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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Managing a Facebook Book Page

I created a page for Amapola Press well over a year ago. It sits there, unpublished. I am still vacillating about it. I do not want to be responsible for yet another social media account.

So, why then, would I start a FB page for The Mistress?

Insanity, perhaps…

Actually, the truth is that this too is an experiment. After I wrote The Mistress, I found I wanted to write other stories (The Bloody Trail of Disenchantment). Until written, this page is the equivalent of a slight push.

It is a daily reminder to myself, and an implicit promise to my readers that I fully intent to deliver.

It serves other purposes. I don’t want to compromise my personal profile – which is to say that I want to keep it at below 200 friends. This may sound silly, but it’s my distinct preference. The only people on that account are family, extended family, and real-life friends (some from elementary school!). I make new friends all the time, but I do not wish for worlds to collide.

My family and friends are supportive of my writing efforts, and those who care follow those efforts, but it is not required.

Writing may be a huge part of my life, but it is the business part. It deserves its own space and place.

But there are more pressing reasons to do it this way: it opens up exposure to your work and the blog. For marketing reasons alone it is worth the effort. Of course, you’ll have to do more than just try to sell books – and if you follow any of the best-selling authors, you’ll realize that they rarely sell their work.

I am not a best-seller yet, so I’ll have to put it out there more often than the greats, but without engagement, it will come to naught. Amuse and engage and they will come.

And though #hashtags are relatively annoying, inasmuch as some people overuse them and render them idiotic, they are helpful here. For those getting their feet wet on SEO, this is a good way to test their acumen as they learn their marketing trade. 

Easier said than done, but like writing: just do it! Practice.

Make no mistake, self-publishers must learn how to promote their work and it changes fast. Facebook Pages offer you diagnostics that tell you immediately what is working and is not. This makes it a learning experience if you pay attention to what you are doing.

If you have an idea that can be broken into a series of status updates, you can draft them and schedule them to run later – so you have some management tools to help you run the page without it running you. You need no additional apps to do this (helpful for those of you starting out and wanting to keep it simple).

It’s probably a better choice to do an author’s page or a page for the publisher, but for me at this very moment, it’s a concentrated effort to see if (and how) it affects sales for the one title. This may change, but this experiment is new and it is too soon to declare it a success and change its parameters.

In the meanwhile, I’m using the MistressBook page to tease my readers with possibilities as I research the topic and find ways to make it fun and sexy.

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