Back to all articles
Optimize Facebook Author Page

How To Optimize your Facebook Author Page to Sell Books

Optimize Facebook Author Page

Facebook was once again named the most popular social media platform in 2018 and authors are taking advantage of the vast audience on the platform to get their books in the hands of more readers. In fall 2016, Facebook rolled out page templates so you can tailor your Facebook author page content to best suit your audience’s needs.

Navigating these 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.

Available Templates for your Facebook Page are:

  • Standard (you’ll pick this one)
  • Shopping
  • Business
  • Venues
  • Nonprofit
  • Politicians
  • Services
  • Restaurants & Cafes
  • Video Page

You’ll notice none of these say “For Authors” but we’ve found that the Standard template is the best for Authors to promote their books in the most direct way possible. Facebook used to allow pages with the Shopping template to list products for sale on other sites, but that functionality has been removed.

Changing your template

You likely have the standard template selected, but, just in case you don’t, here’s how to change it.

  1. click on Settings in the top right-hand corner of the screen when looking at your author page.
  2. Select Templates and Tabs on the left side.
  3. Click the Edit button next to your current template.
  4. Select View Details on the standard template, and then click 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 Offers tab first, and the Events tab second. Re-ordering the tabs is easy, just click and drag. Here are the steps:

  1. Turn ‘Use Default Tabs’ Off
  2. Click and drag the Offers tab to move it to the first position
  3. Click and drag the Events tab to the second position

 

Setting Up Your Offers

The best way we’ve found for authors to list their books on Facebook is make an offer for each title on their facebook author page. To start creating offers, click on the Offers tab and select Create Offer.

Click change photo in the image box, and upload an image that contains your book cover. Unfortunately, it must be at least 500 pixels wide and 262 pixels tall, so just your cover won’t work. We recommend using a program like Canva to toss something together with a nice wide background.

Next, on the left side of the pop-up, change the offer type to Customized.

You can then enter your book title under “offer description.”

Then, set the offer to expire as far in the future as possible. Generally this is a year from the day you are creating the offer (you can always create a new offer for the book after the first one expires, so we recommend setting a reminder or calendar event for next year).

Under “where can people redeem this,” select online and enter a URL of a page where readers can buy your book. For most authors this will be an Amazon link.

Make sure Shop Now is selected under “primary action,” and enter more info in the “description” box. We recommend adding a little more context about the book.

Hit publish!

Customizing your Offer Button

Under your Facebook author page’s cover image on the right side there is a button that by default says “see offers.” Here’s how to send readers to your Amazon page or website using that button.

  1. Hover on the button and select edit button.         
  2. Choose the shop with you option and the Shop Now button, click next in the bottom right.
  3. Choose website link and enter a link to your author page on Amazon, or another general location where readers can find all of your work.
  4. Click Finish.

Now readers can click your shop now button to see all of your work.

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”

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-59-09-am

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”.

That’s It!

Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have a Facebook author 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.

Note: this article was last updated on Feb 7th, 2019. Facebook often changes how their pages work, so we will strive to keep this post up to date. Please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve it.

Get more articles like these!

We send out monthly emails full of tips, resources, and industry data!
64 comments on “How To Optimize your Facebook Author Page to Sell Books
    1. I had this same issue! I kept ending up in the Facebook account settings. Finally I saw the page Settings…I was beginning to think I was crazy!

  1. Thanks, Chloe! Took the pain ou of it. I originally had it set up for email subscriber conversion, but they changed the FB settings or something, so, now with your help, I’ve optimized it for sales. 😉

  2. A very useful article. Have just followed all the steps and got my store up and running. Didn’t know about any of this!

  3. When I click on “Shop” in the left-hand column to set up the shop I didn’t get a pop-up box. It says “Finish Setting Up Your Page” and wants me to use Stripe or Paypal. How do I get back to Terms and Policies and Checkout Method?

    1. Hi Mike, I played around with this and unfortunately it looks like in order to get back to the pop up where you select “checkout on another website” is to delete the shop and start over from the beginning again.

    1. Hi Jade, When you click “check out on another website” when you set up your store, you are still selling your books through Amazon, and simply using the Facebook store to drive traffic to your titles. Since this is the case, and Facebook isn’t actually collecting any funds for you, no, you don’t pay a commission.

      1. Hi Chloe, I tried to set up a Facebook shop, and followed your step by step directions here, but Facebook is no longer giving the option to “checkout on another website.” When I click on “shop” it doesn’t bring me to the prompts listed in your article. It just prompts me to fill out a box with all kinds of information I’m not comfortable putting on Facebook like my bank account information and social security number. Especially with the controversy this past year that Facebook was sharing private information, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put that sort of stuff onto their website. If you have any advice on how to sidestep this prompt and choose the “checkout on another website option” I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Jenna Moquin

        1. Hey Jenna, sorry for the trouble and thank you for pointing out the issue. It looks like Facebook has changed their shopping options, and unless you already have it set up, you can no longer use the shopping tab to check out on another site.

