Does Facebook Ads for books guarantee more book sales?
Over the years, I’ve used Facebook promotion a lot.
I started with Facebook pay-per-click ads for my teaching business, and it was reasonably successful in attracting new local clients over the long term.
But when it comes to using Facebook Ads for books to help sales, I have to say that I have usually been disappointed.
Advertising on Facebook
However, I had never taken the time to properly check the success or failure of selling ebooks on Facebook.
When I ran Facebook ad campaigns for my books, I almost always had other forms of promotion in progress.
So it was impossible to accurately say that my Facebook advertising campaigns were delivering sales.
To do as accurate a check as possible, I took the time to set aside a period of three days for Facebook Ads only.
I made sure I had no other form of promotion running.
There were no Kindle free ebooks or Kindle Countdown deals.
On top of that, I also stopped any Twitter posts, promotion of blog posts, and AMS Ads.
By the second day of zero promotion, I immediately noticed that my daily KDP sales were dropping. I had learned something valuable already.
The promotion I used on Amazon and Twitter kept my sales and borrows ticking over.
Okay, now I wanted to see if I could create a Facebook Ad campaign that could get my ebook sales moving again.
Run a Facebook Ad
I set up my ads in my Facebook Ads manager and ran a quick $20.00 campaign budget blast of eight ads.
I advertised four titles with the same ad types, with separate ads for Kindle US and Kindle UK.
They were timed for afternoon traffic in the US and evening in the UK.
I also used my custom target audience settings for age ranges and interests.
The success of my little ad blast was pleasantly surprising.
I got fifty-six clicks to my Amazon book pages at a moderate cost of $0.36 per click. That is cost-effective advertising.
By most standard measures for marketing efforts with paid advertising, this would mean that at a conversion rate of, say, 10%, I could expect 5 or 6 book sales.
So I waited 24 hours and checked my KDP sales to see if my ad objective worked.
Zero book sales
I checked 12 hours later, and my dashboard showed the same depressing result: naught, zero, nothing.
So why did this happen?
I have no definitive answer except to surmise that people live inside their social media Facebook bubble.
Even though they will click out to an external site, they return immediately to Facebook.
When I think back to my success with my teaching business in attracting new clients, these came by way of contact from within Facebook or from a Facebook Page.
So it wasn’t about getting clicks to make a sale. It was a point of contact with whom I could then directly negotiate.
In preparing this post, I came across an article by Donna Fasano.
She documents the same experience with Facebook ads and ebook sales, which resulted in the same number of book sales as I got. None.
So, unless anyone can convince me otherwise, I have to conclude that Facebook Ads, in any ad format or custom audiences, have minimal value in gaining book sales.
The only positive I can draw from this exercise is that the 56 people who clicked on my Amazon book pages will get reminder emails about my ebooks from Amazon in a week or two.
Meanwhile, I will immediately go back to re-setting all my book promotion tools that I know do work.
But you shouldn’t ignore Facebook marketing because it is still useful for creating brand awareness for your author name and book titles.
Use a Facebook Store
Did you know that you can promote your book on Facebook in a much better way?
Setting up your own Facebook Store is possible if you have a Facebook Page. You can add your books with a direct link to Amazon.
After you install it, it is a great way to promote your ebook and give your contacts a way to buy your book directly from your Facebook page.
Best of all, unlike paying for Facebook Ads for books, it is free for you to use and will be working for you twenty-four hours a day.
Related Reading: How To Post Book Covers On Social Media To Attract Attention