Back to Blogs

FB Ads that don’t get sales? DO THIS!

By Kathleen

Recently, I’ve seen some scuttlebutt talking about how ads don’t convert. Below is my response to that, but the TLDR is that yes, ads do work. Not only do they work, but they’re crucial. Crucial to get visible, reach your ideal readers, and grow your audience network.

Let’s start way back in early 2017. I kept seeing authors posting about how they tried ads on Facebook and AMS and didn’t see a return–this was the genesis of my “Help! My Facebook Ads Suck” book. I wanted to show people that they *do* work. You just need the right mindset and process.

(Plus most authors give up too soon, more on this later)

But please remember, it’s not the FB ad’s job to sell your book—that’s up to the retailer’s product page. The FB ads job is just to get people to click. That’s it. So if you’re getting clicks, the ad is doing its job.

People confuse that issue a lot. We hear a lot ‘my ad isn’t working’. But the ad is working if people click on it. It’s the product page isn’t working and that means your cover, your blurb, the promise you sold in your ad.

If your ad makes a promise, your Amazon product page (or other retailers) has to back up that promise. If you have an ad talking about ferocious kittens and your book is for space marines, you’re going to have a serious disconnect and not see a lot of buys.

OMG. Ferocious kitten space marines. Why isn’t this a thing yet?

OK, so you know I think Facebook ads are important. I mean…Jill and I are the Facebook ads girls! However, some folks out there say that ads don’t convert, that they hamper cashflow and stifle your business. I’ll warrant that the wrong ads certainly can do that. As a general rule, a business’s marketing budget shouldn’t be more than 30% of its net profits. There are (as always) exceptions, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

So why do I think ads work? 99% of every single freaking thing you own and use are only in your possession because of ads.

Darn close to everything.

Your car? You saw it in an ad. Heck, you probably saw it in hundreds of ads over the years. The latest i-whatever? Ads.

If Apple released a new whatsit and never told anyone about it, no one would know it was available to buy unless they go into an Apple store…and what percentage of their customers do that these days?

The pair of shoes you got from the boutique shoppe downtown? Ads. Even the store’s sign is a type of ad.

They’re hanging their shingle out there and saying “hey you, we do this thing. If you want it, come in and get it.”

Not only that, but all those car ads, Apple ads, and storefront signs are conveying a brand and telling you about the style, quality, price, and dozens of other things you absorb and consider as a part of your decision-making process.

The same is true for authors. This isn’t Field of Dreams. If you build it and do nothing else, they most certainly will not come.

You’ve gotta hang your shingle out where people are strolling by. Be that Facebook, Google, Amazon, Youtube, or their inbox. Folks need to see your book to even consider buying it.

And they need to see it more than once. You need brand/name recognition.

This is why Ads are important.

This is why branding your books a specific way is important.

And why you want to show up time and time again in your ideal reader’s space.

Ads work. Jill and I have made well over $2.8 million dollars selling fiction books because of ads. We’ve spent over $10k on Disney vacations because of ads.

We work pool side because of ads.

Basically, ads = marketing, and marketing doesn’t have to be scary. Heck…this post is marketing. I had fun writing it because this is a topic I’m passionate about and believe in fiercely. You believe in your book, right? Be passionate.

Be fierce.

Run some ads, do a newsletter swap, get on some podcasts and talk it up. Market that sucker and let people know about your creation.

The other part of this from the beginning is your Amazon Product page. Certain things need to happen here and it’s a subject we feel passionately about but not everyone wants to hear.

Your Amazon Product page is your book’s packing.

Your Cover

Your Blurb

Your Title & Series Name

All of these things need to bring together a cohesive message beyond the, “I like it and my friends like it.” School of thought.

If you find yourself saying things like, “I don’t really like the covers in my genre so I am doing something completely different.”
STOP. That will make you unsellable to an ideal reader.

You might be thinking, wait… but my fans like my cover.

Of course they do. They’re already fans.

What you want to do is appeal to people who have never heard of you.

If they see your book cover, your ad image, you want them to stop scrolling for THREE seconds and go, wait—I like that. Is that for me?

So they go over and read your blurb which also must be written with your ideal reader in mind. You want to use specific words to get their attention that signal genre, trope, and you want them to think, “Yes, this book was written for me! I have to read this.” And then they pick it up.

That’s what your Amazon product page is designed to do.

Convert browsers into buyers.

You need to put your best leg forward and that often means you have a lot to do before you jump into Facebook Ads. Your package must be close to perfect if you want to convert cold browsers into excited purchases.

That means you put those keywords into your title and series name, too. Do market research and find out what keywords are currently buzzing in your genre and find creative ways to use them in your title, your series name, and your blurb.

Also, see these white spaces between paragraphs? That extra return? Make sure you’re using them in your blurb so it’s easy to read.

Browsers won’t read a wall of text for very long.

Together the power of an Amazon Product Page and Facebook Ads can help you build a long and lucrative career. We all make mistakes on the first attempt, but don’t think that you’re first attempt is your last attempt.

Because it’s not. The first attempt is often the draft, just like with writing a book.

If you threw away your book after the first draft because it wasn’t working and you just started writing a new one, how many books do you think you’d publish?

Probably not many. Or none.

Facebook Ads are like that and there’s no shame in revising something that doesn’t work.

Quick tips for success:

Hone your Amazon Product Page until it is working.

Use market research in your genre and tropes to give yourself an advantage.

If your first thoughts and conceptions were wrong, it’s OKAY to course correct.

Use that information and knowledge to craft your Facebook Ad.

Ask yourself what else does your ideal reader like to do other than read books. What movies do they watch? What hobbies do they have? Put that into your Facebook Ad Audience.

Hone, refine. Once you figure out your audience, you can spend a lot less time on crafting ads and more time writing.

If you could spend 1 – 2 hours a month maintaining your ads and go back to writing what would that be worth to you? That’s what we do and we try to get our authors there too.

Celebrate success. Tweak what isn’t working but never feel like you can’t or that you’re a failure. It’s a journey and you’ll get there.

Malorie & Jill CooperArticle by Malorie & Jill Cooper

Malorie & Jill Cooper are 7 figure indie authors and founders of The Writing Wives. You can download the FREE Ad Score Guide at

The Writing Wives are a sponsor of BookMARCon powered by Book Brush.


5 Tips for Designing Author Newsletters

5 Tips for Designing Author Newsletters

October 16, 2020

Read More
How Authors Are Using Video Effects To Grow Their Reach

How Authors Are Using Video Effects To Grow Their Reach

August 28, 2020

Read More
Using Instagram Stories to Grow Your Reader Audience

Using Instagram Stories to Grow Your Reader Audience

February 12, 2021

Read More