Facebook was once again named the most popular social media platform in 2022. Authors are acting accordingly, taking advantage of the platform’s vast audience to get books in the hands of new readers.
If you’re already using Facebook for its Author Pages, great. If not, it’s time to tap into this venue for readership!
In October 2022, Facebook rolled out a new page experience on Facebook, and most pages have now been transitioned. The big changes? Everything is much more simple and uniform in the new Facebook page experience.
Updating your page can be a bit of a hassle, 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.
How To Tell What Facebook Page Experience You Have
Before we get to specifics, we need to make sure we’re starting in the right spot. Some authors will still be on the classic Facebook page experience, and some will be on the new. Here’s how to find which experience you have:
- Log in to Facebook, and navigate to your page. It will be listed on the left side of your screen, you may need to click on the chainlink to expand the “shortcuts” menu.
- Click on your page. Do you see any notifications saying you have been switched to the new page experience? If so, you have the new Facebook page experience. If not, let’s keep looking.
- If you still haven’t seen anything about being switched to the new page experience, take a look at your page. Do you see buttons for “promote”, “manage”, and “edit” in on right side like the screenshot below? If so, you are on the new page experience.
- If you are on the classic page experience, jump to our section below on changing your template. If you are on the new page experience. Keep reading to learn how to optimize your Facebook author page.
How To Optimize Your Facebook Author Page
Optimizing your Facebook page means putting forward the information readers want in the best, most efficient way possible. When optimizing your page it helps to imagine that you are a reader. Why are you on an author’s Facebook page? What are you looking for?
By putting yourself in the shoes of your readers, you will be better able to create a page that gets the results you want.
Select “Author” as your Facebook page category
To begin, we want to define what your page represents, and the best way to make this clear to readers is to categorize your page.
How to categorize your Facebook page:
- Click “about” at the top of your page, under your cover photo.
- If you want to change your page’s category, click the pen on the right side.
- Search for your category (we recommend “author”), and select it.
- Hit “save.”
Choose an eye-catching cover photo
One of the first things a reader sees when the visit your page is the cover photo across the top of their screen. Use a tool like Canva to create an image that has good color, but is not too busy. Bonus points if you are able to promote a book or include a call to action in the image.
Your Facebook cover photo should be around 851px wide and 315px tall. Click here for Facebook’s exact guidelines.
Mark Dawson does a great job with his cover photos. The one below has brilliant color, promotes an upcoming release, and works well with the positioning of the profile photo on the bottom left. The image is eye-catching, but a reader can understand the entirety of it in a quick glance. It’s not so busy as to distract from the rest of the page.
Use a real headshot as your profile photo
To update your page’s profile photo, simply click on it and follow the prompts.
Our recommendation is that you use a real photo of yourself for this photo. Readers who visit your page want to connect with you. They value the human behind the work, and by using a real photo of yourself, you can deepen that connection.
Of course some authors won’t be comfortable with this, and that’s absolutely fine. But, if you’re ok with using a real photo, you should.
Write a 100 character intro/ bio
One big change with the new Facebook page experience is the intro text is much shorter than the old experience. So, if you’ve been transitioned to the new experience, you will want to be sure to update this.
How to update your Facebook page bio:
- Select “edit” in the top right of your page and scroll in the window until you see “bio.”
- Select the “edit” text to the right of “bio” and write your 100 character intro.
- Select “save.”
Your bio can be 100 characters max, but you don’t need to use it all. Write a short intro about yourself, consider including your genre, or use it as an opportunity to promote your email list.
Looking at what other authors in your genre are doing here can be helpful when coming up with ideas.
Edit your action button to meet your goals
Your action button is your primary call to action (CTA) on your page, and you get to customize it.
But, before you do, decide on your primary goal for the page. Do you want readers to join your email list? Go to your website? Buy a book directly from you?
Decide on your ideal goal, and then select the action button that meets your needs.
How to customize your Facebook page action button:
- Select the three dots under your cover image on the right side.
- Click add or edit action button from the menu.
- Choose the action button you want from the options. Many authors will choose the “sign up” option and include a link to their email signup form, but others will choose another option. Pick what works best for you. You can always change later on.
Adjust your page tabs
The old page experience provided templates with different layouts to choose from. The new page experience is a little more limited, but it still has some customization options for authors.
How to customize your Facebook page tabs:
- Select “more” in the top middle of your page and scroll down the menu until you see “manage sections.”
- Click on “manage sections.”
- Here, most options will be greyed out and you will be unable to edit them, but you can check or un-check other options to have them appear on the page. For authors, it’s likely that sections like “music” won’t be relevant, so it’s best to remove them and keep the page uncluttered.
- After you have made your selections, hit “save.”
Changing Your Classic Facebook Author Page Template
For authors who do not have the new Facebook page experience, there are several 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)
- 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. Previously, Facebook allowed pages with the Shopping template to list products for sale on other sites. Unfortunately, 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.
- Click on Settings from the left-hand of the screen (under “Manage Page”) when looking at your Author Page. You may need to scroll to the bottom of this list to find it.
- Select Templates and Tabs on the left side of the screen.
- Click the “Standard” button from all the template options.
- Click the “Apply Template” button.
Setting Up Your Tabs
Once you’ve chosen your template, a system of default tabs will appear below it. You’ll need to turn on the Offers tab, which will show the books you have for sale. Turning on the Offers tab is easy. Here are the steps:
- From the Templates and Tabs page, scroll down to the bottom of the list that says “Tabs.”
- Turn on the toggle next to “Offers.”
You should now re-order all of your tabs to put Offers first, and then list the Events tab second. Re-ordering the tabs is easy, just click and drag. Here are the steps:
- Stay on the Templates and Tabs page.
- All the Tabs are listed in the order they’re displayed on your page.
- Click and drag the six black dots next to the word Offers to move it to the first position.
- Click and drag the Events tab to the second position.
Setting Up Your Offers
The best way for authors to list their books on Facebook is to make an offer for each title on their Author Page. To start creating offers, go back to your Author Page, click on the Offers tab, and select Create Offer.
On the left side of the screen under “Create new offer,” change the Discount type to Custom.
You can then enter your book title under “Product or service” and your book description under “Description (optional).”
Next, click Add Photo on the left-hand side of the screen, and upload an image that contains your book cover. This image 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 put something together with a nice wide background.
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 is this offer available?” 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 “Button,” and provide information on any relevant terms & conditions or promotional codes.
Customizing Your Offer Button
Under your Author Page’s cover image on the right side of the screen, you have the option to add a custom button for your offers. Here, you can direct readers to your Amazon page or website with just one click.
- Click on the blue button that says “+ Add a button.”
- Choose the Shop on Website option from the bottom of the list.
- Enter a link to your Author Page on Amazon, or another general location where readers can find all of your work.
- Click Save.
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 event, go back to your Author Page, click on the Events tab, and then click “Create new event” in the upper right-hand corner.
Fill out all of the information for an online or in-person event in the form that appears. Then, publish or schedule the event for when you want it to go up.
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have a Facebook Author Page optimized for book sales and event engagement. With nearly two billion daily Facebook users, 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 in February 2022. Facebook often changes how its 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.