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Archived Author Help > To Facebook or not to Facebook

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message 1: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Is anyone getting anything at all out of an author's page on Facebook? I'm thinking about ending mine. I see "organic reach," but I don't know what that really means, and the numbers seem pretty insignificant anyway. I have sixty-something followers, and the number is growing, but they mainly seem to be other authors. When I post something I get two or three likes, but those are mostly from the same helpful people (and I do appreciate it!), and one of those is my sister.

I notice that when I post something on Twitter, and include my website, it drives a little more traffic to my website than I would otherwise get. Sales? Probably few if any. But Facebook seems to do nothing at all. What do you guys think. Is it worth the trouble?


message 2: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Culpepper | 23 comments I agree with you both! But I guess I will still keep my Facebook account open for now just for the little exposure it might provide for a new author. I've always enjoyed Twitter and the interactions with the variety of followers I've gained. Best wishes to you both,


message 3: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Funny, my problems with Facebook were what prompted my blog post last night. I don't get many views, I get no notifications at all anymore, and there are very few people who are not family or other authors there.
But if I nuked that page, my mother would have a fit I already nuked my personal page due to the fact that it was more of a general complaint lounge than anything socual. If I got rid of the author one as well, she wouldn't have any way of keeping up with me. :/


message 4: by Ken (last edited May 08, 2015 07:33AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Christina wrote: "Funny, my problems with Facebook were what prompted my blog post last night. I don't get many views, I get no notifications at all anymore, and there are very few people who are not family or other..."

I think it was your blog that prompted my question. I still have my personal page, where I can post my political rants and this week's trip to the grocery store. I also keep in touch with my sister and cousins that way. But a separate author's page? Not sure anymore.


message 5: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "Is anyone getting anything at all out of an author's page on Facebook?"

Other than occasional support from individuals, no. I'm kinda over Facebook. I'll keep the account open a while, but I'm not doing much with it right now. I tried advertising through Facebook once and it didn't go. At all. I don't see other author's pages that I've "liked" in my feed on my regular Facebook page, either.

I get a lot more out of this community than on Facebook. And the support I get through Facebook is almost always from people I met in this group.


message 6: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) As a test I posted the picture of an elderly woman (once very famous) and asked if anyone recognized her. After a day or so, I even gave clues. Out of sixty-plus "followers" not a single person liked, commented, or even hazarded a guess. The same post on my personal page started a conversation about her. I'm pretty sure I'm casting pearls before a host of ghosts.


message 7: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments We have no presence on FB, but from what I hear, FB can be worthwhile if you are (very?) well-known outside it. I've yet to hear of anyone gaining success via FB. Once you are (very?) successful, maybe people will follow you to FB and that might be some use.

I tend to believe that if FB would do you any good, you would be doing so well, you'd hardly notice.


message 8: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Owen wrote: "We have no presence on FB, but from what I hear, FB can be worthwhile if you are (very?) well-known outside it. I've yet to hear of anyone gaining success via FB. Once you are (very?) successful, m..."

I think you're right. I'll probably be closing it down soon. One less thing to do.


message 9: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Ken wrote: "As a test I posted the picture of an elderly woman (once very famous) and asked if anyone recognized her. After a day or so, I even gave clues. Out of sixty-plus "followers" not a single person l..."

I saw that, but I didn't recognize her.


message 10: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) It's this person—Shhhh...https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...


message 11: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments I have no idea who she is but she's hot.


message 12: by Ken (last edited May 08, 2015 11:10AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Bogie thought so. You'd probably have to be a real movie fan, familiar with all eras, to know of her.


message 13: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I hope you don't judge FB on the lack of replies on that picture. I have no idea who she is either.


message 14: by Ken (last edited May 08, 2015 11:20AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Really, someone should have known. She was in the news last year when she died. She's very famous if you like movies, and was named the 20th greatest actress of the 20th Century by the American Film Institute. I consider her the second greatest, behind Ingrid Bergman (Who?). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_B...


message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments I'm a Mae West fan!


message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) That's waaaay before my time.


message 17: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments She was so awesome.


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Yeah, Mae West was one of the first "Bad Girls" of cinema. Some of her films were censored or declared obscene, but she never backed down. And she had what I consider the two best lines in movies. The first was when a judge asked her if she was trying to show contempt for the court, and she replied, "No, your honor, I'm trying to hide it." The other one was used in a Whitney Houston song, and Mae West said it to Cary Grant: "When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad I'm better." Gotta love that.


message 19: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Also: Come up and see me sometime.


message 20: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) A compilation of some of her best lines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJS67...


message 21: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments When I'm caught between two evils, I generally like to take the one I've never tried.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I think Lauren Bacall might have tried to imitate her in her first movie, "To Have And To Have Not": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv2K6...


message 23: by L. (new)

