Are You Alienating Fans on Facebook & Fracturing Your Platform?

Bonding with teen writers, LOL....

Bonding with teen writers, LOL….

Writers are NOT salespeople and marketers. We aren’t. If we were AWESOME at sales, we’d be in SALES. Sales pays way better than playing with our imaginary friends and hoping we create something others want to read. In fact—and I might be going out on a limb here—I would wager most of you are not thinking, “Well, I’m only doing this writing thing until I can land my dream job in sales.”

I work to be very forgiving when writers make social media faux pas because I get that you are trying to be responsible and that “sales” is unnatural for most of us. I’ve also dedicated years and a good quarter million words (most of them free) to educating writers the proper way of using social media.

I created WANA methods to let writers focus on what we are best at doing—writing. The WANA approach works. It’s been responsible for selling millions of books and for elevating unknown authors onto best-selling lists. WANA methods are responsible for the 11th best-selling e-book in UK history.

This said…

Putting Our Foot In It

Yet, I still find some REALLY bad advice floating around that can get writers into trouble. Today, we’re going to address Facebook, namely because I received this message yesterday:

FB

Normally, I would just ignore this message, but after being fried from working three weeks straight and being on the road, I replied. Also, I’ve spent the past week yelling at idiot taxis in Manhattan and the New Yorker in me was coming out.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 8.37.36 AM

Instead of apologizing for poor wording and realizing the error, this person plunged ahead and responded with:

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 8.39.27 AM

By the way, the assertion that no one else had taken offense? I highly doubt it. I just happened to be tired enough to call out the offensive nature of the message. Also my mother is from New York, so I blame it on her :D.

What Can We Learn From This?

Aside from Kristen shouldn’t answer e-mails when tired because she has the skin of a grape.

Maybe I shouldn’t have engaged this person, but I love writers. Love is not always a fluffy bunny hug. Love sometimes need to be tough and it needs to confront. I know this writer didn’t sit up all night thinking of ways to insult his following, but he was doing just that. This author had clearly been among my Facebook friends for some time and I have to admit, I was pretty hurt by how this message treated me.

Yes, I do have feelings.

But essentially, what this writer was telling me is 1) we aren’t friends 2) we aren’t colleagues 3) oh, but please take your time to go Like my fan page so I can later sell you a book which will require your money and 12 hours of time you don’t have.

Yep, I’m right on that.

Writers Building a Platform Have NO Private Life On-Line

Aside from the NSA checking in, we don’t have “privacy.” Privacy on-line is an illusion. But if we DO want some privacy on FB (like sharing pictures of kids), we don’t need to resort to ticking off our followers by telling them they are a non-entity who are only valuable when they can buy a book.

Create Lists

And if you don’t know how to do this then take one of Lisa Hall-Wilson’s classes over at WANA International. I personally don’t like lists for a number of reasons, but they are an option.

As a quick aside, I don’t like lists because:

Lists Fool Us Then Land Us in Trouble

I feel lists can give us a false sense of security that can create a mess. All it takes is an oops on our part or Facebook’s part for that “private” information to be everywhere. I believe that if everyone can’t see it? Don’t post it. Get on the phone or send an e-mail (and then only the NSA will see it).

Lists Alienate Potential Fans

We never know who is watching. I have writers who segment all their writing posts to people they only believe will care about writing. We have no way of knowing what others find interesting and it is presumptuous to assume this person or that person won’t care.

I have FB friends who aren’t writers. But guess what? When their first cousin is writing a book, guess who they tell dear cousin about? ME.

Maybe someone following you doesn’t read high fantasy (and you write it). But maybe, if you are a cool person, they will read yours. Or, maybe they have a coworker who LOVES high-fantasy. Who will they recommend?

This is that whole “word of mouth” thing, by the way.

Personal Pages Create Relationships Vital to Success

There is a HUGE misconception that the regular profile page is for acting like a human and interacting and then a fan page is for the professional face and self-promotion. WRONG. This is why so many fan pages get dismal traffic and the author (in desperation) resorts to paying to promote (which won’t do anything and is a complete waste of money).

The WANA International fan page regularly has over 80% engagement and we don’t pay to promote. We use WANA methods.

The regular page is essential for connecting with people and creating the emotional bonds that will eventually translate into a vibrant, passionate author platform filled with readers. We connect talking about kids, laundry, missing socks, vacations, hard days at work and griping about the weather. All these everyday events are how we forge friendships.

Who cares if someone only buys one or two books a year if they are YOUR books?

People default to who they know and who they LIKE. The personal page is one of the best ways for others to get to KNOW and LIKE us. Advertising, marketing and promotion without relationships DOESN’T WORK. Marketing doesn’t sell books and I explain why in my new book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World.

We Never Know WHO We Are Dissecting Out of Our Following

I’m saddened that this author didn’t believe we were friends or colleagues. I believed we were until I was informed otherwise. I go out of my way to help my fellow authors and might have been a good ally to have, especially since this person has a book coming out in the fall.

Also, I talk about zombies and Star Wars and quote Monty Python far more than is socially acceptable :D.

And Grumpy Cat

And Grumpy Cat

Knowledge is Power

So before you start a fan page, I recommend you get educated how to do it. Either invest a whopping nine bucks in my book or take a class at WANA. And I don’t say this to sell, sell, sell (heck, search my archives here or go read Lisa’s blog for free), but mistakes like the one above can seriously damage a brand.

How many people got that message and they not only ignored it, but they were hurt like I was? …only they remained silent. Can guarantee they won’t be buying or recommending this author’s books.

And if you’ve made this mistake, just don’t do it again. I learned how to do social media by doing A LOT of stuff wrong. We learn by mistakes, but I am here to help writers (hopefully) before you make them or maybe at least explain why you might not be getting great results.

Remember, on social media, everyone is our friend. The more “friends” we have, the better and stronger our platform. If we whittle this down to only people we’ve personally met? We are balancing our careers on digital toothpicks.

What are your thoughts? Have you gotten messages like these? Were you hurt or offended? What did you do? What are some other Facebook faux pas that make you see red? What are Facebook questions you might have?

To prove it and show my love, for the month of July, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

NOTE: My prior two books are no longer for sale, but I am updating them and will re-release. My new book, Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World is NOW AVAILABLE.

At the end of July I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

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  1. #1 by Yvonne Hertzberger on July 16, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Right on the money. Love it.

    • #2 by lisawhitefern on July 22, 2013 - 6:02 pm

      Great article. I’ve had those messages too and thought um no don’t think I’ll bother. Whereas generally I will like author’s pages when asked if they are Facebook friends. I also don’t really like searching up an author trying to friend them and getting that kind of message as a form letter in response. I don’t know if they are just restricted in the number of Facebook friends allowed though if they are very popular.

  2. #3 by catherinewolffe53 on July 16, 2013 - 10:16 am

    You made some very good points, Kristen. We as authors need to embrace the concept of sharing ourselves with others as if those people were sitting in our living room. They have the potential of becoming some of our best supporters without meeting in person. Where are the social graces our mothers beat into us regularly when we were kids? Erma Bombeck is probably rolling over in her grave! Sure, it’s online and we may never, ever meet the person in person, but they’re still people who deserve respect as a person. Oh, by the way, I love Monty Python!!

  3. #4 by Jennifer Cole on July 16, 2013 - 10:23 am

    Oh gosh! I would just die! Just die! I would love to friend you on FB. And I will never alienate anyone on my FB page. OH gosh! I can’t believe someone would say that. Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 14:56:17 +0000 To: jlynncole@hotmail.com

  4. #6 by Tymber Dalton on July 16, 2013 - 10:23 am

    I actually have two profiles. One is personal, and I ONLY friend family, friends I either know in real life or have known for years and years online and consider “real” friends, etc. My son, niece, granddaughters, etc. are on it, so I keep it strictly PG-rated. I also keep it locked down so only my friends there can see my posts, and no one can see my friends list.

    Then I have my public profile. Unfortunately, it’s over 4.1k friends, meaning I’m closing in on my arbitrary Fb limit. So I’ve been really shifting a lot of activity to my page and the follows there are growing. Had pages been around when Fb first started, I would have used that first. I strongly recommend going with a page from the get-go and not a profile because when you fill it up, you’re done and have to shift all that activity to your page anyway. I refer all my Fb links to my page, not my profile. I claimed the Fb url for my page to match my pen name (instead of for my profile). And the more interacting I do on it, the more I see the “likes” grow. And I won’t run into Fb’s stupid and arbitrary 5k friends ceiling and have to start all over from scratch at that point.

