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How to create a facebook ad for your book!

I’ve been indie publishing for just over 6 months now, and one thing I’d recommend to other new indie authors is to run some Facebook ads! I saw a notable increase in sales once I started putting a small daily ad spend behind my books on Facebook.

Facebook ads allow you to target specific audiences and drive them towards your books. When you’re setting up, you have the option to choose a campaign objective (I recommend ‘traffic’ if you’re sending people to your book’s Amazon page), you can choose a daily spend, and you create a customized audience that you want to reach based on demographics and interests.

The creative elements

When I first started running ads, I felt a little lost in terms of what the adverts should look like! In this post, I’m going to share some of the creative elements that have worked for me.

The creative components of your ad can be broken down into the ‘media’, the ‘headline’, and the ‘primary text’. They all should work together to create an awesome ad that compels people to click!

Starting with the media element, here are 3 Facebook ad concepts that have worked well for me:

concept 1: the book cover

One really simple graphic that has worked well for me, is the book cover on a simple background. If you have invested in a really great cover that works for your audience (which is super important when indie publishing!), then this is a great ad to run, because if the cover is doing it’s job properly, it practically sells itself!

Examples of Creatives I've used for Devils Inc., and A Circus of Ink:

I like this concept because it’s very obvious what the product is that you’re selling and what the title of the book is. That means that if people see it they are more likely to remember it than if you use a graphic where the title/book isn’t obvious.

How to create this ad:

I use Photoshop to give my book covers a shadow so they look 3D. You can also use this website to create free 3D book mockups. Use free online tool Canva to add them to a background.

I recommend keeping the background pretty simple as you don’t want to clutter the image. Your cover is the star!

The headline and primary text

For these types of ads, I tend to use comp titles / tropes / or genre in my headline (e.g. for fans of Lucifer and Supernatural, or 'a dark adult fantasy romance'). For my primary text I'll tend to use a hook followed by the blurb of the book.

Concept 2: the Related Image

Another concept that has worked well for me is finding a stock image that is related to my book, and running that as an ad. Accompanied by a hooky headline and primary text, this can be an effective way to get those clicks.

Example of a creative I used for A Circus of Ink:

I like this concept because you’re not just limited to what’s on your book cover. You can get creative and show people different elements from the book, and even put faces to characters.

You’ll want the genre to be obvious when people look at your ad, so think about what symbolic elements you want to include. You’ve written a romance? A sexy guy, or a couple kissing might work well! You’ve got an urban fantasy about Angels and Demons? A guy with wings, or a hot demon will likely go down a treat!

I like to think about what Netflix would show me as the creative on the home screen if my book was adapted into a series when I’m choosing my images! I also recommend keeping an eye on other ads that authors in the same genre as you are running for ideas.

A creative I used for Devils Inc.

How to create this ad

Canva has lots of stock images you can use. You can check out for more.

If you're able to get the photoshop file from the cover designer you worked with, you could potentially add the png of your title to your image like the example above

The headline and primary text

For these types of ads, I tend to use comp titles or tropes in my headline (e.g. 'for fans of enemies to lovers and magic'). For my primary text I've found that adding a short extract from the book works really well.

concept 3: the Book trailer

I’ve had some success with running some very simple book trailers. I like these because you can communicate what the book is about, alongside the general vibe of your book. A trailer can really bring your world to life.

A Book Trailer for A Circus of Ink:

How to create this ad

You can make your own book trailer using Canva. (Are you sensing a theme here?! I don't work for them, I promise! I just think Canva is great for authors!)

There’s lots of stock footage and music, and you have the ability to add text. It’s quite limited in terms of what you can do video wise, but you can pull together something that does the job! I recommend thinking about your text first (I tend to use something similar to my blurb) so you can plan out what you want it to look like.

Note: I create the videos for my ads in the Instagram post size (rather than the wide video size I've shown you above) as I think the square version looks better / clearer on the social media feeds.

The headline and primary text

For these types of ads, I tend to use a hook / comp title / the genre in my headline. For my primary text I've run ads with enticing reader reviews in the copy.

creating the final ad

Once you have media, headlines, and primary text you can create some combinations of them for your Facebook ads, then monitor them to see which ones do the best! Facebook also gives you the option of adding multiple headlines / primary text options into the ad, and it creates combinations itself.

Pro-tip: Make sure you're keeping an eye out for the ads on your social media feeds that are within your genre and catching your eye! Think about what it is that is making you want to click.

The success of your ad is going to depend on more than just the creative elements. Among other things, you'll need to make sure you're targeting the right people, that your ads work for your genre, and that people want to actually buy your book once they've clicked on the link! You'll also find that some combinations work a lot better than others, and it's not always easy to determine why.

It's very much a process of trial and error, but I hope that this is a good place to start!

For more ideas about book marketing, check out this post for 7 social media posts you create for your book launch, and this post for 5 fun ways to promote your book on Instagram!

Do you run Facebook ads? What kind of creatives do you use?

Want to connect with me about writing? Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Or join my mailing list!


LAUREN PALPHREYMAN is a writer based in London. She is the author of Cupid's Match, Devils Inc., and A Circus of Ink. She writes books full of magic and romance, and her serial fiction has accumulated over 70 million views online. Find her on Instagram @LaurenPalphreyman and on Twitter @LEPalphreyman.

In a world where stories are forbidden, Elle has a dangerous power: Creation. That's why tattooed soldier Jay is sent by the gods to kill her. . .

Get your copy of A Circus of Ink here.


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