Sunday, June 23, 2013

Uncharted Territory

Summer is just around the corner (one more crazy busy week!) & I can't wait!!

I've got a lot of (overly optimistic) plans starting next week. I'm looking forward to having a lot more writing time - I'll need it for the major/total rewrite I have planned for one of my books.

Another of my plans for the summer is to consider joining Facebook. A lot of authors are on FB and they've been convincing me it's a smart thing to do. So I need some help!

I know NOTHING about FB - absolutely nothing! So I'd love to get some advice - anything from the very basics on up.
  • as an author, do you find FB worthwhile?
  • I've heard there are personal pages and author type pages - do I need both?
  • What works for you?
  • What doesn't?
  • What's annoying?
  • What's smart? 
If I join, I know I'll make a bazillion rookie mistakes but I'm hoping you'll help me avoid the most painful ones!

Are you on FB? Any advice?

54 comments:

  1. Sorry Jemi, have no advice to impart as I'm not a great fan of FB. It takes all my effort just to blog these days. And even then I come and go like nausea!

    I wish you well though. I'm sure you'll navigate your way through the mud :)

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  2. Wendy - too funny! I haven't decided for sure yet, but if I'm going to put my books out later this year it might be good timing to join :)

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  3. Are you going to self-publish or do you have an agent??????

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  4. Wendy - I'm planning on self pubbing. I haven't queried any of the stories I'm planning on putting out there. I lucked out with talking to one agent and had good advice/comments from others - and I think for my genre (contemporary romance) this is the way to go :) I hope!!

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  5. That's fantastic, Jemi! I wish you well and can't wait to read them! Truly :)

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  6. Thanks Wendy! I'm looking forward to it (or I will be once they're ready!) :)

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  7. Total rewrites can be successful!
    No idea on Facebook. I'm not on there either and have no plans to join.

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  8. I am not a big fan of Facebook either, so no advice from me in that regard. I can't wait to read your stuff!!!

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  9. I have a personal facebook page, not an 'author' one. If I do go for an author page some day, I will work to keep the two parts of me separate. As for what works, what doesn't, it's pretty much the same as for all social media: don't bombard your friends or followers with blatant, hard self-promotion. It's fine to mention things like, "My book is coming out next week", but not okay to highlight every singe review you get on goodreads or amazon, or to post hourly updates on your sales ranking. My feeling is that a Facebook author page is not needed (at least not until you're either published or close to it), and that Less is More. People don't like to be sold to on Facebook, that's my experience.

    OH, and pay very close attention to your security settings. We let a LOT of personal information slip out on Facebook that we're not even aware of.

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  10. Alex - I didn't either - but I know some people are selling a lot of books via FB!

    Yvonne - thanks! I'm hoping it'll be worth it :)

    Jeff - thanks! Those are great tips! The oversell always drives me nuts so I don't think I'll have any worries on that front!

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  11. Ughhh I'm really, really scared about Facebook. You know? Twitter is almost an entire different world. Facebook bridges into my *personal* world; one of the best parts about writing is that almost no one in my personal life knows I do it! So Facebook = scary for me.

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  12. I have a FB account, but I rarely use it. A lot of people post stuff like "going for coffee" and "I'm so tired today" and "oh look, bird doo on my car". I see interesting posts and stuff, but it seems just another venue for people to post every thought in their head.

    Not that some of the stuff isn't interesting, but I'm getting tired of constant e-mails to "like my page" and "endorse me" and "attend my event". I don't feel FB is just a "social" network; its another marketing tool.

    Its useful, but to annoying for me to keep up with. I think I "friended" everyone in the known universe before I discovered there was a lot of TMI out there.

    Does let me see what my kids are up to though!

    .......dhole

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  13. I'm not on FB as an author, so can't help you there. But I do see some author-friends on there, so it must be some good.

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  14. I dug my heels in about Facebook until a few months ago, and it's actually allowed me to connect with a whole lot of other historical authors. It's also more efficient than blogging because I can post really short updates or cool links. (As well as linking to my blog posts.)

    So, although I wouldn't have said it even six months ago, yes, I find Facebook pretty handy for all my authorly stuff!

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  15. I'm not a huge fan of facebook. It's only as good as how much time you put in. It has connected me with other authors though, but that's taken time.

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  16. Lovely Jemi!!! Yay for summer just round the corner and some wonderful writerly time for you! I'm not of FB so I wouldn't really know!!! I hope you have fun creating your page though!! Take care
    x

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  17. SC - me too! Which is why if I join it would only be as my pen name!

    Donna - hm. That kind of stuff would drive me crazy too. If it's not more than that I don't know!

    Damyanti - I know some authors who have found it very useful too - I'll have to keep thinking about this!

    Stephanie - that's what I've heard from a few other friends - there are apparently a lot of romance authors & readers on FB

    Lynda - that's probably why I've never joined so far! :)

    Old Kitty - thanks! I still don't know - maybe once my books are actually out :)

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  18. I'm on FB! And I like it! I DO NOT have an author page...yet. I have it semi set up but haven't made it public yet. Trying to decide if I need it or not.

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  19. Wow -- lots of non-Facebook users here. I didn't know there were that many hold-outs left!

    There is a really big community of writers on Facebook, so it's a wonderful place for support, advice, commiseration, and meeting up with like-minded people.

    I have both a personal account and an author fan page. I use the personal account more, because I'm just not that big of an author, lol!

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  20. Facebook is great. I have both a personal profile and a page for HOLLYWOOD SPY and the page brings me lots of daily visits and people who read the site when they see announcements at Face. It's good because most people around the world have a tendency to check their Facebook homepage almost every day and will see what you posted and comment on it or even share it.

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  21. In all honesty I don't think fb sells books. It garners friends and lets you interact with them easily. I guess you need to understand why you want to be on fb.

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  22. I had a professional/fan page on FB and didn't like it, so this weekend I created a personal page. It's an easy way to connect with people.

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  23. Jennifer - yay! Good to hear! If I do join I'll first have to decide between regular and author pages! :)

    Dianne - that's EXACTLY what I was thinking! I'm hoping to keep it as low maintenance as possible! We'll see :)

    Dezzy - that sounds good! I don't plan on posting a lot of stuff, just to kind of keep in touch!

    Lee - exactly! I've heard of a few authors who use it well, but I'm pretty sure that won't be me! :)

    Linda - that's kind of what I was hoping - reaching out to readers once I have books out and about!

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  24. I'm on FB, but I don't spend too much time there. I use it mainly for mentioning new blog posts, and sending birthday wishes to bloggy buddies.
    Lots of writers connect on FB and it certainly has its advantages.
    Writer In Transit

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  25. I find that Facebook can be distracting most of the time--but if you're starting an author fanpage, it'll certainly help you promote your work!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  26. Michelle - that's what I'm hearing - but I still have to figure it all out :)

    Nutschell - that's what I'd like. It'll only be 'writer me' on there - not real life me so a fan page might be best (although it's a little odd to say 'fan' page)

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  27. Although I've met interesting people and seen great content on FB, I'm getting tired of the ads, drama caused by people who have personal agendas, and wondering about my privacy on it. I do like that there are many people who follow me on Twitter, Blogger, FB, and so on and I get to know them better. I've garnered some interest in my book and blog through it, so for now I'll stay with it.

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  28. I have a fb page for my book (so like an author page) and a personal page. I try to only post to my fb page one or two times a day (I post my blog updates there). I have gone through period where I feel like there is a lot of action on fb and then times when I feel like it is pretty quiet. If you are planning on self publishing it is definitely another way to get your name out there. Best of luck and let me know if I can be of any help (not sure how I could help, but you never know). :)
    ~Jess

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  29. Medeia - thanks - that's very helpful info - I don't need to add more to my plate unless it helps me and I'm just not sure yet

    Jess - thank you! I may be calling on you! I don't plan on posting too often - just maybe fun stuff aimed more at readers than writers. We'll see!

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  30. Hi Jemi,

    I'm on 'Farcebook', or as Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, calls it 'Farcebark' :)

    Seriously and I'm sure your author friends will vouch, Facebook can be an excellent way of promoting yourself. And I'm always sharing others blogs and there author pages etc. on Facebook.

    Facebook can be aggravating with the personal profile updates. Do I really care what somebody had for breakfast, eh? LOL

    Take care. I'm outta' here....

    Gary :)

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  31. Thanks Gary - I'm definitely not interested in breakfasts (barkfests might interest Penny though...). I think I might join once I have my books out and about - we'll see :)

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  32. I prefer Twitter, but a plus point about Facebook is that it's easy to logon and logoff within a certain amount of time-as it changes more slowly than Twitter. I tend to go on Facebook more when I'm writing a lot for ten minute breaks. With Twitter I sometimes find it difficult to tear myself away. I have a personal page and Facebook page, although I'm not published-but I use the page for mainly posting useful writing links and photos of Italy (as that's where my novels are set). Hope to see you on Facebook soon Jemi! If you do join it's worth making sure the privacy settings, tagging settings etc are what you would want them to be.x

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  33. I really like using Facebook to connect with other authors and see what they have going on, but it's not my go-to... I prefer Twitter or blogs these days for that purpose! I'd say start a page... why not? It doesn't hurt, and if you forget about it (like I did for a while there) it'll still be there, ready to use when you come back! Hope you find some writing time this summer and good luck with the rewrite :)

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  34. Anita - thanks! I like the idea of posting about your book - that's exactly the type of thing I'm hoping to do. Privacy settings are a big thing on FB from what I've heard! Thanks! :)

    Julie - I like that it doesn't change as frequently - that kind of stuff drives me a bit batty! THanks for the tips! :)

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  35. Fantastic news Jemi!

    Wish you well.

    Nas

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  36. I love FB for connecting with old friends. I recently put up an author page after seeing lots of advice to do that. Yes, I succumbed to peer pressure.

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  37. Leslie - that's kind of what I'm thinking LOL :) I want it to be a page for readers to have fun with but I'm not sure something like that works! We'll see :)

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  38. I just have a personal page. I really enjoy connecting with people there. I organize people into groups, so that not everyone comes in on the newsfeed all the time. I have people organized by the states I know them from, family, writing friends and individual writing groups. It makes it much easier to not miss something. I think I would wait until I had a book contract or an agent before I start an author page. Hope to see you in FB!

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  39. Sharon - I didn't realize you could do that much organizing! Very handy! I don't plan on having a 'real me' page just a Jemi page so I'll keep those tips in mind :) Thanks!

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  40. I have both an author page...though they call it a fan page...and a facebook page on there. I don't find it AS helpful as Twitter...twitter seems to get word out better than facebook because lots of people won't befriend others on there unless they know them personally. But it is helpful. If you want to get word out to your friends or your followers who have one as well. Quick updates and such.

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  41. Jack - fan page sounds so bizarre for me at this point! I'm thinking of having the page aimed more towards readers so it might work though - still not sure! :)

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  42. I've been on FB only for 2-3 years, and I don't know a lot. I haven't read what anyone else has said, but these are my opinions:

    As an author, do you find FB worthwhile?
    Yes, because it's introduced me to a whole slew of people, and I hope some are readers, I didn't know.

    I've heard there are personal pages and author type pages - do I need both?
    I have both. And in my opinion for someone starting out, the answer is NO. After you have a book out, after you amass a ton of followers on you personal page, then maybe. Lots of reasons for this I could probably write an entire blog post about.

    What works for you?
    Consistency. Posting at least one thing every day. Interacting with others.

    What doesn't?
    My page :)

    What's annoying?
    Spam. People who post a jillion times every day about nothing.

    What's smart?
    I wish I knew!

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  43. Thanks Carol! Those are great tips! I'm assuming you mean to start with a regular page and eventually graduate to an author/fan page. Hm. I was hoping to only have 1 but we'll see. Thanks fo the tips!

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  44. I have a personal FB page and plan to add an author's page as soon as I have something published. I do see an intrinsic value in maintaining one...as an aspiring author. :)

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  45. DL - thanks! I'm leaning towards an author page once I have books out and about - we'll see!

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  46. Great post, Jemi. I love your questions about FB because I have many of the same. I have a personal page and an author page, although I hardly ever use either. I think an FB author page can be very useful, if done correctly. What's the best way authors can use FB to connect with readers (without annoying them with constant 'buy my book' posts)? Are YA readers even on Facebook anymore, or have they moved on to Twitter and Tumblr? That's what I'm trying to figure out!

    Glad you have more writing time this summer and good luck with your re-write!

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  47. Clara - thanks! I appreciate the input! You've expressed exactly how I feel - I'd love to connect with readers, but I want it to be fun - not annoying! It's more about the connection not the promotion! :)

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  48. I joined Facebook for the same reason, and I can't seem to get motivated to get on there. Sorry, I wish I could help. I'll "like" your page!

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  49. MP - thanks! And I'll return the favour... if I ever get there that is... :)

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  50. I only have a personal FB page...I caved and did it last year...and I NEVER go on there. It bores me, and the timeline is wonky, and there are def privacy issues with it. The ONLY reason I keep it is because it gives me weekly birthday reminders and because a few people I know are only on there, so it's a way to connect with them.
    As far as a marketing tool...I don't know. I don't use social media that way, and I never will. I see it abused constantly and it's a pet peeve of mine.

    (also, I always set 'overly optimistic' writing goals.)

    Hugs,
    Lola

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  51. Lola - it's a pet peeve of mine as well so I definitely don't want to use it that way! I also don't want to add in something I'm never going to use. *sigh* So hard to decide! Thanks :)

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  52. Hi Jemi. Seems you have a lot of advice. I had both a personal and a writer page, but it just got too much, so I just have a personal page now and try to include my writerly stuff there.

    I wish you well. I have a big post prepared for a few days time where I examine social media as a whole and try to find its worth.

    Denise

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  53. Denise - thanks! I'll be sure to check it out. I really don't want to add 2 pages - and I won't be using it as the 'real' me so I'm still not sure what to do!

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