We all know how to use social media these days, right? As an author, you probably use it quite a bit to promote your book. It all comes quite naturally now and feels just part of everyday life. But it’s exactly because of this familiarity, the everyday reflex and routine of social media, that so many clued-up authors like you might be missing big opportunities when you’re marketing your books on Facebook.


Here’s 5 things that might not be working for you and how you can turn them around:

1. You’re mixing business with pleasure

Many authors believe that popping out a few posts about their book on their personal Facebook profile or business page is social media marketing sorted. Sadly, it isn’t. And it won’t work.

You really can’t expect to reach new readers, or make an impact, when your book posts are lost amongst your day-to-day business posts, holiday snaps and cute cat videos, or when your posts can only be seen and read by the people you already know.

You’ve worked hard on writing your book, haven’t you? Battled through self-doubt? Spent money on it? So, if you haven’t given it its own Facebook page, you will be missing out. Apart from making your book much easier for its audience to find, you’ll also be making it much easier for your book to find its audience too.

2. You think all your followers are seeing all of your posts.

You’ve worked hard to build up a large group of followers over the past few months.

It’s a real shame, but they’re probably not all seeing everything that you post. It’s not your fault though, it’s the pesky Facebook algorithms that decide who sees what and when on your behalf. Oh, and it’s because Facebook really, really want you to spend money on boosting your posts. They want you to be so disappointed by that depressingly low ‘seen by’ number, that when they then tell you that by spending just £4 you can reach a further 15,000 people, your natural instinct is to jump at the chance.

The more your content is read, liked and shared the higher your organic reach will be. So, maximise your reach right from the start by posting only really useful, interesting stuff that your followers will want to read. Or, you can spend money on promoting your posts which, in all honesty, is probably the only reliable means of reaching the people you want to.

3. You’re paying to boost your Facebook posts

Remember when I said that Facebook really, really wants you to spend money? Well, the best way to get you to do that is to make it as easy as possible for you. So, they highlight how poor your organic reach has been and then tell you how, with near-enough one click, they’ll deliver a reach that’s beyond your wildest dreams. It all sounds a bit too good to be true, right?

Well, it is. And here’s why: Those 15,000 people they’re promising to reach for you? Chances are they’re entirely the wrong 15,000 people. You’ll basically be frittering away your cash reaching people who probably couldn’t care less about your book. So, if you’re going to spend your hard-earned royalties on marketing, you need to make sure you take time to properly research and hone the targeting for your ads, learn how Facebook marketing really works or get an expert to help you.

4. You only ever post about you book

It’s tempting to keep on talking about your book, promoting it, relating every post back to it. It can be fun to include personal anecdotes and pictures from time to time and your posts need personality and individuality, but you also need to treat your followers as potential customers, because that’s what they are.

That means being professional, consistent and setting high standards. So always keep your posts relevant to the subject of your book but give your followers some variety.

Post quality, valuable information they can really help them. Interesting articles that are not about you and your book. Share others’ content. Talk to them with questions and polls. Engage them with videos. The 30/60/10 rule is a good rule of thumb: that’s 30% owned content (about you and your book); 60% curated content (that’s other people’s content that you share); and 10% promotional content (that’s the blatant marketing and special offers).

5. You’re not making it easy for people to buy your book

Facebook is geared toward making it as easy as possible for you to spend money with them. And that’s exactly what you need to do for your followers – make it as easy as possible for them to buy your book.

Facebook has some really handy tools that will let people buy your book straight from your posts. They’re essential if you want to maximise your chances of getting that sale. For example, setting up a shop on your Facebook page will allow you to tag your posts with a link straight to your website, or Amazon, to buy your book.

But most of all, always make sure every promotional post you put out has a clear, simple call to action that makes it easy for your followers to do what it is you want them to do.

Social Media, and Facebook particularly, offers some very powerful ways to reach your audience and find readers for your book. But to do your book justice it’s important to remember that using Facebook for business purposes is very different to how you’d use it in your personal life and it’s worth taking some time to understand how it really works.


Paul East is an experienced book marketer and works with The Right Book Company to help authors find readers.