If you’re thinking of promoting your novel with Facebook, you’re already onto a winning idea. While many agents look to Twitter to assess a writers’ social media skills, a lot of indie authors are discovering that when it comes to marketing their novels, Facebook is where it’s at. In fact, I’d even go so far to say that there is no better tool for targeting your ideal audience. And you don’t even need to pay for ads to benefit. There are dozens of methods that can help you reach out to readers. Until you’ve exhausted them all, why stump up any cash at all? So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Create an author page
This is the first step for any author wanting to get the best out of Facebook. Here you can begin to collect fans who you can market to directly. Make sure you add a “follow” button to ensure you’re harvesting fans from the get-go. Other key elements include a good headshot and author bio. A selfie isn’t really going to give you the professional look you’re going for. Instead, try to enlist the services of a talented friend if you can. As for writing a snappy bio, I’ve got you covered in a previous post on just that subject.
The next thing you need is a good cover image. This will sell the book(s) you’re promoting and must include your book’s cover art and tagline. If you don’t have graphic design skills, Canva is a free tool that can produce excellent results. Before your launch, announce that the book is coming soon with the release date and/or pre-order date prominently displayed. I’ve added the banner art for my own upcoming novel below to give you an idea of the sort of thing you’re aiming for.
When everything is set up, don’t forget to include a link to a sales landing page where readers can easily buy or pre-order the novel. This is, after all, the end result you’re aiming for.
Here’s where you start collecting your followers. You’ll obviously want to join groups of readers, especially readers in your specific genre. However, it’s also a good idea to think outside the box and consider other groups that might have an interest in the themes of your book. For instance, if the novel is about Formula One, join a group of car racing enthusiasts and promote your book there. Be careful though, most groups have strict rules about the posts they’ll permit, so do read them to make sure you don’t get booted off. Even if you’re allowed salesy posts, don’t limit yourself to promoting your novel, instead, make sure you add value by interacting as much as possible with these groups. The Facebook algorithm will recognize you as a regular contributor, ensuring that those sales posts won’t sink as soon as they go up.
Promoting your novel with Facebook means posting A LOT
Once you’re up and away, aim to post three to four times a day. Mix up your sales posts with posts that detail your writing journey and relate personal stories that will allow readers to make an emotional connection with you. Don’t forget to ask questions – nothing drives engagement up like a question! Readers love to give their opinion, and this can help you strengthen your marketing campaign. Ask them what they think about which version of an upcoming novel’s cover art they prefer, or which tagline works best for them.
As your launch approaches, include countdown posts to generate excitement. You might also want to include a link to a blog post that contains an excerpt. Always include a “call to action” at the end of posts with a link to a page where they can place a pre-order. When you do launch, hold an online party on Facebook live or Zoom. Incentivize attendance with free giveaways and a competition. It doesn’t have to be all that fancy; a reading followed by questions from readers, before giving away book swag should suffice.
Now the book is out and about, posts photos of physical copies out in the wild along with recent reviews and details of any campaigns you’re running. Don’t let your readers forget that you’ve got a book out there. You can also mix up your posts with videos of you talking about the book and your writing process.
Keep a track of how things are going
To track how well your campaign is doing, make sure you use Facebook page insights. You can find this on Facebook’s business suite, which is, incidentally a great tool that can also help you schedule posts ahead of time, ensuring that they are being published at times when they’ll get the maximum number of readers.
If all else fails, of course, you can use Facebook ads to give your book an extra boost. To properly gauge their impact, don’t run them in conjunction with any periods when your book is on discount. Also, make sure you are targeting the right kind of readership when you set up the campaign, otherwise you’re likely wasting your money.
Invite people who’ve liked your posts to follow you
Here’s one of the sweetest things about promoting your novel with Facebook: if someone clicks ‘like’ on one of your posts it’s possible to send them an invite to follow your page. Simply click on your likes for that button to magically appear! Once they do that, you will be able to market your book to them directly. This allows you to turn a non salesy post into a sales opportunity. As you gain followers, your visibility on Facebook will also soar, so don’t forget to take advantage of this function.
If you’re thinking of self-publishing your novel but need a professional editor to give the text a final once over, then do get in touch. All prospective clients receive a free sample edit which allows them to get a sense of my editing style with no obligation to proceed. Once I’ve completed the edit, I will provide you with a quote.