6 Tips for Effective Fiction Book Advertising

Posted on Sep 29, 2022

When it comes to being a full-time writer, producing the book is only part of the job. This is true whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, and it’s the part of publishing that often catches new writers off-guard. The work is the most important element, but the business side of this industry often goes overlooked. 

One example of this? Fiction ads. Fiction advertisements are a vital part of the business end of writing, but a lot of writers have no idea where to start. In this article, we’re going to talk about why fiction ads are essential for authors, and how to get started advertising your fiction book. We’ll also cover some examples of fiction ads done right. 

This guide to fiction book advertising covers:

  1. Why fiction book ads are essential for authors
  2. How to advertise a fiction book successfully
  3. What makes a good fiction advert?
  4. Where is the best place to advertise a book?
  5. Examples of fiction ads


Fiction Book Series Readthrough Calculator

Enter the title of book 1 in your series, its list price, your royalty rate, and how many book sales you get in a month. Then hit "add another book" in order to enter the information for each other book in your series.

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Enter your details below to see how much your book series would be worth!

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Why fiction book ads are essential for authors

So, why bother with advertisements? If you’re self-publishing, you probably already know that you’re going to need to do your own promo. But if you’re traditionally publishing, chances are you’ll still be responsible for most of your own promotion—this is equally important information for both parties. 

Increase sales 

Most obviously, advertising your book will help you sell more copies. It’s just like advertising anything else. Getting the word out there about your book and about yourself as an author, if done correctly, will mean more people buy your book. 

Reach a wider audience 

Ads aren’t exclusively created with the objective of driving sales, though. Ad campaigns are often created with the goal of increasing awareness of a product’s brand—in other words, advertising your book will introduce you and your book to a wider audience. You may have friends and family or even an existing online platform, but you’ll want to expand that platform to sell more copies. 

Grow your author platform 

Speaking of expanding your platform—because ads are designed to reach a wide audience, it means you’ll pull more people into your platform. Even if someone doesn’t make a purchase because of your advertisement, they might decide to follow your Facebook page or subscribe to your newsletter. This is still a success, and it dramatically increases the chances that person will make a purchase in the future. 

How to advertise a fiction book successfully

The idea of creating ads might sound complicated, but advertising your book can be relatively painless. And, if you do it right, you won’t have to spend a ton of money, either. 

1 – Create a great cover 

Your cover is your most important marketing tool. This has always been true, but it’s especially true in today’s world of online shopping. 

If you’re already an expert in graphic design, awesome! You can make your own. Otherwise, self-published authors will want to work with a cover artist to get the best possible cover for their book. It should look good as a thumbnail as well as in person, and it should hold up next to other covers in the same genre or subgenre. 

2 – Hype your book with reviews 

Reviews are enormously helpful in boosting your book on places like Amazon. In the runup to your book launch, work with a street team to get reviews posted before the book even comes out. When your book does launch, offer incentives for leaving reviews—maybe people who send in a screenshot of their Amazon review get entered to win a giveaway, for example. 

Not only will this boost your book on the platform’s algorithm, but it’ll also lend you credibility as an author. When other people go to check out your book, they’ll see all the existing reviews and feel more comfortable buying it. 

3 – Utilize social media 

TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter are all completely free to set up and use, and they’re a great place to start. Do a little research to see where your readers are—teens are more likely to use TikTok than anything else, and readers thirty-five and older are probably on Facebook. 

Work on building a following on whichever platform you choose while you’re producing your book. This way, you’ll already have some followers to whom you can announce your book, and you won’t be kicking off your book launch at ground zero. 

4 – Start and use a newsletter 

It may seem strange, but email newsletters are still a reliable way to communicate with your audience. If you don’t already have one, get one set up on your author site (which we’ll talk about in a second). As is the case with social media, you’ll want to have a newsletter established before your book launch. 

5 – Create an author website 

If you don’t have an author website, get one set up! You can do it for free on places like Wix, and it’ll make a world of difference. Think of it as a command center for your platform. From your website, readers can find all of your social media accounts, all of the books you’ve written (and links to purchase them), and they can sign up for your newsletter and learn about upcoming projects. 

6 – Look into purchasing ads on social media 

If you’ve already got these steps down, the last you’ll want to turn to is purchasing ads on social media. There are a ton of different options which vary depending on the platform you use, so you’ll want to do some research to figure out what your best option is. 

What makes a good fiction advert?

Now that you know where to get started, let’s talk about how to make your ads the best they can be. What makes an ad work well?  

