Tag Archives: Facebook

Do Facebook Ads Work for Independent Authors?

Facebook seems like a perfect advertising platform for independent authors. Ads are relatively inexpensive, simple to produce and can be targeted in a Facebook environment, where you know readers are spending a good chunk of their quality time.

But there are challenges and pitfalls to Facebook, with no guarantee that the return-on-investment will be any better than traditional advertising vehicles.

Fortunately, Facebook advertising is one of those topics that is discussed in-depth in the independent publishing community. There are plenty of resources and case studies available to help authors weigh the pros and cons.

Author consultant Sandra Beckwith recently published what she calls a “Quick Start Guide” to dealing with Facebook ads. It provides a nice overview with plenty of links. Beckworth acknowledges she is a paid affiliate of one education program named in the report, but there is still plenty of useful information and resources. It can be found here.

Publisher’s Weekly offers a nice primer on the basics of Facebook advertising, “Facebook Ads: A Guide for Indie Authors.” Facebook’s huge user base makes it “an ideal destination for self-published authors looking to market their books and build their readerships,” the authors say. Find that article here.

Over on Digital Book World, author Mark Dawson refutes the premise that Facebook “cannot help you sell books.” He saw a “massive spike in business” when he started using Facebook. Read his experiences here.

What is the Best Social Media Platform for Authors?

FacebookEvery author dives into social media to promote their books, convinced that a few choice tweets and a wry blog post will lead to big sales. It’s one of those obligatory things every writer must do; there is no choice.

However, too many writers make a simple mistake – they try to star on every platform. If they don’t cover every base they are falling short, they tell themselves. So they become whirlwinds of social media, posting and tweeting and trying to reach everybody, everywhere. That’s wrong.

In reality, it’s impossible to succeed on every platform. Most authors are not very good at most of them. All the time spent on a lousy Instagram account is time that could be better spent connecting on some other platform, where the author might real traction.

Once that cold reality is accepted, the question narrows – which social media platform deserves time and focus? On one level, this is a personal choice, which has much to do with an author’s talents and interests. Some find Twitter fun and manage to engage the vast tweeting universe, while others are keen photographers with the ability to amass a huge Instagram following.

You have to go with what works for you. But which platform is most effective?

For many, the answer is obvious and often overlooked – Facebook. That’s right, good ol’ Facebook, the aging grandpa of social media. Many scoff. Facebook is very 2012, they say.

But Facebook still offers the best opportunities to create a community, a world of family and friends – with friends defined loosely – who will be ready and eager to support your work. A good Facebook account doesn’t need gaudy numbers. In social media it’s all about engagement and active Facebook users are more likely to read your posts and share them than on any other platform.

Many authors will disagree. There are a lot of Twitter lovers out there. And Twitter does give you access to the vast universe of Tweedom.

But how many people do you know who actually read Twitter? The Twittersphere is a blizzard of information, data and Kardashian posts. An occasional tweet might catch the eye or generate a few retweets. But it’s a tough way to sell a book.

These days the game is all about building a following and finding people who will share your interests – and your book’s interests. Facebook is where you can build that core group, the people to count on.

The first step in any rollout plan is to make sure your core network of supporters is buying the book, writing reviews and promoting the book. If they don’t, you’re in trouble. Facebook is the place to generate that grass roots effort, the venue to make sure that everyone of your friends and acquaintances has bought the book.

Facebook has its limits, but it provides the foundation and base for the marketing campaign. It’s the place to start.