    But having the personal profile means I don’t alienate any of my family who might not want to see my stuff about my writing, and I don’t have to rely on lists. I just don’t post anything there that’s not PG. And yes, my friends and family there know about my writing, and some of them have friended my writing profile, but it was by their choice so I’m not forcing them to see stuff they might not want to see. I use Chrome for my public page, and Safari for my private one, so I can have both open at the same time if I want. I use the iPad and iPhone apps on my public profile/pages only, so no risk of goofing and posting inappropriate stuff on my private page.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 10:26 am

      I actually recommend that you grow the personal page until you max it then shift. You are doing it correctly. Hit around 4,000 and then ease people to INTERACTING on the fan page. I never recommend starting with a fan page, so you are cool. But I will tell you not to underestimate family. I get fan mail from third cousins. Most of my family follows my blog (I didn’t know this) and they can be some of your loudest cheerleaders. You won’t bore them at all. We generally only “see” what interests us.

    • #8 by Lisa Hall-Wilson on July 16, 2013 - 9:26 pm

      It’s actually against Facebook’s TOS to have two profiles. You’re playing what I call Facebook roulette. If they catch you (IF they catch you) they’ll boot you off without appeal and you’ll have to start over. As long as you’re aware of the risks. I know a lot of people who do it.

  5. #9 by Allison Silver on July 16, 2013 - 10:24 am

    My husband is military and we move around a lot. I use my Facebook account primarily so friends and family can see pictures and videos of my children. I’m not comfortable accepting friend requests from total strangers because of this. I definitely don’t want to alienate any one either…I enjoy meeting and learning from different people. Under these circumstances should I create a second Facebook account where I get personal minus pictures of my kids? Or have I missed the point completely.

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 10:25 am

      I would recommend you create a private group and invite the family. You can share away without alienating anyone and you don’t have to fiddle with lists. This is what we did with the Lamb family and it is far less cumbersome than trying to manage two pages. It also allows you to be far more open to accepting friendships.

      • #11 by Saronai on July 21, 2013 - 3:09 am

        That’s a pretty awesome idea, actually. I think I might try to organize my family and family friends into a similar group!

  6. #12 by Roxann Delaney on July 16, 2013 - 10:27 am

    After making a list—yes, I did that—I realized there were only a handful I would direct to my “Fan” page. I ditched the idea. If I need a more private identity for close friends and family, I’ll do that instead. No sense being on the losing side. Thanks, Kristen! You’re always the voice of sanity.

  7. #13 by TheOriginalMimi on July 16, 2013 - 10:28 am

    There was a great app called Unfriend Finder for FB that FB recently shut down. It was a way of tracking who had unfriended you. Inevitably, if I cared enough to look, that person had a post that said “I got rid of 250 friends today that I don’t interact with.” Many times these were authors or business people, and I would often think that FB is a numbers game and if only 13% of people see your posts, then you probably want all the friends you can get. :) (Either that or they were lotharios to whom I wouldn’t respond LOL) But I TOTALLY agree with you that the initial post of this author was crass, and the response to you even more so. As I approach 5,000 FB ‘friends,’ this question keeps coming up – Fan Page or keep the individual page? Good post, Kristen!

  8. #14 by Allison Silver on July 16, 2013 - 10:28 am

    I should probably mention I also have a Facebook fan page. Is that enough or should I establish a second Facebook account?

  9. #15 by stephaniehurt on July 16, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Thanks for the post. As I’m new to the Facebook world this is good information. I’d never do as the author did as that’s not cool. I’ll have to friend you on Facebook and I do mean FRIEND. I consider my fellow authors colleagues and my online and blog friends are definitely friends. Some people just don’t understand the concept I guess. As I follow your blog I consider you both and am grateful to learn from your experiences. Thanks again Friend :)

  10. #17 by Kathleen on July 16, 2013 - 10:31 am

    What is it about FB that turns fairly normal people into raving lunatics? Or maybe those people were raving lunatics all along, and we didn’t recognize their quirks until we saw them on FB. ;-) The new Graph Search function has spawned a small army of newsfeed posts outlining how to change your privacy settings so no one can see, comment on, or share your posts without your permission. Huh? Evidently I’ve been operating under a mistaken impression all this time that seeing, commenting on, and sharing FB posts is part of the whole concept of SOCIAL networking. :-D

    Particularly off-putting are the open-to-the-world wall posts saying “I don’t want my personal business/family photos/whatever exposed to people I don’t know, so if you don’t change your privacy settings so your friends can’t see what I post, I’m going to unfriend you.” So unfriend me already. And BTW: If you don’t want strangers peeking at private stuff, why the holy heck are you posting it on FB — or anywhere else online — in the first place? **blink, blink**

    Great post, as usual, Kristen. :-)

    • #18 by Lisa Hall-Wilson on July 16, 2013 - 9:29 pm

      I’ve seen that post. It circulates three or four times a year. It’s not true. The other one I see a lot is “I don’t want you to see all my likes and posts on other pages, yah de yah da.” Not true either. A great resource to check when you see posts like this is snopes.com – they have a whole section dedicated to Facebook. Be a voice of reason :D

  11. #19 by John H. Carroll on July 16, 2013 - 10:36 am

    This is an excellent article. Honestly, most of my facebook and twitter friends are authors. Because of my reclusive nature, I don’t have many real-life friends, lol. But I like socializing with other writers. And I love Monty Python quotes. :D

  12. #20 by afstewart on July 16, 2013 - 10:36 am

    I totally agree. And by the way, talking about zombies and Star Wars and quoting Monty Python too much can’t happen in my book.

  13. #21 by kimterry on July 16, 2013 - 10:37 am

    Loved this post, Kristen! Although I haven’t received the type of offensive FB post you received, I can certainly empathize. We writers are in the “people” biz, as well, since — DUH? People are the ones most likely to read our books! Btw, I picked up a sample of RISE OF THE MACHINES. When payday comes, teo agonizing weeks from tomorrow, I’ll pony up for the rest of the book.

  14. #22 by Linda Barrett on July 16, 2013 - 10:38 am

    I saw the very same post you referred to in today’s blog. Couldn’t believe it either. I jumped back in my chair and thought, “Is she kidding?” Unfortunately, she wasn’t. I ignored it; certainly didn’t follow her. Good for you for calling her on it.

  15. #23 by Kay Shostak on July 16, 2013 - 10:52 am

    High fives and much laughter from Florida! Great blog!

  16. #24 by JoanneBest on July 16, 2013 - 10:53 am

    Wow, how rude! I had 2 facebook pages at one point, one my main page for all my friends/family (and I use the word ‘friend’ to mean any and every one that sends me a friend request-except for those requests you get from fake people who have 1 fake picture and 1 fake friend because they’re just trying to scam something or other), the 2nd page was a temporary page made when Hurricane Irene destroyed our house and my entire town got together to help us rebuild- the page was there to document the destruction and rebuilding and keep everyone informed.
    I haven’t considered doing an author page yet, but it’s nice to know that when I do, I can come here and learn how to do it the right way. I’m in the camp where we are all friends, we all write, therefore we are all both colleagues and friends :-)

  17. #25 by Laurie A Will on July 16, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Hi Kristen, Yes, I did receive a very similar email a few weeks ago. I wish I could remember the wording. I was offended and I did not bother to go and like their page. And I was tempted to respond and if I would have been a bit more tired I would have fired off a response similar to yours. Something else on Facebook that’s has been bothering me is people who ask me to be their friend and then ten seconds after I accept they send me an email asking me to “like” there page. There is no introduction, no title or genre of their book given. The presumption is I should just blindly like their book. The ironic thing is, I want to help other writers and if they could have spent just one minute saying hello to me, asking something about me, or even just asking me to take a look at their page, I would most likely take a look and “like” there page. I don’t like the feeling that they are only asking me to be their friend because they want me to “like” their page. I would only take a minute to introduce themselves and their work. They could write an introduction ahead of time and use the same one changing it occasionally and it would feel friendly and personal. I don’t know if it bothers anyone else, but it certainly makes me feel like a number and not a person.

  18. #26 by nelizadrew on July 16, 2013 - 10:59 am

    My writing is under a pen name. My non-writing friends don’t care about it. Really. They don’t read it. They don’t get it. Having a separate identity is confusing, but writing under a name as generic as the one my friends call me or as “cozy” as the one on my passport doesn’t help build a “brand” either.
    This actually convinced me that what I’ve been considering — setting up a separate FB page — is probably the right way to go. I share a lot of other author’s events and reviews and whatnot now and I get the impression my non-reading friends and relatives just gloss over all that. I have the sort of relatives and in-laws that, for the most part, think writing is a silly thing to waste one’s time on.

