Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Book

There was a time when MySpace trumped Facebook for creative types, but the tide has turned, at least where writers are concerned. As Wendy Gardner, of Gardner Publicity, notes, the site serves writers well because "Facebook allows you to create a fan/group or book page, where you can post a photo of your book cover, a synopsis of your book, and news, as well as send email messages to your fans or members without necessarily having to be 'friends' with them."

When setting up your Facebook page, be sure to include the URL for your website, then go to settings, click on "Blog/RSS," and input your blog's public URL. This will automatically stream your headlines as updates onto Facebook. But don’t be afraid to get creative. Social networking sites are like LEGOs: they provide the materials; you figure out what is possible. Tom Rob Smith used his "Info" tab to post reviews of his latest book, The Secret Speech, and Amanda Eyre Ward created a book group for Love Stories in This Town, which includes information about her book tour. This allows her to communicate directly with her biggest fans about this book in particular -- and allows them to communicate with each other.

If you feel frustrated getting Facebook set up, however, know that you aren't alone. The interface isn't perfect; getting it to do what you want can take some time. And it can be unclear which type of page will serve you best. Again, I look to Jeffrey Yamaguchi's advice. Don't think of it as a place in which there's a wrong and right way of doing things. Experiment with the site to find ways of getting it to do what you want it to do.

However you use Facebook, decide at the beginning what kind of image you want to project. This may not be the arena for frat boy humor or personal revelations. Keep fans and professional contacts in mind when you post updates or photos. 

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