So, what’s the deal with Facebook Pages?

I have a Facebook Page as an Author. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Not everyone who’s clicked to LIKE it follows me on Twitter or reads this blog, but a good many of them do. I expect some days when I actively participate in social media, they get tired of seeing my avatar pop up on their screens.

Like my Facebook page!I’m not naturally a pushy person. In gatherings, I prefer to sit quietly and listen. Though, I confess, if you start an interesting conversation with me, you might have trouble shutting me up. But I’m an Author now. Part of my job is to interact. So, I have a Facebook Page. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.

This is different from my personal Facebook account, where I feel free to post silliness. As an Author, I think should be more dignified. I channel links to my blog posts there and comment about my writing progress. Those are fine, but here are some examples of what my Likers also saw as “status” updates this month:

Lays Limón chips should be classified as an addictive substance.

It’s hard to type with a 2nd degree hot glue burn on my index finger.

We are having an honest to God gully-washing thunderstorm! In June! If you lived where I do, you’d know how freaky that is! LOVE IT!

So, you see, I have a Facebook Page, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Do you have one? Can you give me some tips on how to use it effectively as an author … please?

61 thoughts on “So, what’s the deal with Facebook Pages?

  1. Linda: I am thrilled that you are out of your mind. I don’t feel so alone. I am also an author, doing just about all the things you appear to be doing to market your work. I, too, have no idea what to do with Facebook. I started the account less than a week ago.

    I run several blogs, as well as the regular stuff, but when it comes to Facebook, I find myself uttering nonsense. While I am perfectly willing to babble and write about virtually anything on my personal blog, presenting myself as an author, in my opinion, requires a wee bit more sophistication. I did find an “indie group” which seems to be promising. In any event, thank you for the timely post.

    (BTW, this is also my first week with WordPress.com).

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  2. Sorry, I’m no help here. I’m still trying to figure out how sitting on the tweet button and talking about pineapples or watermelon is supposed to help me. Unless of course, watermelon does for writing what it does for your….well, I’ll just keep that thought to myself.

    If you figure out the FB thing let me know, but I suppose by the time I’m ready for social networking it will be on the way out. The forthcoming IPO that has been hinted to in the media is a sure sign popularity may soon be heading south and taking up residence in the same retirement home as MySpace. I heard LinkedIn is the next big thing. I hear a lot of things though, not all are necessarily true.

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    1. Uh … LinkedIn … I’m there too, T.A. 🙂 Another thing I don’t quite no what to do with. I joined a couple writer’s groups, but I don’t have time to keep up with them.

      Well, maybe I don’t need to be too concerned with FB, if it’s on its way out. 😉 I’m comfortable with my blog. Twitter not so much, but it can be fun when I’m on there at the same time some of my acquaintances or friends are and we interact. It’s nice way to support each other by retweeting though.

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      1. I just Bing searched “social networking next hot thing”. There didn’t seem to be as many new networks competing for attention as in previous years. Interesting. I’m not sure how to process that information. Is social networking on an overall decline? Maybe – but I doubt that.

        Confession time! The last time I was actively involved in social networking was when AOL instant messaging was the New Big Thing. Joining WP was a big step for me. LOL

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  3. I don’t even have a personal FB. Not sure how to use it so I don’t, like Twitter, which I do have but don’t use. Like my personal blog, which I do have but should use more often. I just made myself tired.

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  4. The one thing I noticed: I gave my author facebook page the name of my books. Now, it seems that whenever I mention the title of one of my novels in an entry on my regular FB page, that entry appears also on my book FB page. In other words, the book or author page is just an additional page tailored to the books (in my case) rather than a page with all my other posts/comments.
    Does that make sense?

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    1. Ummmm, NO. 🙂 My pages are not connected that way. I have an author page, not a page for my book, but if I mention my author name on my personal FB page the update doesn’t appear on my author page. I wonder what the differences are between the way yours and mine are set up? I can use FB as either Linda Cassidy Lewis or Linda Lewis.

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  5. I know how you feel Linda. I have an author page as well on FB and only thing I do there is post links to my blog when I write a new post or the ocassional update as to why I haven’t been around much lately, but that’s about it.

