In our first writers’ group meeting of the year, Facebook marketing was a hot topic. Not only for book marketing, but for other marketing too, because a couple of our members own small businesses.
Several of our authors had spent years building up their Facebook author pages. They were angry, because Facebook’s latest algorithm changes cut down on their reach.
We all wondered whether book marketing on Facebook still made sense in 2018. With reach going down, it means buying Facebook ads, which can be expensive.
Make your website the focus of your book marketing
One of our authors, who out-sells the rest of our group by a wide margin, has never spent much time on Facebook.
She said that since Facebook was a walled garden, she’d feared that sooner or later Facebook would squeeze out small marketers. “Your Facebook feed is now limited to family and friends — I’ve seen my reach go down since last October. I’m focusing my efforts on selling books from my own website.”
Selling your books from your own website has benefits
I’ve heard other authors mention that not only were they “going wide”, that is, selling on platforms other than Amazon, they were also selling from their own websites.
According to Self-Publishing Profits: Sell Your Books From Your Own Website, benefits include:
▪ You keep more of the profits (you’ll keep 90% of the profits, compared to at best, 70% if you sell through a retailer);
▪ Data: you know who your readers are. You have their email addresses, so you can contact them directly and build a loyal following
Selling from your own website would benefit:
- Authors with big followings — as the above article pointed out, you keep more of the profits;
- Those authors who primarily sell nonfiction.
Book marketing on Facebook: options to try
Nothing’s certain. Book marketing has changed over the past year. More authors are buying Amazon ads (Amazon Marketing Services), as well as Facebook ads. Authors are also buying banners on various websites.
How and where you market your books depends on you.
Authors who’ve invested too much time on Facebook to abandon it, have options to maintain their book sales.
- Turn more of their attention to other social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook;
- Market from their own website;
- Buy AMS ads for their books;
- Actively look for additional book marketing options.
All is not lost. If the changes on Facebook are affecting you, look for new-to-you book marketing options. You’ll find them.
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