1 – A strong hook 

You want something to catch the eye of a potential reader. This might be a sale advertising a bargain, a photo of your beautiful cover, or an engaging graphic with information about your book’s publication on it. 

2 – Easy storefront access 

You also want to make it as easy as possible for the reader to get to your book from the ad. The ad should link directly to your storefront, whether you’re selling books on your own website or through a third party like Amazon. If a reader has to close Facebook, look up your book, find the storefront, and then buy it, they almost definitely won’t. 

3 – Call to action 

Your ad should have a clear call to action. This might be to enter in a giveaway, to buy a book while it’s on sale, or to pre-order your book before the launch. Whatever it is, it should be very clear. It should also, ideally, be something you can link to in the ad itself. Instead of “go to my Instagram and DM me a photo of your receipt,” link to both the storefront and your Instagram page, so the reader has everything they need to complete the task right in front of them.

4 – Clear campaign 

When you set out to create an ad, have a clear idea of what you want that ad to accomplish. This will help you in the creation of the ad itself, and it’ll help you track the success of that ad. Say you’re running a giveaway to get some reviews under your new book. Your goal should be to get more reviews on your book, and everything you do should be geared toward that objective. When the campaign is over, you can easily see how successful you were based on whether you got the reviews you were after. 

Where is the best place to advertise a book?

So, where do you start? 

Step 1 – Use what you’ve got

Before spending a bunch of money on Facebook ads, make sure you’re using social media to your full advantage. Making a post on your author page is completely free! Your marketing posts should always be shareable, so that readers can share them with potential new readers.

Step 2 – Create an advertising or business account on social media 

If you decide you want to buy ads on social media, you’ll want to first do that research I mentioned—figure out who your target audience is (which you’ll have done before you wrote the book, probably), figure out which social media platform they’re more likely to use, and set up a profile on that platform. 

Then, you’ll want to create a business or advertising account, if needed. On Facebook, for example, you’ll need to create a business page to run ad campaigns. From this point on, you’ll be following the instructions as detailed on the platform. 

Step 3 – Create multiple ad campaigns across social media platforms 

Finally, you’ll want to run multiple ad campaigns. If you only have one objective—let’s use the giveaway example again—you’ll want to create different versions of that same ad campaign to test for things like ad titles, graphics, and descriptions.

Examples of fiction ads

Let’s take a look at a few advertisements to get a sense for what to do. This is a mix of sponsored posts, or paid advertisements, and regular posts which advertise books. 

Jenna Moreci: The Savior’s Champion 

This ad works because it’s concise, clear, and actionable. We have the bargain both advertised in the graphic, so it catches our eye, and in the description. The description gives us a quick and vivid idea of what genre this is, and it hits us with some credibility with the statistic about being a bestselling book. Finally, all the reader needs to do is click the link to take advantage of the bargain. 

Brenda Trim: Her Vampire Bad Boy 

Like with the ad we saw before, this ad clearly shows us a bargain and links to where we can get the book. We also get a picture, which is an important physical symbol of what it is we’re going to be buying. If this looks like the kind of book you’re into, then this will catch your eye immediately. 

Tom Kane: The Brittle Sea 

Here, we have an example of an author using their cover to its full advantage. The cover works on its own as an eye-grabbing piece, and there’s a link easily displayed within the ad to learn more. This graphic also includes extra information about the book so that the description doesn’t have to be too lengthy. 

Susan Mallery: Hometown Heartbreaker series 

This description is a little long, but it works. This post is casual and reads more like a blog update than like an advertisement. Not only does this make the reader more comfortable—no one really likes to feel advertised to—but it allows Mallery more space to talk about the series. We also have a graphic with a snippet of the work itself to hook readers. 

Book of the Month: Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 

This is a great example of an ad that isn’t necessarily an author trying to get readers to buy their book. Instead, the goal of this ad is to entice readers to sign up for a subscription box. They’re using A Flicker in the Dark as an incentive and offering readers a discount. This might mean that because they want this book at a discounted price, readers already considering Book of the Month might decide to subscribe.


Fiction Book Series Readthrough Calculator

Enter the title of book 1 in your series, its list price, your royalty rate, and how many book sales you get in a month. Then hit "add another book" in order to enter the information for each other book in your series.

Book Title
Book Sales

Enter your details below to see how much your book series would be worth!

Book Title
Book Sales
Read Through(%)
Sales Revenue
Your Total Series Value is:

Single Sale of
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Gloria Russell

Gloria Russell is a freelance writer and author living in Colorado. If she isn’t writing short stories, she’s probably knitting or stomping around on a mountain somewhere. Follow her here: Twitter Twitch

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