14 Facebook Pages for Authors to Review

14 Facebook Pages for Authors to Review and Maybe Follow

I tell writers, “Facebook is tough.” Specifically, I am referring to Facebook pages. The organic reach makes it difficult to gain traction at times.

Like it or not, your posts organically reach just 2% of your fans’ newsfeeds.

That’s horrible.

HubSpot (an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform) agrees that organic reach on Facebook business pages (aka Facebook author pages) is dismal:

“In January 2018, according to Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri, Facebook began to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.”

“As a result, marketing content was poised to take a backseat to content by friends and family — a value that Facebook says it originally had, and that it’s trying to return to. What this means that of the number of people who have Liked your Facebook page, about 10% of them see your posts. This also means that if you want more of your fans to see your posts, you need to provide great content consistently and plan to have a Facebook advertising budget.”

However, worldwide, there are over 2.32 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2018. With that many users, it’s difficult to ignore Facebook.

And Facebook’s advertising feature is impressive and works exceedingly well and you can use it to boost your reach and find members of your reading demographic on Facebook. With its custom audiences, you can target just about any person, cause, and geographical region with your message.

So let’s take a look at some Facebook pages.

Facebook Pages Authors Need to Watch

There is a lot of variety in how these authors handle their Facebook pages. I like Anne Lamott, Isabel Allende, and Joanna Penn’s pages best.

Anne Lamott 509,111 Likes

Anne LamottAnne Lamott doesn’t post regularly, but she does seem to write her own updates, which is a plus for someone of her standing.

In a recent post, she praised Brain Pickings and Maria Popova. How’s that for networking and helping others out?

In another post, she shared the titles of books she’d read in 2019. As you can see, she’s building great karma with other writers, which is something all authors should do.

A post of her reading from a book triggered 904 Likes, 38 comments, 142 shares, and 29,000 views. Wow!

Be sure to Like her page and emulate what she does.

Isabel Allende 1,072,187 Likes 

Isabel Allende, a native of Chile, writes her posts in both English and Spanish. (Spanish-speaking social media users tend to outnumber other demographics.) In the past, she has shared historical images, birthday messages to the Likes of Gloria Steinem, and information about nonprofits.

I love Isabel Allende’s Facebook author page. She apparently writes posts herself and is very open about her life. On January 5 she wrote this:

Isabel Allende

As you can see, that post has 17,000 Likes, 3,800 comments, and 637 shares.

On December 21, she posted a picture of herself in a market in the town of Achao on the island of Chiloe. That post generated 4,500 Likes, 256 comments, and 235 shares.

Look at Allende’s posts, follow her, and learn from her.

Mark Dawson 28,656 

Compared to Allende, indie thriller author Mark Dawson has fewer page Likes and a great following.

A recent post, Dawson decided to give away a free, signed book. That post triggered 22 Likes and 94 comments. In another post, he asked people to write a review of his books. That post just triggered seven Likes.

It’s worth following Dawson to look for his Facebook ads. They are stellar.

He lacks some engagement on Facebook, but I suspect he’s mostly there for the advertising potential. And having more than 28,000 page Likes is nothing to complain about.

The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn) 25,020 Likes 

Joanna PennJoanna Penn regularly posts to her page. She’s more into Twitter, where she has an active following of more than 84,000 followers.

Her Facebook page has a great profile picture and banner image. She posts information about her podcasts (her podcast is one of the best for authors) and responds to comments her readers leave. Kudos to her!

I suggest you follow her on Twitter, Like her Facebook page, and subscribe to her podcast on iTunes. She knows her stuff and is willing to share her knowledge.

Nick Stephenson 21,302 Likes 

Nick Stephenson, similar to Dawson and Penn, is another British, indie, thriller author. His profile picture reveals his sense of humor and his banner image is perfect in that it points to the sign-up link for his newsletter.

He doesn’t post regularly on Facebook. He posted a funny image of himself in green sneakers on November 9, 2018, and before that a post on March 2. I can’t find examples where he’s replied to readers’ comments either.

It appears that he uses Facebook for the advertising opportunities and focuses on other types of marketing, such as developing a VIP list or street team. He also created an author marketing webinar that he uses to supplement his writing income.

Among the three British, indie, thriller authors, Joanna Penn’s Facebook page is the best.

[Read more…]

Analysis of 9 Facebook Pages & Profiles by Famous Writers

FacebookIncreasingly, I find myself telling writers, “Facebook is tough.” Specifically, I am referring to Facebook pages.

Like It or Not, Your Posts Reach 10% of Your Fans News Feeds

In a study by Group M Next, and reported at Social Media Today, Facebook brand pages (also called fan pages or author pages) have seen the penetration from organic posts (posts not supported by advertising) drop from 38% to as low as 9.62%.

What this means that of the number of people who have liked your Facebook page, about 10% of them see your posts. This also means that if you want more of your fans to see your posts, you need to consistently provide great content and plan to have a Facebook advertising budget.

You don’t need to budget thousands of dollars for your advertising, but you should plan on allocating at least $400 a year for those times when you promote certain items, such as the sale price on your book or webinar you will be teaching.

