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Umgowa
05-09-2018, 04:17 PM
I have heard that many self-published authors have used Facebook successfully to help promote their books. Does anyone in this forum have any experience using Facebook for promotional purposes? If so I would love to hear about it. How you used it . . . and what success you might have had. Thanks.

Al X.
05-09-2018, 06:39 PM
I've tried "boosted posts" just to see what would happen, as they are cheap. There were no apparent sales as a result. Ask yourself, when was the last time you purchased something on Facebook?

Old Hack
05-09-2018, 08:35 PM
Ask yourself, when was the last time you purchased something on Facebook?

That's such a good suggestion. It's worth applying this to just about all the promotional and marketing activities you invest in: are you doing it because it's what everyone else always does? Would it make you buy a book? If not, what would make you spend your money?

lizmonster
05-09-2018, 08:59 PM
I've tried "boosted posts" just to see what would happen, as they are cheap. There were no apparent sales as a result. Ask yourself, when was the last time you purchased something on Facebook?

I did something similar. I had a bunch of Goodreads giveaways, and for some of them I boosted the announcement posts, and others I didn't. No significant difference in signups - and all a Facebook user would've had to do was click on the link.

I know two of us isn't a massive data set, but I'd put your money elsewhere. Make a FB author page (because people expect you to have one), maybe link it to your blog and/or post random interesting bits of stuff, but save your money for platforms that produce results.

Polenth
05-10-2018, 04:09 AM
My experience was that the more people liked my author page, the fewer views I got on anything I posted. It's clear Facebook throttles views as pages get more popular, which is designed to persuade you to buy adverts/pay to promote posts. I have made a few sales by posting announcements on my page, but I don't see it as something worth a lot of time. I don't actively promote the page and I wouldn't pay any money to Facebook.

It's basically there because I know a fair number of people still only use Facebook. For those people, they can check the page and see the main announcements.

Sydneyd
05-10-2018, 06:07 AM
I've boosted posts and bought Facebook ads. I think they do help if you use them properly. Up until recently, I used to be able to target Facebook groups with my newsletter subscribers. With new guidelines, that might not be possible, however, a little target audience experimenting could give you positive results.

Old Hack
05-10-2018, 10:09 AM
I've boosted posts and bought Facebook ads. I think they do help if you use them properly.

In this context, how do you define "properly"?

M. H. Lee
05-10-2018, 05:47 PM
I don't do much there as an author. I'm in a bunch of groups for self-publishers that I find helpful to keep on top of changes. I have run FB ads and had those generate sales and did boost a post of the last book in my fantasy trilogy that included my dog in it. That had lots of likes so did help with visibility. This last week I put up a page for my non-fiction and boosted a post about a free quick & dirty guide to AMS that I'd put on my blog and I think that has generated at least a couple sales of my AMS book.

The ones I know who do well there and who aren't running FB ads are ones who actively engage with a group of fans on there. I know a couple of authors who rank in the top 2K on Amazon US who have private reader groups where fans can go to interact with one another and where the author drops in usually daily. (So you kind of have to be doing well already for that to work.)

Umgowa
05-10-2018, 07:06 PM
A lot of helpful feedback here . . . Thanks. I am a non-Facebook person so forgive me if my next questions sound naive. What does the expression "boost a post" mean? Next, I can't wrap my head around the dynamics of how Facebook would work to help sell my book. One thing I've read is that by being a Facebook account holder you can then join several groups about self publishing. My reaction is, hey, this is a great group right here on the Water Cooler. Are the groups you can join on Facebook any better than this one? Still wondering about Facebook dynamics . . . Is the idea to get connected to a lot of "friends" on Facebook and then tell them about your book, hoping they will buy it from you?

Lastly, I am concluding from the above that every published author should have a Facebook author page and a blog. Wow, I can't imagine what in the world I would put on either of those vehicles . . . . "I wrote three more pages yesterday for my new book." . . . Sounds dull. Does anyone have a Crime fiction published author whose Facebook page and or blog I could visit to get some ideas? I would be most appreciative.

And very lastly . . . In my recent reading and conversations, people have used the word "platform" . . . I am not yet comfortable with the nuances and meaning of this word in discussing the marketing of my book. Does it refer to an author's presence on social media? Some clarification here would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Old Hack
05-10-2018, 07:19 PM
And very lastly . . . In my recent reading and conversations, people have used the word "platform" . . . I am not yet comfortable with the nuances and meaning of this word in discussing the marketing of my book. Does it refer to an author's presence on social media? Some clarification here would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Platform has many meanings.

For me, with my "non-fiction editor" hat on, it means that the writer is qualified and then some to write the book. That they have a PhD in their subject perhaps, they're well-known in their field, they stand alongside other experts and are well-regarded. It's much easier to promote a book if the author has won a major prize in their field, for example. If someone has written a book about psychology but don't have a psychology degree, why would anyone buy it?

For others, "platform" can mean "lots of followers on Twitter and Facebook". Or, "regularly gives talks on the subject", or, "is famous or notorious in a way which will help sell the book". It really depends a lot on what people want.

lizmonster
05-10-2018, 07:51 PM
Thanks. I am a non-Facebook person so forgive me if my next questions sound naive.

Don't worry about this. We live to answer questions here. :)


What does the expression "boost a post" mean?

Facebook limits the visibility of posts from business pages. This means when someone "likes" your author page, they don't see every post you make. Boosting a post is basically buying exposure: they'll show it to more of your subscribers, and you can target people who don't subscribe to your page, too.

In short: you're buying an ad.


One thing I've read is that by being a Facebook account holder you can then join several groups about self publishing. My reaction is, hey, this is a great group right here on the Water Cooler. Are the groups you can join on Facebook any better than this one?

I don't belong to any FB groups, but there are lots of good groups in the world (including the Water Cooler). No harm in belonging to more than one. :)


Lastly, I am concluding from the above that every published author should have a Facebook author page and a blog. Wow, I can't imagine what in the world I would put on either of those vehicles . . . . "I wrote three more pages yesterday for my new book." . . . Sounds dull.

It's more like people expect to be able to find these things. And I don't think you need a blog, per se, just a landing page with information about your published work and links to where to buy them. If blogging isn't your thing, there's no point in forcing it; it'll show.

Marissa D
05-10-2018, 09:38 PM
In light of the fact that purchasing Facebook ads will in the near future allow Facebook to access your credit reports, I have no intention of boosting posts or using their ads. I'm assuming it's a data grab since they're being restricted from scraping info in other ways.

Edited to add: Here a link to their terms of service. (https://www.facebook.com/legal/self_service_ads_terms/update) Note sub-section 3 of #4.

lizmonster
05-10-2018, 09:57 PM
In light of the fact that purchasing Facebook ads will in the near future allow Facebook to access your credit reports, I have no intention of boosting posts or using their ads. I'm assuming it's a data grab since they're being restricted from scraping info in other ways.

Edited to add: Here a link to their terms of service. (https://www.facebook.com/legal/self_service_ads_terms/update) Note sub-section 3 of #4.

Holy Cats.

Yeah, no. I suppose when it's a bigger business buying ads, it's not all that invasive. But individuals? Thanks anyway.

Al X.
05-11-2018, 12:29 AM
In light of the fact that purchasing Facebook ads will in the near future allow Facebook to access your credit reports, I have no intention of boosting posts or using their ads. I'm assuming it's a data grab since they're being restricted from scraping info in other ways.

Edited to add: Here a link to their terms of service. (https://www.facebook.com/legal/self_service_ads_terms/update) Note sub-section 3 of #4.

Well, yeah, but the same can be said of purchasing things on the Zon.

lizmonster
05-11-2018, 12:42 AM
Well, yeah, but the same can be said of purchasing things on the Zon.

Amazon checks my credit rating?

J. Tanner
05-11-2018, 02:24 AM
I have heard that many self-published authors have used Facebook successfully to help promote their books. Does anyone in this forum have any experience using Facebook for promotional purposes? If so I would love to hear about it. How you used it . . . and what success you might have had. Thanks.

1. Some authors use it socially to interact with their readers and build a bond that results in long-term reader loyalty. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You gain followers the same way you gain readers at the early stages of authorship--one at a time. It only works if you're the type of person who loves social media anyway.

2. Some authors have mastered their advertising systems to promote individual books or build mailing lists. In general, this requires a large catalog of books, skill at advertising, and spending a lot of money to make even more. It's not typically for beginners.

If you don't fall into either group, you can safely ignore Facebook.

Umgowa
05-12-2018, 05:10 PM
Don't worry about this. We live to answer questions here. :)



Facebook limits the visibility of posts from business pages. This means when someone "likes" your author page, they don't see every post you make. Boosting a post is basically buying exposure: they'll show it to more of your subscribers, and you can target people who don't subscribe to your page, too.

In short: you're buying an ad.



I don't belong to any FB groups, but there are lots of good groups in the world (including the Water Cooler). No harm in belonging to more than one. :)



It's more like people expect to be able to find these things. And I don't think you need a blog, per se, just a landing page with information about your published work and links to where to buy them. If blogging isn't your thing, there's no point in forcing it; it'll show.
I understand your "Landing Page" idea. Would't Facebook be a good, free, and easy way to accomplish this?

lizmonster
05-12-2018, 05:29 PM
I understand your "Landing Page" idea. Would't Facebook be a good, free, and easy way to accomplish this?

No, I don't think so. Not everyone is on Facebook, and as I said above, it's very hard to keep people engaged there without paying Facebook for advertising.

These days, if you're selling something, everybody expects to be able to google your name and find a web page. It's like being in the phone book. Like I said, you don't need a lot on it - your name, your books (including covers and descriptions), and a link to buy your work. You can add a short bio if you want, or even an author photo, but I don't think that's as important.

Think about it as a buyer. You hear someone's name mentioned in conversation, and you head back home to your computer to look them up. If you don't go straight to Amazon, you go to their web site. There are too many people who won't click on Facebook on principal.

AW Admin
05-12-2018, 05:44 PM
You want your "landing page" or the hub of your online presence to be one that you absolutely control.