  19. #27 by Sheila Bali on July 16, 2013 - 11:04 am

    Thanks for the valuable tip, Kristin. As always you write with wisdom and knowledge, and I enjoy reading your posts. My problem is that I am too reserved. I know that I need to break out and crack open my shell, but I have a hard time to promote myself. May I invite you on my personal Facebook? It would be an honor.

  20. #28 by MishaBurnett on July 16, 2013 - 11:05 am

    I am reminded of the scene in Ghostbusters where Louis Tully announces that he’s throwing the party as a business expense and “that’s why I invited clients instead of friends”.

    When I started using Facebook and Twitter as an author platform I made on concerted effort to be aware that whatever I post on-line is available to anyone who takes the time to look for it. Consequently, I don’t make many personal posts, and I try to keep the ones that I do make as innocuous as possible.

    For personal communication I use e-mail or text. I do consider the contacts I make on-line as friends, some I know well, so I hardly know at all, but I try to treat everyone with courtesy and respect and leave the door open for casual on-line contacts to become “friends” in the more traditional sense.

  21. #29 by KM Huber on July 16, 2013 - 11:07 am

    Time and again, WANA methods remind us to treat other people the way we want to be treated, and even better, WANA offers the tools to design a unique, individual approach to social media. It just doesn’t get any better than RISE OF THE MACHINES. As a fan and a friend, once again thank you, Kristen, for your constant generosity and open heart. It means a great deal to many.

  22. #30 by Nickie Asher on July 16, 2013 - 11:09 am

    I have seen messages like this and I did take offense. You are spot on.

  23. #31 by Anne Stuessy on July 16, 2013 - 11:11 am

    I’m with you! It’s like telling someone you’ve had to reduce the dinner party list from 12 to 10 and they didn’t make the cut.

  24. #32 by Pirkko Rytkonen on July 16, 2013 - 11:15 am

    I am a FB profile user just starting out with a blog. I wasn’t sure what you meant that everyone is your friend? Should I change it to ‘everyone’ to show who sees my FB posts or just keep it at ‘friends’. I like your ideas. Since I’m a private person, it’s been a challenge to change my thinking. Thank you for the post.

  25. #33 by Kate Sparkes on July 16, 2013 - 11:17 am

    Wow, rude! The other person, not you. I’m sure they had no idea they were going to upset anyone, but I can see why you weren’t pleased. “You’re not the sort of person I want in my new private club, so if you could just shuffle on over to the Warehouse of People Who Love Me, that would be GREAT.”

    I only have my personal fb page so far. I’m off to buy your book now, as I’m still trying to figure out what route to take as far as all of that goes. Thanks in advance! :)

    • #34 by Kate Sparkes on July 16, 2013 - 11:19 am

      *re-reads fine print* OK, not NOW, but ASAP. ;)

  26. #35 by cpbialois on July 16, 2013 - 11:17 am

    Reblogged this on The BiaLog.

  27. #36 by Marley Andretti on July 16, 2013 - 11:18 am

    I really enjoyed your post and learned a thing or two from it. I am a writer and a photographer, or yes AND a fitness trainer. I have a business in the training and the photography, and I hope that one day soon someone will read an MS of mine, laugh so hard that coffee comes shooting through their nose and publish me, so I will have a book to sell, sell, sell. That aside, I created a separate page for my photography business, then found myself sharing the links to my own wall anyway, kind of like chasing my own tail. I plan to delete my business page, and ideas on how to get the people who liked my page and are not my friends to come back from the dark side?

  28. #37 by Jamie DeBree on July 16, 2013 - 11:19 am

    I don’t post anything that could get me into major trouble, but family politics being what they are, I started using lists fairly early, and everyone who friends me goes into one immediately. I love them, and I don’t find them difficult to use at all. But I do tend to think through things before I post them pretty well too – across all social networks. And I have to be mindful about writing vs. the day job as well, which lists are also useful for.

    You know why I have writers segmented into two separate lists? Because writers are the most vocal bunch about not wanting to see game requests (incidentally, I have my game stuff segmented as well), food/laundry/household posts, and the other mundane subjects that allow us to actually connect with people on a basic “human” level. The only complaints I ever get about the content of posts on FB come from…yes, writers. It’s annoying, frankly.

    When I created the lists, I posted a couple of times asking anyone who wanted *all* of my posts to respond, and writers who wanted only writing-related posts to ignore it. Needless to say, my list of writers who want everything I post is far shorter than the list of writers who prefer (or indicated they did by not responding) to only see writing-related posts. Now I ask everyone individually as I add them…some want everything, some want to keep it writing only. It takes two seconds to add them to a list once I get their preference. It’s no problem for me – I have hootsuite set up only to post to my writing/reading lists, and my normal FB page is customized to exclude the writing list by default (and a couple others *ahem*). And it’s not like I stress over a post accidentally going to the “wrong” group here and there. Sometimes I post certain things to everyone just to annoy the writing-only group, honestly. ;-)

    I need to do something better with my author pages, and I’ll get there eventually. People can connect with me where ever they want, but my lists keep me from being “scolded” by writers who prefer to keep things “business only”.

    • #38 by Amy Keeley on July 17, 2013 - 10:58 am

      And I thought this only happened on G+. O_O

      G+ changed their settings the other day to allow others to see things you’ve +1′d. Some writers were okay with it, some enjoyed it, but a very vocal group, VERY vocally made it clear that if they saw a +1 in their stream, they would uncircle whoever put it there.

      Because, you know, it’s all memes and other garbage. *rolls eyes*

      Other writers pointed out that some interesting things can come through that way, and nope. The others didn’t listen. In fact, they complained that G+ was becoming another FB.

      I read those exchanges with my jaw hanging.

      So, yeah. The most unsociable, annoying people I’ve had to deal with so far are other writers. Thankfully, it’s only a small handful compared to the wonderful ones.

  29. #39 by rmridley on July 16, 2013 - 11:20 am

    I have both a ‘personal’ and ‘writer’ page. I link them all the time because on the one I only talk about the dry info about writing, thoughts and word count – not fun but somewhat informative to those who write. MY personal page has so many other authors and editors on it I can’t even remember the connections that made us friends – but friends is what we are, it is foolish to think otherwise. I have yet to have anything to promote, and when I do I hope, but don’t expect, that my FB friends will share the word. I share their updates about their books because there isn’t a limited number of readers or book space and I want my friends to succeed in their endeavours. Also, to the guy who posted that ridiculous comment – every writer is an avid reader … do the math.

  30. #40 by Jason on July 16, 2013 - 11:21 am

    Reblogged this on Internet Sales Success and commented:
    This is a great message. It’s hard to keep your public and private lives separately. Maybe you don’t have to though. People might like you better for seeing your human side.

  31. #41 by Kitty Bucholtz on July 16, 2013 - 11:25 am

    I read almost all of your posts and only comment occasionally. (I’ve had my head down writing my superhero book for the last few months.) But this post was worth a “Woo-hoo! GREAT advice!” comment. :) I’d gotten some advice that I *should* do what that author did, but when I read this I realized how obvious it was that it’s a huge mistake. Now that I’ve got a new book out, I should re-read your two books and re-try to get more involved in WANA. (I’m not a big Twitter person, but I forgot the group is on FB. Yay! Thanks for the reminder!) Thanks for all your hard work on our behalf, Kristen! You rock! :)

    • #42 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 11:56 am

      Get my new one if you get a chance. A LOT of new information and almost two YEARS of serious research.

  32. #43 by Mara Valderran on July 16, 2013 - 11:25 am

    I have a separate FB profile for my penname, so that way people I know have the option of following my writerly exploits instead of being flooded with it in their feeds (I am highly more active on my penname profile than my personal one). I went with a profile instead of a fan page since I hadn’t published anything yet, so I’m glad to know that’s the right order. Do we really need to create a fan page after we max out with friends since Facebook has the option to subscribe to a profile now? I have some people who are followers but didn’t add me as a friend, so I assume it works the same way as liking a fanpage.

    • #44 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 11:56 am

      You need a fan page if you have anything for sale. Sell on a personal page can get you put in Facebook jail. Invest in a copy of my new book. It has a simple ten step plan and it explains ALL of this stuff. You have to know how FB works. You won’t flood anyone with anything they aren’t interested in. FB only puts in our news feeds content we are engaging with. So if your friends and family REALLY don’t care about your writer stuff, then they won’t engage with it…ergo it will never be in their feeds. Make sense? Your splitting your time for no reason.

