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8 Ways Authors Can Improve Facebook Ad Targeting and Sell More Books

Writing a book is not easy. You have to spend numerous days and nights, sometimes years, to finish it. And during this stage, you've to battle, fight, and stretch your limits to find the right words, phrases, and paragraphs and then bind them in a cohesive and understandable story.

And then, on the book launch day, you have butterflies in your stomach, and a giddiness surrounds you with expectations abound. You expect people to feel the same rush as you have been experiencing about your fantastic book. You want them to shower the same love with which you have written it. You expect people to go crazy over your story and turn it into an instant bestseller with five-star reviews pouring in.

In most cases, let me rephrase it - in 99% of cases, nothing of such sort happens unless you are James Patterson or Dan Brown.


There could be hundreds of reasons, but one of the usual suspects is - Authors rarely know who will be the right audience for their books. And in those cases where they do know, the next challenge for them is where to find these readers who will be interested in buying their books.

If you ask me, then my go-to place to find most of my readers for my books is Facebook.

Now I know what you must be thinking - that there are almost 3 billion Facebooks users, and not everyone reads my genre, so how will I find MY people, and that too without wasting a ton of money on Facebook Ads.

And my answer to your question is - Umm, good question.

But after some thought, I will say - Actually, there is a way.

But then I will ask you - Are you interested in experimenting with Facebook Ad Targeting for authors?

And you don't seem so sure about the whole idea. "Facebook Ad Targeting? Umm... not really my cup of tea," you say.

Then I tell you that with this strategy you can get your book in front of the right audience in a very short time, now will you be interested?

Okay, you don't have to answer that. I can see it in your eyes that you are interested now.

That's why I have compiled THE greatest targeting tactics to advertise on Facebook for authors like you.

So, what are we waiting for?

Let's roll.

How Authors Can Improve Facebook Ad Targeting and  Sell More Books

1. Facebook interest targeting

On Facebook, you can target people who have expressed an interest in or like pages related to another page or topic. This makes Facebook interest targeting one of the most effective strategies for targeting prospective readers interested in your books.

There are thousands of interests to target, and they're located in the Interests section of your ad set settings.

Interest targeting usually means that you're targeting large audiences. So before you set up interest targeting, evaluate the size of your target group. Then consider combining an interest with at least one other targeting method.

You can target various types of audiences, for example;

  • Target people looking to buy something specific; for example, new vehicle shoppers in the market for an SUV.

  • Target People Based on Financial Resources

  • Combine Age and Gender With Where People Live - For example, target men ages 35-45 who live in New Jersey. A few selected countries, such as the United States, also support zip code targeting.

  • Target People by Industry or Occupation

  • Promote to People Based on Homeownership Status - Target homeowners, renters, or first-time homebuyers.

  • Filter by Level of Education and Academic Degrees

  • Reach Out to Parents - If your book's primary audience is parents and kids, then why not.

  • Target People Who Own Specific Mobile Devices like Kindle Fire.

And these options are just the tip of the iceberg. In short, Facebook interest targeting options are plenty to help you find your ideal reader.

2. Facebook Custom Audience

Customer lists like a list of newsletter subscribers or your existing or previous customers can enable you to inform Facebook about pre-existing connections with customers that cannot be tracked through Facebook interaction or the Facebook pixel.

These lists have individuals that have demonstrated an interest in your company, but Facebook cannot identify them without you uploading that list. When you submit the data, Facebook employs a technique called "hashing" to protect personal customer information while still enabling it to detect matches to Facebook user profiles.

Remember that you may only upload data from consumers who have consented to receive marketing communications from you. You cannot utilize a bought customer list or data acquired from other websites—and if someone unsubscribes from your email list, they must also unsubscribe from your Custom Audience.\

Available Custom Audience sources include:

  • Customer list. Should include emails or phone numbers and names.

  • Website. For retargeting people who visited your website or a specific page within a period of time.

  • App activity. Helps you create an audience consisting of users who perform specific actions in your app.

