The 4 Best Types of Facebook Ads for Authors

Are you an author who wants to promote your book with Facebook Ads?  It can be overwhelming to know what is going to be most effective.  In this post, I’ll show you the 4 best types of Facebook Ads for Authors and how to approach your marketing strategy on Facebook.

The first thing to clear up is that there are different types of authors and different goals for your book.  And once you are clear on the next step a reader should take with you, your marketing strategy becomes clearer.

Different Types of Authors and Goals

An easy differentiation is Fiction vs. Non-Fiction.  Some other things to think about is how is your book sold?  Is it on Amazon?  On your website?  An ebook?

What is the next step you want from your reader?  Read the next book in your series? Buy coaching from you or buy a product? Book you as a speaker? Tell all their friends so your book can be a best seller?

Your marketing strategy will change based on those goals and your Facebook ad strategy will change.

Here are some questions authors should answer before you start your marketing:

  • What is the next step people should take after reading your book?
  • Where are you sending the traffic for your Facebook Ad?  (sending traffic to your website vs. Amazon is going to affect your return on your ad spend)
  • What do you want out of your promotion?  (yes book sales are great, but there can be more)

Difficult to be ROI positive with Facebook Ads for Authors

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it is a challenge to sell a $2.99 book to a cold audience with a Facebook ad.  Even if your book is more in the $15-20 range it still can be hard.

That’s why authors need to think about the next step with their readers.  Authors need to OWN their audience!

What does that mean?  So if you take a Facebook Ad, and spend a $1/click to get your perfect target audience over to Amazon, you aren’t really owning that audience.

There is nothing wrong with sending people to Amazon to buy your book.  You definitely can sell books that way.  But it’s not that trackable and often is more of a break even situation.

So does that mean that authors shouldn’t use Facebook Ads?

Not necessarily – some industries can do better than others and Facebook ads can be a great way to build your brand and connect to your audience.

And Facebook Ads can be critical to build momentum during a book launch.

Here are the 4 best ways to use Facebook Ads for authors in my opinion:

#1 Boosted Post with great content

Hopefully you have a blog or great content on your website that you can direct people to so that you can start connecting with your perfect reader.

If for some reason, you don’t have a blog, you could consider running Facebook Live videos to talk about parts of your book, the book writing process, or special tips around your book topic.

After you post your content on your Facebook Page, just click the Boost Post option.

Boosting a post

What this will do for you is create a “warm” audience for you to promote your book to in the future.  You can use Engagement retargeting when you promote your book to reach those who have engaged with your content in the past.

When you boost a post, you can choose target keywords to people who are interested in your genre or an author who is in your market.  Not all authors are able to be targeted – they have to have a large enough fan base and sometimes it’s hit and miss – I’ve seen some lesser known authors come up as a match.

You can target by Behaviors, Interests, and Job Titles (handy for business books).

Boosted Posts select target keywords


And this would be an odd combo of keywords to be choosing but it’s just an example of what’s possible.  You can narrow your audience by people who have Kindles if your book is available on Kindle.

Boosting posts for authors


#2 Conversion Ads to build email list

A good way to own your audience is to build your email list.  Think about a freebie or giveaway that will supplement your book.  Here are some ideas:

  • Free chapter
  • Book discussion guide
  • Video of you talking about the book or giving extra tips
  • Checklists that can go with the book if it’s non-fiction
  • Advanced capability of getting the next book in the series

Give away a free chapter

To run a conversion ad, you have to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website and your tracking set up.

Then you will go into your Ads Manager and run a Conversions ad to the page on your website where you are giving away the freebie.

Conversion Ad

If you can’t get the Facebook pixel and tracking set up then you can choose Traffic as your Ad Objective, but you just won’t be tracking the optins to your offer from your Ad.


#3 Traffic Ads for your Book Launch Promotion

You want to make a big splash for your initial launch (and maybe give your book sales a boost from time to time).  Using the Traffic objective will optimize your ad around getting the cheapest cost per link click.

Before you get started, create an image that is 1200 x 628 pixels without too much text. I recommend to help you create a good image.

Then use the Traffic objective to start your ad.

Add the targeting of likely readers (similar to the process in the boosted post).  Ad text that might be compelling like reviews from readers or the fact that you are launching the book that day.

Facebook Ad image for author


If you have been doing videos or boosting your content, you can create a custom audience of people who have engaged with your content in the past.  This will be a warmer audience who will be more familiar with you and be more likely to buy your book.

Engagement on Facebook

You can create an engagement audience of people who have watched your videos or interacted with your Page.

Then you can use that audience in your targeting area.

Use engagement retargeting in Facebook ad

Now you are targeting your ad to the people who might be more interested in you.

If your engagement is low, your ad may not get much traction since it’s a small target.  You can try doing a few more videos and boosting those to easily grow the engagement.

#4 Event Ads for your Book Launch or Book Signing

If you are having a live event for your book launch (or even if it’s more virtual) you can create a Facebook Event and invite people.

Back when we launched the 3rd edition of the Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies book, we had a virtual online launch party and we invited people and did a live broadcast with giveaways. It was a whole lot of fun!

Book Launch Facebook Event

But you can also advertise that event with Facebook Ads.  The Event advertising is a little hard to find because it’s a subset of the “Engagement” objective.


Event promotion on Facebook


This objective is only for Facebook Events so if your event registration is on a different page like Eventbrite, then you would use the Traffic objective and send people to register there.

A great resource for authors looking to market their book is Joanna Penn:

Facebook Ads can be a good way for authors to increase their visibility and sell books.  Test different types of images and different tactics because you can often get dramatically different results with a small tweak.

While you may not be ROI positive on your Facebook ads in terms of book sales, building a brand can be valuable for future sales and for your long term goals!

How about you?  Have you tried Facebook ads as an author?  Share your experience in the comments below.

Grab a free copy of my book How to Get Highly Targeted Leads and Sales with Facebook Ads