Friday, October 4, 2013

Why authors should use a Facebook Page and not a Profile.

I see the the debate go back and forth about Facebook. Unfortunately, I see a lot of authors misusing Facebook. That's a whole series of posts right there.

But as an author, especially if you're a romance or erotica author, you need to use a page and promote that rather than your profile.


Because lately, Facebook is getting wiggy and cracking down on authors who promote "adult" material. Now, in some of the cases, the crackdown was triggered by pictures posted on their profile that someone complained about.

In some cases, there were complaints about the profile itself, and because the writer was promoting "adult material," or because it was a "fake name" (ie pen name) they locked down the account.

This is one of the many reasons you need a PAGE.

You only get (as of right now) five thousand friends on a profile. Yes, you can have more than that with followers, but only 5k friends. Pages do not have that limitation.

Pages have metrics that profiles don't have. This is useful to see trends of likes to postings, new page likes, etc.

You can set pages to restrict ages (great for erotica authors).

You can get private messages through pages, people can comment on pages (or you can set them to not be able to comment). There are lots of features you can use on pages. You can even get the custom urls for them like you can profiles.

If Facebook yanks your page (and they have page designation categories for books, etc.) then, guess what? You STILL have your account. You start a new page.

If Facebook yanks your PROFILE... Well, you're totally starting over from scratch. There is a troubling increase lately in religious trolls who are friending romance and erotica authors and then reporting their profiles to Facebook just because.

I wish I was making that up.

If pages had been around when I first got my Facebook account, I would have used it from the start. You can interact with people on your page like you can on your profile. But it also allows you a little bit of protection.

So, seriously, get yourself a page for your pen name, and use THAT as your Facebook platform. Lock down your author profile so it's viewable by friends ONLY, lock down your friends list so ONLY you can see it, lock down your details as much as possible for privacy. Be VERY careful who you friend on Facebook, and please, do NOT spam people when you friend them/they friend you with a "please like my stuff" kind of message. Do NOT do that. It's rude, and it's tacky. It's like meeting someone at a party and they hand you a business card and say, "I sell insurance, you can come in tomorrow at 2pm for a portfolio review, right?"

Seriously. It's the SAME DAMN THING.

So knock it the fuck off.

Stop sending PMs to people with requests to like or buy your stuff. Quit sending invites to your pages. (Posting notices about asking people to like things to YOUR page/profile is okay. That's YOUR real estate. Don't put it on THEIR page or profile or PM.)

And get yourself over to Kristen Lamb's blog and buy her book Rise of the Machines, about social media for authors. Stop being your own worst enemy in terms of self-promotion.

And treat your readers like FRIENDS, NOT like commodities or customers. If you let them get to know you, they will eventually buy your stuff. But trying to force-feed it to them is only asking for trouble.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Worldbuilding 101

Whether you're writing a contemporary novel or a fantasy set in a make-believe realm, there's always going to be some aspect of "worldbuilding" to your writing. How extensive it has to be depends on your story.

Here are some helpful links to...well, help. Enjoy.

Chuck Wendig's terribleminds blog: 25 Things You Should Know About Worldbuilding
Belinda Crawford: A World-building Template for When You're on the Go
Belinda Crawford: The World-building Leviathan and a Scrivener Template
Holly Lisle: How Much of My World Do I Build?
Victoria Strauss: An Impatient Writer's Approach to World Building
Rebecca Zanetti: Five Blunders Authors Make in World-Building
Mellanie Szereto: Worldbuilding
Washington Romance Writers: Worldbuilding for Writers
SFWA: Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions
Sisters in Crime: One Writer's World-Building Tools