target audience)
  • Creating a scroll-stopping Ad

Let's dive into these more thoroughly.

The Enticing, No-Brainer Offer

This is your book! As I mentioned above, a no-brainer offer doesn’t mean your book has to be Free or $0.99, although this definitely helps with sales volume. An exciting, interesting, funny, enjoyable few hours of reading and escapism can be just as enticing to the right reader.

Let’s put this into some context.

If a reader is a fan of The Lord of The Rings novels and you have written an Epic Fantasy series that other readers have compared to The Lord of The Rings in their reviews, then positioning your book in front of this new reader, when they’re looking for something new to read could be just the ticket! And price won’t come into their decision of whether they buy or not.

If your Ad is enticing, your book cover looks the part and conveys that this is an Epic Fantasy novel, your book description tantalizes readers to want to know more, you have some good reviews and the reader likes what they read in the free look-inside sample on Amazon… chances are, you’ve found yourself a new reader.

You just need to convey the tone, the genre and the journey your book will take them on; that could be a journey into another world (fiction) or a journey of self-discovery or learning something new (non-fiction). This takes some testing! You will need to test positioning your book from different angles within your Facebook Ads to discover which one delivers the best results.

By the time you’re ready to run Facebook Ads, your book should be in the best shape possible, because the fact of the matter is that no amount of advertising is going to sell a poor quality book.

With your offer in place, let’s move onto finding your target audience within the Facebook ecosystem…

Targeting The Right Readers

As we covered earlier in this guide, Facebook has a lot of data about its users. As advertisers, we can tap into this data and define who we show our Facebook Ads to.

When planning out your Facebook Ads audiences, I recommend creating a Google Sheets Spreadsheet with columns for the following, related to the book you’re advertising:

  • Authors
  • Books
  • TV Shows
  • Films
  • Genres
  • (Optional): Other Interests

Then, fill in each column with as many ideas as possible that come into your head.

FREE RESOURCE: I have built my own Facebook Ads planning tools, as well as a number of other resources, such as a Royalties and Ads Tracking Tool, an Audience Targeting and Tracking Tool and more. You can download these resources for free in my Author Ads Toolkit.
Download Here

Once you’ve exhausted these ideas, look at your book product page on Amazon (for the book you’re going to be advertising with Facebook Ads) and look at the author names and book titles of books in your Also Boughts, Also Viewed and Also Read. Add any of these that are relevant into your Google Sheets Spreadsheet.

Important: Self-published authors are unlikely to be targetable with Facebook Ads. So try to find as many traditionally published authors as possible that write similar books/genres to you, as they are much more likely to be targetable with your Facebook Ads.

By now, you should have a good list of audience ideas. Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to find ideas for each of the above categories, or if you’ve only managed to find one or two; I’m going to be showing you how to do even more audience research within the Facebook Ads Manager later on in this guide, when we build your first Facebook Ads Campaign together.

Authors and Books are going to be the most relevant audiences; we are advertising books at the end of the day! That doesn’t mean to say, however, that people who read books don’t also enjoy watching TV and going to the movies! So it’s definitely worthwhile testing audiences outside of the book world – you never know what you might find.

As an example, I’ve run Facebook Ads where I’ve targeted people who have an interest in the TV Series, Game of Thrones and guess what; it’s been one of my best performing Facebook Ads to date!

There is a nifty little trick you can use when setting up your Facebook Ads which will make sure that, when you are targeting an interest such as a TV show, Facebook will only show your Ads to people who also have an interest in reading or the Amazon Kindle. But we’ll come on to that when we build your first campaign.

For now, let’s move onto planning your ad.

Creating Scroll-Stopping Facebook Ads

We’ve talked about your target audience. Now we’re going to be planning out the Ad you’re going to show to this audience.

As we covered earlier, there are 7 elements that make up a Facebook Ad:

  • Media (Image or Video)
  • Primary Text (also known as Ad Copy)
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Website URL
  • Display Link
  • Call-To-Action Button

The 3 most crucial of these 7 elements, that have the biggest impact on how your Facebook Ads perform are, in order of importance, based on my experience:

  • Media
  • Primary Text
  • Headline

As these 3 elements affect the success of your Facebook Ads the most, they do require considerable (and on-going) testing.

Important: As with the audience research we have just been through, when planning out your Facebook Ads themselves, I recommend building a Google Sheets Spreadsheet with columns for each asset that makes up a Facebook Ad:

  • Media (Image or Video)
  • Primary Text (also known as Ad Copy)
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Website URL
  • Display Link
  • Call-To-Action Button

This way, you can map everything out in your spreadsheet and when the time comes to actually build your Facebook Ads Campaign, you simply copy and paste them from your spreadsheet into the Facebook Ads Manager. This approach will also allow you to track which elements of your Ads work and which ones don’t.

Media

We’ll begin with the most important element of your Facebook Ad… The Media. As humans, we process images 60,000 times faster than we do text (source), so it makes sense that the Media is the most crucial ingredient of a successful Facebook Ad.

You have 2 possible routes to go down with your Media – an Image or a Video.

I’ve tested both extensively and have always found that images perform better than video. That’s not to say that video doesn’t work with Facebook Ads because it definitely does; I’ve had Facebook Video Ads that have generated over 50,000 views in 3 months, spending just a few pounds/dollars per day, which is some pretty strong brand building going on there.

But from a conversion standpoint (i.e. someone seeing the Facebook Ad for the first time and buying the book you’re advertising), image Ads have beaten video Ads hands down.

Which is great if you’re brand new to Facebook Ads – video can cost a lot of money to produce and takes a lot of time to create if you’re doing it yourself. Images, on the other hand, can be quick to make and free with tools such as Canva.

Sticking with images then, let’s explore some best practices, as well as taking a look at a few example images I have used in Facebook Ads to help inspire you and give you some direction for creating images for your own Facebook Ads.

Understand that there is no right or wrong way to create images for your Facebook Ads; there’s just what works for your books. One best practice, however, as advised by Facebook themselves, is for your ad images to be square, rather than rectangular, using a resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels.

Square images outperform rectangular images in most instances, because the majority of people use Facebook and Instagram on their mobile phone. Therefore, square images take up much more real estate (space) on their screen than their rectangular counterparts do. So I highly recommend using square images for all of your Facebook Ads.

