Before we dive into Facebook Ads, we want to show and tell a wonderful way to promote your books, get reviews, gain readers, and grow your subscriber list: Bookfunnel giveaways and bundles. You have to curate them yourself (or join someone else’s group), and use an application like Rafflecopter to manage the entries, but it’s a cross promotion tool that helps authors with similar readers share those connections and help their readers find their next great read. Here’s an example of a group curated by Margaret Daly for the Love Under Fire Romantic Suspense Box Set authors (and why not enter to win,while you’re at it–these are wonderful books by a talented, hand-picked group):

Margaret created the graphic (reduced in size here to fit your phone/email), recruited the authors, and provided the text:

ENTER TO WIN THE BOOK BUNDLE GIVEAWAY FROM THE Love Under Fire Romantic Suspense Boxed Set authors.

ENDS APRIL 8, 2018

It’s a good way to stay away from people who are solely in contests on big advertisers for free books, and to find serious readers.

By Bobbye Marrs

According to, Facebook has 1.79 billion monthly active users. (  Dollars to donuts you’re probably one of those users. Chances are you pull out your phone while waiting on the doctor, or on your lunch break, or when you’re hiding from your kids in the closet. You might mindlessly scroll through your newsfeed checking out your Facebook friends’ status updates. And in between pictures of your sister’s dinner and your crazy uncle’s zealous political rant, you’re processing ads targeted specifically to you. Have you ever gone on Amazon and looked for a backpack and then seen that same backpack come across your newsfeed? Or seen a t-shirt with your family’s last name. That’s not a coincidence. That’s the scary reality where Big Brother is named Mark Zuckerberg. But on the flip side, wouldn’t it be awesome if you write cozy dinosaur mysteries, and you could target the readers who like exactly that kind of thing? Enter Facebook Ads. Shortly after that, enter sheer panic at potentially embarrassing yourself in front of those 1.79 billion monthly active users.

Don’t sweat it. I’ve got you covered. The world of marketing and specifically social media marketing is rapidly changing. Facebook’s only been around for 12 years, but it’s now considered the old person social media. Let that sink in. Facebook is also the gold standard and a good place to cut your social media marketing teeth and you can start out with an itty bitty budget. When you set out to be an author you probably didn’t realize you were also going to have to be a marketing guru. But whether your traditionally published or indie published (or not yet published), being your own publicist and marketer is a reality.

So let’s start out with the fun stuff. This is the actual Ad Creative which is fancy talk for your picture. If you’re using a graphic designer they’re going to know the details most likely, but if you’re trying it out for yourself keep 2 important things in mind:

  • First, your image should be 1200 X 628 pixels.
  • Facebook has a 20% rule which means you can’t have more than 20% of your image with text on it. Your ad will not be approved. Mastering this wasn’t as easy as I thought. My first Facebook Ad was covered in text. I’m a writer – text is my thing. If you’re doing your own design the best way to figure this out is to download a Facebook grid overlay. It looks like this:

You can just put this right on top of your picture while you’re editing it (then remove it when you’re done). If you have text in more than 5 boxes, you need to reduce it. (Hint: Your book cover doesn’t count.)  The idea is that people are NOT stopping to read your ad. You’ve got to catch their attention in the time it takes their index finger to scroll from the bottom of their screen to the top.

Here’s an ad I’ve used for Pamela. Because I’d used all my creative energy up making my fancy picture, I simply named it “Cat Lady.”  Cat Lady has performed great for us. And, Look Ma, No Words.

If you’re completely befuddled about where to begin and you don’t have a clue about creating graphics, is a great place to start. It’s very easy to use and you can just jump right in and create something cool in minutes. Also, here’s a fantastic blog about things to include in your ad:

Certain types of images work well in different demographics. People’s faces and pictures of dogs tend to do well. But keep your audience in mind. If you’re writing about the Zombie Apocalypse, your audience may not be attracted to a basketful of puppies.

The next thing you need to do before you ever start creating the Ad within Facebook is to create a Lead Form. This is so NOT intuitive. Go to your Facebook page (your business page) and along the top you’ll see a menu. Choose Publishing Tools. On the left sidebar choose Lead Ad Forms, then choose +Create. Then just work your way through the questions to set up the information that you will be gathering from people.

Are you overwhelmed yet? It gets easier as you do it more. We’re going to take a time out for about….oh, say, 7 days. Work on creating some pretty pictures and a lead form and come back next week ready to put them out there for the world to see.

~ Bobbye

Bobbye Marrs is a supermom extraordinaire with currently 5 jobs, 4 teenagers, 2 dogs, and a husband crazy enough to be a pastor.  When she’s not working or Bobbyelearning some new hobby like the HAM radio, she is trying to be a romantic mystery writer.  Look for her book, I Am My Beloved’s to debut this spring.  In the meantime, she started a t-shirt business to support her writing habit at

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4 Responses to Author Facebook Ads for Dummies (Part One)

  1. Pamela says:

    I don’t think there’s any way for people reading this to realize how much trial, error, research, tears, toe stumps, elation, and pixie dust this post represents. It really is pure gold content.

  2. Eric says:

    I was thinking the same thing as I read this. I suspect that many of the people who do end up seeing and reading this will have no idea of the amount of time and energy and effort to get to this point and how valuable this blog actually is if they ended to go down the road of Facebook advertising. This is a wonderful post.

  3. Fantastic, Bobbye. You almost need a PhD to do Facebook ads, but you’ve done an amazing job of explaining it. Thank you.

  4. […] Author Facebook Ads for Dummies (Part One) […]

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