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A lot of authors are put off by the idea of having a big presence on Facebook, worried about the time it takes or the fact that it invites people into their lives. But as we've discussed on another thread, it doesn't have to be a time sink or something that exposes your "real life" to the world, and for many authors, it's proved itself invaluable in connecting with readers and getting them invested in your writing career. So in the spirit of that, I've decided to start this thread.

Please post your ideas of things that could be used on Facebook to engage your readers - things that are not personal, religious, or political.

I'm not the boss of the world or the thread, but I think it would be most helpful if we could limit comments to ^^ that stuff and refrain from debating the pros and cons of Facebook. If you don't like Facebook and don't want to use it, you could always start another thread called the I Hate Facebook thread. :)

My Top 10 ideas:

1. Photo promotions, inviting readers to post pictures of themselves celebrating one of your books. Two I've done in the past are tree-hugging photos (gave away 3 $25 Amazon gift cards to the photos with the most votes by readers), and one going on now, pictures of my readers holding up a sign that says, "Elle Casey Author has 900 Likes!"

2. Cover reveals

3. Video interviews

4. Character quotes

5. Book-related videos. One of my faves:
Found it through Dannika Dark

6. Book-related signs. (Example: book nerds are sexy graphic)

7. Links to other indie author books (don't forget to use your affiliate code!)

8. Opinion polls about characters or plot issues

9. Invitations to add a book to Goodreads "to read" shelf

10. Thank you notes, just thanking readers for sharing the reader love with friends and family
 

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The backdrop for most of my books  are  the Yellowstone and Grand Teton areas. I like to post a daily picture of the area on my fan page, which gets decent engagement with readers. I also post updates on current WIP, and a weekly teaser (linked to my blog, but I'm considering putting the teaser directly on the page). I did do a few opinion polls, which always gets readers to respond - which is great. Last summer, I was doing final edits of one of my books on location, and I posted from there, with photos of the areas that I talk about in the book. 
 

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One thing I did regularly with my Teashop Girls FB page was to post random photos of things related to the book content. People seemed to really like seeing photos of unusual crafts made from old books, pictures of tea and unusual things to do with tea, baby animals, or holiday stuff. Anything to brighten up a reader's day.
 

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Great tips.

I like to ask questions and I don't mind sharing personal stuff. I think Hugh Howey does a great job managing his follow-up with reader fans. I'd like to emulate his style (have to remember to upload more photos, I'm bad at that.)

I get more direct reader interaction through my email, which is in the back of all my books. I ask readers to contact me directly, which they do.
 

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Thank you for starting this thread, Elle. I spend far too much time posting about my love for Norman Reedus. :)
 

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I engage them with anything that seems relevant:

- What I'm writing / editing
- Thoughts on the technology I'm using
- What I'm currently reading and my thoughts on it
- My thoughts on anything book-related
- Or just whatever pops to mind.

Either way, though, it doesn't take a ton of time and It's awesome to connect with people who have read my stuff.
 

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After several failed attempts I've managed to link my writer blog to my writer FB page, both of which are separate from my personal ones. I update the blog every week so that helps me to stay visible to my FB followers in between specific posts. They seem to like this, especially if I give news of things I'm about to start writing etc.
 

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teashopgirl said:
One thing I did regularly with my Teashop Girls FB page was to post random photos of things related to the book content. People seemed to really like seeing photos of unusual crafts made from old books, pictures of tea and unusual things to do with tea, baby animals, or holiday stuff. Anything to brighten up a reader's day.
Hey, that's a great idea. Let's say you use the Eiffel Tower in your book, post a picture. Or if your MC drives a Ferrari, post a picture of a Ferrari.
 
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I share personal stuff that is related to what I do. I post notes about my gaming sessions, or weird emails I get, video games I'm playing, or silly things like my zombie phobia (OK, I don't think it is silly at all, but for some reason people find the fact that I'm terrified of zombies hysterical :'( :eek:). But I don't "overshare" about my day to day life or relationships.

