Maximizing Facebook For Writers
Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, her two cats, a plethora of birds, a squirrel, and a chipmunk. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page. Sign up for her newsletter.
Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Coming soon: Happily Ever After: A Collection of Erotic Fairy Tales. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.
Last month, I talked about using Twitter to maximize your author presence. This month, I’m going to talk about using Facebook to do the same. I prefer Facebook to Twitter because it’s more interactive and I don’t have a word limit on what I write. I also am in touch with all my writer, editor, and publisher friends on Facebook.
I have an author page but I don’t use it. Never got much use out of it. I prefer my regular timeline. I spent about a decade building that page so that’s where I hang out. I use my name alone but some authors include the word “author” with their names. Example: Elizabeth Black – Author.
My current profile picture is of one of my book covers. That works well to identify me. You could use a book cover or a recent head shot. I change profile pictures every month or so to keep things lively.
My banner is a photo of some of my book covers plus both of my pen names; Elizabeth Black for erotica and romance and E. A. Black for horror and dark fiction. My banner is eye-catching and it gets my point across that this is my page and here are examples of what I have written.
Like I said about Twitter, don’t make all your Facebook posts about your book. Endless book spam turns people off. Talk about things that interest you. I talk about my cats, baking, the beach, gardening and much more. I also talk about my progress with my writing. Sometimes I’ll include an excerpt from what I’m working on to pique interest. A healthy mix of fun stuff and book stuff will inspire people to come to your page and talk to you. Ask questions. A few days ago, I posted about cotton candy grapes (yes, they are a thing and they really do taste like cotton candy). I asked if anyone had eaten them and if they liked them. Responses ranged from “Delicious!” to “Eww!” LOL That’s how you get a conversation going.
Update daily or at least frequently. I update several times per day. I also respond to other people’s timeline posts. Some writers talk about politics on their timelines. I don’t. I want my timeline to be neutral ground. In my opinion, it’s risky to talk about politics on your timeline since you may alienate potential readers. Not everyone feels that way. If you want to cull your friends list, go on a religious or political rant. That guarantees you’ll lose a few friends. Sex, on the other hand, is game. Talk about it all you like, especially if you have something very interesting to say.
I’ve found that Facebook groups are by and large a waste of time, especially author groups. They are primarily book spam dumping grounds and no one reads them. You aren’t going to find readers on Facebook groups. If you are able to find groups where there are conversations, jump on them. Granted, they’re probably all writers but you can meet some interesting and valuable people in those groups. Organizations and events may have their own groups. I’m in a few horror groups that are busy. Keep in mind book promo may be prohibited except under specific circumstances. For instance, Wednesday is Pimp Your Book day in one of my horror groups. Writers are to keep their pimping to that particular post.
Facebook has its limits. For instance, the number of people who actually see your posts is quite small but use that to your advantage. It’s possible to meet people in the industry on Facebook and they often have valuable and interesting things to say. Like their posts and comment. Facebook is best when you use it to have conversations whether on your timeline or someone else’s. I’ve met many publishers and editors as well as authors on Facebook. Not agents, though. That’s Twitter.
Above all, enjoy Facebook. Don’t let it be a time suck and don’t let negative posts depress you. Read only what you want to read and engage those people. While Facebook has its limitations, it can be useful.