  33. #45 by t.i.n.a. on July 16, 2013 - 11:26 am

    Like Tymber, I also have 2 profiles. Those close family/friends who want to follow my writing, friend me twice. The others who don’t want me talking about writing (or books/reading in general) stay on my locked-down “mundane” profile. There’s enough cross-over in subject matter I post, but my writer profile is a lot more open and friendly. I think my mundane one is kinda grumpy – and not at all funny like Grumpy Cat (so there’s no appeal there).

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 11:53 am

      You are fracturing your platform. Sorry. And maybe they don’t care, but they might be friends with someone who WILL care. Dividing your time like that will hurt you once you have to keep a professional pace. Writers wonder why they are having terrible book sales but they are only hanging out with other writers and we are all oversold. READERS are regular people, not writers. READERS are fascinated by writers, yet people keep dissecting them out and dismissing them. I will never tell you what to do (LIAR! *smacks self*) but I can encourage you to never underestimate loose ties.

      • #47 by t.i.n.a. on July 16, 2013 - 9:07 pm

        Well, darn it. Now I really don’t know what to do with myself (which is obvious)… You always give me a lot to chew on, Kristen. :) Thanks.

        • #48 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 9:10 pm

          Here to help :D. Hey, I don’t toss y’all in the deep end without help. It’s what I am here for ;).

  34. #49 by AshleeW on July 16, 2013 - 11:28 am

    Thanks so much for the great post!

  35. #50 by projectechoshadow on July 16, 2013 - 11:31 am

    I created a fan page before trying to get a following so I wouldn’t have to try and kick people out like that guy did, but to be perfectly honest I doubt I could do such a thing anyway. I’m not nicest the nicest guy by any means but I’ve got my limits, what a jerkface. Anyone can adds my regular page if they just ask, only made the fan page to appear professional.

  36. #51 by projectechoshadow on July 16, 2013 - 11:34 am

    Reblogged this on Echoshadow and commented:
    Rule number one:
    try not to be like the guy from this story.

  37. #52 by DLFowler on July 16, 2013 - 11:37 am

    Kristen – I consider you every author’s friend. I read every post you do here and admire the way you’re always giving your best stuff. I’ve even bought you books.

    My biggest problem with social media is that I don’t multitask. I do one thing until it’s done well then move on to the next. I do it that way mostly to keep my sanity. I was in a profession for over 30 years that resembled something my daughter once described – she was on the phone talking to a salesman while one kid was pulling on her leg and the other was sucking on her breast, at the same time her husband was looking for his favorite t-shirt. Oh yes, another salesman was knocking at the front door, her call waiting signal was beeping in her ear and her computer was announcing “you’ve got mail.” I don’t want rerun that part of my life – it almost killed me.

    My second biggest problem is I’m very serious. I have a lot of difficult with small talk. When I’m sitting around at happy hour, I mostly listen, and throw in my two cents when someone brings up something interesting, like a book or a movie or their family or food or wine or beer or bourbon. Of course when those kinds of things come up, I open up about my family or favorite book or movie or recipe or libation.

    Nonetheless, I’ve been telling myself for sometime that I have to break out of my shell, if nothing else maybe for an hour a day – I’ll have to make an appointment with myself since I hate being interrupted.

    So to start I’m going to send you a FB friend request – I see the link above.

    Again many thanks for all you do for us.

    Larry

    • #53 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 11:50 am

      Hit “Like” buttons. We see your name and you are top of mind in a positive way. I minimize the screen and just pop in for a few minutes at a time. We don’t have to be on social media for HOURS to be effective. That’s what my book teaches. Unless you choose to blog (which I highly recommend) social media takes less than 20 minutes a day. Really.

  38. #54 by Romy Sommer on July 16, 2013 - 11:39 am

    I agree that our biggest engagement comes when we’re just being ourselves. My FB post that got the most comments and views had nothing to do with any of my books. It was the day I posted that I had chickenpox!

    Not only did I get to engage with people I don’t usually chat to, but I got some very useful tips on how to treat itchy spots. Double win!

  39. #55 by patrickoscheen on July 16, 2013 - 11:41 am

    Hahahahaha!

  40. #56 by Marilyn Hudson Tucker on July 16, 2013 - 11:41 am

    I am SO grateful to have your book RISE OF THE MACHINES. It will keep me from making mistakes like this one–and many more. I am linking to SARA and SAWG. My personal page will always be “Marilyn Tucker,” but my fan page will be “Marilyn Hudson Tucker.”

  41. #57 by kristin nador on July 16, 2013 - 11:43 am

    Reblogged this on kristin nador writes anywhere and commented:
    Some great advice from always frank social media goddess Kristen Lamb on what NOT to do as an author with your Facebook account. Social media is a wonderful tool for authors if we learn to use it correctly. Use social media tools, don’t act like one. :)

  42. #58 by David Todd on July 16, 2013 - 11:58 am

    If that’s a true exchange, and not just an illustration you made up for the blog, I’d say your response to the social media gaff was designed to show yourself to be right rather than to win. I would consider a win to be bringing about a change in behavior in the other person. You didn’t do that, so it seems your witty words were wasted—other than providing fodder for this post. Of course, perhaps your aim was to be right rather than to win. If so, congratulations, you achieved your aim.

    • #59 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 12:50 pm

      Hey, I was the first to admit in my post that I was tired and probably shouldn’t answer e-mails when I am wiped. And you are correct 1000%. Yet, on the other side of this, I have dealt with similar authors and they still don’t see it. Talk about wasted words! Sweet cuddly e-mails trying to explain how they are insulting people. So my record hasn’t been too great with the other approach either. But he’d already unfriended me, so not much I could do other than make it a lesson for others. First, don’t respond to snooty e-mails when you’re over worked and second, be kind to people on FB. Don’t use them.

  43. #60 by Andy Decker on July 16, 2013 - 11:58 am

    Part of the reason I don’t like (no pun intended) Facebook is because if I were using FB, it would feel not very genuine. It would be like, ‘I’m pretending to be friendly and show all this interest in others so they will buy my books.’ That just feels dirty. A lot of advertising just feels dirty. Then again, selling ebooks is selling. There is a business aspect to all this (Captain Obvious strikes). It reminds me of linkedin where everybody is touting skills this and moves that and innovation the other. People you don’t hear from for years want you to endorse or verify skills. But, if I would be honest on FB and let everyone know the only reason I’m using the platform is to sell ebooks, that would be a bit too honest and people wouldn’t like that either. In a way, the opening example – the kerfluffel over ‘friends’ with someone you’ve never met – is a good example of this. Know what I mean?

    • #61 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 12:46 pm

      Just get on there to make friends. Don’t have an agenda. Share fun pictures and start discussions. Join discussions. People will surprise you. And yeah, if you get on FB just because you want to sell? People feel it. If you feel dirty it’s because you know deep down it’s wrong. But don’t underestimate the wonderful friendships you have yet to make.

  44. #62 by Tiffany Pitts on July 16, 2013 - 12:00 pm

    I only have one page but FB has decided I need like, twelve – and has gone ahead and made those for me but honestly, I can’t be bothered to update more than one account because I don’t have the time. Also, I’m too lazy to censor myself on my FB page – I occasionally swear and I post pictures of my kids – but nothing I wouldn’t tell the checker at the grocery store.

    Should I HAVE a fan page? Is it necessary? I feel like that’s a lot of work to confuse the people I’m already connected to through my regular-Joe page. I don’t have 5000+ followers so it’s not a technical solution for anything.

    • #63 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 12:45 pm

      You don’t need a fan page unless you have books for sale. Period. Max the 5000 and then you can even stay there if you want to. Post your books stuff on the author fan page and tell people you do most of your interacting on the regular page and they can subscribe to your feed (that’s a way around the 5000). You just have to keep commerce on fan pages or you can land in FB jail.

      • #64 by Tiffany Pitts on July 16, 2013 - 2:29 pm

        Thank you! I had no idea about the commerce thing.
        Also, FB jail sounds kind of like a room with molded-plastic chairs and lots of fish tanks.

  45. #65 by Catherine Johnson on July 16, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Totally agree with you and doesn’t it save time not having an author page or a fan page. I bought a writing friend another fb friend’s book because I knew she’d love it and it wasn’t my thing. That lady obviously hasn’t read your book, Kristen.

  46. #66 by dingo4mum on July 16, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    Yup, I’ve had this happen. Before I started writing I sent a friend request to an author whose books I buy and work I admire.
    She sent me a message with something along the lines of “hey thanks for the request, but can I direct you to my author page so you don’t have to hear about my midnight runs to get ice-cream or (something else I can’t remember)”.
    And I thought, you know what? I want to hear about the midnight ice-cream runs cos I actually like reading that sort of stuff. It’s real, it’s identifiable, and it’s all part of the author stalking ;)
    Now that I write and am trying to build a platform I accept quite a lot of friend requests. I figure if they are dodgy then I’ll simply delete and block. And yes, I share stuff that makes me human and relatable–like eating too much raspberry-coconut sorbet after dinner tonight, or how many words I’ve written, and grumpy cat memes. :)

    Keep up the great work, Kristen. I enjoy your blog posts. :)

  47. #67 by Maryann on July 16, 2013 - 12:19 pm

    I’ve always wondered about those fan pages on FB. I set up a separate page for Maryann Miller the writer on the advice of someone who purported to know that was a good idea, but I find it cumbersome to try to add to that page and work with the regular page. it makes more sense to have one page. Thanks for validating my inclination.

  48. #68 by hiddenwholeness on July 16, 2013 - 12:24 pm

    You make some very interesting points. My blog is only in its infancy, so I’m new to this, but I had, like you pointed out soem of us do, only sent the link to people I thought would be interested. So I’m going to change that now. When I think about it, many of the people I interact with on Facebook are old school friends. And while they still feel like sisters to me, the truth is I haven’t seen most of them face to face for 20 years and so are not strictly ‘true’ friends. And yet they are. It’s easy to feel like we all know each other, that we’re very connected to our iFriends, and yet we’re only connected to the snippets that get posted. So as I think about that, and about your article, I can really see your point. But I could always see why you were offended. Well done for responding honestly. For being real. When I read a book, I feel like I’m somehow connected to the author, and eventually I want to be published and create that same sense of intimacy in my readers. I would have viewed his message as not only offensive, but shallow; showing no promise of any depth in his writing.

  49. #69 by Margaret Taylor on July 16, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    I love this post! I’m so glad that I unknowingly have been following this model! I use my “author’s” page to keep people informed about my writing – my accomplishments, my downfalls, my releases, contests and just general kudo’s to others too. I use my personal side to comment, chat, update with non-writing related statuses (like when I’m drugged after surgery and visiting with pink elelants, blue leprechauns and purple reindeer for instance – don’t ask, please don’t ask!) and sharing my friends work, freebies and so on. Above being an Author, I’m also a reader and I enjoy sharing what happens with my pals and other readers too.

    Thanks for confirming what I was thinking should be the right way to do things…*laughs*

    Oh, and Kristen, don’t answer emails when you’re tired, mkay? Just a piece of advice from one colleague to another…:D

    Btw, can I friend you? *bats big blue eyes* Please? I promise I’ll only quote Monty Python if you do! Oh and share Grumpy Cat when he’s got some really nifty things to impart!

    • #70 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 12:42 pm

      Of course you can friend me. A spot just recently opened up, LOL.

      • #71 by Margaret Taylor on July 16, 2013 - 4:08 pm

        YAY! All sent…And thank you. I feel so special to replace…erm, what was his name again? See…I’ve already forgotten him too.

  50. #72 by Debra Parmley on July 16, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Kristen I sent you a friend request. The main rule I stick to on my page is that everyone must be kind to each other or I will remove a comment or post. Other than that, all “friends” are welcome. I’ve often thought there is a whole lot of confusion out there with people not agreeing on the definition of what a friend is. Facebook has changed the meaning I believe.

    I have to wonder if the lists are alienating people if the street teams do that as well. After seeing so many other authors with street teams I finally created one on Facebook, but to be honest I really don’t know what to do with the group and it feels more than a little strange to be asking people to promote my books. So it’s a quiet little group right now. Do you cover this in your book?

    • #73 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 12:42 pm

      Yes, I cover how to properly use Facebook in the new book (and remain SANE).

  51. #74 by Erin Lale on July 16, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Ah, I knew I was right. People kept telling me to have separate pages for my science fiction, my nonfiction, my political stuff, etc. and keep it all away from “real” friends and family. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

    • #75 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 12:51 pm

      For the love of chocolate, NOOOOOOO!!!!!! :D

    • #76 by Lisa Hall-Wilson on July 16, 2013 - 9:40 pm

      I’m hearing this a lot from trad published authors who are told this by their publisher.

  52. #77 by mfantaliswrites on July 16, 2013 - 12:45 pm

    I am FB friends with a lot of authors who will sometimes ask me to “also Like” their author page. In other words, they’re not shutting me out of the personal relationship, but they are asking me to also support their professional endeavors. I don’t have a problem with that. (I do have a problem, though, when their personal and professional pages routinely have the exact same posts so I have the same stuff from them on my timeline over and over).

  53. #78 by Peggy Holloway on July 16, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    What this guy did is kind of like owning a store, letting only friends inside, but expecting everyone to buy your merchandise. What was he thinking? After helping so many people like you do, you sure didn’t deserve this. .

    • #79 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 1:59 pm

      Very true and to be fair, I probably could have handled it better. I did have the skin of a grape yesterday. Thanks :D.

  54. #80 by Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) on July 16, 2013 - 1:21 pm

    When I get random friend requests, I just ignore them. And I certainly never direct those people to go and like my author page instead. I will friend a blogger buddy if I interact with them on a regular basis. It can be hard to find the right level of personality to let show through on one’s author page.

  55. #81 by Jackie Vick on July 16, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    You’re absolutely right. I have read books that I’d never pick up at a store simply because I liked the writer. And sometimes I’ve found good books that way, but that’s another topic. :)

  56. #82 by Jessica Vealitzek on July 16, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    So glad you addressed this. I’ve been debating the issue of starting a fan page but it didn’t feel right–so many of my friends and family are supportive; I didn’t want to give them the extra work of liking a new page or getting info from me twice. Your attitude that everyone online is your friend, and that you shouldn’t post anything you don’t want everyone to see anyway, suits me perfectly. I was worried about other people tagging me, but that’s an easy privacy fix to make.

  57. #83 by LucyPireel on July 16, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    I regard all my facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter friends and followers as friends until they Blieb me over. :-) Luckily that has not happened much. But it is true that the majority of authors think they need to separate private from their ‘work’ page. Forgetting you forfeit your private the moment you sign on for whatever social media site.
    I started an author page too, but mainly use my personal profile to interact. And those “Like my page” requests? Oh well, if they want me to like their page and don’t bother to ask me for a link to mine or take the trouble to find it on their own volition? Well, I can’t be bothered. I just interact with everyone who does with me, and try my best to help my fellow authors/friends promoting their work if they want me to.
    And friends? Shoot, I’ve met my bet friends online! So as much as I resent the institute Facebook, I cannot help but love it for the fact it allowed me to meet some of the greatest people. And I will continue to treat everyone on my friends list as a friend, a beloved friend.

  58. #84 by Heather on July 16, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Okay, I’m also wondering about the pages vs profiles thing. I don’t have a page. I only have a profile. One of my favorite authors has a pen name that is her profile, she allowed me to friend her and it totally made my day that she wished me a happy birthday. Now, I have a question though. If I have an author page vs my own profile, could I not separate the people who are intimately connected in my life (ie they went to the wedding) vs everyone else? So far it’s just my profile and I pretty much friend everyone with very few exceptions.

    • #85 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 1:57 pm

      You can use a list if you need to. You are doing it right. Friend everyone until it’s time to un-friend (I.e. a bot). My book explains the differences in profile pages and fan pages and what advantages and disadvantages each has. They serve different purposes. Maybe I just need to blog on this tomorrow, LOL.

      • #86 by Heather on July 16, 2013 - 2:54 pm

        I won’t say no to a blog post on that topic!

      • #87 by Heather on July 17, 2013 - 9:55 am

        also, can you clarify the whole ‘followers vs friends’ thing on fb? i have a couple of followers… people who could be friends but apparently just want to lurk.

  59. #88 by Pamela Beason (@PamelaBeason) on July 16, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    I hate Facebook with a purple passion. I’m only on it because I’ve been told that as an author I need to be. I have a personal page and a fan page, but nobody ever finds my fan page without me specifically telling them to go there from my personal page (which seems rude), I can never tell who can see what, and when I switch from using Facebook as the personal me to using it as the author me, everything on the screen changes and I’m lost again. I find Twitter quite useful. I find Google+ useful. I find my website/blog useful. I worked in the software business for a long time, and I think Facebook wins the prize for the most confusing internet interface ever.