 

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vrabinec said:
Hey, that's a great idea. Let's say you use the Eiffel Tower in your book, post a picture. Or if your MC drives a Ferrari, post a picture of a Ferrari.
Thanks. I was trying to create a community of people who liked the same things. Now I just need to post more regularly...
 

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I help moderate my husband's site.. He does most of it, but I occasionally post. 

Things like crafts and recipes get the most likes and shares. 
A recipe that your main character would like, something that fits in your world...
Book crafts, usually posted with a note like "this is cool, but I'd cry if I had to destroy a book to do it..."
Cool book related art, attributed to the artist.


 

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Ignis_Designs said:
Things like crafts and recipes get the most likes and shares.
A recipe that your main character would like, something that fits in your world...
True. I just posted a green tea mojito recipe that will hopefully get some like love.
 

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These are really good suggestions, all. I have to be more active on my Facebook author page.  :-[
 

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My pen name has a pinterest page and every couple days I go find things that look like scenes from my witch book (in progress) and post them--gorgeous stuff--pendants and hand-carved bowls and amazing scenes in forests. I say things like "I can picture Jet wearing this when she meets the Golden Dark Enchanter!" Or "Somewhere, somehow, I've got to have a fire dance that looks like this!"

It all ties to the book, provides pretty pictures, and I'm gathering pre-release followers who like the subject matter.

Sales of my old book are starting to come, and I think it's from doing this for the new book. Once the book is out and I hit a critical mass of followers (I'm starting from scratch with zero crossover with Deanna), I'll be asking THEM to find things that make them think of scenes.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
... But I don't "overshare" about my day to day life or relationships.
I saw this documentary about this couple that broadcast their entire life via webcams back in the early days of such things.

They would have arguments with each other and then get onto their respective private message boards and get support from their fans who saw the argument.

I guess it was an early version of reality TV. They're not together now. Shocking, I know!

ETA: Back on topic!

I like to post about:

- Great movies I just watched.
- Excitement about a TV show I follow being on that evening.
- Pictures of me being weird in Ikea
- How much Pepto Bismol I consume
 

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The thing I have taken away from other author's FB pages, and which I have tried to emulate, is to have a few general themes for your page and post things related directly to those themes.

For me, those things are a love of reading (so I post funny book/reading memes, pictures of libraries, great spots to read) romance and my own brand of humor. I usually post two-three things in the morning and two-three things in the evening and that generates likes/comments/shares throughout the 24 hour cycle.

The advantage of posting things that your readers like/comment/share is that whatever it is shows up on their friend's wall as well. I am slowly growing my # of fans this way - about one per day on average.

I get the biggest boosts when I have a big promotion like a BOTD ad or a free run. I have a link to my FB page in my back matter, so lots of people show up on those days. When I had a good free run two months ago, I added over 200 fans in less than 30 days that way.

I think the real key thing is to build a community and not be a salesman too much. I only mention something that benefits me (a promo, new release, sign up for mailing list) on rare occasions.  So far, the only people who have sent me messages/commented loved my book and wanted to tell me so. Who doesn't want to hear that?  ;)
 

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LynnBlackmar said:
I've probably gotten the most response from Bublish excerpts.
Lynn, I went to the Bublish site and checked it out, but I still don't really get it. What are these book bubbles for, exactly? How do you use them?

Lots of great ideas on this thread. Some other stuff I post:
- writing/reading related memes
- snippets of stuff I've found while doing book research
- stuff relating to my personal interests, particularly where my personal interests overlap with book content
- actual science stuff (since book has a sci-fi bent)
- fantasy stuff (since book as a fantasy bent)
- short essays about writing (not technical or crafty ... more along the lines of why I write, what it means to me, my writing history)
 

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I have an almost non-existent facebook following. I feel as though I would be posting to myself if I posted there often.

Good list and I'll keep in mind for the future  ;D

I'll share one tip that I read - create your own 'posters' sometimes (on general topics related to your facebook page) and if they're good enough, they'll go viral. People will just keep on sharing and sharing.
 
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