Social media is an excellent tool for new and seasoned authors to promote their books, and Facebook is among the best platforms–provided you know how to use it correctly.
Ebook promotion isn’t as simple as creating a page and asking your friends to like it. In an age where people are inundated with media and advertising, it’s hard to get your message through. And, like the marketing of any product, great ebook promotion is going to take some money and time. Luckily, putting in some serious work can lead to serious results.
Marketing Your Book on Facebook
Here are 7 tried-and-true ways to market your book using Facebook–follow these tips, and you just might hook a whole new market of readers.
1. Create an Author Fan Page
If you’re serious about using Facebook to market your book, using your personal profile isn’t going to cut it (plus, not all of your friends are going to appreciate the unrelenting self-promotion for your book). At the very least, you’re going to need a separate author fan page for yourself, though in some cases, it’s also a good idea to create another separate page for the book you’re releasing.
Choose Great Images
If you’ve got a high quality author headshot, you should use that for your profile picture. Your cover image should be a well-designed advertisement for your newest book. If you aren’t very savvy with Photoshop or other image manipulation programs, you might consider putting up a Craigslist ad that offers a reasonable fee for a graphic designer to create an 851×351 pixel image to use for your cover.
Find New Fans
When you create your page, it doesn’t hurt to solicit friends to invite other people to like your page. However, to find and keep new fans, you’ll need to offer value to users who follow your page. You can do this by creating quality posts, and using other methods we’ve listed below.
2. Create Targeted Ads
Next comes arguably the most important piece in ebook promotion–creating the advertisements themselves. While Facebook offers its own ad creation software, we personally prefer the Chrome plug-in “Power Editor.” There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it allows authors to create eye-catching advertisements. Or, as we’ve suggested above, you can often find a graphic designer who will create ads for you inexpensively.
Once you’ve created ads, it’s a good idea to set aside a small budget to pay for them. Facebook offers handy analytical tools to see if your advertisements have been effective.
A few other ideas for targeted promotions are:
Liken Yourself to Similar Authors–Say you’ve written a horror novel. Your ad could read something like “Love Stephen King?” (or Dean Koontz…you get the idea). Aligning yourself with a popular author who works in the same genre as you is a useful method to attract new fans.
Create a Memorable Tagline–If you can summarize your book in a few words, an ad is a great place to do it. For a romance novel, perhaps you could write “Forbidden Love, Irresistible Temptation.”
3. Offer Time-Sensitive Deals to Readers
People love to feel like they’re getting an exclusive deal. Offering a limited-time discount on your book (or making it free for a day) can drive up readership and pique people’s interest. If you’ve written previous books, consider offering a special deal on your new book if readers purchase a “bundle” that includes your other books. Again, the key here is to make these deals time-sensitive. The feeling of urgency will make people more excited to purchase your book.
4. Post Videos
Let’s face it: people these days have shorter attention spans. Because this is true, videos are one of the best forms of media to use to promote your book on multiple platforms. If you haven’t created a video teaser for your book (which can include a brief plot summary, the book’s cover, and an advanced review if you’ve got one), it’s definitely an option you should consider. It’s well worth your time to create a few of these, which you can post on your author page periodically. These teasers don’t need to be any longer than 30 seconds, and it can be an invaluable tool to promote your new book on Facebook.
5. Hold a Contest (or Two…or Three)
As much as people love a deal, they love free stuff even more. Setting up a few contests is a great way to excite people for the release of your book, and the prize needn’t be anything larger than a signed copy of your book (although a larger prize can bring in more potential readers). Start the contest a few weeks before your book launches.
Once you’ve released your book, you can hold another contest or two. These post-release contests can be a great promotional tool, because it can involve the actual content of your book, and the submissions themselves can be used as advertisements. A few fun ideas include:
-Having fans submit their favorite quotes from your book and writing about what the quote means to them
-A contest for fan artwork (perhaps an illustration of their favorite scene in the book).
6. Network with Other Authors
Try to find an author group on Facebook that produces similar work to yours.
When you start to network with other authors, you can ask them about what promotional tools have worked for them. You can also do cross-promotions, in which you both advertise each others books or even bundle them together and split the profits. Fellow authors in your genre can become an excellent support group. Some authors won’t be interested in sharing their secrets with you, but most will be happy to find a new ally.
7. Keep at It! (And Take Notes, Too)
The instructions on a shampoo bottle read: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat. Likewise, marketing your books will require you to repeat the steps listed above. A Facebook page is only as good as its content. Even after your book has been out for awhile, you should continue to post reviews, videos and other relevant content.
No two authors find success in the exact same fashion–you’ll have to pay attention to what’s working, and ditch the posts and content that aren’t having an effect. This is where Facebook’s analytical tools will come in handy. You can use them to see what types of posts are getting the most shares and views, and most important to your bottom line: which social media posts are leading to sales.