L. Woodswalker | 10 comments Facebook is helpful if you have a group that shares a common interest. If you like Steampunk there are several groups about that. My novel is about Nikola Tesla, and he is currently a popular figure on the net and facebook. (Haha. 'Currently'...that's a pun. Get it?) I got 305 Likes on my author page for my novel Tesla's Signal. (Not too many of them have bought the book yet...) I don't know how to find my perfect audience on Twitter. In fact I don't get Twitter at all.


message 24: by Ken (last edited May 08, 2015 12:36PM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) That's the thing about Facebook, I don't think you can sell books there, especially if most of your followers are other authors who followed you for the same reason you followed them—to get followers. Twitter seems to be better, and followers who retweet get you wider coverage, but I don't think either one sells books if, like me, you're a relative unknown.


message 25: by L. (last edited May 08, 2015 12:43PM) (new)

L. Woodswalker | 10 comments Well I am hoping I can at least bribe some of those FB friends to read a free book & write a review.
I am really seeing the catch-22 for the new author. You can't do well until you get lots of good reviews...but you can't get reviews until lots of people buy.
In fact many advertisers won't accept you until you have a certain number of reviews.


message 26: by Charles (last edited May 08, 2015 12:42PM) (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments You can set up a link to purchase your books through a page, but I doubt it does a whole lot.

I think it is more of an indicator than a precursor too, if that's what you're saying instead.


message 27: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments I don't think reviews have anything to do with it personally. Reviews are also an indicator, and not a precursor imo.


message 28: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) My best seller by far doesn't have any reviews yet, and I really don't worry any more about how many I can get. Facebook provides a "shop now" button that you can link, but so far no one's ever used the one on my page, and while I always link to my website in my tweets, and I get traffic, I don't think many of them are actual buyers.


message 29: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Leatherdale | 1 comments I recently started one and publicised a free book giveaway. I worried that I was overdoing it with all my posts. Then, a couple of days later, someone asked me if my book had been free as they had just seen a post to that effect. I think that the way Facebook works means that you need people to comment and like what you post in order to get the most notice out of it.


message 30: by Ken (last edited May 08, 2015 04:15PM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Lately I've been tweeting pictures of my paperback books with overlays of excerpts from the books. This overcomes the character limits of Twitter. While I can't say the mini-ads have been successful, they cost me nothing except the time used to construct them, and they occasionally generate traffic to my website. Here's an example:
Ken Doggett author's photo.


I don't intend it as spam, but if the moderators consider it as such they can delete it with my blessing.


message 31: by Neil (new)

Neil Hayes | 1 comments The whole social media thing for authors is somewhat challenging, because there an uncomfortable conflict between its "outer" purpose (to meet and interact with kindred spirits) and its "inner" purpose (to sell your product). This can create an unsatisfactory superficiality in the relationships we strike up with people. However, for every few people that just want to market straight back at you, there will be one that is a genuine enhancement to your life and work, and may help sell your product too. The internet, used well, can be a blessing, and on the basis that there is more good than bad in the world, I would say that us indie authors should make use of it, wisely. I agree that Facebook is less efficient than Twitter by far, but it is less "needy" too - thinking of one unconstrained post every few days is much easier than coming up with wisdom condensed into 120 characters (to allow for RT) multiple times in a day!


message 32: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Ken wrote: "Bogie thought so. You'd probably have to be a real movie fan, familiar with all eras, to know of her."

Please don't tell me that.


message 33: by Ken (last edited May 09, 2015 05:26AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Owen wrote: "Ken wrote: "Bogie thought so. You'd probably have to be a real movie fan, familiar with all eras, to know of her."

Please don't tell me that."


I'm not really sure how much classic cinema the young folks are aware of these days. Even years ago I ran into young people who would not watch anything in black-and-white. Really? The best movie ever made, according to many authoritative lists, is a black-and-white classic. Many great things can be missed just because they're not packaged the way you want: Casablanca, Gaslight, Citizen Kane, etc. Does that bring us back to book covers?


message 34: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Book cover? Does that mean black and white covers might be overlooked?

But now, it does bring me back to a facebook post you made. I think you answered your own enigma. Unless most of your followers did or still do watch black and white movies, you could not expect people to reply to it. Test them with something a little easier next time. :P


message 35: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) G.G. wrote: "Book cover? Does that mean black and white covers might be overlooked?

But now, it does bring me back to a facebook post you made. I think you answered your own enigma. Unless most of your followe..."


No, it means that we may overlook great things because of the package—maybe a bad book cover. I read an Indie book last year with a mediocre cover, definitely off-the-rack. I ended up rating the book at five stars, and the author later upgraded the cover and planned a sequel. Glad I didn't miss it just because it wasn't packaged in a flashy cover.


message 36: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Okay, I'm pretty sure I remember the picture of Lauren Bacall, but going back through my page feed, I can't find it, but I noticed something else that is irksome and definitely puts me closer to camp not-to-Facebook. My page feed is not in chronological order and the Page Manager app does not offer this as an option. If it's not going to let me see other pages that I've liked with mine, it fails to be a social tool and jist becomes my own personal spam board.


message 37: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Yep, I'm still giving that consideration: to Facebook or not to Facebook.


message 38: by L. (new)

L. Woodswalker | 10 comments With the difficulty of promotion, there's no question I'd use any possible way to reach readers. Facebook, twitter, anything I can lay my hands (or mouse) on.


message 39: by Owen (last edited May 09, 2015 09:14PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments L. wrote: "Well I am hoping I can at least bribe some of those FB friends to read a free book & write a review.
I am really seeing the catch-22 for the new author. You can't do well until you get lots of goo..."


