Thursday, October 15, 2015

[Link] This Is How You Use Facebook to Sell Books

by Mark Dawson

I read the recent DBW piece “Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books” with surprise, and I respectfully disagree with its contentions.

I’m pretty much the definition of a midlist author: I write full-time, I’ve hit a few Amazon best-seller lists over the last couple years, and readers seem to enjoy my books. I was making a very good income with the usual forms of advertising throughout 2014—BookBub and the other advertisers, permafree first in series, etc.—but when I turned on my first Facebook ads I immediately saw a massive spike in business.

I now use Facebook as a fundamental part of my marketing system and I know firsthand that the platform can be used to sell. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Facebook advertising is the single most powerful marketing and promotional tool that is available to authors, be they traditionally or self-published.

Between August 27th and September 2nd, I spent $3,029.17 on Facebook advertising. It sounds like a lot—and it is a lot—until you factor in the fact that I made $3,928.62 across the platforms where the book was available. I’ve spent more than $60,000 since the start of the year. That includes $13,278 on a single ad, but that ad has generated revenue of nearly $30,000, a return of 125 percent. The box set that I am selling has hit as high as 450 in the paid Kindle store and camps out at the top of its genre best-seller lists most of the time. That leads to significant additional discovery through better visibility, and that means more sales.

The problem with the arguments in the previous article is that the author’s tactics are out of date. The suggestions that it is a fallacy to spend time and money to grow your author page and that Facebook has slashed the organic reach of posts are true, and if the article had been titled “How Getting Facebook Likes Won’t Sell Books,” I would have agreed with it.

But getting Likes should not be the focus of a Facebook ads campaign today. Instead, authors should be using ads to meet two objectives: (1) building a mailing list by advertising a free book in return for a subscription and (2) advertising for paid sales.

Read the full article: