Welcome to an entire month of Top 5 Tips for Authors!
Every day this month my friends and I will bring you a new set of Top 5 Tips to help you along on your author journey. 2017 was a year of change in the Indie author world for sure. So many happenings. So many new things to learn. So many old things that didn’t quite do what you’d hoped. Well, every day is a new day. And every year is a new year. So we hope that this month’s worth of tips will get you the kick start you need to make 2018 your best yet and please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
JA Motherfucking Huss is the NYT bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestsellers list eighteen times. She writes dark shit that isn’t for everyone but once in a while she gets a joke in her that comes out as a romantic comedy. She’s a workaholic who lives on a ranch in Colorado. (This is her blog, BTW, so her links are all over the goddamned place so I’m not gonna post one here.)
This is the first post in a three-post series about using social media. All indie authors who want to sell books online need to use social media effectively. The three platforms I’m going to discuss are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The most important thing you can take away from this mini series is that they are all very different and attract a different kind of user.
Using Facebook as an Author
1 You need two separate spaces on Facebook as an author
First, you need a personal profile. This is the profile that has your real name on it. There are some strict requirements as far as real names go. If you use a pen name the easiest way to get around the real name requirement is to make a Personal Profile with your real name, then make a business page with your pen name, and use that to interact with fans.
The business page is the second thing you need on Facebook. Even if you don’t plan on running Facebook ads, you should have a page dedicated to your author business.
2 Use the appropriate space for the appropriate reasons
People new to social media often get confused and want to know what the difference is between the two spaces. The Personal Profile is where you collect friends and post the majority of things relating to you as a person. Some authors use the personal profile as an extension of their author page. I do that because my author name is also my real name.
This tip is not a hard and fast rule for “personal” stuff. Meaning you can, and probably should, post personal things on your Business Page. Fans really like it. But you cannot (at this time) run ads from your personal profile. You can’t boost a post to reach more people, either. At some point you’re going to want to run ads. The major purpose of an author page is to collect an “audience” (People who like your page and others like them) and use those audiences for marketing.
3 DO NOT, for any reason, BUY or FAKE the number of LIKES on your page
Not because it’s illegal (I don’t think it is) or unethical, it’s just stupid. Because if you have twenty thousand fake people who have liked your page because you “BOUGHT THEM” from a social media farm, you have a really shitty audience to run ads from. You basically just fucked yourself as far as marketing on Facebook goes. And really, what good are twenty thousand fake fans anyway? Social proof? Please. I can point to a whole bunch of accounts with hundreds of thousands of “Likes” on Facebook who have absolutely no organic interaction on their pages. Fake people don’t buy books, OK?
4 Authenticity goes a LONG way
This isn’t just about gathering true followers and likes on all your social media platforms, it also applies to you, as an author. Be real. People can tell. And yeah, there’s lots of fake people out there scamming their way to KU bonuses, but if you think KU is gonna last forever, or those bonuses are gonna last forever, or that spot on the Top 100 list is gonna last forever, I got news for you. NOTHING lasts forever.
If you cultivate a real fan base, with real people who like your page because they like YOU, then you’re miles ahead of any scammer, regardless of what rank they are on Amazon or how much money they made this month. Because YOU are creating a long-term CAREER, not a short-term scam.
5 Have fun…
Someone just posted this in my Facebook fan group today:
Just wanted to say of all the author groups I’m a part of Julie you are by far the most involved! I hope you know how much it means to most of us to have you personally respond to things posted! Merry Christmas to you and all the Shrike family! This fucking group rocks!
I can’t tell you why people like my group. I can only assume it’s because I’m in there all the time talking to them. That this, that post above, is the actual reason. I just like hanging out in there and answering questions and posting fun stuff. Lots of other authors do that on their personal profiles, but I like to do it in my group.
So just… find what you’re comfortable with and share with your fans. Not everyone is comfortable with sharing personal details, and to be honest, I really don’t post many personal things. I just post things I think they’ll be interested in. Like my new office, or my achievements. Or progress on a book.
Mostly I just talk to them. Go figure…