My Analysis of 9 Facebook Pages & Profiles

Considering the grim state of Facebook reach these days, I thought I would analyze the Facebook pages and profiles of famous authors to see whether they can penetrate their fans’ news feeds and if so, how well they perform. Here’s my analysis:

Doris Kearns Goodwin 14,051 Likes

Pulitzer prize-winning nonfiction writer Doris Kearns Goodwin has a huge fan base offline. I read her book No Ordinary Time about Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, and it was a dynamic and thoroughly researched masterpiece of nonfiction. She’s a regular commentator on news programs and is widely respected. In contrast, her Facebook page is disappointing. It appears to be managed by her publisher and is used primarily to promote her books and her appearances. In fact, the posts that I viewed were entirely promotion in nature. She receives few Likes or comments, and there wasn’t any engagement between the author and her fans that I could see. You might want to use this Facebook page as a guide to learning what not to do on your own Facebook page.

Christopher W. Gortner 1,440 Friends

Christopher W. Gortner has a Facebook page, but it’s his profile that rocks. He regularly posts a great mix of information, interacting with friends and readers, and sharing information about rescued animals, a topic dear to his heart. There’s no doubt that he manages the page himself. He responds to readers’ comments quickly and is fully engaged. When I met him a year ago, he recognized me from my Facebook comments and struck up a conversation with me. That’s how personal he is on his profile and in his life. He adores his readers, and they love him back. You may not be impressed by his Friends count (I don’t agree with that assessment but I’ve heard this criticism by others.), but you will admire how he handles this profile.

EL James (50 Shades of Grey) 1.8 Million Likes

With 1.8 million Likes, the page is a great mix of fun, seasonal and personal posts. She does some marketing but in a fun way, such as showing a pint of beer with the number 50 on it or posting images of different covers for her books printed abroad. However, she doesn’t respond to comments. When she shared a video about a time lapse of a pregnancy, her fans shared it a staggering 17,699 times. She recently posted an image of the setting sun and the word “this ….” That post earned 143 shares and 13,137 Likes. If she would only respond to comments it would almost be perfect. Clearly, her fans don’t seem to mind.

Nina Amir 1,253 friends

Nina Amir includes a mix of business with fun videos, posts on Jewish holidays, inspirational quotes, and photos from the conferences where she speaks. It’s a great mix, and her posts always receive comments and Likes and she quickly responds to them. You will learn a lot about Nina when you send her a friend request; she’s not bashful about sharing her feelings, and when she does, her friends come out in force to cheer her on. Nina also has a Facebook page, Inspiration to Creation, where she shares inspirational messages, publishing tidbits, and information about her books. If you want to learn how to become profitable as a writer, you’ll want to Like her page and keep up with those posts.

Writers Digest 113,000 Likes

What I found interesting about this page (Okay, technically it’s not a writer’s page but it’s a page important to writers so I decided to include it.) that there are very few comments considering the number of page Likes, yet its information is widely shared. For example, a reference to an article titled Avoid Rip-Offs and Publishing Sharks received 120 Likes, 61 shares and four comments. A reference to an article about self-editing received 110 shares, 152 Likes and six comments. The best post I found shared a link to an article titled How to Write a Book: 3 Practical Tips. That post received 325 shares and 582 Likes, and generated 18 comments. This page is an excellent example of the power of sharing content that your demographic craves. When you anticipate the content your fans want to read, they will share it freely and widen your exposure. My only criticism is that whoever manages the page doesn’t respond to comments.

Anne Lamott 189,473 Likes

A recent post by her was nearly the length of a short story yet her fans shared it a whopping 13,245 times and wrote more comments that I could easily count. It was a personal post about her feelings about turning 60. Even when she doesn’t post for a week or so, she apologizes, and those posts can receive more than a thousand shares, thousands of Likes and more comments than I’ve ever seen on a Facebook page. She is deeply personal, and when she does promote her books, her fans come out in force, liking and sharing her updates. If you want to learn how to connect with your demographic on a Facebook page, this is one of the Facebook pages you need to watch very closely.

Mary Oliver 65,944 Likes

Mary Oliver has a simple banner image and a picture of herself that hasn’t been photo-shopped – something I appreciate. However, the Facebook page seems to exist for the sole purpose of promoting her books, readings and similar pursuits. She also shares sketched images of dogs and specials on her books. One recently published update simply included a link to a New York Times article about her and an image – no explanation whatsoever – yet it earned 1,877 Likes, 64 comments, and 492 shares. That’s impressive. The page appears to managed by someone other than the author who doesn’t take the time to engage with her fans, but they still love Mary.

Jane Friedman 827 friends

Jane Friedman is a megastar in the writing and publishing field. The former publisher at Writers Digest, she teaches digital publishing and online writing at the University of Virginia, is the web editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review and is the founder of Scratch Magazine, a digital quarterly about the “intersection of writing and money.” Her blog receives more than 60,000 unique visitors every month. Don’t be unimpressed by the number of Facebook friends. She is very connected; on Twitter she has 188,000 followers and follows just 286 users. On Facebook, Jane Friedman is actively involved with her profile, sharing information about her keynotes, articles she discovers, and even a more personal tidbit about her affinity for the Sherlock Holmes series on Masterpiece Theater. Her profile shows active engagement and plenty of shares, comments and Likes from her friends. I know that I’ll be keeping an eye on her profile to continue my learning curve about Facebook and marketing.

Isabel Allende 1,072,187 Likes

Isabel Allende, a native of Chile, writes her posts in both English and Spanish. (Spanish-speaking social media users tend to outnumber other demographics.) She shares historical images, birthday messages to the likes of Gloria Steinem, and information about nonprofits. Her tribute to Flamenco artist Paco de Lucía following his death garnered 15,555 Likes, and 1,438 shares. Her page is at times deeply personal, celebratory, and gracious and expresses her commitment to social justice and causes that are important to her. Very little promotion appears here and her fans seem to like it that way. We can all learn from her.

 Post by Social Media Just for Writers.

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

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