SFFMP 147: Mastering Facebook Advertising for Authors with Michael Cooper

We had a great show tonight with Michael Cooper, the author of HELP! My Facebook Ads Suck and also a science fiction author writing under M.D. Cooper. He’s been experimenting constantly with Facebook ads and had some amazing advice, a lot of it different from what we’ve heard before (Lindsay, who hates Facebook ads, is tempted to give them another try!), and the proof is in the pudding. He went from very modest sales to having months where he made $25,000+ from his science fiction novels (and no, he didn’t spend $30,000 on Facebook to make that much — Lindsay asked).

The show was so jam packed with information that we’re not going to attempt to touch on everything in the show notes here, but here’s a little of what Michael talked about:

  • Why you should never use your book cover (or any text at all) in the image of a Facebook ad.
  • Michael’s spreadsheet to help you figure out the read-through rate in your series, how much you’re earning per customer you get into your funnel, and how much you can afford to spend to acquire a reader.
  • The PDF file Michael mentioned: Facebook Ads for Fun and Profit v2.
  • Why you should start ads at $5 a day max and only increase the spend if they prove they’re doing well.
  • Creating a fan page to launch your advertising campaigns from instead of a business page.
  • Using Books2Read as a place to direct readers if you’re creating ads to appeal to readers on all platforms and not just sending them straight to Amazon.
  • Why Michael isn’t a fan of using Facebook ads to build a mailing list — he sends people straight to buy his books.
  • Doing long-form sales copy rather than simply creating a short snippet.
  • Why you should create different ads for different countries instead of just targeting all English-speaking countries.
  • Why Michael prefers to run ads on 99-cent or full-priced ebooks rather than permafree titles.
  • Creating character-based ad copy to appeal to female readers versus more plot-based copy for male readers.

You can find Michael on Facebook, on his science fiction author website Aeon 14, or he’s also active in the 20Booksto50K Facebook group.

Definitely pick up his book, HELP! My Facebook Ads Suck. And take notes while listening to the show. Thanks for listening!


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  • Very helpful podcast! I’ll be back when I have $$ to try ads. <3

  • Hey Gang! This was an incredible session. I had only done a few FB ads and managed to break even. I tucked it away that if I could break even I could probably make a little money, too. However, as I am learning of the tons of things I must do to succeed as an indie author, and trying to implement them, FB ads lost the top priority. Now after listening to this podcast, I’m motivated to try FB again.

    What really resonated with me was Michael basically going from zero to hero in a couple of months running FB ads. Additionally, he’s doing this writing long sales copy. That sounds more attainable. I’m going to give it a go and see what happens.

    Thanks Lindsay, Joe, Jeffrey, and Michael. Great show!

    Eric M HIll
    Author of Spiritual Warfare Novels

  • I always enjoy your podcast and this was another wonderful interview. I’m going to get his book right away. But I was wondering, is there anywhere to see samples of his ads?

  • Les Goodrich

    Excellent. I have a question: Exactly what type of FB “page” does Michael recommend setting up?

    I understand that it’s a fan-type page, with a topic such as “Urban Fantasy Geeks”, but is it built using the category of “Entertainment” then by choosing a topic from the menu such as “Literary Arts” or “Book Series”, or some other option? (Because “community” pages are different and you can’t edit content or control much of what ends up on them.)

    Thank you, & Love your show.

    • SFFpodcast

      I was trying to figure that out myself, Les, haha. If it mattered which one. I’ll see if Michael can come over to respond to the comments.

      • Les Goodrich

        Thank you! Yes, because my Author page IS a Fan page. Or I thought it was. 🙂 Ok, back to writing.

      • Michael Cooper

        Your author page is (probably) a business-style page that has a number of different features than an entertainment-style page (Usually entertainment -> book). However, that’s not the biggest part of this. What you want is a page that is not tied to you in any way shape or form.

        Making a genre-fan page where you (as the page) talk about good books, deals, movies, etc… creates a new ‘Trusted Resource’ for readers. You run ads as that page and folks will slowly like the page more and more. This creates a large, very genre specific following that you can leverage.

        It’s also less “shamless self promotionally” than running all ads as yourself.

        • Les Goodrich

          Thank you Michael for the reply. Here is the page I came up with. … https://www.facebook.com/MagickinMedia/ … My new genre is Urban Fantasy. Thanks for doing the podcast. I will try some long-text ads with no image text as soon as i get some activity on the page.

          • Michael Cooper

            You’ll want some posts up there, but believe it or not, the ads are what will actually generate follows/likes on the page. My pages have 3k+ likes/follows and they’re all organic from people liking the page via the ad.