Do’s and Dont’s For A Successful Facebook Author Page

Written by Chantelle Atkins | October 1, 2015

Famous Authors On Rejection

Not everyone enjoys Facebook, but it does have the potential to be a very useful tool when it comes to building your author platform. Facebook is huge and many different types of businesses use it to reach and sell to customers.

As an author, you are trying to promote and sell your book, and you need to be able to reach the right sort of people to do this. You need to build an audience who connects with you and your work, and to do this you need to build a professional and engaging platform. Creating and maintaining a Facebook author page is just one way you can do this, and here are some tips to make it as successful as possible when it comes to finding and keeping fans.

DON’T only post when you have a new book out. 
Too many authors do this and it seems unfair to me. If you are successful and your sales are great, then I can understand the temptation to only post on your author page when you want people to know about your new book.
To me though, this seems a little rude. Your author page has the potential to promote give and take; a relationship between author and reader that cannot really exist on Twitter or within emailed newsletters. If you have an audience that already likes your work, then reward them by posting regularly. Let them know what you are working on, offer sneak peeks and extracts from new work or remind them of your previous books.
If you are a newer author, or one just building your platform, then you need to put the groundwork in, and only posting when you have a book out is not going to work. For one thing, if you ignore Facebook, Facebook will ignore you back. If people don’t see posts from you, they will be unable to like, comment, and share, and then Facebook will assume they are not interested in your content anymore and will limit the reach of your posts. In short, when you do post, less of your fans will see it. You may find yourself talking to yourself and wondering where everyone has gone. Aim to post at least three times a week. Personally I try to post three or four times a day, and at different times of the day so that people around the world don’t miss my posts.
DON’T only talk about yourself.
You are not alone in the writing world. There are authors who are lesser known than you who could do with a mention, a share, or even a read and review, and there are authors that are better known than you whose content, success, and advice is worth sharing on your page.
Don’t make it all about you. Without a doubt you should post about your latest book, and post often, and certainly share your good reviews and tell people how much they mean to you. Share your blog, and anything else you are working on.
After all, people have liked your page to find out more about you as a writer. But don’t neglect other writers in the process. It is important to foster a sense of community spirit, and the chances are, a high proportion of your fans are other writers. Link up with them. Like their pages, and share their posts and books. Follow other blogs and share these.
Follow pages about writing and publishing and share these too, in order to open up discussion and debate on your own page. People will soon get turned off if you make your page only about yourself and never give anyone else a mention.
DON’T moan or be negative.
This is prob ably the fastest way to put people off and lose likes. Save the negativity for your personal page, although I wouldn’t advise moaning about lack of sales on there either. If you want people to view your writing as credible and worth a look, then you need to present yourself as a professional at all times.
Yes, we all have bad writing days. Days when we want to quit, days when we want to gripe about people who promised to buy the book but never did, days when we want to chastise those who never leave reviews. Don’t be tempted to be negative on your author page. Just don’t.
People who like your author page do not want to hear you whine. You can bring up these points with amusing memes from time to time, but if you use your author page to rant or be negative, then you risk losing followers. Nothing will make me scroll past or even unlike a page faster than a constant pity party. Turn negatives into positives. Put out a determined, steely image, and let people know that you will just keep trying. Remember that you are a professional and act like it.
DO keep it active.
I’ve already mentioned that you should resist only posting about your book. So what should you post about to keep the content coming? Well, write a blog and share your posts. Invite comments and opinions. Share your short stories, poems, articles, anything else you are writing or have written. Share articles from other writers and websites that are about writing and publishing.
I tend to save links on my phone when I am busy, and then when I am on the laptop I go through and read them all and share the best ones to my author page. Any top tip lists are usually popular. How to write a synopsis, how to write a query letter, how to create a front cover, any subjects like these should be interesting to other writers and to readers.
Make and share memes. Talk about what you are working on and how it is going. If you leave the page inactive, then people will forget about you and move on. Put the effort in to see results.
When I first started my page it took me nearly a year to hit 100 likes. I was talking to myself the whole time and could have given up at any point. But I kept going, kept sharing, kept pushing and posting and building. If yours is small now, think where it could be a year, two years, three years from now. Nothing is built overnight. Keeping it active is one of the most important things you can do to attract more attention.
DO invite debate and discussion
By this, I mean keep it engaging. Keep people on their toes. Think of your author page as your own little TV show. You are the star and you can post and talk about whatever you like, but you know you have got to keep your audience hooked. Mix it up a little.
Post a regular feature, which people will come to recognize and look forward to. It could be a regular top tips feature. It could be a regular competition or giveaway. It could be a pay-it-forward section where you highlight other authors and promote their work.
Get your fans involved in the writing process. Invite them to judge the best synopsis you have written. Ask them to help you name a character and then announce the one you have chosen.
Ask their opinions on things and show them that they are part of the process. Share articles that encourage debate. Interesting topics like traditional publishing versus self publishing, should authors give their work away for free, and so on, will all get people involved and talking. The more likes and comments you get, the more people will see your posts and your page.
DO remain friendly and professional
Encourage that community spirit by acting in a friendly and welcoming manner on your author page. Stay positive at all times. Respond promptly to the messages, comments and shares that you receive. Thank people for being there and for being involved. Like other author pages in return. Check out their books, and maybe even read and review them on your page. Maintain a professional and approachable image and people will come to respect your page.
Facebook is a great way to reach readers and writers. It gives you the chance to showcase your writing skills and present yourself in a positive light. Be helpful and kind and pay it forward wherever you can.
Also it is important to remember to edit you Facebook page just as you would an article, story or blog post. Before you post something, check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Ensure it makes sense and works in the right way to grab attention. Even short posts about what you are doing need to be checked and need to look professional. After all, your page and what you put on it is trying to encourage people to buy your books!
If things are slow in the beginning, it can be tempting to throw in the towel and forget about your author page. I don’t believe Facebook is the answer to great sales, but it can be a part of building that platform and growing that audience.
The best advice I can give is choose three social media sites to work on, and put this amount of effort into all of them. Otherwise you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and not really engaging with anyone, or convincing anyone to read your work. Don’t forget that sites like Facebook are free, and used regularly by millions of people around the world. Like writing itself, promoting your work is not easy, and you need to stick with it, even when it seems futile. It may take time, but you will see it build.
Bio: Chantelle Atkins is the author of four novels including The Mess Of Me and recently released This Is Nowhere. She lives in Dorset, England with her husband and four children. Atkins work is often described as gritty and character driven, and she writes within both the adult and young adult genres. Connect with her on Facebook.