Facebook was once again named the most popular social media platform in 2016 and authors are taking advantage of the vast audience on the platform to get their books in the hands of more readers. This past fall Facebook rolled out page templates so you can tailor your Facebook author page content to best suit your audience’s needs.
Navigating the new features can be confusing, but don’t worry, we have you covered. Set aside 15 minutes, grab a cup of coffee, and check out these tips to help your author page get more engagement and get your books into the hands of more readers! Don’t have a Facebook author page yet? Check out our post on how to create one.
Changing Your Facebook Author Page Template
There are several new templates to choose from that will change the information available on your Facebook author page. You may have noticed that your page automatically changed to the “Standard” template this past fall.
Available Templates for your Facebook Page are:
- Shopping (you’ll pick this one)
- Professional Services
You’ll notice none of these say “For Authors” but we’ve found that the Shopping template is the best for Authors to promote their books in the most direct way possible. The Standard Template and the Shopping template look a lot alike. There is one big, albeit subtle difference. The Shopping template enables a ‘Shopping Tab’ and an ‘Event Tab’, and both of those are important for authors. You can see the additional Shopping and Events tabs on the left-hand side of the page.
Changing your template
To change your page to the Shopping template click on Settings in the top right-hand corner of the screen when looking at your author page. Then click on Edit Page on the left-hand column, then under Templates, click the Edit button next to your current template (which is probably Standard), select View Details on the shopping template, and then Apply Template.
Setting Up Your Tabs
Once you’ve chosen your template, a system of default tabs will appear below it. You should re-order these tabs to put the Shop tab first, and the Events tab second. Re-ordering the tabs is easy, just click n drag. Here are the steps:
- Turn ‘Use Default Tabs’ Off
- Click and drag the Shop tab and move it to the first position
- Click and drag the Events tab and move it to the second position
- (Optional) If you have the Author App on your Facebook page, Click and drag the Author App to the 3rd Position. If you don’t have this app, go get it here.
Setting Up Your Shop
You will then be asked to choose a checkout method. Select “checkout on another website” so that you can direct readers to the Amazon page for your book.
You can then choose the currency you want your prices to appear in, the default is US Dollar, which is correct for all Authors based in the US. When you’re done, click save. After that, you’ll be able to add products to your store!
Now that your shop is setup, you will need to add some products to it. For our purposes, products=books, so you will need to add your books to the shop. To add a product, you will need an image an image that is square and with a resolution of 1024 pixels by 1024 pixels. This image should contain the book cover and cannot contain any promotional material or text, Facebook may remove it as a product otherwise.
You may be thinking, “book covers are rectangular, how do I make them square?” If you upload a book cover as is, the image will be distorted and readers will not be able to see the cover properly. You will have to use an image editing program like Photoshop or Canva to create the square image (Note: Canva is a great tool web-based tool for image editing, and we highly recommend it). You can center the book cover over a background or leave it with a white border.
Once you have a square image of the correct resolution, save it to your desktop (or somewhere else you will remember), because you will need it on the next step.
Go to your author page and click on the Shop tab. Next, click on Add Product.
Fill out the form with the book title, price, book description, and URL. The URL should take the reader directly to a place they can purchase the book, i.e. Amazon.
You should make sure your best selling book is ‘Featured’. To do this, check the “Feature This Product” box. You can see the difference on the main shop page between a featured and non-featured book below:
You’ll want to be sure to add all of your books as products so readers have a full view of your backlist in your store.
Create an Event
Are you going to be at a conference or a local event and want to let your readers know? Set up a Facebook Event to let your followers know when and where you will be. To create an author event, click on the “Event” tab and then click the “+ Create Event”
Fill out all of the information for the event in the form and publish or schedule the event for when you want it to go up. To schedule an event for the future, click on the small arrow next to “Publish”.
Optional, Set Your Buttons
If you have followed instructions up to this point, you should have a big blue button that says Shop Now at the top of your page. That’s good, for most authors, you should leave it right there so the button will encourage users to click and buy books. However, if you are pushing email signups instead of sales, you may want to edit it to Sign Up or learn more. If you decide to go that route, here’s instructions on editing that button.
From there you can choose any of the following button phrases:
- Book Now
- Start Order
- Call Now
- Contact Us
- Send Message
- Sign Up
- Send Email
- Watch Video
- Learn More
- Use App
- Play Game
Pick the text that works the best for you.
In addition to products, there is a store description that is optional, but highly recommended. You can access this description by clicking on the Shop tab and clicking on the button above Add Product that says “Describe what [ Page Name] sells”:
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have a Facebook page optimized for book sales and event engagement. With nearly a billion people visiting Facebook pages every month, devoting some time to optimizing your author page is a great way to reach more readers. The easier it is to purchase a book, the more likely readers are to buy it. With an easily accessible shop, event listings, and advanced publishing tools, Facebook is a great platform for turning potential readers into fans.