3 Things I learnt from setting up a Facebook Author page

Screenshot 2014-06-23 11.05.33

I have been reading a number of blog posts recently about how to promote your novel in the most effective way and it has become clear that most people think you need to have a Facebook page. I have put this off for a long time because, to be honest, I don’t really like Facebook. I’ve had a personal profile for some years but haven’t really engaged with it and when I became a teacher, I decided that was definitely for the best and deleted my account.

Fast forward a few years to when I started writing and after reading up a bit, I realised I would have to have at least three ways for people to get to know me. I set up my Twitter account and took to it like the proverbial duck to water. I set up this blog and I absolutely love writing it every week and watching it grow. Then there was Facebook. I reactivated my account and invited a few select family members and friends to join me, which they did without hesitation. But soon though, my timeline was filled with so much stuff that was really of no interest to me that I was left feeling full of regret. I realised once again, that I just don’t like Facebook so what was I to do? At this point, after a lot of moaning about it, my daughter showed me how to set up a page. I then left it unpublished for more than six months, still unsure what to do with it. Until yesterday when I started playing around with it. I still have a long way to go but I’ve looked at the Facebook pages of a number of authors to see what they do and now feel more confident about making this page into something useful in the longer term. So this week, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learnt so far in the hope that it helps any other new writers out there to set up their own page.

1. Setting up the Page

First of all, you must have a personal account on Facebook in order to create an author page. At the top of the screen, next to the security lock symbol, there is a down arrow which gives you the option to create a page. Once you have clicked on this, you should choose ‘Artist, Band or Public Figure.’ Then choose ‘Author’ from the drop down menu, type in your name and click on ‘Get Started.’ You will now have a basic author page. The link to this page will show up on your personal ‘Home’ page on the left-hand side. You can move its position by clicking on the cog to the left of it and then dragging it up to greater prominence.

2. Adding a Cover Photo

This is as simple as clicking in the Cover Photo area and uploading a photo. If you’ve done this on Twitter or on your website, the process is much the same. You should add a photo of the cover of your book here of course and although I’m not yet published, I have had a provisional cover since day one so I have uploaded this photo there. In the past, you used to be able to insert a ‘call to action’ here for potential readers but Facebook have recently changed the rules so now you can’t do any overt marketing which begs the question, what is this all for? Aargh! Still, I quite like that. Facebook wants you to keep detail like that in your About/Bio section and perhaps that’s fair enough. If you go to Settings at the top of your page, you can fill in all kinds of details about yourself. Don’t forget to include your website! I have asked people to tell me what they think of my cover and pinned that post to the top of the page to try and draw people’s attention to it.

3. Sharing Posts on Twitter

This one took me quite a while 🙂 If you go here you will be able to link your page to Twitter so that when you publish a post to Facebook, it automatically posts it to Twitter. I have also added the Facebook Like widget to my website (over on the right) so that readers can link straight to it and it shows who has liked my page as well. In addition to this, you have to enable Facebook in your ‘Publicize’ settings when you write your posts. This means that this blog post should now appear on my Facebook page. I hope that this will trigger a tweet as well but only time will tell. If it all works, I’ll let you know next time. If not, I’ll give you an update on what I had to put right!

In the meantime, do have a go at setting up your own page, especially if it’s something you’ve been putting off. It’s not that difficult but I won’t know for a while if it’s useful. Please do let me know if this works for you and tell me of your successes in the comments below. Thank you all for reading. Have a good week 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Julie Stock and My Writing Life, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Stock and My Writing Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

8 thoughts on “3 Things I learnt from setting up a Facebook Author page

  1. Hi Julie,
    Your experience is so similar to mine, though I don’t have a lot in my timeline. I have decided to not have conversations there.
    Like you, I started a personal page years ago when it was recommended for an Intel course I was doing at school (work). The very next day the education department suggested teachers not be on FB and I immediately closed the account.
    Now it has been recommended to me to have an author’s page, but I can’t seem to have one without it referring back to the personal page that existed for only one night.
    I haven’t done much with my page, though I have publicized my blog posts on it. I’m still trying to figure it all out. I’ll watch what develops on your page with interest.

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  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, Norah. I asked my daughter about that because I don’t really want a personal page either but she said she thought the only way to stop that was to delete it and start again. I haven’t done that but I suppose you could give it a try. I guess that the page won’t generate much interest until I have actually published something but I might be wrong! It will be interesting to see. Thanks again and good luck with yours. If you get it up and running, let me know and I’ll pop over and take a look 🙂

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  3. I didn’t think you did have to have a personal profile to set up an author page – darn, I hope I haven’t advised people wrongly! From my experience with mine, and from what I’ve read, I don’t think FB pages should be used for actual promotion in the same way as Twitter, but more for letting people know what’s going on with you, writing wise. By that, I mean that I never post book promotion posts on there in the way that I do on Twitter, but just news of a new book coming, out, blog posts, etc, or just chat. I don’t think ‘sharing’ works like retweeting does, either; I wouldn’t share anything that I didn’t think would be of real interest to my FB friends. Anyway – all that’s for the future, in your case, isn’t it!!!

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    • I checked this out, Terry and I think it may have changed in their recent purge. However, once your account is set up which is the default situation, you can then merge it with a business page if you so wish and it takes everything from the personal page with it. So, it is possible with a bit of management.

      I plan to use Facebook in the way you describe, even though I’m not yet published and when the time comes, I will simply expand it. I’m just thinking ahead so that it’s set up beforehand, which is a good plan, I think.

      Thank you for reading as always and for taking the time to comment. I enjoy our ‘Monday’ interactions 🙂 And what’s more, you keep me on my toes!

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  4. My F’book attempts are dire. Useless! I have a page and I think I have an author page – not sure. If I do have an author page as well as my ‘normal’ page I have no idea where it is. I get lost, lose the groups I’m part of… F’book makes me feel very, very stupid.
    I don’t like it.
    But please, will you be my friend? I do have a few others – had to beg for them :-/ I’ve no shame.

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    • You made me laugh out loud and I’ve just been crying my eyes out at the lovely tiger programme on telly so I needed that 😉 I will be your friend of course, for that is what I am. I will look for you on Facebook first under this name but if I can’t find you, then I’ll be back (in an Arnie sort of way 😉 )

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