Facebook Fan Page, or Nah?


I’ve been low-key stalking authors and entrepreneurs on Facebook for a while now. I’m not ashamed to say that cyberly speaking I’ve been lurking in dark alleys, sitting low in my ride and hiding behind oversized newspapers. Which in and of itself should have been a red flag because when’s the last time you saw anyone read an actual newspaper in public? There’s an app for that. But, since no one can really see me, it doesn’t matter. Ok, so this little analogy has gone way off base. Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s worth it for an author to have a dedicated fan page on Facebook. Is it worth the hassle? Does it benefit the author and provide maximum exposure? And the ultimate bottom line: does it help sell books? Surprisingly, the answer is more complex than you might think.


Scheduled Posts— With a fan page an author has the ability to schedule posts for particular days and times. This means that they don’t have to actively post links to their websites, promotional sales, etc.  They also have the benefit of posting content at peak times without disrupting their personal schedule. For instance, an author that lives on the west coast, but has a large fan base on the east coast can schedule posts during the east coast lunch hour: a time when most people check their social media. If an author is a planner, they can schedule constant posts for weeks in advance. A definite plus when considering an authors actual job is to write amazing books, not juggle social media. But that’s a whole other post.

Advertising— Facebook offers advertising incentives for businesses. When an author chooses to create a fan page, they have the opportunity for targeted marketing. At a price of course. For a daily budget ranging from $5.00 to $20.00 Facebook will advertise your page or author website to people who have interests related to the author’s content.  A good example is a children’s book author who chooses to target her advertisements to women aged 21-35. The promotion can be a one time deal, or run continuously until the author chooses to stop.

Stats— On the fan page Insights tab the author has access to statistics that tell them how many people their content reached, how many ‘liked’ it, how many people clicked on links to other content (like blog posts), and overall engagement. There is also the option to boost individual posts by paying a fee. Something that can be really helpful when promoting a new book or event.



Interaction–With a fan page authors are limited in their interaction with their fans. Meaning that they do not have access to their fan’s page’s and cannot comment or like their status’. There is no news feed on a fan page, so the opportunity to engage with other people is limited to anyone that might comment on the author’s status. In my cyber stalking I discovered that many authors counteract this problem by having both a personal Facebook page and a fan page. They ‘friend’ all kinds of people and are better able to interact with them.

Unseen Posts–The business phenomenon that is Facebook is far from stupid. They’re not about to give away what they can get someone to pay for. Chances are that if someone takes the time to create a fan page, they’re looking for exposure and will eventually have something to sell. Therefore, if an author wants exposure, they’re sure going to pay for it. Without opting to use Facebook’s advertising, many posts from a fan page will get lost. News feed exposure is based upon ‘likes’. Posts with the most ‘likes’ appear at the top of users news feed’s. Therefore, if an author doesn’t have a huge and engaged fan base, many of their posts will never see the light of day. Facebook will make sure the author knows this by showing them on their handy-dandy stats page. Like I said, far from stupid. Again, smart authors counteract this by engaging on their personal Facebook page. When they’re ready to drop a new book, or offer a sale on an old one they can reach more people on their personal page.

Marketing/Engaging Using Personal Page–An author must be careful to remember that, once they decide to use their personal page to mix business and pleasure, they take certain precautions. Everyone that is a friend on Facebook ain’t friendly. Personal information like where the author lives, their spouses or children’s legal names, pictures of their homes or possessions should be shared with caution. It’s also important to remember that a published author has a brand, and status updates or posts should never conflict with that brand.


I don’t have one. Whether or not to have a Facebook fan page is totally up to the individual. There are pros and cons to both having and not having one. Do some research and find out what works best for you.

And I’m pretty sure you saw this coming….Connect with me on my Facebook Fan Page!!!

Chime in authors: Do you have a Facebook fan page? Do you find it easy to reach and interact with people using it? Would you recommend that a new author start a fan page or simply allow strangers access to their personal page? Any precautions if they choose to do that? Feel free to leave a link to your fan page in the comments!

Photo credit: dkalo / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: boltron- / Foter / CC BY-SA





Feeling a Little Like Macklemore

Office Worker with Mountain of Paperwork

So the other day I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook (the absolute definitive source for foot-in-mouth syndrome) and I came across an author avidly defending a tweet in which she compared self-published literature to the slush piles of major publishing houses. This author spewed out about 24 paragraphs on Facebook to explain away a mere 140 characters on Twitter. I’m not here to cast stones, so I won’t reveal her name or go into all the ways I both agree and disagree with her. I will say that I was a little offended. She let the air out of my tires, so to speak. She also got me thinking.

You see, I like to indulge in the fantasy of comparing my own budding self publishing efforts to that  of unsigned musicians. Don’t judge me. I like the idea of emerging as an underground artist having struggled to get my ‘demo’ into the hands of discriminating fans, most of whom obtained it at bass pulsating smoke filled clubs. Independent artists have ‘street cred’. They come up the hard way and they have a fan base that makes the industry labels take notice. Indie artists have more control over their work and the respect of their peers since they’re able to focus more on authenticity and less on commercialization. All that being said, the overall goal is to get signed. Because when you get signed, you have a money machine behind you that’s able to reach far more people than any unsigned artist ever could in clubs across the nation. The difference is that the independent artist doesn’t wait for the labels to give them permission to make music. They make the music, and put it out there to succeed or fail.  Then, if they’re lucky, the labels come to them.

I’m not a musician. Please don’t get that confused. I was just momentarily caught up in an analogy that went on a little longer than I anticipated. But, I’m a writer who’s new to the game. I believe I have something to say that other people need to hear. I believe that what I have to say is relevant whether a major publishing house agrees or not. Self-publishing is changing the publishing industry in ways that have authors, editors, agents and publishers up in arms. Writers now have the privilege of putting their work out there and letting readers decide if they want to see more. Writers also have the responsibility of producing quality work that makes readers ask for more. Publishing power has shifted. More of it belongs to writers, however the majority of it belongs to readers; and that’s exactly how it should be.

Macklemore said it best:

Money, stay on my craft and stick around for those pounds,
But I do that to pass the torch and put on for my town
 Trust me. On my I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T s**t hustler,
Chasing dreams since I was fourteen with the four track bussing
Halfway cross that city with the backpack, fat cat, crushing

Labels out here,
Now they can’t tell me nothing
We give that to the people,
Spread it across the country

So let’s put our pens up like the ceiling can’t hold us.