Written by A Guest Author December 3rd, 2020

The Key to Promoting Your Non-Fiction Book on Facebook

By Ellen Levitt

If you have written non-fiction books as I have, there are effective ways in which to market your books online, especially by creating a designated Facebook page for them and for any related services such as lectures and tours. You will want this page to be highly visual and inviting.

A Facebook page is excellent for marketing non-fiction books. Particularly if the book is about history, culture, arts, entertainment, travel, gardening, or another topic that benefits from strong visual tie-ins.

If it is a how-to or other type of instructional guide, then you can take photographs that are related to subjects within your book and post them to draw in potential customers and fans.

Plot out what you’d like to display initially on this Facebook page: select quality photographs of the book jacket, photographs that illustrate parts of the book, and even someone holding your book in locations and settings related to your book.

My first book was about Brooklyn so I took pictures of the book in front of places you’d read about in the text. If your book is on bicycle repair, snap a picture of the book beside a bike and tool kit.

For the “About” section of the page, write a catchy, pithy description of the book. Edit and re-edit it. Upload your photographs. Experiment with templates and tabs. Decide whether you will be the sole administrator (I suggest that, unless you’re a co-author).

Once your page is up, you can still edit it, adding or modifying it. Do this periodically; definitely look at the page as a “visitor” so you know what everyone else sees. Ask friends to offer their opinions on the page layout, pictures, and text. If your publisher has a Facebook page, make posts mentioning it at least once a week when your book is first published, and periodically afterward.

Design this Facebook page as a de facto website and blog for your book. The advantage is that Facebook already has so many members who can be directed toward your page. Invite your own Facebook friends to “Like” your page. Another way to bring people onto your page (or “Community” as I have categorized it) is to share posts or even the page itself, with related Facebook pages and groups. Three of my books are of interest to people who like ethnic history and genealogy, so I found several Facebook groups that are geared toward these topics, and I shared posts to their pages. (Be aware that some groups may not allow you to do so, but many others are willing.)

On my book page I post related photographs and text several times each week, which helps to promote my books as well as related activities such as tours that I give (which are based on my books) and lectures. These photographs actually update parts of my book, and also expand upon the initial material that I covered in the books. The book trilogy focuses on New York City, but I’ve also posted photographs and text about similar things in other cities. This also helps to involve people from many different locations; perhaps some might invite you to give a book talk in their town, or even via Zoom or another virtual platform.

If your book is a how-to, cook book, or instructional manual, make and post videotaped demos that show how you can do certain things that are taught in your book. These can whet the interest of potential readers. You can also post photographs of the end-products you can learn to make. For a cookbook, post photographs of the food; for a book about yoga or fencing, post photos of positions and techniques.

Think about certain times of the year when it is particularly important to promote your book: before the Holiday season and at times throughout the year which have pertinent importance. Is your book about home gardening? Promote and post about it during the early spring and throughout growing seasons. Is your book about a sports team? Post and promote during the season and especially if they head into a championship.

Several times each week you should scrutinize the “Insights” for your page. You’ll see when you gain more engagement with your page or with particular posts, and this may help you figure out ways to improve the page. Ask people on the page what they like. Look at the “Popular Posts” and think about WHY they were popular, why they engaged people, and post more material in a similar vein.

It is important to engage with people who join your page. Are they buying the book? Even if they don’t buy initially, they may come around to it after a while. If you interact with them on posts, they will feel more of a connection to your book and your topic. If they like your book, they may end up buying more copies to give as gifts.

Promoting your non-fiction book on Facebook is a great opportunity, with lots of possibilities.

Bio: Ellen Levitt is a writer and teacher, and a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn, The Lost Synagogues of the Bronx and Queens, and The Lost Synagogues of Manhattan (www.avotaynu.com) and Walking Manhattan (www.wildernesspress.com) . She has also written many freelance articles and essays for online and in-print publications.


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