With that in mind, the content, style and layout of your images take some testing to figure out what works for your books. Some authors achieve best results by including a 3D eBook or Paperback mock-up of their book, on top of the background from their book cover, as in the example below:

fiction book facebook ad example

Including a review quote within your ad image can also make a big impact on how your ads perform.

It’s very clear from this image above that you are advertising a book! With this second alternative below, however, the image itself doesn’t clearly illustrate that it is a book you’re advertising, as I’m just using the main composition from the book cover.

The review quote I’ve used in this ad image mentions the word book, which helps people know that this is a book you’re advertising!

Believe it or not, your Facebook Ads can receive a lot of wasted clicks if it’s not immediately clear that it is a book being advertised. I’ve also added the Available on Amazon Kindle logo to this image to let people know that this is a book! If you’ve done your targeting right, people seeing your Ad will recognise the Amazon Kindle logo.

Another option is to use the book cover background on its own, with no text or logos, as you can see from the example below:

Facebook ad image example

This can be a less effective approach, as it’s not obvious from the image at all that you’re advertising a book. Any clicks you generate may result in very few conversions (i.e. sales). To avoid this scenario, you would need to make it crystal clear in your Headline and/or Primary Text that this is a book being advertised.

The only true way to discover what images work for your books is to test a variety of different ideas (there’s no such thing as bad ideas in this game!), find your winner, and then roll out that winner into all your Ads.

Always remember, however, that Facebook Ads do fatigue, (become less effective, cost more, etc.) which is why it’s always worth testing new ad images against your current winner to see if you can find your next winning image.

Primary Text

Next, we have the Primary Text of your Facebook Ad, that appears above your Media, as labelled in the image below:

Writing your Primary Text requires you to step out of the Author Mindset and instead, move into the Advertiser Mindset.

Easier said than done, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Once again, there really is no right or wrong way to write your Primary Text; however, there are some best practices to keep in mind.

Working alongside your Media, your Primary Text is there to intrigue and entice readers enough to click on your Facebook Ad and visit your book product page.

Your Primary Text is NOT the place to deliver a blow-by-blow account of what happens in your book! Nor is it the place for a synopsis!

Let’s look at some possible approaches you can take with your Primary Text… As always though, you will need to test different pieces of Primary Text to discover what works well for your book; what works for one author may not work for another author.

Fiction

Personally, I have found that a short passage from your book performs superbly well. And adding a Call-To-Action (CTA) at the end of the passage telling people where they can buy the book (including a link) as well as the name of your book, your series (if applicable) and your pen name.

As an example, for my wife’s novel, the following Primary Text has been one of our best performers to date:

“The lie that had got her this far crumbled as the truth closed its merciless jaws around her heart and sank in deep. He was dead. Her senses had already told her what she needed to know, but some masochistic part of herself reached out for him all the same. He promised. The nothingness that came whipping back to her was crippling. She screamed her loss to the frozen, uncaring sky. Rebaa did not know how long she crouched there, lost in her grief. The wind howled, whistling through the rocks, tearing relentlessly at her furs. The loneliness of its wail settled the true extent of her situation around her quaking shoulders. She was utterly alone; abandoned far from her native land with no tribe to protect her. Her breath came faster. She was a dead woman walking.” — From The Forbidden (The Ancestors Saga, Book 1), by Lori Holmes Start Reading Today → [LINK TO BOOK]

As you can see, this Primary Text isn’t salesy or sleazy in any way; it’s purely providing the reader with a taste of the story, the writing style, a flavour of intrigue as to what is going to happen to the protagonist and entice them enough to click the ad and visit the book product page on Amazon.

Nonfiction

If your book helps the reader solve a problem, an approach I like to take with the Primary Text is to call out your ideal reader and talk to their pain point.

The next step is to tease how your book can move them closer towards solving that pain point. Paint a picture of what their life, business or (insert relevant term here!) will look like after they have read your book and implemented your advice.

Here is an example of one of my best performing pieces of Primary Text for Book 1 of my series, The 7 Day Authors Guide To Book Advertising:

[Free Book For Authors] The 7 Day Authors Guide To Book Advertising.

You're an author, not an advertiser. You love words, not numbers.

However, if you want to get your books into the hands of readers who will devour every word and every chapter of your work, you need to reach them today, not 12 months from now.

One of, if not, the most effective and quickest ways to position your books in front of your ideal readers is through paid advertising.

Do the words ‘paid advertising' bring you out in a cold sweat?

Fear not… in my FREE book ‘The 7 Day Authors Guide To Book Advertising', I walk you through, step-by-step, how to build out a simple, cohesive one-page advertising strategy for your books.

You'll also get FREE access to the bonus resources that I personally use:
  • Ads Tracking Spreadsheet (For Wide and Exclusive Authors)
  • Audience Targeting and Tracking Spreadsheet
  • Your One-Page Advertising Strategy Template
Just a week from today, you could have a clear roadmap of where you're going in your author career and how you're going to get there. Start reading The 7 Day Authors Guide To Book Advertising today → [LINK]

Once again, this isn’t salesy or sleazy. I’m relating to authors by mentioning a pain point, then painting a picture of what their author career could look like once they are successfully running Ads. I also provide a few details about the offer, such as it being available to read for FREE and the FREE Resources I’m providing them with.

Fiction and Nonfiction

Another approach you can take with your Primary Text that I like to I use and can be extremely effective for both fiction and nonfiction is:

  • [OPTIONAL] Powerful review quote from the book you’re advertising (including source)
  • Start with a 1-2 sentence teaser of your book (conflict, stakes and tension)
  • Share 1-3 review quotes from the reviews on your book product page
  • End with A Call-To-Action, such as ‘Start Reading Today’, followed by a link to your book

As another example, here is one of the best performing pieces of Primary Text I’ve used for the first book in my wife’s series:

“If you enjoyed Clan of the Cave Bear you should read this” Amazon Customer

The unforgettable story of one woman's perilous journey as she learns to survive in a freezing and hostile world, hunted, alone and carrying… The Forbidden.

“It was a book I found hard to put down. The story grabs you from the start.”

“I couldn’t help but imagine what the characters in this story were experiencing.”

