Friday, April 26, 2013

Some Facebook Hints For Authors

In the past couple of weeks I've been on a steep learning curve regarding my Facebook Author Page. If you're an author, and you're confused about using are not alone.

First let me say that if you are an author, I can recommend that you create an Author Page separate from your personal Facebook account. Here's why: you can only friend 5000 people in your personal account. Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't think you'll ever have 5000 friends. But you really don't want to bore family and friends with writing stuff, and you really don't want to reveal personal stuff to your fans, even if you never reach the 5000 mark. It just makes sense to separate the personal from the professional. Plus, we can always dream.

So step one: create an Author Page. Go to Account Settings (upper right corner, the flywheel) and at the bottom of the page that opens next is a link to "Create Page." That will get you started.

Step two: name your page. I used "AuthorJanetFox." That was good, but I do wish I'd chosen "JanetFoxAuthor." Why? Because usually people don't search for me as "author." And why not just "JanetFox"? Because that's my personal account name. So "JanetFoxAuthor" would be perfect. Wish I'd known!

Step three: you'll need a profile picture (a small avatar, like you have on your personal page). I recently found by accident that using a different profile pic for personal and professional pages allows you to see more easily which page you are working from (more on that in a minute.)

Step four: you'll need a banner or cover photo, just like on your personal page. Now here's where I must acknowledge C.J. Ellisson, a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), who has been extremely giving of her expertise. Among many other hints she pointed out that most people who look at an author page click on the banner and that's it. So your banner should speak to who you are and what you write (duh!!) That's my new banner above. It shows my books, reflects the images on my website, and includes my fox logo. And if you click on it, it now references my website and what I write.

Step five: know how to toggle between your personal profile and your professional page. For the longest time I thought that if I went to the menu at the left of my personal page and selected my author page I was moving into that format. Nope. You have to go to the flywheel at the upper right and select "Use Facebook As" and then your Author page.

This is important because only "pages" can like "pages" so when you like a professional page as your professional page you are keeping business with business.

Are you with me? On the screen shot above you can see that I've selected the flywheel and what drops down allows me to toggle back and forth between my author page and my personal profile. (You'll also see that at one time I created a FORGIVEN page, but I find that I have enough to manage between personal and professional, and that FORGIVEN page lies mostly idle.) You can also maybe make out that my little profile pic is different. Now I know which page I'm working from as I scan Facebook because these pics are different from personal to professional. Believe me, it's not always obvious, which you will see as you play with this.

There are other tips I'm learning I'll leave them for next week.


Kathy Duval said...

Thanks for this great article, Janet, and the upcoming ones on this topic. Your author's page looks great!

Janet Fox said...

Thanks, Kathy! I confess I am the beneficiary of my RWA pals and the learning curve is steep.

And then FB will up and change things again...:)

I'll try and share all the helpful hints! Hugs (and congrats on your newest!!)

LinWash said...

This is so helpful! I still stumble around Facebook. Once I get this novel sold, I'll set up an author page. But since I'm writing under a pen name, I'm wondering how to do that.

Janet Fox said...

Linda - you can set up an author page under any name including a pen name. And I've seen aspiring authors set up a page now and just hold onto it.

FB is confusing...

Lynn Lovegreen said...

FB is confusing--I discovered I can't join a group from my author page. I'm looking forward to learning more from you, thanks!

Janet Fox said...

Hey Lynn - That doesn't surprise me. Your author page is essentially a promo device. I'm not sure you'd want it to be part of a group. But you can join groups from your personal page and then toggle back and forth.