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I created a facebook author page. I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. Kind of like Twitter. But I read that all successful authors must have one.

Although, most of my favorite authors did not have a facebook page. Would I rather live on a moor with the Bronte sisters? In an attic with Emily? With my brother, like Jane? (Dennis and Rob are rolling their eyes at the thought.) I guess every writer has her challenges and mine is social media...or really just social anything.

If anyone has suggestions on what to do with a facebook page, please let me know.
 

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Kristy Tate said:
But I read that all successful authors must have one.
I've read a lot of bunk advice today. The internet is like that.

I'm not saying a page isn't useful for some people. But to say success lies solely through that specific avenue is perhaps overstating the usefulness of the medium. :D
 

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Matthew makes a good point.

The page is good if you want to separate your personal facebook account from your 'business one'.
however the draw back is the likes. You cannot like other people from your author page, so the connections are all one way.

If you do what the author of post human trilogy did he has an author facebook account, not a page.

I personally have a page and the tools on it (after 30 likes) are handy to see how you are connecting and if you are actually getting seen at all.

I would have a think on what you want to achieve with it. If you have a website then that maybe a better place to direct your readers.

Just my two cents.
 

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I'm just getting started with Fb, Kristy, so I'm going to tell you how I think it's supposed to work, not how it works for me! The idea is to accumulate "likes" to your page. They should be legit likes -- people who've read your book or who read in your genre, not other authors or random people -- because every time you post something, it only goes out to a percentage of the people who've liked the page. The more non-readers among your followers, the more diluted the impact will be.

Ideally people will like your page because they've read one of your books and become interested in you/your work. Then you interact with them. Post stuff. Comment back to people who comment on your posts or on the page itself. It should be social, not directly promotional. It's a way of keeping yourself in your fans' consciousness and building their enthusiasm so that they are more likely to read your new books and recommend your work to others.

What do you post? All kinds of stuff, I guess. I'm going for a combination of book-research tidbits, excerpts from the WIP, cool science-y stuff I find on the web (b/c I'm a speculative fiction writer), writing-related stuff, stuff connected to things that come up in my work, and stuff about me and my personal interests. I guess I'm experimenting, at this point, to see what people respond to. For instance, not a soul responded to the octopus-decorated teacups I posted, even though I thought they were awesome. ;)

A number of KBers use Fb really effectively. You might check out Elle Casey's, DDark's, and smreine's Fb pages to see how the platform can work to generate enthusiasm and commitment among your fans. There are lots of others, too. Those just sprang immediately to my mind.

P.S. SJ, it isn't ture that you can't like people from your Fb page. I've seen a couple other folks say that on KB recently, so there's just some bad info floating around, I think. You can like pages from your page, but you cannot friend profiles from your page. That's the limitation: if another author is using a profile instead of a page (which is not a good idea), then you will not be able to follow that person b/c you can't friend them and profiles have to be friended.
 

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Becca Mills said:
That's the limitation: if another author is using a profile instead of a page (which is not a good idea), then you will not be able to follow that person b/c you can't friend them and profiles have to be friended.
That's a completely subjective opinion.

One can equally say: "you're a human being, why are you a page?"

The limitation exists, yes, but to assign a value judgement to one or the other being better is just an opinion.

She's already been told she has to have an FB page, let's not muddy the waters any further by telling her that a profile is somehow the devil's work. ;)
 

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FB pages are a no-brainer. I'm not saying they're essential, but they are free, easy to set up, and can potentially reach a lot of people.

Another good (similar) site is LinkedIn. It allows you to set up your books as publications in your profile. I've also noticed that a lot of people I know seem to be more active on this site. Someone once told me it was "Facebook for professionals", so I imagine people aren't too shy about accessing it while at work.
 

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Accord64 said:
Someone once told me it was "Facebook for professionals", so I imagine people aren't too shy about accessing it while at work.
Depends on your HR department's views on constantly updating your resume. ;)
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
That's a completely subjective opinion.

One can equally say: "you're a human being, why are you a page?"

The limitation exists, yes, but to assign a value judgement to one or the other being better is just an opinion.

She's already been told she has to have an FB page, let's not muddy the waters any further by telling her that a profile is somehow the devil's work. ;)
I didn't say they're the devil's work. I said they're "not a good idea." That is an opinion, but it's no more subjective than any other stance that's based on a careful assessment of the available facts.

Actually, perhaps I wasn't clear, and there's a misunderstanding. Profiles are great. I have one myself. What I meant is that your authorial presence on Fb should be a page, not a profile.

In case that doesn't clear things up, here's what's led me to this opinion:

1. Fb's rules. Using a profile for business/commercial purposes is against Fb's terms of service (https://www.facebook.com/help/217671661585622/?q=page%20terms%20of%20service&sid=0Bm0XlH5R3wdrBeRu). So far they haven't seemed eager to enforce this issue with authors, but if they ever did, you'd lose all your followers. And we are using our Fb profiles for commercial purposes.

2. Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends. Successful authors who useful Fb well can have tens of thousands of followers. If you think there's a chance that might happen to you, however small, you want to start out with the tool that will allow your followers to expand unchecked, rather than having unfriend them from your profile later, which might be awkward.

So, yes, an opinion. But there are opinions you just pull out of your ass, and there are opinions that are based on something clear reasoning and concrete facts. The advice to use a page instead of a profile was a "Facebook author page tip" I got from a KBer when I started with the platform a few months ago. I appreciated the tip, and hopefully others will, too. If not, any advice can of course be ignored.
 

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Becca Mills said:
I didn't say they're the devil's work. I said they're "not a good idea." That is an opinion, but it's no more subjective than any other stance that's based on a careful assessment of the available facts.

