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Thread: Is Facebook really necessary in book promotion?

  1. #1
    Warthog, skin is already thick. boozysassmouth's Avatar
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    Is Facebook really necessary in book promotion?

    For someone who plans on self-publishing and isn't on Facebook, is it that necessary to get a Facebook account?

    I'd be happy to do GoodReads, but I don't care for Facebook and was never active on it. I plan on starting a blog and hopping on twitter as well. Would that be enough?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Nothing is absolutely necessary. But it would be worth thinking about what your online strategy should be, where your hub will be, and what networks you will use. This should be determine by a combination of what you enjoy and where your readership can be found.

  3. #3
    Warthog, skin is already thick. boozysassmouth's Avatar
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    Edit: Thank you, veinglory.

    This might be a stupid question, but how does one determine where their readership can be found?

    My method of looking for new books to read usually consists of putzing around a bookstore, or occasionally searching through amazon in whatever genre I'm interested.
    Last edited by boozysassmouth; 12-14-2012 at 07:18 AM. Reason: My manners apparently took a break when my curiosity took the helm.

  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    First you would think about who is most likely to buy your book, their interests etc. For example one author of historical Egyptian fiction had success advertising on cat blogs. Apparently the interests overlap.

    I like Facebook because is skews female and slightly young. Which is a good demographic for selling M/M. Also a lot of other M/M authors are there so it becomes a place to find that kind of information.

    But my hub tends to be my blog. I have a website but am tearing it down right now as the bang-for-hour spent on it was not great.

    IMHO the easiest promotion is promotion to people who would buy your book if only they knew about it.

  5. #5
    Warthog, skin is already thick. boozysassmouth's Avatar
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    I think I have a lot of googling to do. Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I am not currently on Goodreads so I cannot comment on that, but I am really benefiting from Facebook.

    It was touched on, but whether or not you get a Facebook profile depends a lot on your target market, your own age and you current use of the social networking site.

    On target market:
    When I decided to self publish a number of months back, Facebook was high on my list of priorities. On my personal page, I would have close to 700 friends, and I hoped that at least half would click 'like' on my author page when I created it. As this is my first published work, I used Facebook more as a method of spreading the fact that I write, rather than directly or indirectly selling books. An older age group will buy something physical that is placed in front of them (which is why I stocked in local stores) but, the people that follow my author page are more used to, and more likely, to buy online (As in order PB or kindle version)
    And, as that is where I think I'll benefit most in the future, I put special emphasis in promoting my facebook author page.

    Your own age and place on Facebook already:
    Please don't accuse me of ageism! And, I'm not saying you have to be known before you make a facebook page!

    - Put it this way: If you were a celebrity with 20,000 'likes', your audience is already massive. OK, the majority of them may not buy what you're selling, but 5% of 20K is better than 5% of 25 eh?
    And, at the other end of the scale, starting out your social networking life with no existing presence is a difficult task. Me, I was somewhere in the lower ranges, but above zero.

    In conclusion, I think that if you are starting from zero on Facebook, twitter, etc, I would recommend concentrating more on Goodreads. By all means, start up your author page on Facebook but don't expect it to work miracles from day one.

    To each their own, it is just that Facebook has worked very well for me so far. Check out my self-pubbing diary if you've time, it may help with Facebook ideas etc.

    I hope that helped, I may have started to ramble
    Best of luck.

  7. #7
    Wicked Safari release date March 17 gingerwoman's Avatar
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    The problem with Facebook compared to twitter in terms of selling is that on Facebook you are discouraged from friending people you don't know personally.
    Paranormal Romance -Menage - Erotic Romance from Samhain Publishing 4th place for Best Published Paranormal in the Passionate Plume award.

    Read the blurb for Wicked Safari and buy it here.




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  8. #8
    In Time-Out For My Sins
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerwoman View Post
    The problem with Facebook compared to twitter in terms of selling is that on Facebook you are discouraged from friending people you don't know personally.
    I agree. It angered me when strangers tried to friend me as a way to lure prospective clients for their businesses. I'm ashamed to say I found myself thinking about sending friend requests to people I barely knew or didn't even like, just to see if they would check out my books. But I'll be the first to admit I haven't learned how to properly use FB for promotional purposes. It probably just depends on how integrated one's social networking life is with the writer's book subjects.

  9. #9
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I assumed we were talking about Facebook pages not personal accounts. You aren't limited to people you know with pages

  10. #10
    Just the facts, please
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    Yes, there's a significant difference between personal profiles and professional pages. An author should have a page that people can Like. It's easy and doesn't expose your personal information. FB has created a Subscribe feature so you can follow public updates of personal profiles without Friending those people, but it's a little klunky.

    I administer a FB page for my employer, and have found that steady, regular posts with photos get more eyeballs. The more clicks, the more people see you. If you don't have a daily piece of content, people tend to forget about you. For an example of how an author uses FB superbly, check out Diana Gabaldon's page. Photos, musings, reflections, research bits, daily lines from her forthcoming book - she's really built a fanatical FB following. None of it comes across like a sales pitch.

  11. #11
    permaflounced
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    What FB is good for isn't so much selling the book you have out now, but for selling future books as you can build up a fanbase and have a central place to post info. I have a blog as well, but there is a lot more give and take on the FB page compared to the blog. It seems like a lot of people who go to the trouble to find an author's FB page are usually already more likely to be active on social media and so are more vocal. I didn't seriously start my author FB page until a little over a year ago. Before that, I had one for my first book, but after putting out the second novel, I realized it wouldn't make sense to make a page for every book I write. I only have about 350 likes, and about 50-60 are probably other authors (only 2 family members, sadly.) but the rest are readers who found their way there after reading at least one of the books. I have a Twitter account too, but I think almost all 1200+ followers are other authors. I don't really consider that a useful tool. I think it works best to have it linked to your FB, so when you post on your author page, that post feeds to your Twitter. With the last two book releases, it felt a lot more like a launch and I love that so many of my FB followers participated in a contest and helped me get the word out about the new books.
    ETA: I apologize for the lack of paragraphs in the above. I put them there twice, but I'm posting from an ancient work computer and apparently, the paragraphs aren't sticking.

  12. #12
    Just the facts, please
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    I think it works best to have it linked to your FB, so when you post on your author page, that post feeds to your Twitter.
    Respectfully, please don't do that. Facebook and Twitter are two separate animals that require two different writing styles and approaches. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing a truncated Facebook auto-post in Twitter that cuts off halfway through and refers you to a fb.me link to finish reading. You can rarely figure out what the post is about, so eventually you just stop clicking.

    You can certainly use your FB posts as fodder for your tweets - just do it manually. Use a shortened link (not an auto-posting feature) for your FB post, and take two minutes and write a new teaser for your tweet so everything flows back to your FB page. (And it goes without saying to make your FB posts available to the public, so people don't have to be logged or even members to see what you're posting.)

  13. #13
    Fantastic historian Anne Lyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I assumed we were talking about Facebook pages not personal accounts. You aren't limited to people you know with pages
    With FB Pages (not standard accounts), it's worth noting that your posts won't automatically be seen by everyone who "likes" your page - to be sure of reaching everyone, you have to pay. You can reach more people by posting well and often, as has been mentioned, but I don't consider it worth my time - if I were self-published and had zero publicity, it might be a different matter.
    Elizabethan fantasy N1ght's Masque - out now from 4ngry R0bot Books.


  14. #14
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
    With FB Pages (not standard accounts), it's worth noting that your posts won't automatically be seen by everyone who "likes" your page - to be sure of reaching everyone, you have to pay. You can reach more people by posting well and often, as has been mentioned, but I don't consider it worth my time - if I were self-published and had zero publicity, it might be a different matter.
    As I understand it this applies equally to standard accounts? But maybe I got the wrong end of the stick--they don't explain it very well.

    IMHO it is best that your activity 'hub' by a url completely under your own control. The social networking 'modules' can be added to it.

  15. #15
    Fantastic historian Anne Lyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    As I understand it this applies equally to standard accounts? But maybe I got the wrong end of the stick--they don't explain it very well.
    Maybe - but I only friend people I actually know in real life, most of whom are other writers, editors, etc, so I don't use my personal FB account for self-promo at all.
    Elizabethan fantasy N1ght's Masque - out now from 4ngry R0bot Books.


  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW TroyJackson's Avatar
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    Lot of good tips/advice here. Even though I use Facebook personally, I haven't really used my separate author Facebook page like I thought I would. I tend to focus more on Goodreads and other places like this website to spread the word. I use Twitter a bit. But Facebook? Eh, I have a blog on my website, and I copy/paste it on Twitter and Facebook, but I'm not sure I get any traction with Facebook. Probably because I do dump something on it daily or even every 2-3 days. Usually once or twice a week, and I doubt that's helpful.
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  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Diggi's Avatar
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    I think the most important thing is, that you will have to feel comfortable with the platform/network you use, because you will spend a lot of time there.
    For example when you start a blog and you are not good in writing short, attractive posts, than you should not do it or let someone else do it for you (what is not always easy or priceless). When you have a website and it looks like it is made in the last centuriy, it will not be a professional looking "business card". Same thing with facebook-pages. When you decide to go to facebook, you will have to build a professional landing-page, make some raffles, interact with people who post unnice things on your wall and things like these. That costs a lot of time, but can be worth it when you do it right.
    Last edited by Diggi; 12-21-2012 at 05:40 PM.

  18. #18
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
    Maybe - but I only friend people I actually know in real life, most of whom are other writers, editors, etc, so I don't use my personal FB account for self-promo at all.
    That is a choice users can make, not an innate limitation of the platform.

  19. #19
    Wicked Safari release date March 17 gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I assumed we were talking about Facebook pages not personal accounts. You aren't limited to people you know with pages
    As far as I know you are limited to inviting people you know to like your page. Unless you somehow invite people outside Facebook to like your Facebook page. Or maybe it's different if you pay Facebook money for your author page. I don't spend ANY money on promotion, so I wouldn't know about that. I just have a free page. Then I can ask people on my personal Facebook to like it. I have added people I don't know that are friends of friends and have their own books in their avatars. The selling to other authors of erotic romance thing that happens. Still erotic romance authors do buy each others books. I mean I buy them, so although that's not all the potential audience it's not necessarily a waste of time.
    Paranormal Romance -Menage - Erotic Romance from Samhain Publishing 4th place for Best Published Paranormal in the Passionate Plume award.

    Read the blurb for Wicked Safari and buy it here.




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  20. #20
    Not all who wander are lost SamanthaLehane's Avatar
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    You might want to claim your pen name on facebook or other popular social networks even if you won't use them.
    [Future spot for a tasteful yet impressive listing of SF/Fantasy novels along with website and banner. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of a unimpressed Tibetan Fox.]


  21. #21
    Warthog, skin is already thick. boozysassmouth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcDonald64 View Post
    What FB is good for isn't so much selling the book you have out now, but for selling future books as you can build up a fanbase and have a central place to post info. I have a blog as well, but there is a lot more give and take on the FB page compared to the blog. It seems like a lot of people who go to the trouble to find an author's FB page are usually already more likely to be active on social media and so are more vocal.
    Makes sense and lets me delay creating a facebook page. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggi View Post
    I think the most important thing is, that you will have to feel comfortable with the platform/network you use, because you will spend a lot of time there.
    One of the best pieces of advice that I've seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by SamanthaLehane View Post
    You might want to claim your pen name on facebook or other popular social networks even if you won't use them.
    Done! Thank you!

    Thanks so much for all the comments on this thread, they're all very helpful and very appreciated. And sorry for disappearing, holiday and all of that...

  22. #22
    By any other name... RedRose's Avatar
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    Authors I know promote and I see it on my feed. It used to be fine but now it's annoying as heck!

    Every now and again on your personal page would be fine, more on a professional page. But I find authors continually link to other pages and it makes me want to read their story less.

    Science Fiction/Fantasy Book 2 -- 40,000/50,000
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    YA Fantasy -- 90,000 words. On submission. Finalist in the ECO Contest 2014.

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