You want it to be your web site. It doesn't have to be elaborate; a free website from blogger or Wordpress.com will work for a start.

Try not to spend money on a website or PR and marketing until you're making money; control your costs.

But a website you control, with a presence on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. all of which link back to your website is a much better option.

See this forum: Book Promotion Ideas and Advice (https://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?48-Book-Promotion-Ideas-and-Advice) and read the stickies.

davidjgalloway
05-12-2018, 07:09 PM
These days, if you're selling something, everybody expects to be able to google your name and find a web page. It's like being in the phone book. Like I said, you don't need a lot on it - your name, your books (including covers and descriptions), and a link to buy your work. You can add a short bio if you want, or even an author photo, but I don't think that's as important.

I know there are plenty of people who are photo-averse, but a too-thin webpage always puts me off. I want to know that the person is real and has spent at least a little time setting up shop. Doesn't have to be much, as you say, but I tend to lose interest if there is no bio or photo. But that may be just me.

Polenth
05-12-2018, 07:45 PM
I know there are plenty of people who are photo-averse, but a too-thin webpage always puts me off. I want to know that the person is real and has spent at least a little time setting up shop. Doesn't have to be much, as you say, but I tend to lose interest if there is no bio or photo. But that may be just me.

I found having a photo only led to people being abusive, so I removed it again. I don't use photos in my books for the same reason. "I just like to put a face to the name" often means "I want to see a face so I can judge". People usually assume the worst based on my photo. However, they react very well to the shiny blue mushroom, so I've used that in most places.

davidjgalloway
05-13-2018, 01:05 AM
Well, that's a good point, and one I hadn't considered. Sorry that people are terrible. I like the mushroom a lot :).

frimble3
05-13-2018, 08:03 AM
1. Some authors use it socially to interact with their readers and build a bond that results in long-term reader loyalty. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You gain followers the same way you gain readers at the early stages of authorship--one at a time. It only works if you're the type of person who loves social media anyway.

Of course, another way to gain readers is write more books. I have never felt any urge to 'bond' with favourite writers, nor to communicate with them for any reason except to ask "When's the next book coming?"
But, I am an old fogey, and modern readers may well want more. :Shrug:

sensei
05-15-2018, 11:58 PM
How good is the conversion from the author pages? At the moment, it seems most people go to Amazon (perhaps Goodreads) for reviews and social proofing. Certainly, the word of mouth aspect usually constitutes enough for a prospective reader to buy the book, and author pages are simply a supplement for more info. But I wondering how useful author pages are in actually guiding readers to purchase a work.

In addition, do authors here feel a presence on Goodreads or Amazon is not enough? And how come?

rwm4768
05-16-2018, 04:49 AM
I have a Facebook author page, and I use it mostly to post updates. I've tried a few boosted posts, but I haven't seen any real sales results. I might try it again once I release the box set of my first series. Fantasy readers love box sets.

Polenth
05-16-2018, 04:51 AM
How good is the conversion from the author pages? At the moment, it seems most people go to Amazon (perhaps Goodreads) for reviews and social proofing. Certainly, the word of mouth aspect usually constitutes enough for a prospective reader to buy the book, and author pages are simply a supplement for more info. But I wondering how useful author pages are in actually guiding readers to purchase a work.

I'll get maybe one or two sales when I post an announcement about a new thing. There's no knowing if people visit the page at other times and follow links. Used just for big announcements, it doesn't take long to update the page, so it's not a big time concern. I'm dubious about the value of spending a lot of time on it, precisely because the greater the success, the less likely it is that followers see announcements. Facebook actively punishes people for success in the hopes it'll force them to pay for advertising.


In addition, do authors here feel a presence on Goodreads or Amazon is not enough? And how come?

Other sites never replace having your own author website. As for other social media, I guess it depends on your success. If you're someone who threw a book on Amazon and suddenly you were a bestseller, you probably don't need it. If you're a mere mortal like most of us, Twitter is useful. I haven't had many sales, but the majority have come from Twitter, in one way or another.

Sydneyd
05-16-2018, 08:46 PM
In this context, how do you define "properly"?

Sorry I haven't checked back here in a bit. For me, properly is knowing what to boost and why. I almost never want to boost something that isn't actionable, where I'm asking them to sign up for something, clicking to a product page or liking/following me on whatever platform I'm trying to boost at the moment. That way I have a second round of data (other than what Facebook will provide) that I can take a look at to see how the boosted post did and then I can analyze the types of words I use and what gets more results. For instance, do readers click more on a boosted post that describes a book as scorching or sizzling? Then I can use that information in other ads or in blurbs etc.

gingerwoman
05-17-2018, 07:46 AM
I have heard that many self-published authors have used Facebook successfully to help promote their books. Does anyone in this forum have any experience using Facebook for promotional purposes? If so I would love to hear about it. How you used it . . . and what success you might have had. Thanks.I haven't but there is a free book on how to do it available on Amazon right now by Mark Dawson. The price was right so I downloaded it. lol

I mean I did try to use Facebook ads for my trade published books a long time ago but didn't see any results but I spent very little on the ads. I did other things that got results so I wasn't very impressed by Facebook but I've heard of other authors having significant success.