  • Offline activity. This option allows you to target people who have interacted with your business in person.

  • Facebook sources. Here, you can target users who interact with your business on Facebook and Instagram, e.g., watch your videos, or browse your product catalog or follow your Page.

3. Create a lookalike audience to expand your reach

Facebook Lookalike Audiences may assist you in identifying potential new consumers. It's a potent tool for improving Facebook ad targeting—it uses data from your most successful customers to identify new individuals who are likely to become loyal customers as well.

Consider it to be a smart audience matching engine for marketers and authors. You inform Facebook of the characteristics you need in a consumer, and Facebook creates a new audience group comprised of prospects that fulfill your requirements.

4. Check Facebook relevance metrics

Facebook analyzes how relevant an ad is to a user before delivering it, making relevancy a significant factor for your ads' success.

But how can you measure the relevancy of your ads?

Facebook considers three metrics key for relevancy:

  • Quality your images and videos should be top class, so they create a quality experience for your target audience.

  • Engagement: How your audience engages with your ads. In other words, your ads should be properly targeted to the right niche who are more likely to engage with it.

  • Conversion: How many people perform the action your ad calls for, like Download or Learn more, etc. Hence, your ad copy should be actionable and includes a clear call to action, encouraging users to click through.

But relevance ratings should not be used as the only metric for determining an advertisement's success. As has been the case for an extended period of time on Facebook, the most critical aspect for success is bidding based on the objective you expect to accomplish with an ad.

5. Check recent purchasing behaviors

Subcategories of purchasing behavior include Buyer Profiles, Clothing, Food & Drink, and Health & Beauty, among others. Within each broad group, you may dig down into specific sorts of behavior; for instance, selecting Buyer Profiles allows you to target do-it-yourselfers, fashionistas, and foodies, among others.

Facebook indicates the number of user profiles you may target within each sub-category based on their aggregated, multi-sourced offline transaction-based data. In plain words, the number of Facebook users within that category Facebook has linked to offline purchase data.

6. Combine two unique audiences

Try combining them when you feel your audiences are too broad and you don't know how to narrow them further.

Let's say you are targeting ebook readers in your country, and you feel that's too broad. You can combine them with an audience of readers who like reading Jane Austen in your country.

This approach adds an extra layer of appealing personalization and makes it harder for your audience to ignore your ad.

7. Retarget visitors with the Facebook pixel

The Facebook Pixel helps you to monitor and improve your return on investment on the platform. But, before delving further, let's define what the Facebook Pixel is.

Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website, allowing you to monitor conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future adverts and retarget people who have previously interacted with your website. In other words, with Facebook pixel, you can create custom audiences of people who have already visited your website, and this is just one use case of Facebook Pixel.

Another use case for writers with great blogs is to retarget people who engaged with a couple of your articles, like reading it, commenting on it, or sharing it.

Facebook Pixel is one of the most powerful targeting features available on Facebook because here, you let the Facebook Pixel expand your audience for you, rather than doing it yourself. Thus, it expedites and simplifies the whole procedure and contributes to your ads' effectiveness.

8. Test which targeting tactic is best for you

Still, with all these targeting options, don't forget the fundamentals. As a self-published author, you have the option to control your marketing efforts—and if you're advertising your books on Facebook, A/B testing is a must.

As the name indicates, it entails testing various variants of advertisements and campaigns. When it comes to testing targeting, you can change the targeting options in your ad sets where your ads have the exact same text, image, and headline. When you now run the ads, the data will indicate which of the targeting is working for you the best.

Final word on Targeting

Facebook ads are an excellent tool to increase your ROAS instantly. But you need to know how to target people in the most granular way to increase your conversion rates and reduce your CPC.

The tips and strategies discussed are just the tip of the iceberg. You need to get creative, do your research, and keep iterating until you become a Facebook ad targeting expert.

However, following these best practices will give you a higher chance to understand how to play the game. Avoid falling into analysis paralysis, and go for your next Facebook ad campaign!



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