Last week I started talking about how there is so much more to a writer’s life than… well writing. As odd as it sounds you don’t have much time to let out a sigh of relief before you have to consider next steps.
This week, marketing. Even Millennials who grew up with the internet and social media (apparently the internet celebrated its 25th birthday this past week. 1991 was a good year) sometimes shy away from having to market a book.
Let’s face it, talking about yourself is hard. It is something I absolutely hate because on one hand I wonder what good things can I say about myself and on the other I can’t help but wonder if I’m crossing the fine line between promoting myself and being vain.
Even using social media is hard. Study after study comes out about how people spend far too much time on social media yet half of us (I’m going to include myself in this and social media was part of my degree) don’t know what to do with it.
This week, I’m going to focus on Facebook and share some things you may not have known or refresh both your memory and mine about a few other things.
While some people set up individual author profiles that their readers can friend, the most common way to promote an author on Facebook is to set up a page. Now this can also go one of two ways (or both if you feel up to it). There is your individual author page and your series page (especially if an author has multiple ones going). The same goes for podcasts, webseries, webcomics, anything and everything you need to promote on Facebook.
You set it up, categorize it. From there you need a professional author photo.
Here, I recommend that you get one of yourself. That way people can put a face to your name and it gives your page a bit of a personal touch. The cover photo is for either displaying a book cover or something fun. Do not leave it blank (these days I’m not sure you are even given that option).
Fill out your bio and stuff. Give your readers something to see when they visit your page.
From there you can update your page like you do your status. Announcements, blog posts, whatever. I try and update my weekly column but I’ll admit that half the time I forget. When I do remember to update my blog it automatically goes to both there and my Twitter. Honestly, both WordPress and Wix offer that feature, and there is no reason you shouldn’t take it.
I’m awful about updating my author page and will go weeks and even months without doing so. Right now, I’ve got about 40 likes on my page and I’m hoping to do some work and work on increasing that number.
But don’t follow my example. Update often. I’m trying to work on it. Though I did update last week because I had an announcement about my latest book. In case you missed it, The Whole Art of Detection is now on Amazon.
Yes, I did have to do that shameless self-plug.
As I wrap up, let me take a second to talk about my least favorite part of Facebook pages. The infamous and dreaded algorithm. In the spirit of being open and honest with y’all I’m going to tell you straight off that Facebook set this up this way to make money.
Facebook uses an algorithm to determine how many people who have actually liked your page get to see your announcements. You post and a select, for lack of a better term, test group gets the initial post. If any of them like or share, Facebook sees this as a good post and then shares it with more or more.
So encourage your friends and family to like your post so that it becomes more visible. Or share it on your personal. Or both. Both work well.
I also like to discourage people from paying for ads. The only thing I feel like that gets you are click farm likes which basically sinks your page before you have a chance to get it going. There’s not much you can do to avoid them completely but if you can cut down on them as much as possible I would do it.
So as inviting as reaching hundreds of people with just five dollars sounds, it doesn’t actually work that way.
That’s Facebook for you. If you have any questions or want to chat, you know where to find me. See y’all next week as we talk about more marketing tips and tricks.
In the spirit of that promotion, here are some Facebook pages you should like right now: