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Facebook for Writers by Rochelle Melander

No doubt you’re on Facebook. But, if you’re a writer on Facebook, chances are you are not making the most of your Facebook profile. Or, you’re offending people and losing friends by sharing way too much information about your latest book, blog post, or personal experience. Today’s tip will help you strike just the right balance. But first, if you are not a Facebook user, here’s the skinny on what Facebook is.

What is Facebook? Facebook is a social networking site with more than 900-million active users. Once you create a profile, you begin acquiring friends. Facebook is a great way to connect personally with contacts, especially with family and friends.

Should I do a personal page, a fan page, a book page or what? If you are highly private and want to keep your Facebook page as a family or friend only page, then use another name or set it up with a lot of privacy settings. Some writers use their personal page as their professional page until they have too many friends (Facebook sets a limit of 5000) and then they move to a fan page. Writers who reach the friend limit can always use the “allow subscribers” feature to let fans see their public posts. Some writers do both a personal page and an author or book page. This allows them to separate their personal and professional posts—which can be helpful for your friends who just want to see photos of your kids and don’t care about how many words you’ve written or books you’ve sold!

How does a writer use Facebook? The biggest mistake I see from writers and authors on Facebook is the old “all me, all the time” tune. These writers post multiple times a day about themselves. They share their successes, blog posts, and connections with famous people. I don’t see them interacting with other users unless it is about them. As you work on your social media strategy, here are some ways you can use Facebook that will both promote your work and win fans:

*Post creative status updates. Sometimes a question or a quote will generate a lot of comments. Author Dori Chaconas has a page for her Cork and Fuzz books, a series of level 3 EZ-to-Read books. Nearly every day, Dori posts a riddle, fun word or cartoon. This is one of my favorite Facebook pages!

*Share inspiring photos, blog posts, ideas, and updates from other people. The Healing with Art community posts inspiring photos multiple times a day.

*Share information that connects with your writing. Kathleen Ernst, author of historical novels for kids and mysteries for adults, has recently posted about the history mystery tour she gives as well as information on Norwegian Folk Art.

*Share your blog posts. Grammar Girl does a great job of posting blog posts that answer specific reader questions on grammar.

*Poll your friends. When I was writing Write-A-Thon, my Facebook friends became helpful resources for the book. I often posted questions on my page to learn more about writing habits, a genre I was not familiar with, or their favorite authors.

*Interact with others by writing on their walls, commenting on their status updates, and wishing them a happy birthday.

*Announce and invite people to book events. But be careful: don’t spam people with announcements of your free classes, for-fee seminars, and book events. Once in awhile is fine, but not every day!

Your turn: What are your Facebook tips? Favorite pages? Leave your comment below.


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I’ve chosen to have both a personal and a professional page on Facebook, for exactly the reason you mention. My best suggestion for authors is to think of FB as a way to connect with readers, not as a way to sell books.

    1. writenowcoach

      I have long admired your page, Kathleen, for just that reason–you connect with readers and do not sell, sell, sell! Thank you!

  2. I love love love Grammarly ( They post the funniest pics and ecards etc of grammar mistakes and amusements. I very often re-post them to my author page ( along with occasional notes on progress and questions to my fans.

    I have a personal page with moderate security settings and a couple of different business pages because I have a couple of different endeavors. I started the author page before I’ve even been published because 1) I fully intend to be a NYT best-selling author which means that 2) It would be a huge pain in the backside to try getting a bunch of “friends” switched over to a fan page. Also, I can post directly into my author page while logged in as myself, meaning I don’t have to log in and out all the time as different entities in order to post.

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