“You’re immediately sucked into the story and feel yourself becoming entwined with the main character”

Start reading today and escape into our own dark and forgotten past… → [LINK]

Let’s move on to the final piece of the puzzle of creating scroll-stopping Facebook Ads.

Headline

The third most important element of your Facebook Ad is the Headline. This is the bold line or two of text that appears underneath your Media, as you can see from the labelled diagram below:

Parts of a Facebook Ad

You can of course write whatever you like here (providing you stick to Facebook’s policy), but again, you will have to test to discover the best Headlines for your book(s).

If you’re struggling for ideas, here are a few options for you to consider and test:

  • A review quote of your book – make sure you put this in quotation marks (“)
  • A comparison to another book, author or series (e.g. “if you enjoyed XXX [BOOK] you'll love XXX [YOUR BOOK/SERIES]” – bonus points if someone has written this sort of thing as a review!
  • If you have a sale on, mention the sale and end date to create scarcity (e.g. $0.99 until May 6th)
  • Or, if your books are exclusive to Amazon and therefore available in Kindle Unlimited, let readers know (e.g. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited)

Ultimately, your Media, Primary Text and Headline work cohesively together to provide the people seeing your Facebook Ads with an experience right there on the Facebook or Instagram News Feed that resonates with them, creates intrigue and interest, and entices them enough to want to learn more, click on your Ad and buy your book.

With your Facebook Ads mapped out, let’s move onto the exciting stuff and build your first Facebook Ads Campaign. And what the heck, we’ll launch it too!

Chapter 5

Setting Up Your Facebook Ads Account

Here we are then! We’ve made it! You’ve done all the prep work, it’s almost time to build that first Facebook Ads Campaign… Before we do, however, you need to setup your Facebook Ads Account.

As I mentioned earlier, to run Facebook Ads, you’ll need 2 key things:

  • A Facebook Author Page
  • A Facebook Ads Account N.B: Your Facebook Ads Account is linked to your personal Facebook Account

To create a Facebook Ads Account, if you haven’t done so already, is relatively straightforward; let’s create this together right now:

Step 1

Once you’ve created your Facebook Author Page, head on over to your Facebook News Feed. On the left-hand side of your screen, you’ll see an option in the menu called Ads, as highlighted below. Click on Ads and you’ll be taken to what is known as your Ad Center.

Facebook Ad Manager

Step 2

Your Facebook Ad Center will look very similar to the screenshot you see below. Yes, this looks beautifully clean and simple, however the Facebook Ads Center has its drawbacks and offers very limited functionality compared to that of its bigger, older sibling, the Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebok Ads manager dashboard

Facebook Ads Manager can look a little more daunting compared to that of the Facebook Ads Centre, but it is a much more sophisticated tool that Facebook offers you free of charge and I highly recommend you dive into Facebook Ads through the Ads Manager rather than the Ad Centre. You can thank me later!

Step 3

To access your Facebook Ads Manager, simply click on All Ads in the left-hand menu (as you can see highlighted below) and then click on Ads Manager in the middle of your screen (also highlighted in the screenshot below). This will open your Facebook Ads Manager in a new Tab or Window.

Facebook Ad manager dashboard

Step 4

You are now in what will become your new home for building, launching, optimizing and scaling your Facebook Ads Campaigns; the Facebook Ads Manager, as shown in the screenshot below.

Facebook ads manager

Rather than going the convoluted route of finding the Facebook Ads Manager I’ve just described in steps 1-4, I would recommend you bookmark the following URL in your internet browser of choice (I recommend Google Chrome; but there are others such as Firefox and Microsoft Edge):

https://www.facebook.com/adsmanager

This URL will take you directly to your Facebook Ads Manager, providing that you’re already logged into Facebook.

Step 5

Before you can run any Facebook Ads, you will first need to set up your Billing information so that you have the means to pay Facebook for the Ads that you run through the Facebook Ads Manager.

To add a payment method, first click on the Business Tools icon (the square made up of 9 circles in the left-hand menu near the top of your screen), as highlighted below. Next, click on the Billing icon in the pop-up menu that appears, also highlighted below.

Facebook ads billing

Step 6

On the following screen you will see your Billing page. This is where you will be able to look at what you’ve paid to Facebook, download invoices, statements and more. As you’ve never run Facebook Ads before, however, and this is a brand new account, your Billing page will be devoid of invoices for now.

Adding a payment method to your Facebook Ads Account which is used to pay your Facebook Ads invoices is relatively straightforward… simply click on the Payment Settings button towards the top right-hand side of your screen (as highlighted below).

Facebook ad payment settings

Step 7

And finally, click on the Add Payment Method button (highlighted below) and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your preferred method of payment. At the time of writing this guide, Facebook currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Paypal and Direct Debit.

facebook ad manager payment method

And that is it! Your Facebook Ads Account is now ready to roll and, more importantly, ready to run Ads! So let’s do just that.

Chapter 6

Building and Launching Your First Facebook Ads Campaign

The time has come… this is what you’ve been waiting for!

When you’re first getting started with Facebook Ads, I highly recommend that you start small, get comfortable with the Facebook Ads Manager interface, find a few winning audiences, winning ads, and then you can think about scaling up and increasing your Ad spend.

Don’t try to run before you can walk, as the saying goes!

When I’m testing new audiences, which is what I recommend you focus on initially, as well as testing different Ad Creative (i.e. Media, Primary Text, Headline, etc.), I use a 3×3 approach; don’t worry, I’m going to lay out the exact 3×3 blueprint in this guide!

And some more good news, this 3×3 blueprint requires just $9 per day in Ad Spend (you can round it up to $10 per day if you have an extra $1 to spare).

Remember the Facebook Ads structure we covered earlier in this guide? Here’s a reminder:

Facebook ad structure

With this structure in mind, here’s what the Facebook Ads 3×3 Blueprint looks like:

  • 1 x Campaign
  • 3 x Ad Sets/Audiences
  • 3 x Ads within each Ad Set (the same ads in each Ad Set)
  • £3/$3 per day per Ad Set (total daily budget of £9/$9, set at the Campaign level – CBO/Campaign Budget Optimization; we'll be covering CBO shortly!)

Essentially, with this 3×3 blueprint, I’m using 1 Campaign, inside of which there are 3 Ad Sets and within each of those Ad Sets there are 3 Ads. I then set a budget allowance of $3/£3 for each of those Ad Sets; 3×3 = 9, which is where the $9/£9 per day budget comes from.

