Facebook ads for book marketing

It’s not an uncommon situation to run into when you start advertising books on Facebook that you get a lot of clicks but no sales. The hard part, though, is getting those clicks to turn into sales. And if that doesn’t happen, how you can fix it?

There can be dozens of reasons why people might click on your ads but not buy. Most of the time, it’ll be a combination of several of these:

  • Your cover is not right;
  • Your blurb doesn’t grab the attention of the readers;
  • Your book doesn’t have enough social validation (i.e. reviews);
  • Your price is too high;
  • You’re not advertising to the right people/demographics;
  • Your Amazon page doesn’t reflect the promise of your ad.

You’ll notice that all these things are not unique to Facebook ads: they’ll negatively impact the performance of any marketing you do for your book. What happens with Facebook, however, is that it magnifies these issues. And it does so because…

Facebook optimizes for clicks

If you run ads straight to your retailer pages (e.g. Amazon page), which is what most authors do, you can only run Traffic campaigns — that is, campaigns aimed at getting your ads the highest number of clicks

This is what we call “optimizing for clicks”, and in simpler words, it means the only thing Facebook will focus on is getting lots of clicks on your ads, at the lowest cost. For that, Facebook will identify the people, within your target audience, who are most likely to click on your ad. But here’s the catch: these aren’t necessarily the people most likely to buy.

In a nutshell, that’s why, if you run into any of the issues above, you’ll get a lot of clicks and no sales. And even when everything looks right on paper, some books just don’t convert Facebook ads traffic into sales very well.

Hat tip – Reedsy.com

Some of you might find this free guide to marketing from Book Marketing Tools useful. You can download it here.

Editing

Do you need an editor?

Many of us have interesting stories to tell but how to do this? How can they be written down? Constructing a novel, or any large extended piece of writing for that matter, is difficult and requires skills that must be learned or taught. Most books require an editor or even just an impartial reader to read a manuscript and point out or correct errors that the author cannot see because they are too close to the work or so invested in the story they have become blind to its faults. Editorial input can make the difference between a work being ‘amateurish’ and essentially unpublishable (and unsaleable) and a work being of an acceptable standard for publication. Read our article about the importance of editing.

Writing and publishing is a huge industry which means there are plenty of resources out there to help authors write books worthy of publication.

We have listed below some examples of UK providers of professional editorial services. However, as with most things, there will be a charge for the services they provide. You should expect to pay between £10-15 per 1,000 words for an editor to help you with a manuscript.

Writers’ WorkshopThe Writers’ Workshop uses experienced authors and editors to evaluate and comment upon manuscripts
Oxford Literary ConsultancyThe Oxford Literary Consultancy is a well known company that offers in-depth editorial assistance to authors.
BubblecowBubblecow work with mainstream and self-publishing authors to improve manuscripts ready for publication by providing highly detailed ‘publisher’ standard copy editing.
Addison and ColeAddison and Cole provide a professional editorial service for unpublished writers and act as scouts for literary agents.
CornerstonesCornerstones Literary Consultancy offers editing and critical assessment services, and also act as scouts for agents.
Words Worth ReadingWords Worth Reading offer a range of editorial services to writers.
Writers’ Advice CentreThe Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books is a literary consultancy service offering all kinds of advice and training to children’s writers.
Fiction FeedbackFiction Feedback offer a flexible critique and editing service to novelists.

At Cambria we can refer you to local freelance professional editors with whom we have worked successfully in the past and whose work can be trusted. As freelancers they usually charge considerably less than the big companies listed above. Manuscripts that have been through this service before final submission to us can also be eligible for a discount on our pre-press services.

If you want more information or wish an editor to get in touch with you please contact us first for a referral.

Book reviews

Getting your book reviewed

A new service for Cambria authors

Especially in the US, publishers and authors promote their books by getting them reviewed. The premier service for this, also now available in the UK, is NetGalley. We have provided some information about their service below. If you are interested in having your book reviewed by the NetGalley system contact us. If you wish to be a reviewer yourself contact them direct (see below).

For why we think reviews are important, read our previous post on this subject.

About NetGalley

NetGalley helps publishers and authors promote digital review copies to book advocates and industry professionals. Publishers make digital review copies and audiobooks available for the NetGalley community to discover, request, read, and review.

NetGalley for publishers

Publishers (like ourselves!) use NetGalley to build buzz, receive feedback and reviews, and discover early trends. The platform connects publishers with reviewers, librarians, booksellers, media, and educators who discover new books on NetGalley and recommend them to their audiences. These book advocates and industry professionals can join and use NetGalley at no cost.

NetGalley is an industry-standard service that delivers secure digital files to approved readers and coordinates closely with publishers on targeted promotions to the hundreds of thousands of members using the site. Publishers receive requests to access their books from NetGalley members in exchange for feedback. Publishers can also invite their own contacts to read their books using a pre-approved link. Members can access their approved books and audiobooks on the free NetGalley Shelf app, or other supported devices and apps. In addition to offering a platform for publishers to connect with a vibrant community of readers and influencers, NetGalley also provides actionable data to help publishers draw correlations between their own efforts and reader engagement. They also work with marketing and PR firms, as well as other groups who manage book promotions.

Publishers pay a set-up fee and a monthly subscription rate depending on the number of active books on the site.

NetGalley for readers

NetGalley helps influential readers discover and recommend new books to their audiences. If you are a reviewer, blogger, librarian, bookseller, educator, journalist or other member of the media, you can use NetGalley for free to request, read, and recommend books before they are published.

Your reviews and feedback are essential to publishers and other readers!

Publishers tend to approve requests from members who have a history of providing feedback for books they’ve accessed, and who can demonstrate their reach as an early influencer or reviewer. Members improve their chances of getting approved for more books by providing meaningful reviews, by connecting their accounts to verified industry organizations (ALA, ABA, ALIA (AU), and others), and linking to their blogs, social and Goodreads accounts. Read the guidelines on how to get approved.

Members can access their approved books and audiobooks on the free NetGalley Shelf app, or other supported devices and apps.

Writing advice

Writing Advice

We are often asked for advice on writing. We also get many proposals or outlines for books that have not yet been written asking if a book on a particular topic or theme would be of interest. Our usual answer to this is that we are editors, publisher and distributor of books, not authors (or critics!). Although we have a fair idea of what makes a ‘good’ or marketable book, the vocation/art of actually writing is not really part of what we do or aspire to do.

Notwithstanding the above, we do want to help authors or those that want to write so we have compiled a large list of advice articles on our Pinterest page. Pick one or more that might help you with your writing.

Of course, when you’ve finished, send us the manuscript and we can see if we can help you publish and get your book in front of readers!