    I find it tiresome we are meant to be so active on assorted social media places, I’m an introvert, I am not a sales person, I don’t do this “selling me as a brand” kind of bollocks that I am tired of hearing about. I just write and one day, I hope to get an agent and publish novel…sigh

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    1. See my reply to Judy, Alannah. I’m with you. All this marketing junk is not something I’m comfortable with. And now it’s clear to me that I don’t have to be. I can just be me. My writing is me, my blog is me, my promotion and marketing has to be me too. If I weren’t falling asleep at the keyboard right now, I’d be dancing. 🙂 Over and out.

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    2. Alannah,

      I wasn’t sure where I should jump in here, so I picked your comment. I have some thoughts about social media and how it is supposed to help.

      In a few weeks my first novel will be available in print and all the ebooks. I finished writing it in Sept, but started my social media presence building in Jan 2010. Because I haven’t yet launched my book, I can’t say how all of the work I have done will pay off, but it is comforting to know I have a plan. In fact, it was my blog, which caught the attention of the tiny publisher. He emailed me. I wasn’t even going to do a print version. But I digress.

      For me it has been a main focus to blog, guest blog (on much more popular blogs) and generally mingles with people over the last 18 months or so. This has allowed me to build some great relationships. I just checked and if 33 of my 1400 followers (some of my closest friends on Twitter) Tweet about my launch, it will reach their 148,000 followers. That is a lot of potential eyeballs, which wouldn’t have been attainable, without social medial.

      The same can be said for FB pages. If one can create a place where people who enjoy one’s writing can go to ‘hang out with the author’, it may help build a readership. My FB for Brian D. Meeks (Henry Wood Detective Agency) has only 38 ‘Likes’ or followers, but I am just starting to build it. I really feel like it will be helpful after the book comes out. I have already finished the next two books in the series and the last page of the 1st book, will direct people to the FB, Twitter, and Blog. I don’t have delusions about the 1st book climbing the charts like Amanda Hocking, but if I can build on the 1st for #2 and #3, then I will be moving in the right direction.

      It should be noted; Amanda Hocking had 400 sales first month. She had 10,000 in her 3rd.

      So I wish you luck in getting an agent and getting published, but even if you do, they won’t help you with marketing anymore. That task falls to the author, so I feel it is a good idea to get started now. But of course, I haven’t really accomplished anything yet. These are just my plans. We will see if they work.

      Sincerely,

      Brian D. Meeks
      Henry Wood Detective Agency
      http://extremelyaverage.com

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    1. Thank you for the links, Judy. I just read two great posts that resonated with me. They’re both at Rock Your Writing. One is “Forget Platform. Think Tribe” and the other is “Book Promotion: Farming vs. Construction“. This is the path I believe suits me best.

      I believe I have to do two things to be a successful author: 1.) Put out the best product I can. and 2.) Be myself. Be genuine. Be kind and helpful and care about others. Be someone people like and trust.

      And if that means I update my FB status with potato chip comments, so be it. That’s me. (I feel another blog post coming on.) 🙂

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  6. Val Erde in England has been discussing this. She is artist of profound talent. Tell her I sent you. You won’t regret seeing her stuff !!! Today I have contacted a blogger whom I have followed. He has published 50 books. I hope he may be interested in my cartoons. I have had a few published in mags.

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  7. I was actually thinking of doing a post on this subject. I see many author pages and it confuses me, because they are also on my personal FB page. When they update on their personal page they seem to give the same update/ links on their author page when it pertains to their books. This makes me wonder if I even need an author page. Do people need to see the same updates? If I worry now that people get tired of seeing my post links to my blog I would definitely be worried if I was posting in duplicate for those who would be one both. Still giving that one thought..

    PS: I was able to get your book ordered. Was told it would take a couple of weeks.. *excited*

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    1. My personal FB page is not public, Laura.I almost never post there about writing. My personal page is how I stay in touch with my family and a few friends, most of whom are not particularly interested in me as a writer. I’m fairly personal here on my blog, but not completely transparent as far as my personal life. I want, and need, to keep a separation between my public and private lives. That’s why I have a public author page and a private personal account.

