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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

Top 5 Facebook Advertising Sins

Facebook is a top way to advertise. Everyone has a Facebook (or Instagram) account, and with a flexible payment scheme that can be applied to any budget, it’s easy to dive in.

Unfortunately, losing money on these ads is easy, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re just starting out with Facebook advertising, beware of these top five Facebook advertising sins, and give your novel a top shot.

Cold Selling

I get it--you’re trying to sell your book. And you’re trying to sell it to an audience that hasn’t already bought it. But if Sally Reader hasn’t heard of you before and don’t know what you have to offer, is a quick ad really going to convince her?

Facebook ads won’t make instant sales.

What they will do is draw interest in your book, in your page, or in you as an author. If you create an ad with the intent to generate buzz (and not just sell copies), you’ll be much more successful.

The truth is, cold selling doesn’t really work. That’s not just true on Facebook, but for anywhere you want to sell your book. You have to build your audience first and find your tribe--the readers who will follow you anywhere.

Once you have your readership established, then you can sell: this time, to readers who already like what you write.

Selling the Features

Okay, so what if you are selling a book with your ad? It’s possible to do, but many ads focus too much on selling the content of the book and not on the feeling that content provides.

That’s fine if your novel is actually a how-to manual about building garden sheds. If you write fiction, with characters and setting and plot and theme, you have to take a different approach. There’s no way you can win readers over by spouting quick facts about your book. You need to focus it on a single idea, a single moment that will win people over.

It’s easiest to do this by focusing on the feeling you want your book to project. What colors will this feeling give you? What fonts should you use to amplify it?

Design your ads to sell the feeling your book gives, and you’re more likely to win people over.

Low Budget

Facebook offers flexible advertising options, but don’t be fooled: spending five dollars on an ad won’t catapult your rankings or your list. Don’t get me wrong--a small budget is a good idea when you’re still fishing around and learning what ads convert. But a successful Facebook advertising campaign will likely cost you about $50 per month.

Don’t expect to have a #1 bestseller because you scraped up a few dollars and put together an awesome ad.

No Direction

When you pay for advertising, your ads need to have a specific mission. I don’t mean “growing an audience” or “selling a book,” either. You need to set up ads with a clear course of action you want them to achieve.

Do you want people to like your author page or like the link to your latest sale? Do you want people to visit your book on Amazon or sign onto your mailing list? The more specific you can be about your intention, the better.

Not Enough Information

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t want your ad to be a list of facts about your book. You want to focus more on the feeling your book ignites. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest about who you are and what your book is.

Things you might want to include in your ad could be:

  • A picture of your book or cover.

  • Reviews you’ve received in the past.

  • A one-line blurb about your book.

  • A brief quote that captures the spirit of your book.

Note that I don’t think it’s necessary to say anything about you as an author, though if you’ve written a successful book before you could include the classic “By the author of…” statement to pull in your old readers and alert them that you’re launching something new that they’ll also enjoy.

Have you paid for Facebook ads before? How did it go? Please comment below or join my group on Facebook for more discussion.


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