How Authors Can Use Facebook Pages for Their Book Marketing

How Authors Can Use Facebook Pages for Their Book Marketing

Expert: Phyllis Zimbler Miller

With over 500 million members worldwide Facebook is a social media giant. And, as such, this is one online place that book authors should definitely be hanging out.

First, though, let’s clarify a couple of things because Facebook is very sensitive to misuse of its site.

The number one thing to remember is that you CANNOT use your Facebook personal profile as your “business” page. The personal profile should be in your name and not your book’s title. And it would be a good idea to have your photo and not your book cover as the profile’s photo.

The number two thing to remember is that Facebook is always changing – its rules, its software, its everything. What I write today can be totally different by tomorrow. Thus it’s a good idea to try to keep up with the major news about Facebook changes.

But here’s what may be most important for book authors who want to use Facebook to connect with potential readers:

Facebook has been continually making its site more business friendly. And business friendly is good for book authors.

In the past there were group pages and Facebook fan pages. These Facebook fan pages have become just Facebook Pages (although some people still refer to these as fan pages). Now people “like” your Page (instead of the old way of becoming a “fan” of your fan page).

And, of course, to add to the confusion, each Facebook Page has several tabs, which are really separate pages with separate URLs. For example, each time you add a “note” to the Notes section of a Facebook Page, it is the same as adding a post to a blog, including a permalink for that note the same as a permalink for that post.

While you can start a group for your book, because of the features that Facebook keeps adding to the business-oriented Page, in my opinion it now makes more sense for authors to create a Page for their book.

While you can start a group for your book, because of the features that Facebook keeps adding to the business-oriented Page, in my opinion it now makes more sense for authors to create a Page for their book.

That said, it is important to realize that, once you create a title for that Page, you cannot change it after you have 100 people who “like” the Page. Spend some time creating your Page title (up to 75 characters including spaces) to include keywords that would resonate with your target readers. This is vital because a Page title is searchable inside and outside Facebook.

Of course, on a Facebook Page it is appropriate to use your book cover as the Page’s photo. And if you have several books, you can add the covers of other books in the photos section of the Page.

You can also add your website’s email optin code to a Facebook Page in order to capture people’s emails directly on your Page. (For an example see the free report tab at www.facebook.com/bookmarketing)

And you can add your Page’s Facebook widget on your website to encourage people while on your site to “like” your Facebook Page. (For an example scroll down the right-hand side of www.millermosaicllc.com for the Facebook Page widget for www.facebook.com/bookmarketing)

(This “like” for a Facebook Page is NOT the same Facebook “like” that you can click regarding updates and comments while on Facebook or blog posts and website pages while off Facebook.)

And then there’s the whole subject of paying for Facebook ads – sending targeted people to your Facebook Page or even your website/blog.

Check out information about this topic at “How to Create a (Targeted) Facebook Ad


Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic. Read the company’s social media marketing blog.
Phyllis is also the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT as well as the co-author of FOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAYS and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION.

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13 thoughts on “How Authors Can Use Facebook Pages for Their Book Marketing

  1. Ziggy Kinsella

    Still not sure about the FB thing but know I’m going to have to bite the bullet on it soon rather than later. Maybe it’s my age but it seems to mystify me.

    Thanks for the post though

  2. Phyllis Zimbler Miller

    Patricia —

    I’m so glad that my post helped you begin to understand the power of having a Facebook Page.

    Using social media for book marketing is like learning a foreign language, you start small and expand your knowledge as you go along.

  3. CCE

    I think it makes more sense to have your Facebook page be an Author Page and not just one focused on a single book or book series. That way the author can make one page instead of several should they write other non-series books.

  4. Phyllis Zimbler Miller

    Anthony and CC –

    Thanks for these comments.

    Anthony, have you seen that now, if you go to a group page, the page actually appears in your news feed rather than as a stand-alone page? This really dilutes the impact of the group page. So in my opinion groups are really useless now.

    CC, I’m just not sure whether an author Facebook Page or individual book Pages are best. It may depend on the type of books and who the target market is for each book.

    I’ve just made a Facebook Page for “Mrs. Lieutenant” and now I’m thinking of making a Facebook Page for the eBook I’m about to publish — “Lt. Commander Mollie Sanders.” Or I can put this new book on the “Mrs. Lieutenant” Page. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do.

    Either way, the important thing for an author is to have at least one Facebook Page to which you add new content.

  5. Phyllis Zimbler Miller

    Anthony —

    I really like your specific examples of different options for authors with different types of books. Excellent advice!

    And for me personally as I make this decision, I’ve started using Hootsuite.com (there’s a free option) so it would be relatively easy to manage another Facebook Page.

  6. Ruth Seeley

    What metrics can you provide to support the notion that a Facebook page for either a book or an author are worth the investment in time? I understand that for a certain kind of book – one on Shaker furniture, or about a particular city or age group, various kinds of non fiction, that targeted FB ads could be both quite cost effective and successful. But can you actually point to a FB author or book page that has lead to a book sale?

  7. Nathan Wrann

    Ruth,

    “led to a book sale” yes. I can say (unscientifically) that my Facebook page for my novel Dark Matter Heart has helped sell books. Here’s how:

    I send out e-mails to book bloggers/reviewers (most who have FB pages) with info about the book and a code to dl the ebook for free. That puts it on their radar and they begin mentioning it/reviewing it and posting about the book on their FB page. It is VERY easy for them to directly link to my books FB page withmentions and “shout outs” every time there is a mention I get one or two new “likes” which also coincides with an increase in sales.

    The way I see I it’s better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    Are you going to become a best seller solely from your FB page? No, but it helpsmto build a rapport with your fanbase and give people somewhere to go to find information. Websites are so 2009.

  8. Phyllis Zimbler Miller

    Nathan —

    Thanks for sharing your method of utilizing Facebook to sell books. I really appreciate knowing your method.

    I’m going to add one important warning about relying only on Facebook for your book “home base.” Any profile or Page you have on Facebook is always at the mercy of Facebook, which can disappear your profile or Page without warning.

    That’s why it is very important to have a self-hosted website of your own as your book’s home base — “online real estate” you own and control. Then your Facebook Page is an extension of this home base.

    Here’s an example of an advantage of this marketing strategy:

    We use the same optin form code on our company website that we do on our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/millermosaicsocialmedia

    Regards,
    Phyllis
    http://twitter.com/ZimblerMiller

  9. Holly Worton

    For authors who are unsure about what to do with their own Facebook page, it’s a good idea to check out what other authors are doing on their Facebook pages. Look at the big name authors, as well as authors who are just starting out. See what kinds of things they share, and use what works for you. It’s a great place to share YouTube videos (if you have them), links to your book reviews, updates on virtual or real-life book tours, etc. You can import your tweets as well. Keep in mind that different people have different preferred platforms to engage on, so it’s best not to rely just on one platform, be it Facebook or any other. Once you get your social media profiles set up, it won’t take up too much of your time each week to engage a little bit on each one. As with anything, you can use it as much or as little as you want.

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