    I’m quite sure I’m alienating readers because I never post on FB except when a book is coming out or I’m doing a signing or something. Would it be “nicer” to not be on Facebook at all?

    • #89 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 1:55 pm

      The only two I REALLY recommend are a blog and Twitter if I had to pick two. I advise a blog because it’s permanent. Unless the Internet implodes you have a platform. No, you don’t HAVE to do FB but I will say often when people don’t like a social platform it’s really just because they don’t understand it.

      • #90 by Pamela Beason (@PamelaBeason) on July 16, 2013 - 2:01 pm

        Yes, I eagerly admit that I don’t understand Facebook for all the reasons I listed above. Clearly I need a “Facebook Guide for People Who Want to Learn an Interface in Five Minutes” that is updated every week. Not enough hours in the day to keep up with all this AND write the next book.

        I do appreciate your advice and your blog, Kristen. My favorite post so far was Panty Prose–truly an advertising breakthrough!

  60. #91 by pshene.webs.com/ on July 16, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    I read your ‘rant’ in my e mail and was going to comment from there but decided to mosey over. if you are able to teach me to do social media for only twenty minutes a day, I will not only buy your book, I will read it immediately, and push it. I sometimes feel I have over loaded my plate and find I don’t want to eat any of it.

    I’ve had a couple of people get in my face on social media, and I really try not to answer in kind, but being tired is my usual state because of my homelife. I, too, have a New York state of mind, and I don’t think it ever wise to burn a bridge. Bridges lead to highways and spoke out into many, more than you know, side roads..

    • #92 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 1:53 pm

      Well, if it makes you feel better, I did apologize to him and told him he just hurt my feelings. Then wished him luck. We all have human moments, but I think sometimes that’s what gets lost is there is a human on the other side of that message who you are telling is not worth anything except to buy a book.

      Yes, unless you decide to blog, WANA takes less than 20 minutes a day. There is a mistaken belief we have to commit HOURS of time and I prefer to teach you to work smarter not harder :D.

  61. #93 by Sydney Jane Baily on July 16, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    I read this same topic in your back and was waiting until I’d finished to barrage you with questions, but I want to ask you what I should do AFTER I’ve made a hash of things. I never sent out a tacky, hurtful message like that one. I just kept creating new FB pages and saw people pop up on each one. Main reason was that my personal FB uses my married name and so I created an author page, but then I couldn’t friend people so I created an author personal page. Now I have three unwieldy monsters that I don’t know what to do with.

    Perhaps you could give me some advice. Or I can wait until I’m done with your book and then write again, but meanwhile, I’ve started posting things on all three pages. Stupid me! As my auntie would say, “I’m a doughnut!”

    • #94 by Sydney Jane Baily on July 16, 2013 - 1:52 pm

      Supposed to say “in your book” not “in your back.” Whoopsy!

  62. #95 by William P Hunter on July 16, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    Well I’m guilty as charged. I have two, yes two personal profiles and one fan page. One personal has close friends and family in them. They talk about personal things and the like. Some of the discussion can be heated as opinions about current events (political and religious topics) and the like are bandy about.

    The other is for a writing group I attend, and they have writing and reviewing as well as the same type of political and religious conversations.

    And of course the fan page for my writing platform.

    I am a newbie to Facebook and maybe it can be done, but I can see that I would rather not be like Orson Scott Card. I want my writing to be judged by its merit not dismissed because somebody doesn’t like my feelings on a certain issue that is opposite of theirs.

    I have your other two books and you are a Facebook fiend already. I will get your next book not because I love your blog, because I do or because we have the same great taste in Star Wars and Monty Python but because your other two books were well written.

    Thanks for the great post.

    • #96 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 2:47 pm

      We have ALL done the stupid stuff. Really. I was going to name my first book “I Did All The Dumb Stuff So You Don’t Have To” :D.

  63. #97 by mayhem57 on July 16, 2013 - 2:23 pm

    Thank you for the informative and helpful article . I’m new to Facebook, signing on last Thursday to reconnect with my old friends and a more recent one who I temporarily lost contact with. Your article helped me not to may the mistakes a noob would and help me utilize Facebook to the fullest. I’m definitely going to friend you on Facebook because I think we’d become fast friend . I like zombies, even though I’ve been too busy to watch any zombie movies of late. I love Star Wars and would love to share my take on the whole “Lando the Traitor” argument. And I have been known to quote a Monty Python skit or two, especially those starring my favorite Python, Graham Chapman. A friend like you would definitely help me become a successful writer and I will check out WANA just as soon as I can.

  64. #98 by HopeWelsh on July 16, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    I do have a fan page and a just ‘me’ page. I accept all friend requests. and I try not to spam my fellow authors or readers to death on my ‘me’ page. I’d have been insulted, too. I consider all other authors colleagues, whether I’ve worked with them personally or not. Shrug. I’m ON Facebook to connect with both readers and other authors. Why in the world would I shoot myself in the foot by insulting them? Seems silly to me.

  65. #99 by Edward Owen on July 16, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    I understand the author’s point, but their means of expression leaves a great deal to be desired. I have the whole world all wrapped up in one profile and I have an author page on which I post only topics related to my writing. Admittedly, I’m not as ardent a social networker as you and many other authors, but that is largely a time constraint. I can write on my commute, but there’s no internet on the bus (often a blessing in disguise… SHINY PROOF!) I am very outspoken, but rarely insulting (hey, I’m human, too). If someone disagrees with my politics and chooses not to become a fan, that is their choice. I happen to have a small following that chastised me for even thinking of keeping my opinions to my self. I’m not worried about stalkers or other crazies because with a small step across the line, I would be their king. So, bottom line (20K words later) what you see is what you get if you friend me on FB. Love your blog, finally figured out how to get it sent to my phone, so I never miss it. I keep the 10 Ways for an ADD writer… OOOOHH Shiny.. what was I saying? Anyway, it has a permanent home on my phone. I will definitely friend you, and not just because you’re blonde… um, I mean entertaining, but because you speak the truth… and are a major geek….All Hail the Queen. :)

    • #100 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 2:46 pm

      LOVE the SHINY PROOF! Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I actually e-mailed and apologized for having the skin of a grape and all is cool, but I used this example because IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. And I know the authors mean well, they just forget we don’t have the advantage of facial expressions and body language. Thanks for the compliment. And frankly, social media doesn’t have to take a long time. Pop in, share cool, funny, inspirational stuff, like a few things, engage, compliment and encourage. BOOM! less than 10 minutes.

  66. #101 by bcbrownbooks on July 16, 2013 - 3:01 pm

    Perfectly said.

  67. #102 by bcbrownbooks on July 16, 2013 - 3:03 pm

    Perfectly said. But, also, even though you are online friends and colleagues, I do feel it is very important we all watch our amount of spam.

  68. #103 by Carolyn Paul Branch on July 16, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    A few months ago I got a message worded exactly like that. I don’t remember who sent it. I just ignored both the message and the fan page. I can’t say I was offended, but it sure didn’t make me want to rush out and buy that authors books!

  69. #104 by Donna Martin on July 16, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    Kristen,

    I imagine this author continues to be deluded that his email only insulted YOU. Yeah, you might have been tired. Yeah, your mother’s NY genes might have kicked into high gear. But that still doesn’t excuse HIS poor behavior and outright disrespect for the very people whose support he should be cultivating. Surely there was a better way to handle that particular situation if he really needed to dissect his online connections. I’m sure you will not lose too much sleep over the knowledge you are no longer his “friend” and I certainly would want YOU in my corner if I had a book coming out…;~)

    Take care,

    Donna L Martin

    • #105 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 3:29 pm

      Actually we have been talking in messages and the writer feels HORRIBLE. So did I. Frankly, I was too touchy. But now we are talking and becoming friends and I am luring yet another author to The Dark Side (Score for WANA!). The writer slept on it after I snapped back and it was a *forehead slap* of OH, DEAR GOD! But all is cool and it might be better in the long run.

      We ALL screw up. It’s why I go out of my way to give leeway. I show my digital @$$ sometimes and want grace so I have to be willing to give it.

