Promoting books on Facebook

Cosmic Geoff

Well-Known Member
Jun 14, 2012
I have in the past posted to various Facebook groups dedicated to book promotion, but lately many of my posts have been held for review and blocked by Facebook Marketplace under "Commerce Policies on subscriptions and digital products." I am at a loss to understand what facebook actually want, and comment online suggests that ebook promoting posts in book groups have been caught by some mindless algorithm designed to deter something else.
People are continuing to post to these groups but I can't at a glance see how they are getting around this (possibly avoiding trigger words and explicit links to Amazon)
Have any of you self-publishing authors run into this B.S.?
I'd imagine Facebook view these groups as competition for their own advertising. They want you to buy Facebook advertisements rather than use Promotion groups. Currently, they don't do anything to stop these groups, but I assume they aren't helping them either. I'd expect, as time goes on, for their algorithm to get even more restrictive.
After getting kicked off Facebook twice, no explanation given, I no longer indulge. Sorry to hear of your woes Geoff. I hope that you find another ah, platform? in which to promote your book. If you do, please let me know. I'm striking the same problems. Cheers.
Not with book links (yet), but I have run into this issue with other posts, and not all of them even contained links. Sometimes it's just the wording in general that makes FB think you are selling something and they automatically flag it as a post for their marketplace and in need of 'review.' FB also tends to sabotage posts with outside links, even if made on your own pages, by severely dropping your reach because they don't want people exiting the site to another one. They're trying to force people to use their marketplace and pay for ads and promoted posts.
Sometimes its also key phrases - in Warhammer 40K groups sometimes your post will get flagged because trading weapons isn't allowed because you've put that you're selling a "gun" or "sword" in your post.

The thing is the code is purely a machine looking for patterns so the actual words don't ping it, but the phrase and style of post "might". As a result someone can post the same type of post with the same words and not get pinged. It's a limitation of a moderating system running with an AI as opposed to a human. The AI can't so easily understand context and human review only happens after things are escalated and even then the staff are under insane pressures to process things quick.

In general its part of an issue you'll hit with any big social media website. Also do ask in those groups about how to get around the blocks as chances are there's a few known/identified methods within those groups that people are aware of.
Thanks for the responses. I can't see any total consistency in the postings on Facebook books groups, but most posters use an advert image and a compressed URL like tiny.url rather than a direct link to Amazon.
I have joined a number of fantasy-focused Facebook groups some of which allow self-promotion once a week. Through these groups I've have participated in syndicates of fantasy authors buying Facebook advertising for our books. This has sold some books for me.

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