Social Media for Authors Part 3: Facebook for Beginning Authors
As an author, Facebook can be an important tool. So many people use this social network now that people just as often ask if you have a Facebook page as they ask for your website or blog address. And there is now so many ways in which as author can promote their books with this tool.
So what can you do with your Facebook account?
Facebook under your author name
This may be different to your actual name, and sometimes this is better. While, at first, it may be pretty awesome to have people friend requesting you because you are an author, sometimes you may not want to share everything with strangers. There is an option to categorize everyone into different groups and then prioritize what these groups can and can't see on your Facebook page. Now that you have a Facebook account, it will be invaluable to announce to all your friends when and where books can be purchased, links to blogs and news, as well as little snippets of what is in the pipe works.
These are pages that are designed so that people can 'like' them, and therefore follow them. Pages can be set up under your author name, your books name and even your character names. This is another valuable tool where book launches etc. can be announced. These pages can also link into the roleplaying aspect mentioned further on. Take Maggie Stiefvater, fabulous auther of the 'Shiver' series, for example. Her Maggie Stiefvater (It's really me) fan page has a fabulous photo of her characters having a chat on Facebook. It can be viewed here.
Groups is a function that is not as often used by authors to promote their product. It has a little more functionality than a Facebook page and it can be set to 'secret' if required. It's a great place where your fans can ask you questions and start up topics of discussion about your books.
This aspect of Facebook is not used a lot by authors. Personally, I have one set up for my current main character, Emeline Hart. It is also against Facebook policy. Why? Because, basically, you are setting up an account for a character, not a real person. It is a fun way to promote your book though. There is a very active roleplaying world on Facebook. It is a great way for fans to follow yet to be written story lines. Also, it is a valuable tool that can be used for character development. By the time you have set up a character account, put a list of their favorite pastimes, movies and books, you as an author, have a much better understanding of your character. Just be prepared for regular culls of roleplaying accounts though. While it is great fun while it lasts, it is heartbreaking when you go to log into your account and it has been disabled.
If you are interested in following some other character pages, try these (just be aware that some are not run by the authors, so their storylines may diverge from the story you are familiar with:So there are some ideas to get you started in the world of Facebook!
Rachel’s book Emeline and the Mutants is available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, coming soon to print!