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  8. I didn’t do a “professional author FB Page” — instead, I just use my regular old facebook page and am not dignified at all on there *laughing!* — I figure I have enough to keep me busy — I do have a “professional author website” and I figure that’ll do. But there’s blog, and twitter, and facebook, and reader mail, and etc etc etc – and I try to stay active and interactive on those. Plus, write and meet my deadlines! lawd!

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    1. I’m with you (and Laura Best).

      I only have a personal page, which is where I post links to my writing and a few personal tidbits. Some days, I’m more active than others, and I try not to worry too much about it. That’s life, right?

      I do like the one page option, because 1) it’s easier for me to manage and 2) when other authors do the same, I learn a little more about them. Sort of like the acknowledgements in the back of books.

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        1. Linda, My page is public, though I try to be careful about how many photos I post and such. I don’t have a ton of personal information on my page, either. And, mostly, I post about writing. I considered having two pages, but I didn’t think I’d be able to keep up.

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          1. I can understand using your personal page, if you haven’t already established it as a family place. I used to have Networked Blogs send my blog posts to my personal page, but I think it just annoyed all my “Friends”, who have no interest in my blog. Keeping up with it all is another matter. 😉

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      1. Linda, my Facebook profile is public, yes, but I have another one that is for mostly family and close friends that is completely private (I can send you a friend request on there if I haven’t already. I can’t remember). I don’t put much on there, but it’s there when I want to talk about more personal things and stuff about my daughter and husband that I don’t really want floating around on my public profile. It’s like my private family blog, I guess, and my private writing blog.

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        1. So, Michelle, in effect, you’re doing what I’m doing. It’s just less “official”. People can Friend you rather than Like you. In a way, I like that better because when another writer Likes my Page, and doesn’t have a Page for me to like back, my only choice is to Friend them through my personal account, which I don’t always want to do. Sorry, if that sounds snobby, but if you’re only interested in me as a writer, you wouldn’t want to be on my personal page anyway.

          By the way, I didn’t think you could have two different personal accounts on FB.

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          1. Technically you’re not supposed to have two personal accounts, but until they kick me off of there, whatever. Yes, I’m basically doing the same thing as you, just with two different names. The whole page thing is just confusing to me.

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  9. I agree with you guys, one FB page is probably enough. I just set a separate book/author page up because I heard about the feature and wanted to try it out. I may just delete it one day. I guess we need to try out different things and eventually settle for what seems to work.
    Thanks for the links! Very helpful.
    Christa

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    1. Here’s my thinking, Christa: If someone looks for Linda Cassidy Lewis on FB, they find my author page. Linda Cassidy Lewis is me, the author, not me, the mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, etc. I want to keep those two identities as separate as possible on the Internet.

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  10. It is hard to market yourself. But I’ve been told that genuine posts, regardless of what platform, are most effective. If potato chips are propelling your chapter, then maybe some of us other writers need those potato chips! I’ve heard other authors say that their FB fan page is the last of their social media marketing efforts to take off, if at all. But I think it’s still good to use it. Some readers aren’t on Twitter and don’t frequent blogs. If you have a fan page, then they can still come and learn more about you and your book(s).

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Olivia. “Some readers aren’t on Twitter and don’t frequent blogs. If you have a fan page, then they can still come and learn more about you and your book(s).” That’s exactly why I created the FB author page. My blog posts are copied to that page automatically, and I can tell that several people read them through my author page, not by coming here directly or through a feed subscription.

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  11. BTW, just a word of caution, although you probably all know this.

    FB is public social media. Yes, there are some blocking features but I WOULD NEVER PUT ANYTHING ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER THAT I WOULDN’T WANT THE REST OF THE WORLD TO SEE. People have lost their jobs because they complained about their employers, thinking their posts were private.

    Just saying….
    Christa

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    1. Oh, yes, I’m aware of that Christa. I warn my oldest granddaughters about that all the time.

      What I meant was that who my relatives are and what we exchange about our daily lives, is not meant for my “business” contacts. As I understand it, anytime I comment on one of my family’s status updates, my comment will appear on my Wall, for all my Friends could read it, if they cared to. That just makes me uncomfortable.