      • #106 by donna l martin on July 16, 2013 - 7:22 pm

        I am glad to hear there is was better resolution than the one I originally envisioned. And the fact it made great fodder for a powerful post didn’t hurt either! ;~)

        Take care,

        Donna

  70. #107 by sheilaenglehart on July 16, 2013 - 3:33 pm

    Platform = people, and you never know who is connected to a potential reader based on the relationship you forged with them. Word of mouth can only work if your word gets out.

  71. #108 by danijcaile on July 16, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    Great post, got lost somewhere in the middle, though…I did make an author fb page but I’ve never even been there and never plugged it because I AM that writer, that writer is now a part of ME, and I’m on fb :-)

  72. #109 by Delia Ramsey on July 16, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    100% correct. and I am glad you spoke up about it. There is an author who wanted me to write her a review but did’t want to spend the time to tell me about her book. I have no intentions of reading her book because she could not take the time to tell me about it. Authors need people and if they cannot see that then they don’t want to sell their books for it is the people who buy the books. One does not have enough friends to keep the book on the shelves. Everyone needs to be your friend and the more love you give the more people will want to buy. The author is the one that people are buying. They are buying into the authors thoughts. So if you can’t take time to see that then my question is why did you write the book?

  73. #110 by malindalou on July 16, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    I agree with you that it makes no sense to tell people you are going to alienate them on Facebook. If you really don’t want someone to see something, it takes all of 5 minutes to unfriend him or restrict his access to a post. (As you said, no one buys from whiners.)

  74. #111 by Alan Jankowski on July 16, 2013 - 4:49 pm

    Yeah, some good points here Kristen…and I have had people who won’t add me as a FB friend, but sent me a note about liking their page…and you’re point about learning about fellow authors on a personal level is right on the money…now that I know you like canned unicorn meat from being your Facebook friend, I just might find your books to be interesting as well…

    Cheers,
    Alan.

  75. #112 by rodalena on July 16, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    How awful: to announce a Mass Unfriending like that. The whole concept is nauseating to me. I probably would have responded too, but without your tact. :)

    • #113 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 5:58 pm

      Tact? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Yeah, I was a bit postal. But the writer actually thought about my message and felt HORRIBLE and now we are peeps. So it all worked out for good :D.

      • #114 by rodalena on July 16, 2013 - 5:59 pm

        Oh! That’s great! I love a happy ending. ♡

  76. #115 by danielocceno on July 16, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    I like the FACEBOOK internal community. I have FACEBOOK communicated with several successful writers in traditional and in self-publishing so I am mostly using the FACEBOOK for learning the industry. It has encouraged me to write new novels and work on my current project at the same time because I know several writers in the best seller lists, writing in the sub-genres, expected for self-publishers. The groups helped. I can pose a question needing an immediate answer and reply to a questions or comment, which reaffirms what I have learned or is corrected.

  77. #116 by laurieboris on July 16, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    Spot on, Kristin, thank you. I’ve gotten a few messages like that. Puts me off a little. We’re all people on this bus. I started with a personal FB page that quickly bloomed into a big, open tent. Then on many authors’ advice, I started an author page. Lots of crossover, lots of writers, but I love it. I don’t expect privacy on my FB pages, so I don’t sweat it. One of my favorite bosses once said that unless you’re willing to post your message on the front page of the NY Times, don’t put it online. Hope you had some fun in NYC, at least.

  78. #119 by laurieboris on July 16, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Laurie Boris, Freelance Writer and commented:
    Food for social media thought on Kristen Lamb’s blog today. It’s easy to see a teeny icon and a name and overlook that there’s a person attached. As I read this, two pieces of advice sprang to mind: one from my favorite boss, who said you shouldn’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your mother to read (or wouldn’t want to see posted on the front page of the New York Times, and the other paraphrased from Bob Vila: read twice, post once. I’m not perfect—heck, I even misspelled Kristen’s name in my comment, but I’m trying. Happy Tuesday!

  79. #120 by Dave Benneman on July 16, 2013 - 5:24 pm

    I am about to stumble down the dark road to launch and maintain a platform from which, I will promote my own writing as well as others. Is Rise Of The Machines only available from Amazon? I have a kindle and would even prefer a reference book in print. Please advise as to how I may get a copy. In the mean time I will be checking out WANA International. as always thanks for all that you do for us wanna-be sales people.

    • #121 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 5:56 pm

      Yes, it is available on Kindle and PLEASE read it before you do anything. Seriously, it will save you A LOT of time.

  80. #122 by Kelly Miller on July 16, 2013 - 5:28 pm

    When you said that we shouldn’t just use our personal page to talk about vacations, family, etc but also sprinkle in personal comments on our fan page, it really struck a cord. I always thought I should keep my fan page professional, that the fans would be interested in my kid stories. But you’re right. Personal stories builds relationships. Thanks.

    • #123 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 5:56 pm

      Fans will connect more with your dead houseplants, overdue laundry or grubby loud kids than a non-stop infomercial. You will actually NOT have to pay to promote if you engage that way. People will WANT to like, engage, comment and share.

    • #124 by Dave Benneman on July 16, 2013 - 6:06 pm

      Sorry Kristen, I meant to say I don’t own a Kindle. I have a Nook. Is Rise Of The Machines available at B&N?

      • #125 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 6:14 pm

        I am finishing the paper version this week. Am doing KDP select so not available in e-book there, but paper will be in the next week or so. I hope that helps.

  81. #127 by Dave Benneman on July 16, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    I have signed up for beginners Twitter in Aug. at WANA

  82. #129 by Jenny Hilborne on July 16, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    I usually ignore messages like the one you received, Kristen. I find them insulting, too. If FB friends who are also authors remove me as a friend and route me to their fan page, they get struck off my TBR list. I enjoy socializing with authors as friends.

  83. #130 by M. A. Dunham on July 16, 2013 - 6:20 pm

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. Thank you, the information is invaluable! I sometimes suspect knowing what NOT to do is better than these other books/posts promoted hat only vaguely talk about what to do.

  84. #131 by NancyS.Goodman on July 16, 2013 - 6:24 pm

    This was such a good post. I get those responses all the time and they are very annoying to say the least. i usually just ignore.them. I completely agree that your FAcebook page should connect with people on a personal level. i love speaking with people and even though I am finishing up my first book and haven’t published anything, I connect with writers and readers every day because I like them!!
    Oh, and you can never have enough Monty Python!

  85. #132 by Savvy Thorne on July 16, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    Funny, good blog, but I do have to wonder how many others were really insulted. It seems like an innocent, if tactless (lol) way to ask people to like their official page. Still–good response, and you didn’t deserve the rude comeback!

    • #133 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 7:05 pm

      Well, this author and I have continued talking. He REALLY didn’t realize how the message could be insulting and felt TERRIBLE and now we are BFFs. It’s the WANA Way :D.

  86. #134 by Deanne on July 16, 2013 - 7:04 pm

    Have to say I disagree with this. If an author has already accumulated loads of fans on their FB page then yes, it wouldn’t go down well to unfriend them all in order to keep family/friends separate. (And by friends I mean FRIENDS, the ones you give your books to for free.) In that case the author should probably start a new profile for their private stuff. But if the author already has a personal FB page that starts attracting readers, I suggest they need to start a new “fan” page or profile.

    I don’t want my readers listening in on homework discussions between me and my teenage nephew, or reading HIS comments on my personal updates. I don’t want people I’ve never met following my weekend plans to visit my sister. I don’t want them seeing and “liking” pictures of my Christmas family get-together, thus publishing my personal pics to their Wall.

    The further into this business you get, the more you realize you have to treat it like a business.

    • #135 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 7:12 pm

      In the Digital Age, we are a reality TV generation. We buy from who we feel we “know”, not just people shoving ads down our throats. And we can be intimate/personal and still professional. There are better ways of segmenting private stuff…like lists or creating a group. And if a writer doesn’t want to be human? We will gravitate to those who are. Just the nature of the changing paradigm.

      Me sharing I love Star Wars and Grumpy Cat doesn’t give away my social security number and address, but it’s HUMAN. Readers can connect to that because they AREN’T WRITERS. We have a bunch of writers all selling to each other and then they can’t figure out why their books aren’t selling. Well, they dissected READERS right out of their platform in the name of “business.”

  87. #136 by Karyne Corum on July 16, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Kristen, just found you via my friend(who is a colleague/friend) and thank goodness I did. Finally someone who can clear up so many misconceptions about platforming(often feels like a high dive without water), Facebook(often feel a slap in the real face would feel accomplish more) and who quotes Star Wars and Monty Python. The world can now end.