Even though I recommend using CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) and your budget won’t be distributed evenly between the 3 Ad Sets, from all my testing, I have found that a daily budget of $9/£9 to be the sweet spot for testing purposes; giving Facebook enough budget to play with and generate statistically significant data, but not spending too much on a poor performing audience and/or Ads and therefore wasting money.

Facebook Ads as a platform, thrive on what they call Account Simplification and this 3×3 blueprint ties in perfectly to that; it's simple, it's clean, it’s quick to set up and it works like gangbusters!

So, if you’re ready, let's get building!

Step 1: Create A New Campaign

Inside your Facebook Ads Manager, click on the green +Create button towards the top left of your dashboard, as highlighted below.

Facebook Ads create campaign

Step 2: Select Your Campaign Objective

You’ll now be presented with a window that allows you to tell Facebook what you want your Facebook Ads Campaign to achieve. As we covered earlier in this guide, the most effective Campaign Objective for authors, when sending readers directly from Facebook to the likes of Amazon (to our book product page), is Traffic.

Facebook campaign traffic

Using Traffic will tell the Facebook algorithms that you want them to find people within your target audience who will click on your Facebook Ad and visit your book product page.

So, select Traffic as your Campaign Objective, and let’s move onto Step 3.

Step 3: Name Your Campaign

Devising a naming convention when you’re first starting out with Facebook Ads and only have a 1 or 2 Campaigns, may seem a little petty, but trust me, when you’ve been running Facebook Ads for a while and have 50+ Campaigns, 100+ Ad Sets and 200+ Ads in your Facebook Ads Manager, you'll be glad you used a consistent naming convention from the start!

You can of course come up with your own naming convention, but if you’re struggling, here’s how I name my Campaigns:

[COUNTRY] | [BOOK TITLE] | [TARGETING DETAIL]

To put this into some context for you, here is an example of how this naming convention plays out:

USA | The Forbidden | Authors

To name your Campaign, scroll down the Create New Campaign window where you selected your Campaign Objective and click the down arrow next to the Name Your Campaign text, as highlighted in the screenshot below.

Facebook name your campaign

You will then see a box where you can enter the name of your Campaign (see screenshot below). Don’t worry about naming your Ad Sets and Ads at this stage; we’ll name those when we come to build them.

Once you've named your Campaign, click the blue Continue button at the bottom of this window.

Step 4: Set Your Budget

You’ll now be taken to another screen where you will see more settings for this new Campaign as a whole.

As I touched on earlier, we want to use something called Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO for short). CBO will, in Facebook’s own words “… distribute your budget across ad sets to get more results…”

Essentially, with CBO, Facebook will automatically push more budget towards Ad Sets within a Campaign that are delivering the best results based on your Campaign Objective.

The alternative to CBO is Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO for short). With ABO, you set the budget for each Ad Set within a Campaign and then manually adjust the budgets for each Ad Set based on the data you are seeing in your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. This process can take up a lot of time when you are analysing the data and making decisions when you can’t see the full picture.

I have tested both CBO and ABO and have consistently found that CBO delivers far superior results and even delivers lower costs.

Now you understand a little more about CBO, you’ll need to turn it ON, as it is set to OFF, by default. To do this, at the bottom of the Campaign settings screen you’ll see a section titled Campaign Budget Optimization.

Within this section is a little toggle switch, highlighted below. Click this once and CBO will be turned ON.

Turn on Campaign Budget Optimization

As we went through at the beginning of this section, we are going to be using a daily budget of $9/£9. This $9 budget will be split (based on performance), between the three Ad Sets we’ll be building very shortly.

Once CBO is turned ON, you’ll see a box where you can enter your daily budget, as shown in the screenshot below. Set this to $9/£9 (or $10/£10 if you want to round things up!).

Daily budget Facebook Ads

Ready? Click the blue Next button in the bottom right corner of your screen and let’s move onto creating your first Ad Set.

Step 5: Name Your Ad Set

Back in the Planning Your Facebook Ads Campaigns section of this guide, we covered some Audience Targeting ideas. Did you find at least 3 relevant audiences you want to test? Great! You’ll need those now!

The screen you find yourself on now is the Ad Set level of the Facebook Ads structure.

Name Ad Set Facebook campaign

The first step to take at the Ad Set level is to name your Ad Set (as highlighted in the above screenshot. Here’s how I like to name my Ad Sets; of course, feel free to create your own naming convention that works for you:

[COUNTRY] | [SPECIFIC TARGETING DETAIL]

To put this into context once more, if this Ad Set was targeting the author, Nora Roberts, my Ad Set Name could look like this:

USA | Nora Roberts

Step 6: Define Your Target Audience

Moving down the Ad Set settings, here's what I recommend for the first few sections:

  • Traffic (leave as Website)
  • Dynamic Creative (leave OFF)
  • Offer (leave OFF)
  • Budget & Schedule (leave date and time as it is unless you have a reason you need your ads to start and/or end on a specific date)

And now, we come to the Targeting!

When you’re first getting started with Facebook Ads, I always recommend running them to audiences in the United States first; for 9 out of 10 authors, this will deliver the best results.

Once you’ve built up some statistically significant data (i.e. what works and what doesn’t work; although this is an ongoing process), seen an impact on your Royalties (i.e. your Return on Investment) and grown your confidence with Facebook Ads, then you could consider running Facebook Ads to readers in countries outside of the United States.

To select the United States as your location, if you live in the United States, this will be your default location.

If you’re outside of the United States, just remove the country that is pre-selected by default in the location settings (most likely, the country you live in), type United States into the search bar, as highlighted below and select it from the drop-down menu that appears.

Facebook ad campaign United States

Moving down, for your first few Facebook Ads Campaigns, I recommend leaving the Age and Gender options as default:

  • Age: 18-65+
  • Gender: All (Men and Women)

By leaving the Age and Gender completely open and broad gives Facebook free rein to find the best people within your selected target audience.

Once your Ads have run for a reasonable time period of at least 7 days, you can refine the Age and Gender targeting for future Ad Sets. Personally, though, I still leave my Age and Gender settings as default and haven’t seen a dip in performance compared to Ad Sets I’ve run where I have restricted the Gender to Female only, for example, and Ages to 45-65+.

