How to handle the problem with using book covers in Facebook ads #MondayBlogs #AmWriting #AuthorMarketing #Facebook

A few months ago, I started noticing a problem with boasting my posts on Facebook – the boasts were no longer being approved as they had been in the past. Um, what? Why? Turns out, Facebook has decided that images that contain too much image text will be shown to fewer people. As Facebook owns Instagram, this policy is also applicable there. (On a somewhat positive note, your Facebook ad will also run on Instagram.) But what is too much image text? What about book covers that automatically include image text?

Facebook claims that book covers usually qualify for an exception. Well, maybe that’s true for well-known authors, but this indie author has NEVER gotten an exception. Nope, I’ve just been told by Facebook that my image contains too much text and will be shown to fewer people, which translates into basically no one. FYI: This is the book cover that started the issue. Doesn’t seem like a whole lot of text to me.


What to do? You can stick your middle finger up at Facebook and walk away. Except … Facebook has a huge audience and they know way too much about this audience. Bad for privacy perhaps but good for you from a marketing perspective. Naturally, Facebook has a nifty tool to help you out. (Not shocking as the vast majority of its billionaire dollar business comes from third-party advertising dollars.) The text overlay tool allows you to check whether your ad will be ok, low, medium or high. Here’s what that means:

text overlay tool

To ensure your image goes from high to ok or low, try these tips:

  • Use as few as words as possible (duh!). Personally, I removed my author name from the image. As the post is made from my author account, it’s obvious who the author is.
  • Avoid spreading text all over the image. Concentrate your ad text in one or two areas.
  • Make sure most of the text is in the body text instead of directly on the image.
  • Reduce font size.

Personally, I tried everything I could think of to get an ‘ok’, but I just couldn’t do it. In the end, I settled for low on my latest ad and it was seen by 88,950 persons over a three-day period. To give you an idea of what an image looks like that is ‘low’, here’s the ad I ran:

FB ad april 2018.5

The text overlay tool can be found here.

Wondering how my Facebook ad did? I’ll write a blog post with my results soon.



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    1. I’m not sure it’s an algorithm. If I take off the title and my name, the picture is immediately accepted. It’s totally a pain playing with words and font sizes to get a picture it will accept.

  1. I read in a book about how to create successful Facebook ads that we should use stock images that best showcase the theme of the book without any words at all. Not only will Facebook show the ad less, but if there are words in the picture (even just a few) the ad will run at a higher cost per click. My ads where I used a banner or cover were $.40-$.40 per click, but my stock image runs between $.14-$.16 per click. That’s a big difference.

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