Facebook author pages is one of the best ways to promote your book. In this article I give step-by-step instructions on creating a page and getting likes.
Not only is Facebook the most popular social media site, with 1.55 billion active users registered in September of 2015 – with most people using this on their mobile phone, accessing it wherever they are, it’s also free for you to sign up and use. There is a website that has many of your target customers already signed up to it, just waiting for you to contact them, and you don’t even have to pay for the pleasure.
If you don’t already have an account, I strongly suggest that you do so now. All you will need is an email address or mobile number:
Once you are in, and you’ve familiarised yourself with the layout of the website, it’s time to look at the tools to help you become a successful author. If you are currently unpublished, that’s fine. In fact, it’s better to get yourself started before your first book comes out – you can build yourself a fan base that’ll be excited for your release, making your initial sales the sort of numbers you’ll want to be looking at!
Creating Facbook Author Pages
One of the most successful tools that authors use is Facebook author pages. These allow people to ‘Like’ you and your work, while you still maintain your personal profile privacy. You can keep the information you post solely about your work if you choose to. Fans can interact with you, and you can communicate with them as your own choice.
If this is something you’d like to do for yourself, you’ll find the ‘Create Page’ button on the menu down the left-hand side of the screen:
You will then be given a list of options to choose from, depending on how you wish to describe your Page:
Of course, you are free to choose whatever category you feel suits you best, but it’s important to note that most authors choose the ‘Artist, Band or Public Figure’ option – as writing is a form of art.
Once you’ve selected this category, a dropdown menu will appear, giving ‘Author’ as an option. It’s important to note that ‘Entertainment’ also offers ‘Book’ or ‘Book Series’ as an option – if you’d prefer to centre your Pages attention around your books.
Once you have entered your name, and clicked ‘Get Started’, you will move onto the next section. This is when you’ll enter all of the details about yourself. This needs to all be carefully considered, because it’s how you’ll draw fans in and attract new ones. If you really struggle with this, don’t worry, it is something you can come back to later – just don’t forget to do so.
About the Author
The ‘About’ section is where you can let people know more about you, and as stated on the form, it improves the ranking of your Page when people are searching. If you have an established author bio written, then use this, but maybe include some extra details about yourself – just to give your fans something new and exciting. Be sure to write about any books you have published – or anything you’re working on. If you’ve won any awards for your writing, that’s important to talk about too. Ensure your personality shines through – this will help you stand out from the crowd.
If you have a website, that is the best link to put in the ‘Website’ section as you can post links to all your other social media accounts there. If not, Twitter is always useful, as is the link to your book. Try to include something here.
Choosing the unique name for your Facebook Page is also something that needs consideration. Try to have something simple, but meaningful so you can refer people to it – even in the street! Having Facebook.com/yourname is much better that Facebook.com/1236jsdhnc_jfss.
The profile picture is also vitally important – it’s the first visual impression people will get of you. If you have a professional author picture, then use that. If you don’t, then it might be something worth considering. Authors often think that using their book covers is a good idea, but this can look messy as the thumbnail is a square – and most book covers are not. If you’re really struggling, why not get a designer on board to create you some professional-looking promotional material – including a Facebook Page Profile Picture.
‘Add To Favourites’ is a tool more for yourself. This will highlight the page on the left-hand side toolbar of your Facebook homepage, ensuring that you can access it with ease.
Setting your ‘Preferred Page Audience’ will help you with targeting. This can help you find the audience you need, so think about this very carefully. The ‘Location’ you pick may be wide-ranging, especially if you’re selling online, but have a think about where you really think people who will enjoy your books, live. It’s important to mention here that it’s been reported that one in five Facebook Page likes comes from America.
The ‘Age’ and ‘Gender’ you pick will depend entirely on the content you write. If there is a lot of explicit content, it may be best to select an older age-range, to prevent yourself from getting into any trouble. Picking ‘Interests’ will also contribute to the people who actually see your posts on their Facebook timeline. So, if you’re writing a romance novel, select ‘Romance Books’ in this section. It’s much better for a narrower audience to see your posts who are actually going to like the content, rather than a higher, but disinterested, quantity.
After you’ve entered all of this information, you will be taken to a (more colourful and exciting) version of this:
Don’t worry – at this stage, the Page is not live for the world to see. You can get it exactly as you like it before you ‘Publish’ the Page. There may be a lot you wish to play round with and it’s nice to have the option to do so before others can see it.