It’s important to understand that, with Facebook Ads, every layer of targeting you add to your Ad Set throttles the algorithm from performing at its optimum; this rings especially true for brand new Facebook Ads Accounts as they have no past data in the account to work with.

Next, move on down to the Detailed Targeting section and, as you hover over this section with your cursor, an Edit button will appear on the right-hand side, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Facebook Ad target audience ideas

Click this Edit button and a search bar will now become visible, as shown below. Now type ONE of your three target audience ideas into the search bar and select them from the drop-down menu that appears.

Important: Don’t stack multiple audience ideas you found earlier into a single Ad Set! If you do this, you’ll have no idea which of these audiences performed well and which didn’t! You can always stack / combine top performing audiences together at a later date into a single Ad Set, once you know they all work well individually.

You may have noticed that the Potential Reach of your Ad Set (displayed near the top right of your screen, highlighted below) with this audience as a target, has significantly reduced from the figure it was before you selected this audience. But don’t worry, this is a good thing! You don’t want your audience too narrow, but you also don’t want it too broad!

The audience you’ve just selected is now the target of this Ad Set. But we’re going to go one step further and narrow the targeting down another level.

Underneath where you’ve selected your audience in the Detailed Targeting section, you’ll see a button labelled Narrow Audience, as shown in the screenshot below.

By narrowing your audience, you are telling Facebook that you want them to show your Ads to people who have an interest in your main target that you’ve just selected (in the case of the screenshot above, author, Nora Roberts), but, these people must also have an interest in any targeting options you include in the Narrow Audience section.

I like to narrow my audiences down by the following:

  • Kindle
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Kindle Store
  • Kindle Fire

So for the example in the screenshot below, Facebook can only show my Ads to people who have an interest in Nora Roberts AND they must also have an interest in any of the following; Kindle, Amazon Kindle, Kindle Store or Kindle Fire.

When you narrow your audience, you will notice that the Potential Reach of your Ad Set (shown near the top right of your screen), may reduce significantly depending on the initial interest you are targeting.

Narrowing your audience is by no means mandatory. However, I like to make sure I have the best possible chance of my Ads reaching the right audience.
If you’re targeting authors, then narrowing your audience by interests such as Kindle, Amazon Kindle, etc. will have a small impact on your results.

However, if you’re targeting movies or TV shows, there’s an almost certain possibility that many people within this audience won’t read books! So narrowing your audience to include interests such as Kindle, Amazon Kindle, etc. will have an enormous impact on the performance of your Ads.

Moving onto the other settings in the Ad Set, I recommend leaving them all as they are, including leaving Placements set to Automatic Placements.

Facebook Ad automatic placements

Placements simply refers to where, within the Facebook ecosystem, you want your Facebook Ads to show.

As we’ve already covered, throttling the Facebook algorithm too much can hurt the performance of your Ads. By choosing Manual Placements and selecting 1 or more individual Placements such as Facebook News Feed, you are restricting Facebook's power to go out and find the best people within your target audience, for the lowest possible cost, wherever they are located in the Facebook ecosystem.

This could be on the Facebook News Feed, the Instagram Feed, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Group Feed, Facebook or Instagram Stories, Articles, Search, or a whole host of other placements across Facebook’s assets.

By selecting Automatic Placements, you are giving Facebook free rein to show your Ads anywhere across their ecosystem. I have found from my tests that Automatic Placements delivers lower Cost Per Clicks (CPC), higher Click-Through Rates (CTR) and overall, better performance of the Ads.

You will most likely find that the majority of your clicks come from the Facebook News Feed. However, I still recommend leaving your Placements set to Automatic Placements, because Facebook will continue testing Placements for as long as your Ad Set is live and it may just find some other successful placements that deliver good results for you.

Before you continue, take 30 seconds to review everything at the Ad Set level. Once you're happy, click the blue Next button at the bottom right of your screen and we’ll move onto actually building your Facebook Ads.

Step 7: Let’s Build Your Facebook Ads

Here we are then! The final stage of building your first Facebook Ads! And now it’s time to build the actual Ads people will see on their Facebook and Instagram News Feeds (and everywhere else across the Facebook ecosystem!)

Once again, we’ll start by using a meaningful naming convention, as we’ve done for both the Campaign and Ad Set already. The naming convention I like to use for Ads is:

[COUNTRY] | [SPECIFIC TARGETING DETAIL] | [AD#]

To put this into some context, an example would be:

USA | Nora Roberts | Ad1

Name your Facebook Ad

The reason we are numbering the Ads is that you should test multiple Ads at the same time to figure out which one is resonating the most with your target audience, and therefore, usually delivering the lowest Cost Per Click (CPC) and highest Click-Through Rate (CTR).

Note: You may have an error message on the right-hand side of your screen at this stage, as you can see in the screenshot above. Don’t worry about this! The error message will disappear once you enter the URL where you're sending people, which we’ll be adding to your Ad very shortly!

Next, make sure your correct Facebook Page and Instagram Accounts are selected, as highlighted below. These are the Pages/Accounts that will be associated with your Ads, so it’s important to double check these are correct.

Facebook Page and Instagram Accounts

If you don’t have an Instagram Account, just choose the option Use Selected Page, which is what I’ve done for this example.
And then, it's time to move onto the moment you’ve been waiting for… building your Ad Creative!

You can leave the Ad Setup settings as default, which are:

  • Create Ad
  • Single Image or Video

Now scroll on down to the Ad Creative section. To upload your image, click the Add Media drop-down menu and then choose Add Image.

add image to FB Ad

You’ll then see a new window appear where all the images and videos that are stored inside your Facebook Ads Account will show. If this is your first Facebook Ads Account, there won’t be any media in here! But that is about to change!

To upload your first image, click the Upload button in the top left of the window.

Upload image to Facebook Ad

Select the image you want to upload from your computer and once it’s uploaded, click the blue Next button. You’ll then see a window with your selected image shown in various shapes and sizes. 9 times out of 10, these are all perfect and no changes are required, so if it all looks good, click the blue Done button.

Add image to FB Ad

Your selected image will now appear in the Ad Preview section on the right-hand side of your screen, as you can see below, with previews of how your Ad will look in all the different Placements.

