Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Facebook for Writers

I think we all know by now that Facebook is taking over the planet. It has captured a whopping ten percent of the world’s population. So it should come as no surprise that Facebook is a great way for writers to connect with and build a readership.

One of the things I like best about Facebook is that it is less serious and more fun than other styles of promotion. The key is getting your Facebook friends involved, talking about, and commenting on you, your blog, your stories and upcoming books. Here are some tips on how to drum up a bunch of excitement:


  • Pictures and videos -- Create or find interesting or funny pictures and video clips that are relevant to your writing and post them on your wall. Invite people to comment and be sure to post your own comments on how this relates to your writing.
  • Contests -- My favorite mystery writer, Carolyn Haines, had a marvelous series of contests leading up to the launch of her most recent book. She posted hilarious pictures and invited her friends to submit captions or short stories. The best captions received a copy of her book. Not only was it a lot of fun but people encouraged their friends to join the contest so that they could win one of Carolyn’s books.
  • Networked blogs -- This free Facebook application will automatically take the title and an image from your latest blog posting and post it on your Facebook wall. That way every time you post to your blog you won’t have to remember to tell your friends about it, they’ll already see it on your wall. All you need to do is post comments to get the conversation started. Here’s a link to the Networked Blogs app: http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/index.php?ref=ts
  • Special events -- Facebook has a wonderful event tool that writers don’t use often enough. Use the event tool to announce upcoming blog tours, book signings, book launch parties, and more. You can send out personal invitations to all of your facebook friends. They can sign up to attend and get any comments or updates to your event.
  • Polls & voting -- get your readers involved by having them vote on book covers, potential titles, and even suggestions for you should play your character if it were to become a movie. Readers love giving input and feeling like they are part of writing experience. You can get them to vote by simply by asking folks to post comments or you can get snazzy by using one of the Facebook voting applications such as Polls. You can find it here: http://apps.facebook.com/opinionpolls/ .


These tools get your friends involved and talking about your writing. You can easily connect them to your blog and upcoming events. Most importantly, you make them feel that they are important... and who doesn’t like to feel important?

Next week we’ll start looking at techniques to build your following on Twitter.

From Tamela Buhrke

10 comments:

E.J. Wesley said...

Wow! Great/useful information. Can't wait to read the Twitter rundown!

Thanks,

EJ

Tamela Buhrke said...

Thanks EJ! Glad I could be of help.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm finally learning to love Facebook, Tamela, but enjoy Twitter even more. These posts are very helpful.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Tamela for a very informed post. I clearly haven't explored face book enough.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Tamela Buhrke said...

I find that:

Facebook is slower to grow but gives you the capacity for deeper and more personal relationships with readers.

Twitter is fast to grow but used for quicker announcements and breezy chats.

Jim Murdoch said...

Although I've been a member of Facebook for three years it's only in the past couple of months I've made any real efforts with it. The simple fact about marketing is that it's far easier to go and stand where people are looking than trying to get them to turn their heads. The way I'm using it is to go off topic. I'm quite strict with myself when it comes to my blog but on Facebook I'll attach a link about just about anything and that keeps me in the public's consciousness.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Some good info here. Didn't think about using polls. I'll have to consider that for the future. :-)

fpdorchak said...

I'm all ears--uh, or in this case EYES--Tamela! ;-]

fpdorchak said...

Okay, Tamela, I add the networks blog link--but it removed all my blogrolls, and I can't figure out how to get them back! :-\

fpdorchak said...

Nevermind...deleted the widget and everything came back....