I've seen no firm evidence that good reviews are important to selling books, and I believe that is a common misconception (and pitfall) for new authors.

Many (I'd probably say most) of the things new authors do the market their work are based on ideas that create more stress than anything.


message 40: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Quoleena wrote: "Up until last August, I've only been a happy reader of books. From my perspective when browsing books from authors I didn't know, the words in a review never convinced me to buy the book..."

Funny how our perspectives shift when we get on the other side of the fence. It is valuable to recall where we came from.


message 41: by Hayden (new)

Hayden Linder (haydendlinder) | 85 comments Well Wait a minute! What DID convince her to buy the book?


Oh and as for FB, I keep it because it costs me no effort to update it. When I post something on wordpress I just hit the FB button and off it goes. So why not.


message 42: by Rachael (last edited May 11, 2015 11:03PM) (new)

Rachael Eyre (rachaeleyre) | 194 comments My Facebook page certainly isn't converting to sales, and a decent chunk of my followers are people I met on here, but I enjoy keeping it. It costs precisely nothing and if you're no great shakes on the tech front, allows you to share etc to your heart's content. Perhaps one day I'll return to the Wordpress blog I tried to set up, but it was such a faff and looked so rubbish, I'd rather stick with a site like Facebook that does your work for you.


message 43: by Amanda (last edited May 13, 2015 04:52AM) (new)

Amanda Siegrist (amandasiegrist) | 190 comments I do FB and haven't seen a difference. I do a word of the day kind of thing and some days it's hard to think of something to write for it. I just thought it would be fun and not me promoting myself all the time. Hardly anyone ever sees it and likes it, so I asked my mom if I should just stop it. She says, "I enjoy reading them. I usually get a chuckle out of them." Okay, Mom. I will keep it up for you. She is a fan and a reader, so she counts:) I like how I linked FB with Twitter, so when I post something on FB it automatically goes on Twitter. One less thing for me to do. I notice I get more traffic on my website when I'm on Twitter more than anything....so I've started using # on FB. Does it help much? I don't really think so, but I shall keep on doing it anyway.


message 44: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments One of the interesting things I've been noticing about promotion via social media is the tendency towards zero-cost/zero-payoff. Automation makes to easy do distribute a post, which is equally easy for others to ignore. The result is an ever increasing flow of essentially meaningless data in social networks. In semiconductor physics, we have a name for this: fat zero.

I'm not say not to do it, since the cost is basically zero -- so why not? But I am interested to see what happens if the fat-zero overflows someday.


message 45: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Twitter is like a 3rd world flea market with everyone shouting to be heard.


message 46: by Ken (last edited May 13, 2015 10:11AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I have barely more than a hundred followers on Twitter, but sometimes I get retweeted by people who have thousands and it still makes no difference. I do get more traffic to my website, though not necessarily buyers, but even that is more than I get from Facebook.


message 47: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) When it comes to social media advertising, my policy is to be nice. It's a terrible policy and gets me in front of very few eyes, but it helps me sleep at night. I don't automate my posts. I keep my spammy business to a minimum and when I do spam, I try to be funny about it. I can't say for sure how many sales it has gotten me, but I have seen a bump after posting on occasion. Facebook, however, not so much, unless you want to count family.


message 48: by Ken (last edited May 13, 2015 11:57AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Christina wrote: "When it comes to social media advertising, my policy is to be nice. It's a terrible policy and gets me in front of very few eyes, but it helps me sleep at night. I don't automate my posts. I keep m..."

I try to be nice, too, and I don't know how to automate my posts. I have only one rule: no religion, no politics. I'm there to discuss books and little else. I can stand spam but if I find the other stuff staring me in the face, as if all persons have to think the way this person does or they're idiots, then I unfollow and unlike. I never argue. If there's too much spam I simply mute, and continue to give them the benefit of a follow.


message 49: by EJ (new)

EJ Fisch (ejfisch) | 37 comments Back when Facebook announced they were killing organic reach for fan pages, I tried to move exclusively over to my profile and invited people who had liked the page to come and either add or follow the personal profile. But there were still people who didn't do that and they were missing out on information. I have just recently begun posting important updates only on the fan page (release dates, cover art reveals, etc.) and I've left the profile invitation open. The profile ends up being a more in-depth experience for fans who choose to follow it, but the fan page remains an option. It's listed as a contact medium in the backs of all my published works so I figured I should keep it around in case someone tries to find me, even if it's not really getting me anywhere.


message 50: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) To get around the constant changes in social media, I list only my website in my books. There they can find all of it, Facebook, Twitter, links to sites that sell my books, and my email address.


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