          We have researched the new options and updated the article with new best practices for authors that don’t have the old shopping options.

  4. Chloe, Facebook is definitely a number one platform for authors! You can promote, engage and even sell books! The best option they came up with, I agree!

  5. Awesome article. As a author and publisher, I am always asked about ways to sell more books using social media. This is excellent. I am sharing this post with all of my authors. Thank you so much.V

    1. Hi Kathy, It’s likely that you selected “check out on Facebook” instead of “checkout on another website” option when you set up your shop. Under the first option, you sell directly through Facebook (which is not recommended). Under the second option, you can direct readers to Amazon to download your books. Unfortunately, the only way to re-set this setting is to delete your shop and start the process from the beginning again. When you have selected “checkout on another website”, you should always have a URL field in the product settings.

    1. Hi Ann, I was able to append the affiliate tag to the end of our Amazon link. Make sure that you selected the “checkout on another website” option when you set up your shop. That will allow you to direct readers to the amazon page using whatever link you’d like.

  6. Great article, and very useful. But while I did everything as described, when I had a product in my shop, I don’t have the Check Out URL appearing in the options. I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong but it is a big mystery for me!

    1. Hi Patrice, It’s likely that you selected “check out on Facebook” instead of “checkout on another website” option when you set up your shop. Under the first option, you sell directly through Facebook (which is not recommended). Under the second option, you can direct readers to Amazon to download your books. Unfortunately, the only way to re-set this setting is to delete your shop and start the process from the beginning again. When you have selected “checkout on another website”, you should always have a URL field in the product settings.

        1. Hi James,

          I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing difficulties. I just tried created a page from scratch and I was given the option to choose “Check Out on Another Website” as I was setting up my store, so all seems to be in order as far as I can tell.

  7. for the link to Amazon, I suggest you use an affiliate link – That way you will earn commission on any click through sales in addition to your book sale.

    1. I’m pretty sure that this is against the affiliate/bookseller terms of service. I’ve been told Amazon really does not want us authors “double-dipping.” You may want to look around K-boards or some other venues.

  8. Great article, but I never get the option to choose where to check out. It jumps straight from terms and conditions to paypal or stripe. Any idea how I can force this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Helen,

      Unfortunately, no, I don’t have any recommendations for how to guarantee that you get that option. Sorry we can’t be of more assistance!

  9. I’m not sure we’re allowed to use a Facebook Shop for ebook sales. Facebook wording in two different places gives me concern about this:

    1. In the Commerce Policy here – https://www.facebook.com/policies/commerce – which is part of the Seller’s Terms & Policies we must accept when setting up the shop, #12 states “Non-physical items are prohibited on Facebook Marketplace, including but not limited to services, subscriptions, digital products, or rentals.”

    2. In the Facebook Business help section here – https://www.facebook.com/business/help/846547442125798 – the Shop Section states, “Note: You can’t sell things like services or digital goods through your shop section. At this time, you can only sell physical products.”

    On these pages, Facebook makes no distinction between items we sell directly via Facebook and items for which we send customers to external sites like Amazon to check out. For this reason, I’m reluctant to set this up.

    Does anyone have confirmation from Facebook one way or the other?

    1. Hi Betty,

      Our understanding is that digital downloads cannot be sold directly through the Facebook Marketplace, however, it is appropriate to push customers to a third party retailer where they can download digital products. You cannot use Facebook to sell digital products directly in part because they lack the functionality to act as that type of store: whereby a customer pays for a digital download, and can immediately download it from the store. When you send the reader to another retailer to download, however, you are bypassing this concern, since the transaction isn’t taking place on Facebook at all.

      1. You can absolutely list the same book multiple times, directing to different retailers. You’d just want to be sure to label them all in a clear manner so that readers don’t get confused.

  10. As of today (March 26) I cannot find an “Apply Template” button on the Shopping template option anymore. After you go into View Details there is not button there that I can find. I went in to change the template on a client’s page today and found that option is no longer available. Anybody else seeing that? I have it changed on my own page (did it in January) and it is still working but can’t seem to find the option on pages now with the Standard template.

    1. Hi Chris,

      I just made a dummy page and found all of the options still available. I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help, since I’m not experiencing the same issue.

  11. This is a very helpful article, but when trying to set up my page, I find that I don’t have a ‘Shop’ button. I’m wondering if I did something wrong.

    1. Hi J.B., There is a chance that Facebook is rolling this feature out slowly (as they often do) and thus it isn’t available to all users yet.

  12. Is there an initial or ongoing fee charged to me for selling my books through a shopping template on Facebook? I haven’t found any mention of fees so far.

  13. Fantastic article. I’ve set up several Facebook pages and it can be confusing sometimes. I added your article to my recommended links page, it’s a great resource for my readers.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Mandy, There is a chance that Facebook is rolling this feature out slowly (as they often do) and thus it isn’t available to all users yet.

  14. Hi Ellen, you don’t technically need both, but they are both great ways for your readers to view your books and get a feel for you as an author. We always recommend people do as much as they can to connect with readers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *