Marketing your Self Published Novel – Part II (Facebook)

In a previous Article I discussed how to start using Twitter to market yourself. In this second installment, we will explore Facebook and some of its many features.

It’s not Twitter, okay?

Before we dive headfirst into Facebook, you must understand that Facebook is not Twitter. I think this is one of the biggest problems for individuals who began their marketing campaign on Twitter and then went on to expand their platform to include Facebook. It is different. Twitter is more of your “breaking news” reel, where Facebook is a place for you to generate more in-depth, lively discussions. Okay, now that that is out-of-the-way we can start.

Should you use Facebook?

Yes. You should utilize as many sites as you possibly can when marketing yourself. My general rule of thumb: be EVERYWHERE. Even if you only get 20 new fans from Facebook, is that not 20 fans you didn’t have before? Exactly.

Where to begin?

Fan pages. You will need to set up fan pages as an author AND for your books. Note: your individual book pages will likely not grow at the same rate as your author page, but the idea here is it’s another avenue for a reader to find you.

And I talk about what there?

One thing that is often limiting when chatting on Twitter is the 140 character restriction. I mean, let’s face it, we are writers, so we can be a little wordy sometimes. Facebook is a great place to start more in-depth writing discussions, conduct polls, and share, share share!

Most importantly, it is a place where you can update your fans about your writing progress, as well as post updates on your blog. And, there is an app on Facebook that makes some of this sooooo much easier! Networked Blogs is something I HIGHLY recommend you use. You can set it up to automatically publish your blog posts, including being able to have it post on multiple fan pages, and even on Twitter. It makes blogging easy and streamlined, and readers also have an opportunity to “follow” your blog if they so choose.

You’re my favorite

You have the option, once you “like” a page, to add it as a “favorite” on your own page (it’s an option located all the way down at the bottom left of every fan page). I like to use this feature to add my individual book pages to my author page, and vice versa. Great way to link fans to your other sites. Of course, if you have extra special writer friends, you could always add their page to yours too. Remember, cross-promoting will get you far. I promise.

You’re invited

Create events and invite your group or fans to them. It could be a contest you are hosting, a book launch, book signing, etc. Events are another avenue in which you can share with the masses something they may have missed on your website or didn’t catch on Twitter.  I’m adding a little extra to this based on a discussion I had with a fellow writer: I want to stress when creating an event do not spam all your group members or fans with an auto invite.  Invite the ones you honestly know have shown interest and then share your event link on your Facebook wall and on the twitter stream.  There are some writers who feel the need to send out invites seemingly on a daily basis or weekly, there is no need for this.  Create events for your BIG items and again, be cautious of who you automatically invite.  The last thing you want to do is drive others away because of an excessive amount of communications.

It’s a group thing

Since I do enjoy talking shop and sharing writerly information with others, I started a Facebook Group called Fellow Writers. On this page is where I direct most writing-related questions. What is nice about groups is you don’t have to worry about bombarding your personal Facebook friends and fans with information that may not be pertinent to them. Now, it doesn’t have to be a writer’s group, you could start a reading club, a specific genre club, the possibilities are endless, so BE CREATIVE.

So, what exactly is the purpose of Facebook?

The purpose of Facebook is mainly to tap into a group of individuals who may not be on Twitter (shocking, I know, but there are quite a few peeps who don’t tweet), and of course, to generate more lively discussions with others, which can often be cumbersome to do on Twitter.

Now, with all this Twitter/Facebook talk about differences, let’s not forget to use Twitter to promote Facebook. Tweet out links to your any groups you create and of course share your fan page.

Facebook will not be anywhere near as active as your Twitter stream, but it is still beneficial. I have made many connections that I might not have otherwise made.

Some of this may feel redundant as you do it, and that’s normal. When I first starting using multiple social media sites, I felt like I was saying the same thing over and over and over again. But, that’s the point, because every time you share something on a new site, it is almost guaranteed that someone new is going to catch it.

Facebook has several other features, including running ads, which can be most helpful when trying to drive more focused attention to your book, but for this week I will leave you here. Later on in the series we will talk about running ads on several different sites and we will revisit Facebook at that time.

Questions? Utterly confused by what I just wrote? Leave me a comment, stalk me on Facebook or tweet me on Twitter and we’ll chat.

Next week, I plan to introduce you Goodreads and all the wonderful things it can do for you.

Until then, Happy Marketing!

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20 thoughts on “Marketing your Self Published Novel – Part II (Facebook)

  1. The only thing I’d disagree with on this list of good, pratical tips is the use of events. I honestly get so tired of my 800 friends constantly inviting me to their “virtual book launch” for every release, short story they write, every book signing they do or otherwise using events as a tool to “remind” me to buy their books.