Actually, perhaps I wasn't clear, and there's a misunderstanding. Profiles are great. I have one myself. What I meant is that your authorial presence on Fb should be a page, not a profile.

In case that doesn't clear things up, here's what's led me to this opinion:

1. Fb's rules. Using a profile for business/commercial purposes is against Fb's terms of service (https://www.facebook.com/help/217671661585622/?q=page%20terms%20of%20service&sid=0Bm0XlH5R3wdrBeRu). So far they haven't seemed eager to enforce this issue with authors, but if they ever did, you'd lose all your followers. And we are using our Fb profiles for commercial purposes.
FB's rules aren't overly enforced, as you've noted. People doing things that support their profession do so in all different walks of life. Authors are only one group that happen to gather followings. Many other professionals get subscribers because of their business.

Like Zuck. :p

2. Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends. Successful authors who useful Fb well can have tens of thousands of followers. If you think there's a chance that might happen to you, however small, you want to start out with the tool that will allow your followers to expand unchecked, rather than having unfriend them from your profile later, which might be awkward.
Subscriptions to profiles are unlimited. You don't have to use your profile to collect "friends" as people can simply subscribe on unsubscribe at any time.

So, yes, an opinion. But there are opinions you just pull out of your *ss, and there are opinions that are based on something clear reasoning and concrete facts. The advice to use a page instead of a profile was a "Facebook author page tip" I got from a KBer when I started with the platform a few months ago. I appreciated the tip, and hopefully others will, too. If not, any advice can of course be ignored.
I agree. Your opinion has valid considerations behind it.

As far as I am concerned there's a choice people make depending on how much work they want to do, how much they care about the different strengths of page vs. profile, etc.

So your considered opinion is that an author page is where it's at. Have used both pages and profiles in the past for various purposes, I can say that there's advantages and disadvantages to both, and that everyone who decides to use FB for networking should pick what works best for them.

I'm generally not a fan of one-size-fits-all advice in any arena, that's all. Not questioning your logic by any means.
 

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I set up my facebook page mainly to stop being spammy on my main profile.  I have some family that aren't comfortable with that.  

However, half the time when I post something, I forget to change over to my writer persona on facebook so end up posting it on my personal facebook anyway.

I also figure what I'm trying to do is sell books not gather likes for my fb page so that's what I'd rather spend time on.
 

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I suppose you're right, Matthew, that I should've gone into my reasoning initially, instead of just asserting it wasn't a good idea. After all, apparently there's something I'm not aware of:

"Subscriptions to profiles are unlimited. You don't have to use your profile to collect "friends" as people can simply subscribe on unsubscribe at any time."

How do you subscribe to a profile? I'm checking out an author friend's profile right now, and I don't see a way to subscribe to it.
 

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Wait, is it "add to interest lists"?
 

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If you go here you should see the option:

http://facebook.com/mathewreuther

In order to enable it, followers have to be activated in your preferences.

More info:

https://www.facebook.com/about/follow

(Also note celebrities are a legit thing as far as FB is concerned. Loads of bloggers use their normal profiles, for example. I am not bagging on pages, I think they offer some good tools, particularly for people concerned about metrics.)
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
If you go here you should see the option:

http://facebook.com/mathewreuther

In order to enable it, followers have to be activated in your preferences.

More info:

https://www.facebook.com/about/follow

(Also note celebrities are a legit thing as far as FB is concerned. Loads of bloggers use their normal profiles, for example. I am not bagging on pages, I think they offer some good tools, particularly for people concerned about metrics.)
I see it! Thank you! So when fans find your profile and try to friend you, do you have a delicate way of directing them to follow you instead?

I'm not sure we would slide through as celebrities, if Fb decided to crack down on commercial use of profiles. I mean, I have sell links to all the major sales platforms right on my page. I am very clearly and directly using the platform to sell books. With bloggers, even major ones, the commercial component seems less direct.

Sorry, just noticed I misspelled your name earlier!
 

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Becca Mills said:
I see it! Thank you! So when fans find your profile and try to friend you, do you have a delicate way of directing them to follow you instead?
Invoking a friend request triggers a subscribe with followers active.

I'm not sure we would slide through as celebrities, if Fb decided to crack down on commercial use of profiles. I mean, I have sell links to all the major sales platforms right on my page. I am very clearly and directly using the platform to sell books. With bloggers, even major ones, the commercial component seems less direct.
You use your FB page for something different than I use my profile for by placing those pages like that. I have a dedicated product line site (in the works anyway) which does the job those references do.

In any case, FB has done all kinds of things in the past. Just as much chance they change what qualifies someone to have a page. (Only people with an established brand or whatever.) As long as traffic flows through them they tend to be happy. ;)

Sorry, just noticed I misspelled your name earlier!
38 years with it means I'm used to it. :)
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
Invoking a friend request triggers a subscribe with followers active.
Sorry to be dense, but how do you then end up with some people as friends and others as subscribers? If you ignore the friend request, the would-be friend remains as a subscriber, but if you accept the request, they move to the friend category?

Well, I sure hope they don't change the page rules -- at least not to make them more restrictive. It's not an insignificant investment of time to build and maintain the thing. Losing it would suck.
 

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SJ said:
You cannot like other people from your author page, so the connections are all one way.
Yes, you can. Go to the top right side of the page. There's a sprocket pic (little white wheel), click and change user to the fan page. You can like and interact as the page admin, which creates links back to your page as well as a separate feed for each page you have.

Here's a big fat post about how to get started with FB: http://blog.demonkissed.com/?p=765
It's what to do with your page after you have it, and that kind of thing. Sounds like it may apply to your situation. :)
 
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