Facebook: Friend Or Foe?

Hi Chaps!

I'm putting the finishing touches to my column for Writing Magazine for next month. I thought I'd make this one more about 'how to' rather than case studies, but it looks a bit forlorn without quotes, so - if you're very quick - here's your chance to get into print. THIS GOES IN TODAY - MONDAY. If you find this post later, you're too late. I'm particularly interested to find out:

  • How do you use Facebook, in an author capacity?
  • Do you split your friends and family Facebook from your writerly experience, or mush the lot together?
  • What does Facebook do brilliantly, that you can't find on another network?
  • Have you noticed an increase in sales since using Facebook?
  • What strategies work best for you?
  • Which author makes the best use of Facebook? (Give their Facebook URL)
  • What annoys the heck out of you about Facebook?
Spread the word, and get this post buzzing. I'm linking back here from the article anyhow, so you'll be seen whether you make it into print this time or not.

Don't forget (part 1), it's Word Nerd Monday. My post goes up on Groupon this afternoon (so some of those who responded to my last post will be published on Grouopon today!) 

Dont forget (part 2), I just put up a follow gadget at the bottom of the page on the right. Click the button and feel virtuous.

Don't forget (part 3), I made a little ebook for you. If you subscribe in the sign-up box in the sidebar - or the bar across the top - you'll get it. Free. 

Oodles of hugs, 


Paul Carroll said...

I use Facebook to combine my friends and family with my writing life by linking to blog posts and reviews. This not only encourages them to look at my posts, it also encourages small discussions about books I review.

The difference between Facebook and other sites, such as Twitter, is that the 'like' system. While Twitter users can be reluctant to retweet posts by other users in some cases, on Facebook users have the option of 'liking' posts, and also sharing it. Posts are also more likely to be seen on Facebook than on other sites; tweets can go missing from a user's home page, whereas links on Facebook, if they receive enough attention, can be seen in the Top News feed, thus sustaining an audience throughout the day.

Ayoub said...

What annoys me most about facebook is the poor signal to noise ratio... There is often too much noise, and not enough actual content.

Of course, having said that, facebook is a great tool for keeping yourself in the minds of your readership.

I'm at http://facebook.com/ayoub

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

I use Facebook purely in an author capacity, but do allow a few 'friendy' bits to sneak in, as they're my customers and readers too. I never stick family pictures or details up on any internet site as a rule.

I use Facebook in the same way as Twitter for alerting my followers to new blog posts,reviews and news about my book/publisher. Posting (and having quite a bit of fun!) on Facebook does generate extra traffic to my blog - the stat's do not lie! I've also discovered a huge amount about other writers and publishers through Facebook.

I like how easy it is to link via Facebook too, just a few clicks to get a Youtube clip up - no annoying, fiddly embedding!

I never thought I'd get into Facebook,but, as they say, you can never have too many friends.

Rachel Lyndhurst - Author



Fourth Grade Teacher said...

As an author of a very recently e-published book, I reactivated my Facebook account so that I could generate traffic to the book's web site. I anticipate that my initial customers would be friends and family, and the book would then spread by word of mouth. Facebook increases that pool to include "friends" -- people I'm connected to through games or networks. I do plan to create a write Facebook page at some point, having only recently learned of this possibility. Facebook gives me a much wider audience than Twitter does, with the ability to spread messages to people who aren't on your specific friend list; this is what Facebook does brilliantly. For example, anyone who commented on my post announcing my book simultaneously shared the publication news with their own friends list. However, I still don't have any inherent trust in Facebook, which is annoying. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001034187200

Anonymous said...

I find that I have all of my family friends and fans on my facebook. This makes it easier to put things out when I have released new episodes of any shows I am doing, promoting the lastest issue of Flagship for Flying Island Press, or doing some cross promoting for fellow writers.

The downside to all of this (and I may change it shortly) is that my fans can see anything and everything that I post on facebook. Being that I am not very verbal about my life it does tend to make it easier to be aloof about things that are going on personally. At the same time if any of my friends or family post anything relatively personal on my wall, it can be seen by anyone.

The benefit of this is that it does bring me closer to the fans. They feel connected in my writing/ acting/ production process as well as invested in my life, of which they are a great part. With out the positive and constructive feedback I get from them I would not feel the drive to keep tinkering and improving on my crafts.

Thanks for this post.

Laura Frechette
Writer, Voice Actor, Editor, Producer, Gypsy Pirate

Rebecca Woodhead said...

This is fab! Great comments. Keep them coming. :)

patti bright said...

What annoys me about Facebook is no one bothers to read the stuff you've written because they're too busy working on an imaginary farm!

What doubly annoys me is people who post things like 'I'm having a pot noodle for tea' - honestly, who cares?

The best things about Facebook is people you 'like' ie: authors, keep you up to date with where they are and what they're doing. Like twitter only a bit better.

Plus you can link people to your blog/blogs and get people to read your work and the best thing in the world is when your blog gets followers!

And lastly, I haven't yet used FB to tell the world I'm a writer (small town - people will point at me in the street and say tee hee, she says on FB she's a writer) But as an aspiring writer I do like to collect characters and boy, do you find them on Facebook.

Patti Bright - writer



Susie said...

