Are Facebook Ads Worth the Money?

Facebook advertising

Running ads on Facebook can be a great way to build your audience and promote your book, but it can also cost you a lot of money with little benefit if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this post, we’ll cover some of the frequently asked questions about Facebook advertising to help you run your ads with confidence.

First, let’s look at some of the numbers:

78% of American consumers say they’ve discovered products on Facebook.

With nearly 3 billion active users on Facebook, that’s a lot of potential reach!

The average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month.

Chances are you’ve clicked on an ad on Facebook at some point in time. If you have, or next time you see an ad, think about what made you click on it. What did you like about the ad? Where was the placement of the ad? What drew you to click on it? What was the result of you clicking on the ad?

Given that, let’s dive into a few FAQs about advertising on Facebook:

Do Facebook ads work to sell books?

Yes, and…The key to Facebook advertising is to generate leads for long-term results, not necessarily to sell copies immediately.

Use your ads to help potential readers discover and connect with you. Most people are not going to see an ad for a book, click on it, and immediately purchase the book if they had never seen it or heard of it before. However, if the book or the message in your ad resonates with them in some way, they may be more likely to follow your Facebook page, navigate to your website, sign up for your newsletter, etc.

This is lead generation.

Once they have connected with you, they will continue to see your posts and/or receive your emails. If your messages continue to resonate with them, they will be more likely to purchase your book in a matter of time.

One ad isn’t going to sell a million copies of your book. But with a solid marketing plan, really great content and consistency, you can build momentum with your sales over time.

What do I need to know about Facebook ad placement?

In Facebook Ads Manager you have the ability to select the placement of your ads, but you have to specifically look for this option. It’s in the Ad Set area. By default it’s set as “Automatic Placements (Recommended)”. If you skip over this setting, Facebook will automatically choose the placement of your ads in the various locations.

If you select “Manual Placements” here, however, you’ll see more options for narrowing down the placement of your ads, including the Platforms:

And the Placements within those platforms:

Each of the dropdown menus above has several more options that you can include or exclude as you wish. You may want to stick with Facebook’s recommended Automatic Placements, or you might try drilling down to specific areas depending on the ad you’re running. It’s helpful when running ads to try different things to see what works (and what doesn’t).

Will Facebook ads work with a small budget?

You’ve probably wondered about how much Facebook ads cost. There are a lot of factors involved which make this impossible to answer. For example, what’s your marketing budget? And what’s the price point of the item you’re selling? The bottom line is that you can run successful ads on any budget (large or small). I’ve run ads with a $25 budget and $1M budget.

You can usually see some pretty good results with a budget as small as $25-50 per day. You can also try the approach of starting with a large budget ($100) on day 1 to generate a lot of likes/clicks/engagement right out of the gate and then reduce your budget for subsequent days.

How do I know if my Facebook ads are working?

Facebook provides a plethora of analytics numbers you can review as your ads are running and after they end, including total reach, number of clicks, cost per click, click through rate, cost per click, etc. The most effective measurement for how an ad is doing can be the cost per click (or CPC). The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72. You want your number to be lower than this. Most of the ads I’ve run have been significantly lower than this.

Outside of the Facebook Ads dashboard, depending on what you are advertising or where you are sending people, you can measure things like new Facebook page likes, website traffic, newsletter signups, etc.

How can I target my ideal audience in my Facebook ads?

In the Ad Set area, you have the ability to target specific audiences with your ad. You can choose specific Locations (i.e. United States or you can drill down closer to your local area), Age, Gender, Languages, and get into Detailed Targeting (i.e. Interested in Reading).

This a great way to focus your ads on people who like your specific genre, things you can think of that are related to your genre, others that write books similar to yours, and even Facebook Pages your target audience might be following.

Should I advertise to my existing Facebook fans or exclude them?

Also in this Audience section in the Ad Set area, you have the ability to target your ad toward People who like your Page, Friends of people who like your Page, and Exclude people who like your Page.

What you want to choose here will depend on the nature of your ad. If you advertise to your existing fans, your CPC will most likely be lower because your existing fans already know and trust you. However, you may want to exclude your existing fans in many cases. For example, if you want to grow your Facebook Page by reaching new audiences, you’ll want to select Exclude people who like your Page. On the other hand, you may want to specifically target your existing fans when you announce the release of a new book.

What else can I do to increase the success of my Facebook ads?

One of the things I’ve done that has worked really well for authors is follow up on engagements. Check the “Likes” on your posts, especially your promoted posts. You can do this by clicking on the number of likes within the post. People who liked your post but aren’t following your page will have a button next to their name that says “Invite.” Click that button and Facebook will invite them to like your page. This can help increase the success of your ads and regular posts as well.


These are some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received about Facebook ads. Have more questions? Drop them in the comments section below and let’s keep the discussion going!

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketing director with a background in the publishing industry and a passion for all things related to books. She blogs about book marketing because she loves helping authors navigate the world of social media to discover new ways to promote and sell their books. If you're looking for something good to read, you can find Kelly's top picks here: www.kellyschuknecht.com/book-faves.

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