More About Facebook
by Jacquie Rogers
Kathleen Rice Adams gave us a good start on Facebook a few weeks ago (Facebook Knows All, Sees All, Confuses All) so I thought I’d get on the bull and ride for another eight seconds.
She wrote about Facebook basics—what you post and how it’s interpreted, and she explained the various platforms Facebook has to offer. I’m going to write about Facebook etiquette. There are some nuances that aren’t apparent at first, but once you think about it, you’ll slap your forehead and yell, “Of course!”
I think the most important thing to remember as authors is to respect other authors’ spaces. Think of an author page or a group as their home, and think of your author page or your group as your home. Because it is—it’s your own spot to decorate however you like. It’s your personal space to invite whoever you want to visit... and to keep whoever you want out.
When you visit someone’s house—someone who’s a friend of a friend and you don’t know personally—would you hammer a yard sign advertising your book on their front lawn? Would you sweep their decorations off the coffee table and replace them with promo materials featuring your book? Of course not. It’s the same at Facebook.
I have a group called Jacquie Rogers’ Pickle Barrel Bar & Books. The reason I started this group is because Facebook has throttled down the author pages so much that of my 1,112 likes, my posts go to maybe 40 or 50. Mind you, 1,112 people have said they want to see my posts, but Facebook thinks that I should pay for that privilege. This annoys me. So when, during a Facebook launch party, readers made a point of telling me that I should form a group, I did.
The Pickle Barrel is specifically for my readers, but I also include my friends. Most of my friends just happen to be authors (imagine that). I don’t allow anyone in whose timeline doesn’t indicate that they enjoy the type of books I write. My hope is that the Pickle Barrel will be a fun place for my readers to visit anytime they want to. My posts are specific to my author brand—humorous items, animal pictures and videos, hot cowboys, and geek writer cartoons. Occasionally, but not every day or even every week, I also post my books.
The constant barrage of advertising is a real deterrent and I want my readers to always have fun on my page and not have to endure the hard-sell. And readers become blind to these ads anyway. Do you want people to skip your posts because they know you’re just trying to sell them something? No. You want them to read all your posts, whether on your timeline, your group, or your author page.
I’m including blog posts in the “ads” category. I’ve polled my readers several times and you know what? Very few of them read blog articles—posts advertising your blog article are just more ads to them. Writers read blogs. Readers don’t, for the most part. A few will if they have a chance to win a book, but even then, probably not. Your blog post ad is just more noise to them.
So let’s go back to your “house.” You’re having a party. I get out of my car, pound a billboard with my book cover in your front lawn, then I come into your house and give all your guests brochures featuring my books, and no matter what you’re talking about, I steer the conversation back to my books. I might even turn on your TV and play my book trailer at full tilt boogie. Are you going to invite me to your next party? I highly doubt it.
Most of us would never, ever dream of being so rude—yet on Facebook, we do exactly the same thing, except it’s in cyberland and not the real world. But the results are the same.
So, you have a new release and you’re just dying to post it at the Pickle Barrel because you know every single person there reads western historical romance. How do you go about that? Easy—you don’t post it. You message me and say you have a new release, give me the buy link, and ask if I would post it for you. This accomplishes two things—first, you don’t look like a party crasher. Yes, my readers know a party crasher when they see one, and yes, they’ll message me about it. Second, your book will get a lot more attention if another person endorses it rather than you advertising it.
Now, back to what you should post on your own timeline, author page, and various groups. Do you write humor? Don’t post holocaust pictures. Post items that demonstrate the tone of your books such as cartoons and what not. Make your status updates fun. For the most part, don’t post bad news, and of course stay away from anything controversial. Unless controversy is part of your brand. Then go to it.
You’re a fiction writer. Fiction, fiction, fiction. It’s not real. Your author image is not real. If you’re fat and bossy, no one on Facebook needs to know it. Create your own fictional author image and stick with it. My image is (I hope) a fun, rural, animal-lover. Actually all three of those things are part of me, but I leave out the cantankerous, bossy, and stubborn parts. Or try. I’ve lived in the city half my life (yikes!) but I de-emphasize that.
See? Fiction. Your public persona. Figure out what you want to project and post accordingly.
And always be a gracious guest.
♥ ♥ ♥
Mail-Order Tangle. Caroline Clemmons wrote the first book, Mail-Order Promise, and Jacquie wrote the second, Mail-Order Ruckus.
Matt Johanssen returned to the ranch he and Kage started in Owyhee County, not knowing he took Laura's heart with him. Now that Ellie's happily married with a baby on the way, Laura wants a home of her own, and a husband and family to put in it. She signs a contract with a marriage broker and ends up in Silver City, near Matt's ranch. Only thing is, he isn't on the roster of eligible grooms.
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