    Because of this abuse (I get anywhere from 10-50 “event” invitations per week), I delete them all unread, and I unfriend people who constantly send out multiple “event” invitations. I live in Scotland. I’m not going to come to a book signing in Toledo and I don’t like Facebook being used to spam me.

    • India – GREAT POINT. Yes, we need to not spam people. I would recommend creating an event, sharing the event on your page and inviting those whom you know would have interest. I too receive loads of invites everyday. Another spam I get is private messages being sent out to groups. No need for that on a daily basis!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • I also agree with this point. Why invite me when I am obviously across the pond from you? However, I find virtual events to be different. If all the action is going to take place on Facebook, then anyone can attend. To me, this is not nearly as “spammy” as brick and mortar events. And, I find this to be an added value to Facebook. Virtual events with or without a prize, contest, etc is a valuable tool. It’s like a one-time group where everyone gets together and discussing a singular topic. But, maybe its just me.

  2. Lisa, great post, very well said. I was a huge anti-social media person up until I ran headlong into Twitter in January when completing my novel. Found some incredible fellow authors…just set up a fan page on Facebook, and will be working to expand that part. Just great to have so many ways to get in front of people!


  3. I am so happy to see this post! Facebook is not redundant, and it pains me to see Indie’s who don’t think it’s worth the time to build/update their FB page(s). I find it is the best place to talk to readers, host giveaways, or find out more about authors I’m interested in.

    It’s a step down from your writers blog (which can be daunting for the average reader) and a step up from the blink-and-you-miss-it immediacy of Twitter.

    Twitter is The Place To Be for meeting new writers, but it makes no sense (to me) to promote to other writers, most who are more often than not focused on writing than reading, and need quality information on their craft from fellow authors (like this post for example). Not to be promoted to the entire time.

    Totally surprised people look at Facebook as, “Possibly an option since I am already on Twitter”.

    Facebook won’t be as active as your Twitter stream, but as Indie’s we need to remember its about quality not quantity.

    Great post! :D

    • Thanks Penelope!! You hit the nail on the head with facebook, it really is a GREAT way to become connected with readers and other writers :)

  4. I agree with Penelope and I do love this post!
    I only just started using Twitter and I have always found Facebook to be much simpler.
    Twitter is so fast paced and, though it is an amazing place to meet new people, I don’t know how to even keep up with the posts. I do find the people on Twitter to be much more involved with each other, though.
    Not sure why anyone would only choose one when trying to market anything. I agree 100% that the more places you are, the better the chance of someone seeing you that would otherwise have remained unaware of your existence.
    Thanks for the ideas, as always!

  5. Another great post.

    I know I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to Facebook then to Twitter.

    I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time, but I have fun doing it. I think that is key. If you don’t like it, people will see that.

    • HI Casey, thanks for stopping by to read and comment! And I would have to agree with you on the having fun part, it makes all the difference, doesn’t it? :)

  6. I like Facebook and am pretty familiar with it, but you taught me stuff in this post that I didn’t know. Now I have one question. Is there a way to put a permanent link or button on your personal Facebook page that leads to your author page?

    Looking forward to the Goodreads post. I know nothing about that. :)

    • Hi Lisa! So glad I was able to share some new things about FB! I wish there was a way to have a permanent link between the two pages, but sadly there isn’t. Maybe one day they will! :)

      • I just tried to fool Facebook by adding a link to my author page where Employment should go, but it didn’t work, even when I said “self-employed”. I did add it under “websites” in “contact info” but that’s way down at the bottom of the page and doesn’t show on the wall. Bummer.

  7. Very good advice, LM. Facebook is where I started. It can suck up all of your time, if you are not careful. I see many writers spend more time on Facebook or Twitter than they do writing. That isn’t good!

    I like all of the people I have met through Facebook, but I know I haven’t added everything I can. I’m going to add a few more pages and get things rolling better.

    Has anyone created a LM Stull fan club? You’ve been so helpful, I’m a fan, friend and thankful promoter.

    Facebook is nice, but don’t forget to watch the clock.

    Draven Ames

  8. As a new author and not very tech savvy, I found this to be extremely benefical. I am anxious to see if you have any comments or rec’s for YouTube as a publicity device. Thank you for all the advice. I do concur with India, I fear that my friends will grow wrestless and worn down by all my book excitement. It has only been released for a week and my publisher wants me to promote it everywhere. But after a couple of weeks, I am wondering if I should taper back a bit on Facebook.

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