Facebook Ad Preview

The next stage is to add your Primary Text (the text that appears above your image). If you’ve already written your Primary Text in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, as we covered earlier in this guide, you can just copy and paste it into the Primary Text box here in the Facebook Ads Manager.

Add Primary Text to Facebook Ad

Now follow the exact same process of copying and pasting your Headline and Description from your Google Sheets spreadsheet into the relevant boxes in your Facebook Ads Manager.

Once complete, you should now have something resembling a Facebook Ad, complete with a piece of Primary Text, a Headline and a Description.

Parts of a Facebook Ad

The last thing to do with your Ad here is copy and paste the link to your book product page (the Amazon/Kobo/Barnes & Noble, etc URL of the book you’re advertising, e.g. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08527CFWW) and paste it into the Website URL box. And then, I recommend changing the Call-to-Action button to Shop Now.

Website URL Facebook Ad

I have tested all the relevant Call-To-Action buttons available inside Facebook Ads, such as Download, Learn More and I’ve even tried No Button. But a button labelled Shop Now has consistently outperformed all the other options, so I recommend starting with this. You can always test different button options for your own books further down the line.

Step 8: Duplicate Your Ad

As we covered earlier in this section, what we are building here is based on my 3×3 Facebook Ads Blueprint (i.e. 1 x Campaign, 3 x Ad Sets and 3 x Ads).

You’ve just built 1 Ad, so now we need to create 2 more! Rather than creating a new Ad from scratch, however, a much more efficient way of doing things is to duplicate this Ad you’ve just created.

We can then change 1 variable (e.g. Media or Primary Text or Headline, etc.) within the duplicated Ad. The reason for changing just 1 variable at a time is so that we can see the impact changing this 1 variable has on the performance of the Ad and the Cost Per Click (CPC).

As the Media has the biggest impact on Ad performance and CPC, I always recommend starting by testing 3 different images (Media) first.

If we were to change every element of the Ad (i.e. Media, Primary Text, Headline, Description, etc.), we wouldn’t have any idea which element of the Ad caused the positive or negative result in Ad performance and CPC.


To duplicate this Ad you’ve just created, click the X in the top left of the Ad window, as highlighted in the screenshot below.

Duplicate Facebook Ad

Next, select this Ad in the Ads tab window by clicking in the check box alongside it, as shown below. Then click the Duplicate button in the top toolbar, also shown in the screenshot below.

Duplicating a Facebook Ad

A new window will pop up, but you can leave all these settings as they are and just click the blue Duplicate button.

Duplicating a Facebook Ad

You will now have 2 Ads in this Ad Set! The new one you’ve just created through duplication will have the same name as the initial Ad, the only difference being the word Copy has been added to the end of it.

Creating a Facebook Ad Set

All that’s left to do now with this new duplicated Ad is change the Ad Name and swap the Media (image) for an alternative to test. Let’s do this now. . .

To edit the Ad, make sure it is selected by clicking the checkbox alongside it, then click either the Edit button underneath the Ad Name, or the Edit button in the top toolbar (both options highlighted below).

Naming your Ad Set

You’ll be familiar with the window that pops up now! So first, change the Ad Name to make it clear that this is Ad number 2.

Second Ad in Facebook Ad Set

Then scroll down to the Ad Creative section and we’re going to change the Media for an alternative image. To do this, simply click on Edit and then click Change Media.

Alternative image for Facebook Ad

Follow the same process as before of uploading a new image to your Facebook Ads Account. You should now have a new image in Ad 2! Leave all the other settings of the Ad untouched; we are only changing the image.

The Primary Text, the Headline, the Description, the Call-to-Action Button, the Website URL, etc are all remaining the same in each version of the Ad.

Editing content of Facebook Ad

And now, you need to Duplicate this Ad once more by following the same duplication process we’ve just been through, change the Ad Name to show that this Ad number 3, and then swap the image for a third alternative.

Once you’ve done this, you should have 3 Ads within this first Ad Set, each Ad with a different image. Your dashboard will look something like the screenshot below.

3 Ads in Facebook Ad Set

Step 9: Duplicate the Ad Set

You now have 3 Ads within this Ad Set. And as we are following the 3×3 Facebook Ads Blueprint, we will be testing 3 different audiences; therefore, we need 3 different Ad Sets.

Rather than creating the Ad Set and Ads from scratch each time, we can speed up the process by duplicating the Ad Set, which will also duplicate the Ads within the Ad Set.

To do this, click on the Ad Sets Tab in your dashboard, as highlighted below.

Ad Sets Tab

Make sure the first Ad Set you’ve just finished creating is selected, then as you did when duplicating the Ads, click the Edit button underneath the Ad Name, or the Edit button in the top toolbar (both options highlighted below).

Edit Ad Set

Leave all the settings as they are in the box that pops up and click the blue Duplicate button.

Creating new Ad Set in Facebook Campaign

You’ll now have 2 Ad Sets in your Campaign. The next step is to change the name of the Ad Set and change the targeting, so that you are targeting a different interest to that of your first Ad Set.

The Ad Set settings window will pop up as soon as you Duplicate the first Ad Set. From here, you can change the name of the Ad Set, then scroll down to the Detailed Targeting section.

Remove the interest you are targeting with your first Ad Set by clicking the X that appears when you hover over it, as highlighted below.

Removing targeting in Ad Set

You can then search for the next interest you’d like to target by typing it into the search bar, as shown below. Once you’ve selected your target for this Ad Set, you can leave all the other settings alone, including the interests you are targeting to narrow the audience.

Add interest to Facebook Ad

You can now duplicate this Ad Set one last time following the process we’ve just been through, leaving you with 3 Ad Sets in this 1 Campaign, each Ad Set targeting a different interest.

Creating a new Ad Set

All that’s left to do now is publish! Before you do, however, I always recommend double and triple-checking all the setup work you’ve been doing, just in case anything slipped through the net. Check your:

  • Naming conventions
  • Budget (set at the Campaign level)
  • Targeting
  • Placements
  • Ad Creative
  • Website URL’s

When you’re ready, click the blue Review and Publish button in the top right of your screen.

Review and publish Facebook Ad

You will then see a confirmation box that outlines the Campaign, Ad Sets and Ads that you’ve just created. Review these and when you’re happy, click the green Publish button.

