The quick and easy guide to Facebook and Amazon (AMS) ads for authors

Work in progress!
Someone asked for a ‘quick and easy guide’ to Facebook advertising for authors, so I wrote this:
 
1. Use your hook/story for text. Test out 10 different hooks. Test out some with reviews. Make sure you mention the genre clearly, but incite emotion.
2. Don’t use your cover, use a pretty image that attracts readers of your genre.
3. Target people who like your genre, books or authors that are similar to yours, or genre-TV or movies (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc).
4. Use Narrowed interests – so you can get people who like genre-stuff + people who read YA books or own a Kindle.
 
Get the audience down to just the right people.
If you target Hunger Games, your ad copy can say “Best new dystopian series since Hunger Games” or “Hunger Games meets Twilight” – so people will think the ad is targeting them directly.
 
Try to get clicks down to 0.20 or so (It’s hard). Experiment until you can get there.
 
5. Ads perform better with social proof, so if one is working and has lots of comments on it, keep running it.
 
6. Test with small budgets until you figure out the best sales copy/image. Ads will saturate the market, so run it and keep improving the spend until it stops being profitable, then try something else.
 
7. If you can’t make ads profitable, you need to fix onpage conversion for your Amazon book (cover, blurbs, reviews). That said, it’s HARD to make ads profitable for one book – I’m waiting until I have a full series out before I start spending big on ads.
 
If you’re boosting the FB ad for your giveaway, just use the image of all the books (you should have made a cover image with all the book covers for the giveaway). Target people who like those authors/the genre.
 
Previously I would have said “ask them to comment, like and share” to enter… but Facebook recently said it’s going to start suppressing content that asks for engagement like that, so be careful (if you’re paying, it probably doesn’t matter).
 
You should also watch this video, because chances are you’re not ready to start advertising yet!
 

 

 
 
 
VIDEO ONE (AMS ADS)
I made a video about how to advertise on Amazon, I hope it’s useful – I’ve spent about 5K on Amazon ads but am definitely NOT an expert (you can tell by my rotten results). Even so, AMS ads can work well if you learn, test and experiment. PS if you see what I’m doing wrong or have suggestions, let me know – I’m still learning too.
 

 

You’re also going to need to build a list of keywords and competitor titles to use for your targeting – I recommend using KDP Rocket for this.

Kindlepreneur also has a good free course on Amazon ads

 

 
 
VIDEO TWO (FACEBOOK ADS)

I haven’t made this video yet but will asap – in the meantime here’s a gallery of great Facebook book ad examples. Generally, shoot for .20 or less per click, use big images with no text (not the book cover), and experiment with ad copy variations and image until you get something that works. Then try increasing spending, but be careful. Facebook will spend your money FAST, whereas Amazon is reluctant to spam buyers with irrelevant ads.

 
 

 

 

VIDEO THREE (PROMOTING A GIVEAWAY)

I’m a big fan of giveaways for listbuilding, especially if you don’t have an author platform yet and are having trouble getting enough book reviews – but setting up a giveaway isn’t enough, you also need to promote it with FB ads to your target audience. I’ll make another video for that soon.

 

BOOKBUB

Bookbub ads can work great, but are difficult to get right. I’m not an expert yet, but here are a few tips from a friend:

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me

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