I use Facebook to allow me to create a fanpage for my newly published book, the Sky's the limit. I like the way people can view small snippets of a page that I am posting about. They then have the option to click on the link to vew the full article, which then drives traffic both ways. I also like the "liking" as it allows you to see what types of posts people like the most, whether it be a daily quote, a page of a website and or a piece of my written work

Susie Bennett - Author



Emma said...

I don't use Facebook in an 'author' way at all.

I have added some of the favourite writers to my 'Likes' on Facebook but don't think Facebook is as useful in connecting like-minded people, such as writers.

I'm not sure why this is, if I'm being totally honest. I feel that Twitter helps me feel more 'connected' to other writers and bloggers. I also feel that Twitter is a friendlier online community than Facebook.



Summer Solstice Girl said...

I'm not an author per se (at least, it never occurred to me to call myself one) but I do blog and I write poetry every now and then, so I guess I'll make a comment.

1. I do not use Facebook as an author but I do use it a lot. I engage with people but mostly I use it to promote and share links about issues I'm passionate about, like being green, stop using bottled water, Mental Health awareness and such.

2. I have created different groups related to my job. It makes easier to reach the right segment.

3. I think Facebook is great to keep in touch with family and friends abroad. I like that I can have secret groups so we can share photographs, anecdotes, or simply keep in touch.

4. N/A

5. N/A

6. I particularly like Neil Gaiman's FB page. http://www.facebook.com/neilgaiman

7. That'd be the "targeted" ads that try to sell me stuff I'm not interested in


Summer Solstice Girl said...

oh yeah, and that's

Claudia Petrilli - Blogger


Nell Dixon said...

I mix and match my writerly friends and readers with my family and friends. I like the fun, sociable element and the chance to get to know my readers better. I have fun, talk about writing, my life and have it linked to my blog so people can see what I'm working on and what's coming out soon from me.
Nell Dixon - author

Charles Green said...

Facebook feels to me more like about staying in touch with friends and family. Twitter I find much more powerful for communicating business content--I try to tweet about others' cool content so I earn the right to do a little self-promo along the way. And I read like-minded tweets for the same reason.

Kate said...

I mostly use my personal Facebook page to connect with friends but a few business acquaintances might sneak in to my friends list if I have interacted with them socially e.g. met them previously at a networking event and had a good chat. I use my Chichester Copywriter Facebook fanpage as more of a communication hub to talk about my writing experiences, to post links to my latest blog posts, to talk about the books I’m reading, to share the things that inspire my work and to communicate with other creatives. This certainly has more of a work emphasis than my personal account, as I believe it should be. It can become irritating for your friends if you start harping on about your business all the time as some people just want to switch off and talk about trivial stuff. Those friends who support you will usually become fans of your business page anyway, so you get the best of both worlds with Facebook.

I’ve made a number of contacts with creatives at networking events and then found them again on Facebook. Conversely, I’ve met people on other creative fan pages, got chatting online and then met up with them in person. In that sense, Facebook has helped me to increase business opportunities rather than actual sales. I think that Facebook is more about creating a community and that’s why engaging in conversations with your fans and asking their opinions about your writing etc can be really helpful and can help you grow as a writer/business.

Katy Lassetter: Copywriter and aspiring author



Rachael said...

Well, I started a blog (about writing my book, and gardening, and cake, and chickens, and life) which led to a Facebook fan page for the blog. People feel more comfortable chatting on there, and it has definitely helped to build a following of readers-to-be for my as yet unpublished novel. It has even attracted an agent, who contacted me via Facebook and asked to read the novel I'd written on the strength of some of the writing she'd seen there. So I'd say Facebook is a very useful tool for writers.

Jane Holland said...

I use Facebook most days to keep in touch with what other authors and editors are doing within my area of writing. I also use it to let others know how my own life's going, and like to combine writerly posts with domestic comments. My whole life is about writing and editing, so it seems unnecessary and artificial to separate the two on Facebook.

Having said that, I also write historical fiction under a pseudonym, and have a separate Facebook and Twitter account for that persona, where I only post about relevant writing experiences.

There isn't much I dislike about Facebook, except that it keeps changing while you're not looking!

I was born for social networking, so spend many hours every day on Facebook, Twitter, or commenting on other writers' blogs. It has definitely increased my public profile, though whether it has helped my sales remains to be seen. Those who go all out to self-promote rarely make as many friends as those who just go with the flow.

Many writers denigrate what they consider "wasted hours" spent on Facebook and Twitter, but I suspect new personal contacts made via social networking sites are the most important thing to come out of any time spent there. In some cases, such contacts can turn a writer's career around.


Debbie said...

I love Facebook because it mimics my life. I can have friends and colleagues in the same 'room' if I like. I can talk about my home and career, or neither. I can make new friends and alliances and I can promote my business and make sales.

What's not to like.

Extremely Average said...

"Facebook is another channel for promotion. It only take about 250 sales in a week to crack the top 100 on Kindle, which I believe is a tipping point. When I publish my first book in the Henry Wood Detective series, I will use FB, to help get some of those sales. It is my hope that after the first week, the quality of the writing and word of mouth will help find new readers, beyond friends and family."

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