As you can see, there is a large space above where the profile picture goes. This is for your ‘Cover Picture’. It’s a great idea to promote your books here. Save your profile picture of you, and keep this for the books. If you have book cover(s), show them all off here:
If you don’t have a book cover yet, it’s a good idea to create promotional material for this. My main book series – the AM13 series (which so far includes Lockdown and Forgotten) – is centred around a zombie apocalypse, so I gathered up some people I knew, got a makeup artist and a photographer, and took some pictures to reflect this:
To help you along the way, Facebook will give you some tips to help you get the most out of your Page:
There are a lot more options available to you, by using the ‘Settings’ tab. This is found on the top menu:
Here you can go into even more detail to ensure your Page is exactly the way you want it. As you can see, each option on the menu down the left-hand side of the page has a selection of features that you can edit as you wish:
Then it’s time to go live! As you can see above, there is a ‘Page Visibility’ option, which can be changed to ‘Page Published’ at your convenience. You’re now visible to the world, and now is the time to start interacting with your audience.
Getting Likes for Your Page
To begin with, you need to concentrate on getting ‘Likes’ – this is when someone interacts with your Page, and chooses to follow it. The more quality people that do this, to more of your target audience you will reach. It’s reported that there are 4.5 billion ‘Likes’ generated daily – you just need to ensure that some of them are for you.
You can start by liking the Page yourself. The Like button is found in the bottom right-hand corner of the Cover Picture:
Then you should share your Facebook Page to your personal profile, to attract the attention of your friends and family. This is done by selecting ‘Share’ from the dropdown menu provided by the button on the far right-hand side of the Cover Picture menu:
If you have other social media accounts, it’s good to share the Page link that way – which is why it’s particularly useful to have a clear, concise link to post. There are also a lot of author, reader and book Groups on Facebook. This can be a great way to meet potential readers and generate Likes.
To search for the right Groups, use the Search Bar at the top left-hand side of the Facebook screen:
You can think outside the box with this one, and join groups where members might share interests that link to your books. It’s a really good idea to network with other authors who write within the same genre. Chances are, some of these already have readers – and readers who enjoy a particular genre are always looking for new books and authors. By meeting others, you can help each other out by posting about each other’s work – this is one of the best tips you can receive.
This website http://www.trainingauthors.com/facebook-groups-for-authors/ shows you the best groups for authors to post their book links. It’s important to remember that a lot of authors will be posting in these groups – and you need to make your book stand out from the crowd. Don’t just post the link – post some information about the book; the price, the blurb, a review…just something interesting to get some attention.
The final option you will find on your Status box, is ‘Event/Milestone’. When you click on that tab, the choice will be presented more clearly:
An Event might be a book signing, a competition you’re running, a book release party you’re holding. Whatever it is, if you select the ‘Event’ option, this option will pop up, giving you a whole range of details to enter about your event. The more information you put in here, the more attractive your event will be, because people will know exactly what’s happening:
Once your event is set up, and you’ve clicked the ‘Create’ button, found on the bottom right-hand side of the event box, you will be taken to the event page:
This gives you a lot of options. You can invite people, choose your own status (i.e. mark yourself as ‘Going’ to the event), and see how many people are interacting with the event by looking at the ‘Insights’ provided – don’t worry, that is only visible to you as the event creator.
This event will have its own section where you can post statuses and pictures related to the event – as can the people who have been invited. Be sure to keep on top of this – you don’t want to miss important questions. On your Facebook Page timeline, the event will look like this:
However, a ‘Milestone’ can be a significant date in your author career that you want to let your fans know about – like the date your book got published. If you choose ‘Milestone’ from the options, you will get this box pop up:
Here you can fill in all the details of your Milestone, before clicking on the ‘Save’ button. This will not be shown on your Facebook Page timeline, but will be visible to visitors in the ‘About’ section. The ‘About’ tab is located under your Cover Photo. Here you will see the ‘Page Info’ and ‘Milestones’ located on the left-hand side of the screen.
When you click on the ‘Milestones’ option, you’ll see what you have submitted. You can click on this for more information:
As you will have noticed, next to the ‘About’ tab, there are a number of other options; ‘Photos’, ‘Likes’ and ‘More’. This shows you the photographs you have uploaded and the number of people that Like your Page. The ‘More’ tab will show ‘Videos’, ‘Events’ and other applications that you will eventually add to your page as you become more used to using Pages.
