Marketing, Rants

Julia vs the Facebook Advertising Policy II: Revenge of the Facebook Ad department.

GIF of Sister Michael from Derry Girls, via tenor.

Well, hello, Sister Michael. I didn’t expect to be seeing you again so soon. For anyone who needs catching up, I blogged about my previous problems with Facebook advertising here and here. For those of you who don’t care, you should visit those posts anyway because they have more Sister Michael GIFs.

So, after the poor performance of the “Cuddling Violation” ad, I thought I’d try something different. Mr. Bennet, who is handy with a computer, decided to make me a book trailer. Here it is in all its HD glory. If you decide to give it a watch, keep an eye out for adult content because that’ll be important down-post.

Not bad for a man who’d never used video editing software before!

I’ve been sharing it across social media but, glutton for punishment that I am, I thought I’d make a Facebook ad as well. You know, not to sell books or anything (since Facebook is really bad at that) but to get more views for the trailer. Well, wouldn’t you know it? They didn’t approve our ad.

GIF of Sister Michael piercing us with her gaze, via tenor

Why? Because:

Adverts must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services.

Now I feel trolled. Adult services like escorts? Products like dildos? What are they even talking about? I need more clarification.

Adverts must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, unless they promote family planning and contraception. Adverts for contraceptives must focus on the contraceptive features of the product and not on sexual pleasure or sexual enhancement, and must be targeted to people aged 18 years or older. “

Side note: I’m not sure what the age of consent is where you are, but in the UK , it’s 16. I sure as hell believe that family planning should be targeted at 16 years olds and, let’s face it, right or wrong, not all kids wait that long. I’d rather mine were properly educated just in case. But, whatever. That’s not Facebook’s job etc. But look at this, lest we ever forget that Facebook thinks sex is dirty:

No sexual pleasure for you! It is verboten.

But I digress. The real issue here is where does my trailer go wrong? Is it the word “seduction”? Is it the silhouettes of two adults not kissing? Or has my romance novel (which is not an erotic romance, though it does have some erotic scenes) been deemed an “adult product?” If so, that didn’t bother them last week or during any of the previous ad runs. This is a whole new reason not to let me advertise my book and I’m starting to develop a teensy weensy bit of a persecution complex.

So now comes the fun of deciding whether to appeal or edit the ad and try again.

GIF of Sister Michael drinking, via tenor

But I’m starting to feel a bit cross. And, yes, that’s British understatement.


Julia Vs the Facebook Advertising Policy Redux

*edited to include final ad results*

After my post rant earlier today, I designed an ad with hopes of getting around the Facebook rules. Here it is:

New Facebook Ad, buy link and ‘too saucy for Facebook’ text not included.

Okay, I admit I wasn’t taking things entirely seriously by this point, but wouldn’t you know, they approved it. Hooray?

Not sure how well it’s going to perform given that you can’t actually see the book. The good folk at Facebook have basically rendered themselves useless for advertising purposes. But from what I hear, they’re not great anyway. So far , this ad is costing $0.41 per “engagement” and I highly doubt (though of course I can’t be sure) it’s generating any sales.

GIF of Sister Michael from Derry Girls (because I identify so hard with her.)

Ah well, you live and learn.


Results from the “Cuddling Prohibited” ad on Facebook

At $0.45 an engagement, it’s a lackluster performance. For $20 I got 1 link click, 4 photo clicks and 2 shares. I think it was fairly useful for growing my Facebook following but, if you’re looking for book sales, Facebook ads probably aren’t the way to go. How many copies of The Madness of Miss Grey did I sell as a result ? Well my sales rank didn’t improve. In fact it decreased, so 1? None? All in all, probably not worth the money.


Julia vs the Facebook Advertising Policy

I don’t do rants often, but I’m feeling a little irritated.

GIF of Sister Michael from Derry Girls, via tenor.

As you probably know by now, I just released my debut novel, The Madness of Miss Grey. It’s hard to get a book by a brand new author noticed, so I’ve been trying a bit of everything including (and despite hearing decidedly mixed opinions as to their effectiveness) Facebook ads. The Madness of Miss Grey is an historical romance with the sort of cover most historical romance covers have. In case you’ve forgotten (as if I’d let you,) here it is:

The Madness of Miss Grey cover

Not exactly Caligula, is it? In fact, let’s compare:

Caligula (1979) Blu-ray cover, via imdb.

Nope, not Caligula.

Nevertheless my ad was refused because “it includes an image or video depicting people performing seductive or implied sexual acts.”

Which sexual act? Kissing? Both people are fully dressed (okay, his shirt is unbuttoned, but she’s shielding his modesty with her body). Her back is to him. Surely there must be some mistake, right? So, I appealed and was once again denied.

GIF of Emperor Commodus ( Joaquin Phoenix ) from the movie Gladiator (2000) , via tenor

Let me tell you, it’s going to be tricky advertising this book without showing the cover. So, for the first time in my life, I bothered to read Facebook’s advertising policy with regard to sexy content. You too can partake of this joy:

No artistic nudity even if it’s only implied. No hot women in bed even if they’re alone and covered in a sheet. No cleavage because women’s bodies are just too inflaming. Won’t someone think of the children? Won’t someone think of the poor men (for they cannot control themselves)?

And that’s not all.

No eating a banana! That banana is clearly meant to imply something! No couple in bed even if we mostly see just feet. We know what’s going on under that sheet and it’s something dirty! No bare man chest. (Actually, that one took me by surprise. There was me thinking only female bodies are rude.) Oh, but artistic nudity is fine after all, as long as it’s a statue or a painting. Put a woman next to him and I’m thinking it’d be a different story because then they might be about to do…stuff. Not sure what would happen if it was a statue of two naked men. Facebook might put a red x by it or they might take the view common to so many elderly male historians that two naked men in art are always and only best buds.

Sister Michael from Derry Girls, via tenor

No, Sister Michael, this isn’t hell. This is 2019. Hard to believe, I know.