Indie Author Weekly Update – September 22, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to listen to the podcast with Dave Chesson. It’s awesome. I also love the post by Susan Wolfe because it teaches us to never give up as writers.

Well, summer is definitely coming to an end. I hope you enjoyed the season.

[Podcast] Amazon Keywords Learning Lab with Dave Chesson from Chris Syme: “Hear Dave’s story and how he got into self-publishing. What the heck is a keyword anyway and why you need to know. Where you should be using Amazon keywords. And more.”

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Facebook Profile vs Facebook Page – I have You Covered

Facebook Profiles vs Facebook Pages - I've Got You CoveredI have a client who wasn’t on Facebook and wanted a Facebook author page.

As you know, before you can create a Facebook page you first need a Facebook profile. So I created a Facebook profile first and then the page. When my client logged in, he only saw the profile and assumed that the profile was his page.

I think part of the problem stems from the fact that people tend to use the term “Facebook page” loosely. A Facebook profile isn’t a Facebook page, and vice versa. And, yes, you need a somewhat informal profile before you can create a page.

Just to continue the comparison a bit further, on a Facebook profile you have friends and you can send and accept or deny friend requests.

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Do Authors Need a Facebook Page?

The Controversy - Do Authors Need a Facebook Page? by Frances Caballo
In this post, I tackle the question of do authors need a Facebook page? While it’s not an easy question to answer, there are some pros and cons to consider.

Do Authors Need a Facebook page?

Before I answer that question, let me distinguish a Facebook profile from a Facebook page.

On a Facebook profile, you have friends who share memes and information about their children, anniversaries, marathons, and other life events. And you can send and receive friend requests to and from anyone who hasn’t banned you.

A Facebook page is for authors, musicians, nonprofits, large brands and enterprises, and small businesses. You’ll have fans instead of friends, and people and other pages will Like your page instead of sending you friend requests.

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Do Authors Really Need a Facebook Page?

Authors and Facebook Pages by Frances Caballo

Some people think about Facebook fans in terms of their monetary value. It makes sense.

Facebook marketing is time-intensive, and if we spend money on advertising, we want to see a good conversion rate that won’t cost us more than $2/Like.

As writers, we may prefer a more touchy-feely approach to our readers.

We use Facebook pages because want to communicate with our readers, we want to give them an opportunity to get to know us better, and, well, we want them to buy our next book.

Just like Coca-Cola.

In reality, authors are similar to brands such as L’Oreal and Toyota. We want to build fan loyalty with our readers, and we want them to make some purchases because the publishing business isn’t a philanthropic endeavor, now is it?

[clickToTweet tweet=”We want to build fan loyalty with our readers via @CaballoFrances” quote=”We want to build fan loyalty with our readers via @CaballoFrances”]

It takes time to research and write our books, and it takes money to hire all the consultants we need to edit and package our books for a competitive marketplace.

Which takes us back to where I began: the monetary value of our Facebook fans.

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Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

11-7-14 Social Media Tips for WritersWelcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors includes new posts on social media marketing. Keep reading to learn more.

6 Social Media Marketing Tools to Make Your Management Quick and Easy from Jeff Bullas:

Keeping up with the multiple social channels; posting original content and coming up with a social media plan that generates leads, engagement, revenue or some other tangible goal can make you feel like pulling out your hair.However, studies show that social media marketing works. In 2014, investment in social media is a necessity, and no longer a luxury.

An Up-to-Date List of the Algorithm Factors and Changes from Buffer Social: Does this sound familiar: People have liked your Facebook page or followed your profile, and when you post a new update, less than 10 percent of your fans and followers ever see it. It’s a challenge that many Facebook marketers face. How do you get your content seen on Facebook? The secret is in understanding the Facebook News Feed and its mighty algorithm. [Read more…]

Free Book Promotions, Testing Book Ideas and Social Media for Writers


This week’s roundup is truly a wild mix of posts. I’ve included an article on the best book promotion sites, on whether lowering book prices is a good idea and another one on how to test market your book idea. In the social media for writers arena, there is a wonderful post from HubSpot on how to optimize your blog and a list of what mistakes you should never make on social media. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites from Angie’s Diary: First and most important is the debate about paid for and free sites. All the websites in my top ten are free to use – but that doesn’t mean paid for sites aren’t worth considering. Some offer a lot for quite a small initial outlay. I’ve considered joining the AuthorMarketing Club, for example, as it’s recommended by Joanna Penn and helps save time by extending your author platform to a wealth of other sites. They advertise ‘Free book marketing resources and tools’ but to really benefit you need to consider their premium service. Another site I’ve looked at is the Independent Author Network, which is very affordable and claims that “over 10,000 readers visit IAN each day to find great books by our talented authors.”

25 Pieces of Advice You Need to Build an Awesome Facebook Page from SteamFeed: During the last couple of months we’ve all read a steady stream of complaints about Facebook’s most recent changes and how they affect business Pages. Yet anyone who pays close attention to what’s happening at Facebook shouldn’t be terribly surprised.

Who’s Afraid of Very Cheap Books? from Let’s Get Visible: A common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishing or writers’ ability to make a living. I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, which is also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking. And, if anything, the opposite is true.

