Wednesday, July 10, 2013
The jury is in. After much soul-searching, I think I “like” Facebook.
An author friend of mine recently shared with me a conversation she had with the marketing department of a well-known publishing house. The latest craze is for authors to have plenty of “likes” on their Facebook Author Page and apparently, she didn’t have enough. Louise Penny has 13,081 “likes” – I just looked.
I didn’t even know the difference between an author or business page and a personal page (am I the last person on the planet?) But I do now. And here is a link to explain the difference in case you don’t either.
I had initially started a Facebook Author Page but abandoned it as a waste of time—I only had 12 “likes” and it seemed it was just one more social media chore I did not feel like doing. I had a personal Facebook page with several hundred “friends” but frankly I only stopped by to check on my nephews who were having a wild time at university. (My sister was too nervous to do so).
And then Kate Carlisle and Daryl Wood Gerber (with a gazillion “likes” between them) invited me to be part of a contest with free book giveaways they were holding on Facebook.
So I decided to try an experiment. I’d give Facebook a proper go.
The first thing I had to do was transition from a personal page to an Author Page. Having no clue as to how to keep my files, photos and “friends” I hired a virtual assistant for the first time in my life to help me (and she was worth every cent … thank you Sheridan).
It was completely painless.
Once the contest was launched last week, things got really interesting. My “likes” shot up to 1134 and are still climbing. From that, my mailing list (accessible via my Facebook page) began to grow which was encouraging because very few requests came via my website.
Using Mail Chimp I then sent out a newsletter. People responded. My website began to see traffic as opposed to the robots, spiders and weasels or whatever cyber creatures happen to stop by.
For the first time ever I felt I was not writing into a black hole. I could communicate with readers and banter with those who knew my characters. I also have a Vicky Hill Facebook page written in her voice that chronicle her daily adventures working on the Gipping Gazette. I have fun doing that one—even though it’s a little silly.
Of course whether or not all this effort actually sells more books is anyone’s guess! On that … the jury is still out. But I’ll keep you posted. On Facebook.