And that’s it! Your Facebook Ads will now go through an automated review and approval process. This can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. If this is your first Facebook Ads Account, typically, Ads take closer to the 24 hour mark to be approved.

From my experience, once you have run several Facebook Ads Campaigns, your Ads will be approved much quicker; I regularly see my Ads reviewed and approved within 1-4 hours nowadays.

Wow! That was a pretty long section! The more Ads you create, the quicker you’ll become at this process and it will just become second nature.

Next, we’re moving onto reviewing the data, the 5 key metrics to keep an eye on and how to optimize your Facebook Ads.

Chapter 7

Reviewing and Optimizing Your Facebook Ads

After putting all this effort into creating your Facebook Ads, it's critical that you frequently review and optimize them for maximum potential.

Before we dive into the reviewing and optimization process, there’s something I need to share with you about tracking the performance of your Facebook Ads.

To put it bluntly, you can’t track how many sales your Facebook Ads actually generate; not accurately, anyway.

One way to figure out the impact they are having is to make a note of how many daily sales, page reads and royalties you are making before you start running Facebook Ads, averaged out over at least the previous 30 days. This is your baseline.

Then, once you’ve been running Facebook Ads for at least a month, work out the average number of daily sales you have made. Has this number increased from your baseline numbers? Have your royalties increased? Are you making a profit when you take the Ad Spend away from your Royalties?

Clearly not all sales are going to come from the Facebook Ads! But if you can generate additional sales to those that you were already making before running Facebook Ads, then these new sales will improve your Sales Rank (on Amazon, this is the ABSR; Amazon Best Seller Rank).

With a higher sales rank you receive more visibility and therefore more organic sales (i.e. sales made without paid advertising).

The 5 Key Metrics

When reviewing your Facebook Ads data, you will see that there is a lot of information available. You don’t need to look at all of it! In fact, I recommend you focus your attention on just 5 key metrics:

  • Impressions: The number of times your ad has been seen on the Facebook News Feed (or anywhere else on the Facebook ecosystem)
  • Unique Outbound Clicks: The number of unique clicks your ad has generated to your book product page (i.e. Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.)
  • Unique Outbound CTR (Click-Through Rate): The Percentage of times people who saw your Ad (impressions) actually clicked on it. E.g. If 100 people saw your Ad and 5 people clicked on it, that would result in a 5% CTR
  • Cost Per Unique Outbound Click (CPC): The average cost you paid for an individual person to click on your ad and visit your book product page
  • Frequency: The average number of times an individual person has seen your ad

The Learning Phase

For the first 1-3 days of your Campaign going live, your Ad Sets will be in what Facebook calls the Learning Phase. This is a process every single Ad Set must go through as Facebook learns how it can generate the best possible results based on your Campaign Objective.

It achieves this by showing your Ads to different people within your target audience and calculating who is most likely to take your desired action (in our case, clicks), then shows your Ads to more people like this who have similar personalities, interests and behaviors.

During the learning phase, your CPCs (Cost Per Click) are likely to be higher than they will be after the learning phase has completed.

Whilst the learning phase is in progress, it’s imperative that you don’t make any changes in your Campaign, Ad Sets or Ads (i.e. no budget changes, no targeting changes, etc.), as this will reset the learning phase and you’ll have to go through it all again.

What and How To Optimize Your Facebook Ads

Once your first Facebook Ads Campaign has run for at least 7 days, completely untouched, it’s time to come in and review the data.

You can of course look at the data in your Facebook Ads Manager at any time, but I highly recommend that you let the Ads run for at least 7 days before you make any adjustments to them.

The first place I like to start when looking at how the Ads have performed is by going to the Ads level and look at data for the past 7 days. To change the timeframe of data that you see, click the date box near the top right of your screen, as highlighted below. And select Last 7 Days from the preset options, also highlighted below.

Last week of Facebook Ad performance

I then look at the CPCs and CTRs of each of the individual Ads. There will be 1 Ad that Facebook will have favored and will have received the majority of the budget. Some of the other Ads are likely to have received some budget, although it is likely to be considerably less than the Ad that has received the most budget.

In an ideal world, I let the impressions on an individual Ad reach 1,000 before making any decisions about what to do with it. But if Facebook won’t give an Ad any budget (or very little budget), it could potentially take months to reach those 1,000 impressions. I find that giving Facebook 7-14 days is enough time to test an Ad and see if it resonates with a particular audience.

If an Ad hasn’t received 1,000 impressions after these 7-14 days, I’ll look at the other metrics mentioned above and decide whether to turn it off or let it run for another 7 days.

Personally, I like to keep my CPCs under £0.20 (approx $0.28) and CTRs above 2%. As you can see from the highlighted example below, Ad 2 in this Ad Set has a very high CPC of £0.31 (approx $0.44), which is far too expensive. The 3.30% CTR is good and above my minimum threshold of 2%, but compared to Ad 1, the winning Ad, with a CPC of £0.10 and a CTR of 6.57%, I need to turn Ad 2 off.

Turning off a Facebook Ad

To turn an Ad OFF, all you need to do is click the blue toggle switch next to the relevant Ad, as highlighted in the screenshot above.

When I turn an Ad off, I’ll then go in and create a new Ad to test against the winner and see if I can challenge that winner for pole position.

The final metric I look at is Frequency; this tells me how many times an individual person has seen a particular Ad. My absolute maximum frequency is 3, which tells me that, on average, people are seeing this Ad 3 times. I usually check the frequency of an Ad over a 30-day period, rather than a 7-day period, as 7 days isn’t usually enough time to get an accurate read on the true frequency.

I follow this same process we’ve just been for the Ads with the Ad Sets using the same 5 key metrics:

  • Impressions
  • Unique Outbound Clicks
  • Unique Outbound CTR (Click-Through Rate)
  • Cost Per Unique Outbound Click (CPC)
  • Frequency

I turn off any Ad Sets that are too expensive or just aren’t receiving much in the way of budget from Facebook. If I turn an Ad Set off, I will replace it with another Ad Set and test another audience using the Ads that have been the most successful over the past 7 days.

And essentially, that is how I optimize my Facebook Ads. I turn off things that aren’t working and consistently test new Ads and Audiences.