15 Blog Optimization Stats from HubSpot: You’ve probably heard many times before that if you want to create and sustain a successful blog, there’s a lot you need to do. You’ve got to create exceptional content. You’ve got to optimize your posts for search engines. You also have to create catchy titles, inspire social shares, and determine the best times for publishing your posts, among a thousand other things.

10 Social Media Mistakes You’re Probably Making from All Twitter: This visual from Daily Genius proposes 10 social media mistakes that you’re probably making.

10 Ways to Test Market Your Nonfiction Book Idea Before You Publish fromThe Book Designer: Writing and publishing a full-length nonfiction manuscript represents a big commitment in time and effort, let alone money. The fear that the book may flop, meaning never sell, stops many aspiring authors in their tracks. But it shouldn’t.


About 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 theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web



Photo credit: Nicole Yeary via photopin cc

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Generate Engagement on Facebook

facebook-2First of a Two-Part Series on Facebook Posts

Do you ever struggle with your Facebook profile and page? Do you wonder why your status updates aren’t triggering the type of engagement on Facebook that you’d like to experience?

Let’s review one point before proceeding further. A Facebook profile is for people. A Facebook page is for products (books!), services, nonprofits, and businesses. I recommend that writers have a profile, which is a requirement to starting a Facebook page. Having a Facebook page will enable you to promote it, announce your readings, and inform your readers of upcoming workshops you’re giving. Technically, writers can’t promote their wares on their Facebook profiles.

I’ve always recommended that writers include captivating photos in their status updates as well as images that fit their niche. It seems to make sense that a picture of a beautiful scene would draw one’s eye, and once drawn, the Facebook friend or fan would then spend a few seconds liking, sharing and/or leaving a comment before moving on.

But lately I’ve seen posts that don’t include images perform well and so I’ve begun to experiment with them. The following examples of my posts are from my profile. In the second part of this series, I’ll examine the types of posts that perform best on Facebook pages.

This post included the image below and the following update: I just had to share this … can you see why?

woman with seahorse

I thought it was a lovely image with an interesting ambiguity: an angelic woman is floating through the air with a seahorse. It seemed mystical to me and I thought that my Facebook friends might leave a comment. They didn’t but the status update did garner 11 likes and four shares. It didn’t perform too badly in terms of engagement on Facebook that we can expect.

I kept the message on this next post short. I didn’t ask a question and my post lacks a call to action.

Picture #2 

Surprisingly, this image generated three comments and 12 likes. Honestly, I wasn’t certain what would happen and so those results pleased me. I chose this image because I loved the ingenious design of this library and I think others did as well.

Since I write about social media I thought I’d include this important update. In the past, my posts about social media haven’t performed well on my profile, though they do on my Facebook page.

picture #3

My experience proved to be right. This post generated one comment and one like, from the same person. Why? On our profiles, Facebook friends want to hear about the highlights of our lives, and not have to click a link that take them to a blog post. In my book, I compare Facebook to Nicholas Sparks because like his novels, Facebook profiles are all about sharing one’s drama, struggles, parties, promotions, and other personal items.

This is a stunning image, but look at how little engagement this status update triggered: just 3 likes. No comments and no shares. This is a clear indicating that great photos in and of themselves aren’t enough any more.

Picture #4

Images that convey a joke of some sort or that are funny do well on both Facebook profiles and pages. This image triggered 6 comments, 11 likes, and 2 shares.

Picture #5

One way to generate more engagement is to tag or identify people in your comments. That’s what I did in this post and it generated 3 comments.

Picture #6


I’ve discovered that the more personal I am in my status updates, the better the overall engagement on my profile. This is a personal status update that doesn’t include an image and it generated one like and 24 comments.

Picture #7


4 Sure-Fire Ways to Generate Engagement on Facebook

What did I learn from my experiment? I can draw the following four conclusions:

  • On your Facebook profile, personal information trumps beautiful images. Profiles are for friends and they want to hear about your life, your travails and your accomplishments. They also want to help so don’t forget to solicit their feedback.
  • Information about your specialty or niche will perform better on your Facebook page, not your profile. I’m a writer who specializes in social media. I love to post about books, libraries, social media marketing, and authors. However, those types of posts work better on my Facebook page where my fans expect me to write about social media and as writers themselves, appreciate quotes by writers. So keep professional interests on your Facebook page and keep personal information you’d like to share on your Facebook profile.
  • The image in No. 4 was beautiful, but it wasn’t personal. It wasn’t a picture that I’d taken on vacation or after a day at the beach. If that had been the case, more of my friends would have left comments. Images in and of themselves, despite the beauty they capture, won’t generated the engagement you’d like to have on your profile.
  • Facebook users love to laugh. Whenever I post an image that’s hilarious, whether it’s on my profile or my page, the engagement goes up. In the case of Image No. 5, there are six comments, 11 likes and 2 shares. Not bad. This is true for both your page and your profile; something truly hilarious that isn’t offensive may trump everything else, except for your profile when you ask people for their help.

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer,  and author of 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 Editor for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapterthe San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.