Thursday, August 12, 2010
Do Authors Need a Fan Page?
At the RWA National conference, I sat in on an informative workshop about building your career with Facebook and Twitter. The speakers were Sheri Brooks, Cissy Hartley, and Jayne Ann Krentz. Here are some key points they made, and a few hints that might be helpful for other writers who, like me, are scrambling to keep up with how we can best use our time to market our books.
I don’t Twitter (not yet, anyway) so most of my notes were about utilizing Facebook as a tool to make friends in the reading/writing community.
The speakers emphasized the benefits of a Fan Page on Facebook. Even though you may not have “fans” that you know of, a fan page is a place to update what is taking place in your writing life. Before you say, “Whoa. I don’t have time to keep another page up,” let me explain. You can add an RSS feed on your Page, so that updates go there without you having to do it individually. It holds your book covers and any other content you want to put there, such as upcoming releases or signings.
Put Widgets on your FB page so entries will go to your Home Page. Also, use the Discussion Tab on your Fan Page. The speakers suggested holding a writers’ workshop, where people can pose questions.
Fans can interact with each other by using the Wall or Discussion Board on your fan page. Also, as admin, you have access to stats on the traffic for your fan page.
On your Fan Page, you can have a Favorites Pages box, where you highlight other pages you like. It could serve as a link-exchange tool and bring you more fans.
Once you get your Fan Page up (and you can do it all behind the scenes before you click “Publish”), put out an announcement that you’ve opened a Fan Page and that there is a contest there. A prize offering will guide them to your fan page.
So, now that I’ve told you what I learned, I’m going to try to build a Fan Page myself. Authors: Let me know if you have one already, or if it’s something you want to do. Readers: Would you like your fav author to have a fan page, where you could keep up with her books and discuss them with other fans?