Chapter 8

Knowing How and When To Scale

By the term scale, I simply mean doing more of what is working! When people talk about scaling Facebook Ads, they are typically referring to spending more money on a single campaign that is already working well. This is known as Vertical Scaling.

There are 3 other types of scaling I like to use:

  • Horizontal Scaling: Taking a winning Ad and showing it to new audiences
  • Regional Scaling: Advertising to people who live outside of the USA (or the predominant country you’re advertising in)
  • Same-Series/Cross-Series Scaling: Advertising different books in the same series to readers who are already aware of said series (i.e. advertising Book 3 to people who have seen Ads for Book 1, if books can be read in any order). Or advertising a book in another series of yours to an audience who have reacted well to a book in an alternative series (i.e. Advertising Book 1 of Series A to readers who have resonated well with Book 1 of Series B)

But how do you know when it’s time to scale? I like to use the following thresholds when determining if a Campaign or Ad Set is ready to scale:

  • Strong CTR (Click-Through-Rate): Above 3%
  • Good CPC (Cost-Per-Click): Below £0.15/$0.20
  • Generating sales (you saw a definite up-tick in sales, page reads and royalties when you launched this Ad and sales have consistently been strong)

If a Campaign or Ad Set ticks all these boxes, then I scale it! Typically, I start with Vertical Scaling (increasing budget) because it is the most effective way to increase the performance of your Facebook Ads.

Increasing the budget on a Campaign is very quick and easy to do; as we are using CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) just come to the Campaign level and hover over the relevant Campaign in the Budget column and a little pencil icon will appear. Click this pencil icon and a box will pop up where you can enter a new daily budget, as shown in the screenshot below.

Once you’ve entered your new daily budget, just click the Publish button. And that’s it, you’ve just scaled your Facebook Ads Campaign!

Vertical scaling works incredibly well with CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) because you can increase the budget of your Campaign by a considerable amount without it breaking your Campaign. When advertising backlist books, I typically increase budgets by about 10% every 1-2 weeks on proven Audiences and Ads. For example, a $20 per day budget would become a $22 per day budget.

During launches and promos, however, I am increasing budgets by 30%-50% per day, sometimes more! This is because I like to run launches and promos for no more than 7 days, which is a very short time window, so I need to scale very aggressively, very quickly.

If I were to set the budget at the Ad Set level, known as ABO (the opposite to CBO), and I increased the budget by 30%-50% a day, I would break the Ad Sets! i.e. Performance would crash, costs would increase, etc.
Using CBO avoids this situation, which is why I love it so much!

When using Facebook Ads for backlist titles (i.e. evergreen Ads), I recommend increasing your budget by no more than 10%-15% per week.

But please don’t feel that you have to scale your Facebook Ads; if you’re comfortable with how your Ads are performing, and you don’t want to spend any more, don’t. But if you have the budget and feel you can increase your Ad Spend, go ahead.

It’s important for me to say that you should only spend what you can afford to lose on Facebook Ads. Yes, it’s amazing when you can put $1 into Facebook Ads and receive $2 (or more) back in Royalties. But Audiences and Ads fatigue, they can become less effective, they can begin to cost more from a CPC basis. Nothing is guaranteed in advertising after all!

One final point on scaling…

When you start increasing your Ad Spend, keep a close eye on your Royalties, which are your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Are your Royalties increasing as you increase the amount you’re spending on Facebook Ads?

You need to account for Variance (how your Ads, Sales, Page Reads and Royalties vary on a daily basis), but you should notice a gradual increase over time, as you scale. That’s why you want to scale, right? You put more in; you get more out! But if things are going the opposite direction, pull back on your Ad Spend and find that happy medium between Ad Spend and Royalties.

Conclusion

If you’ve reached this point, take a well-earned cup of your favorite beverage! This has been a pretty deep, comprehensive guide, so well done for sticking with me throughout.

I hope that, by now, you can see the potential Facebook Ads offers and that you don’t need a huge budget to start seeing results. You can start small and scale up as fast or as slow as you like.

If you’re brand new to Facebook Ads and the thought of spending money on advertising scares or overwhelms you in any way, that’s okay. Just know that, if you want to put yourself out there, position your books in front of thousands, millions of people around the world, Facebook Ads can do that for you.

I speak from first-hand experience that Facebook Ads can truly transform your author career; it just takes time, patience and persistence, so stick with it.

Take that first step…

You only grow when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. When you’re in your comfort zone, you are safe, but when outside your comfort zone, yes, you’re taking a risk, but there’s also the potential for growth.

I’m going to leave you with a saying I love and live by, although I’m not sure who said it and it goes a little something like this (I am paraphrasing here!): if what you’re doing doesn’t scare you, even a little, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

I wish you all the very best with your Facebook Ads.



Sell more books on Amazon

rankings-ebook-mockup
Free Download

Amazon Kindle Rankings E-Book

Learn how to rank your Kindle book #1 on Amazon with our collection of time-tested tips and tricks.

30 thoughts on “How To Advertise A Book On Facebook

Comments
  1. Laurie

    This is awesome. I haven’t run ads on Facebook in a year, because they didn’t yield great results. What I’m seeing after a few days is amazing. And, the shocker is, my image of a girl without any text and no book cover is doing the best. And I began seeing this within hours!

  2. Marat

    This is the best article on social media advertising I’ve seen in a while. You did a great job and gave us invaluable knowledge. Thank you.
    I’ve been wanting to start advertising my book through Facebook for a long time but didn’t know how to properly target the ads.
    If I may ask a question.
    You write about ebook sales through Amazon. Does selling through Amazon positively influence the purchase decision for the reader or can I sell the book from my website? By selling from my website I can collect customer emails for future sales, through Amazon I can’t. That’s a huge plus. Interested to hear what you think.

    1. Jason Hamilton

      As long as you are not enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (which requires exclusivity), you can absolutely sell your book on your website. That said, Amazon is BY FAR the biggest book retailer. You are more likely to get people to buy your book there, than on your site, unless you already have a pretty large following. I recommend having a reader magnet (some kind of free offering) that you link to from the back of your book. That way, readers on Amazon can follow your link, get the free thing, and get on your email list that way.

Comments are closed.

[name="email_address"]
[name="email_address"]
[name="fields[freebie]
[name="fields[freebie]