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  12. Linda,
    My page has even less but I do subscribe to SmartBrief on Social Media and they are always sending out articles on how to effectively use social media. Its a lot of info so I guess when I read it. I will be more effective. Nevertheless, it is really a great resource.
    Have a great day!

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  13. I find all these Facebook page requirements crazy too. I have my personal page. But others tell me I should get a page for my blog so people can “like” that. But why? It’s the same stuff that would be on my FB page or Twitter or blog. Honestly, it’s too much and freaks me out to think about it.

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  14. I have a personal FB page, but I rarely post anything and when I do it’s mostly political stuff that everyone ignores. I may start an author page at some point, and since I write under a pseudonym, the two pages can be pretty independent. But I may not. I also don’t do Twitter. I honestly don’t understand how and where folks find the time to do all this social networking. I get tired just thinking about it.

    I’d rather go out with my dog, meet some crazies, and then come back home and write about it on my blog. And hope that folks are so enthralled with my writing that once I figure out how to format my novella (and a big THANK YOU Linda for sharing your experiences on this subject so generously) and make it available as an ebook, there will be a stampede at Smashwords/Amazon/etc. to get it.

    Yeah, I know. Delusions of, if not grandeur, sumthin’ else.

    Thanks to everyone who’s commented here. I’ve gotten some good food for thought and a couple of interesting links.

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    1. I think I should have disobeyed the rules and created a second Facebook account before I started my Page. One thing I don’t like about Pages is that you can’t have Friends only Likes. When someone I know as an author has only a personal account, I can’t Friend them through my Page, so either I have to add them on my personal account or not befriend them at all.

      Last week, I added a new part on Frugal Publishing, did you find that? I don’t know the extent of your “platform” Natasha; you may not need the use of social media to get the word out about your book.

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    1. If they would just allow a Page owner to Friend people, I’d be happy, Cathryn. Some of my writer friends have only personal pages, so I either have to add them as friends on my personal account or not follow them at all. I wish I’d disobeyed their rules and created a separate personal account as an author.

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  15. I just noticed something interesting. When you are on a blog and/or website and want to post that entry/link on FB, you have a choice of either posting it on your fan/business page or on your personal page/account or on both. Click the icon for Facebook underneath the blog entry and it opens a dropdown menu with the choices.
    Christa

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  16. An addition to my last comment: After clicking on the Facebook icon underneath a blog post, it takes you to Facebook and asks you if you want to share. At that point, you can chose whether to post it on your Wall or on you Page.
    Christa

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  17. Thanks for the response, Linda. If we all “like” each other’s FB fan pages, then at least all of our fans combined will see our pages and maybe take an interest. Also, I’ve tried to find communities of similar authors or other fan pages that I am interested on FB. I like those to get more information and in the hopes of garnering more attention for my own page. I just try to make sure they are pages or communities that I am actually interested in and will participate in.

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  18. Brian, I’ve been blogging for over a year, and I know all about social media, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook etc and I’ve done all the research etc etc. What I was simply trying to explain is that I just do not enjoy the fact we HAVE to do these things as writers, I cannot make myself write 3 posts a week on a blog if I do not have the desire to do so. I only write on my blog when I feel the desire to do so.

    If you’re traditionally published you do get some help with the marketing, though I know what you mean about how publishers expect the author to do a lot of work.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your novel 🙂

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  19. I clicked on everyone’s name here that left a comment with the intention of “liking” their page or following them on Twitter. But many of you only have a personal FB page. As hard as it is to get a fan page going (and, yes, I know it is one more thing on your plate), I do think there is value in it. First, I can’t befriend you with my fan page. And I use my personal page for my personal life. Second, many people won’t want to add you as a friend but will “like” your fan page. And once they “like” you, your posts will still show up in their newsfeed. I was, however, happy to find that when I was directed to your blog, most of you had a link to your Twitter or FB page that was easy to find. I just started my fan page at http://www.facebook.com/BookClubGirl?sk=wall#!/pages/The-Velvet-Thorn/140783255983741. I haven’t seen too much engagement yet, but I’m trying.

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