Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Make a Facebook Author/Writer Page: A Step by Step Guide

Hey everyone! Sorry for the sparseness in blog postings--law school finals. Yeah.

I have much to update you on, including the awesomeness of #PitchWars, hosted by the wonderful Brenda Drake, but for now I shall say I made it onto a team and have had the awesome experience of being mentored by Rae Chang! I couldn't be more excited!

My "unofficial mentor" is Dannie Morin who is also incredible and inspired this post because she advised her team to make Author/Writer Facebook Pages if they didn't already have them. I set one up, which you can find HERE (I used to work at an ad agency as a social/emerging media associate) and then saw some tweets that not everyone knew how to make a Facebook Author Page, so I decided to make a post with a step-by-step guide (btw this can be applied to other Facebook Pages as well).

Why have an Author/Writer Facebook Page?

If you're published or already have an agent, it's a no-brainer--to connect with your readers on a platform that they're probably constantly on. Just like you have your blog, your twitter, tumblr etc. it's another social platform that's key to be on. Facebook is great, and in my opinion one of the best social media platforms for authors, because your post doesn't disappear within minutes in a flurry of tweets, and people don't have to seek it out by going to your blog either. Facebook has made it oh so convenient to follow authors without even leaving your home page, the posts just appear right alongside those from your friends. You want to put yourself in front of your readers, and this is an easy and effective way to do it. (*Caveat, of course not all of your readers are on Facebook, so have a social media presence on as many sites as you feel comfortable managing)

If you're an aspiring author, you may be wondering whether you should set up a page now or wait until after you're agented. Dannie's advice is clearly to go ahead and do it now, and I completely agree. You have the option to set it up as a "Writer" page, rather than an "Author" page, which can be changed once you get that publishing deal ;). As to why? Same reasons as above--to connect with other writers, potential readers, and start building your "brand." Same reasons also that you're probably cultivating that Twitter presence and blogging. Agents are mentioning the importance of a social media presence more and more, and this is one of the key elements.

Second, just because you aren't published doesn't mean you're not a writer! Don't think of it as a "fan" page, but as a way to connect with people and share about your writing, your writing process, and the journey. It's not about PR and trying to promote yourself, it's about connecting with people with similar interests and creating value with the content you post--things that will be of interest to people who "Like" your page. Post helpful writing articles, book pictures, what you're reading, pretty much what you post on your other social platforms, and engage with the community.

Ok, so hopefully I've convinced you....on to:

A Step-by-Step Guide to Making an Author/Writer Facebook Page:

1. Don't worry, it's really pretty easy! :)

2. Log in to Facebook or sign up for an account if you don't already have one. The Facebook Author Page is going to be an extension of your existing account so there's no need to make another account unless you really want to for some reason (you'll still be able to post separately from both and it's easier to just have it all in one place in my opinion).

3. On the Facebook home screen there should be a pages tab on the left sidebar with an option to "Create Page" (mine looks a little different now since I've already created one, but below is the example of the sidebar). If you don't see this, alternatively look for the little gear in the top right hand corner. Click on it and select the "Create Page" option there.


4. This should take you to a page like this:

Select "Artist, Band, or Public Figure."

5. You'll be prompted to "Select a category": choose either Author or Writer from the drop down menu. (FYI I chose "Writer" for now since I'm not yet published, and you can modify this later). Below that enter the name of the page, most likely your name (can also be changed later), and click "Get Started."

6. Add a short description and website:

7. Choose a professional profile picture:

8. Add a link to your Facebook profile home screen "favorites" (or favourites if you're using British Facebook) area in the left sidebar, for easy access, which I recommend:

9. Skip the reach more people/advertise option for now. You can always choose to do that at a later time, and it's a bit more complicated + $$.

10. You're DONE! Welcome to your brand new Facebook Author Page!

From here you can customize your cover photo, add posts, pictures, and other content just as you would for your regular Facebook profile. You can easily click to invite your current Facebook friends to "Like" your page as well!

I hope that was helpful! 

Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions on other things you'd like to know how to do with your page or if you get stuck! 

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