If this is something you’d like to explore, click on the arrow to provide to dropdown menu, found next to the ‘More’ option. Then choose ‘Manage Apps’:
There are a number of applications available to you – some of which are very useful to authors. These are things that aren’t essential to run a successful Page, but do give users an enhanced experience.
The first option you’re given is to Reorder your tabs – this might be something you wish to do if you have something you feel is much more important to your fans especially as, although you can install up to 11 apps, only 4 are easily visible on the toolbar. For the others you’ll need your fans to click on the ‘More’ option. To do this, left click and drag the choices to move them. The other choice is to ‘Add Or Remove Tabs’. Click on this to see what you can use:
The option you will automatically have is ‘Notes’. This can be very useful for sharing book samples and other useful, longer posts. For other options, try looking in the search bar – found at the top left-hand corner of the screen. Often, whatever you type in will give you a solution. You can then follow the step-by-step guide proved by each application:
The most popular add on apps for all Facebook Pages have been reported to be the following. It may be worth looking through these for your own purposes:
- Spotify – show your fans what music you’re listening to as you write, or include playlists that link to a book.
- YouTube – create a book trailer or promotion.
- Pintrest – share images that have inspired you.
- Twitter – connect you tweets to keep your Page continually active.
- Goodreads – share your books from the social media website dedicated solely to writing.
- Rafflecopter – this website helps you create and promote really simple competition ideas – contests and freebies never fail to get your audience excited.
- Bookbuzzr – this tab helps you share samples of your books.
- Blog – if you have a blog, this can also be shared via your Page.
Create a Call To Action
The next feature we’re going to look at is ‘Create Call To Action’. This button has been designed to help you get visitors to your website.
When you click on it to set it up, you’ll be presented with this box, giving you a selection of choices, depending on your needs:
As you ideally want people to buy your books, ‘Shop Now’ is the option you will most likely wish to choose. Once you’ve picked this, pick the best link for you. This could be your website, the Amazon link to buy your book – wherever your fans can find your product will work:
Click ‘Create’ when you are ready. The button will then change from saying ‘Create Call To Action’ to ‘Shop Now’.
This can work the other way around too. You can link people from your website, to your Facebook Page. Nearly all website builders have the option to do this now. Linking everything to each other is a great way to keep your fans interested in you:
As you’ve seen from all of the information presented to you, Facebook Pages is all about connectivity. But how do you know if people are connecting with you? Well, we have already looked a little at notifications – which is something you can look at in more detail, by selecting ‘Notifications’ from the menu shown at the top of the screen.
This will take you to a screen showing you all of the Likes and Comments you posts have received. Obviously for this example, the Page hasn’t yet been published, so there aren’t any notifications. However, you can see the left-hand menu, which allows you to narrow down the notifications you have, to look at them more clearly.
The other options on that menu, include ‘Messages’. Your fans can message your Page privately, if they have something they wish to communicate with you. The ‘Message’ button is located at the bottom of your Cover Photo.
If you receive a message, you will be sent a notification via your personal profile. You can access it by going to your Page, and using the menu along the top of the screen:
Again, this example has no messages as it hasn’t yet been published, but gives you an idea of where you’ll locate them, and the things you can do. As your Page grows its fan base, the more messages you will receive. If this becomes overwhelming, simply slide the circle along the bar next to where it says ‘Show Status As Away’. This will alert your fans that you will reply as soon as you can.
The final option on the top menu of your Page is ‘Publishing Tools’. This will allow you see gauge how popular your posts are. You will be presented with a list of all the posts you have created, showing you how many people were Reached (i.e. how many people saw the post – this number will obviously be much higher if people interacted with the post), and how many people Liked and Commented on the post. Examine this data carefully – it will become invaluable to you. It’s free market research – what time is best to post, what sort of thing to people like to see and how can you improve?
Once your Page is published, another option will appear on that menu. ‘Insights’ – this consists of charts and graphs of everything happening within your Page as a whole – another extremely useful market research tool:
As you can see from my published Page, this shows you all of the information from the past week. There are red and green numbers with up or down arrows next to them. This compares your engagement to the previous week. The aim is to always have these numbers green (but of course, this isn’t always possible).