  88. #137 by Lina on July 16, 2013 - 7:32 pm

    This is great advice. Sadly, I see it a lot with a few of my author friends. The technological aspect of the literary world is kind of hitting me hard. I am still aspiring to publish traditionally, and lots of my writer friends/family are going the self-pubbing route. I have been able to watch what NOT to do on a daily basis. Then when I try to offer advice–after they ask of course–I get shot down like I know nothing about the craft. I’ve been doing this my whole life, but the social world says otherwise. I have been thinking about creating a fan page for my blog, but never for myself. I always assumed I’d be the real deal when I actually published a book. A few of my Facebook friends are traditionally published, and I see their posts every day. They give me hope that it’s still in my future, and that it’s still POSSIBLE to make it that far. They are the ones who’ve taken me under their wing. I would be devastated if one of them told me I was going to be moved to a fan page instead of their profile. I have often said to my husband, while talking about one of them, “that’s the kind of author I want to be.” Thanks for this post!

    • #138 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 9:02 pm

      Start building your platform ASAP. They don’t come out of the ether :D. Just talk to people and be cool. Really. That is all that is required. So much less pressure!

      • #139 by Lina on July 16, 2013 - 9:19 pm

        What’s the best way to build my platform before I’m an author? I feel like I’m putting the cart before the horse…

        • #140 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 10:22 pm

          Buy my book. Sorry I would seriously give this for FREE (but I need to eat). It is NINE DOLLARS. I teach you from the ground UP. If you can’t get the book then feel free to peruse the archives….though book would be WAY easier. Just saying.

  89. #141 by Sunni on July 16, 2013 - 7:49 pm

    Since I’m new to all the Facebook/twitter stuff, I always learn from your blog. I received a message similar to the one you received and thought it was how things were done. So before I make a social media blunder I just bought your new book. I’m sure it will be a wealth of right-on information.

  90. #142 by ingrid on July 16, 2013 - 8:00 pm

    What’s most disheartening to me is the response you got — the non-apology apology. But, it’s so typical in this era of narcissistic rudeness. Where is the civility, accountability and grace? How about a little conscious interaction with another writer, employing some degree of understanding? The “I’m sorry you are offended” tactic is among the worst responses anyone can give in any situation. I fear that social maturity and class were left behind in another era. A message like this would make me immediately dismiss the writer’s credibility. If they can’t manage their own emotional state, how on earth can they validly portray the depth of the human condition?

  91. #143 by Hildie McQueen on July 16, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    Wow you hit a big fat nail on the head. When I get those “I don’t need more friends” notes, I ignore them and move on. Why should I bother? Love, love. love reading your blog. You help us, the little people. LOL

  92. #144 by valerieparv on July 16, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Will buy the Rise of the Machines book ASAP. Your book, We are not alone, got me started on social media. I love Twitter and enjoy FB but never put anything on either that I wouldn’t want nailed to a board in the town center. I have a sadly neglected author page, but all are welcome on my profile site. Hadn’t thought of letting “fans” know that,but I will. *places flowers at feet of guru* Many thanks.

    • #145 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 16, 2013 - 9:05 pm

      Rise of the Machines took TWO YEARS of research. I love my other two books but this is a whole league ahead and it will give you ALL YOU NEED. I make it simple and FUN…namely because that’s what I LIKE. I am not a technophile. It’s all about people.

  93. #146 by Linda Williams Stirling on July 16, 2013 - 8:58 pm

    Great information! I have a personal FB page that I’m active on, but haven’t used it to talk about writing. I think I need to get your book, because I feel I don’t have a grasp on how to maximize using everything effectively. I want interactions with me on social media to add value to friend’s days. I’m just getting ready to launch my Blog, so I think this is a perfect time to learn from someone who has already been there and can show me the ropes. Looking forward to reading your book! Really enjoy your blog posts. Take care!

  94. #147 by amariesilver on July 16, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    Thanks for your help Kristen! I went into Facebook and created a friends and family list, then changed the privacy settings on all my photos and videos. It took about an hour and I feel much more open to accepting friend requests.

  95. #148 by Diana Staresinic-Deane on July 16, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    I agree and disagree with your post. Facebook users can run afoul of the Facebook rules by using their standard facebook profile as their author page. You’re also limited to 5,000 friends on a standard page. I do think that an author page can be used effectively, but the problem is that about half the authors on facebook post “Buy my #book on #amazon!” once a day, which is pointless.

    Still, in your case, there had to be a better way for that particular writer to handle the transition. Eeek.

  96. #151 by Paula Beavan on July 16, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    This is great. I’ve just started an author page, and only yesterday received my copy of “Are you there Blog? It’s me, writer.” in the post :)

  97. #152 by Carrie Rubin on July 16, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    This is an interesting perspective, as I’ve often heard just the opposite. As such, when I finally started using FB (took me forever), I reserved my personal profile for just family. In fact, I rarely use my personal site. I do all my interacting on my public page. But my public page isn’t just about my writing. I post humorous pics, health info, family issues, etc. That’s in addition to occasional updates about my book. So far, it’s worked well, and I certainly hope I haven’t alienated anyone. Maybe since I started this way, it’s been smoother for me. But your post no doubt gives me food for thought. Thanks, as always, for your helpful posts.

    • #153 by Daniel Nest on October 29, 2013 - 7:40 am

      I am with Carrie on this one.

      I don’t see anything wrong in maintaining a separation between your personal and public profile. In the traditional world we don’t take offence that authors, politicians, singers, and other celebrities aren’t our friends. Why should the online world be different?

      Having said that – yes, you absolutely have to treat your author pages (Twitter, Facebook, Friendster, to mention the big ones) as more than just “buy my book” spam outlets. It’s about engaging with your followers (not necessarily friends, but fans) and contributing something to their lives. Jokes, answers to their questions, etc.

      Interesting article.

      • #154 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 29, 2013 - 8:45 am

        You can be a human and engage without revealing intimate details of your life. The fact I LOVE Star Trek does’t give my home address, but gives people something to connect to. Make sense?

        • #155 by Daniel Nest on October 29, 2013 - 9:14 am

          That part makes sense, yes.

          However, this post isn’t about being human and connecting with fans. This is about the separation of “friends” and “fans”

          I think what I take issue with is your categorisation of writer-fan relationship under the “friendship” umbrella. I read Dan Brown’s books not because I am his friend, or want to be, but because I enjoy his writing. That’s also why I pay money for his books.

          Similarly, should I ever try selling books, I’d hope my followers would be buying them based on their content and not on the fact that we consider each other friends.

          As for sharing personal likes and dislikes (Star Trek, coriander, pink shoes) – that’s in a different category, and I absolutely agree that this is a great way to engage and connect with your following.

        • #156 by Carrie Rubin on October 29, 2013 - 9:16 am

          It does, and those are exactly the types of things I share on my public page. To do so on my personal site would just be redundant, which is why I’m rarely on my personal site other than to check in with my family. At this point, if I open up my personal site and start ‘friending’ everyone, then I’ll have two FB sites to update and interact on, and I already have enough social media begging for my time. Oy, what’s a girl to do?… :)

  98. #157 by Rosanne Dingli on July 16, 2013 - 10:41 pm

    I read this post from start to finish, which is rare. I am a career author who uses Facebook for promotional reasons – naturally, friends and some family connect and watch me, but the realization of my true motives quickly sink in with them … they are all bright people, thank goodness. They know that if it weren’t for the fact I’m a writer I would not interact with anyone in the transient superficial FB way. So I keep my family and friend relationships alive by other means, usually eyeball-to-eyeball, or voice, or email, or personal messages. Those who have ever received a personal message from me know they are real live friends. But my presence on Facebook is wholly to do with books and the book business. That said, it is quite clear that authors have MUCH to give and take from each other on Facebook, and the business / friend delineation is sometimes rather thin! One can make (and lose) friends in this business, and so it goes.

  99. #158 by Teresa Gallion on July 16, 2013 - 10:54 pm

    Bravo Kristen Lamb…thank you for providing an educational platform.

  100. #159 by faithmortimer on July 16, 2013 - 11:02 pm

    First – thank you for such an open and interesting post – and I have to agree with your theme. I have a personal and a ‘fan’ page on FB. Recently I have been mixing the info on both sites because what you’ve said is pretty much how I feel too. I try not to shout about my books too much but I do excited when I’ve reached a particular goal and let them know I’m pleased – friends on either site don’t seem to mind and we authors are human after all. If they do then I occasionally notice a few disappearing from the list. Over the years I’ve ‘met’ some great people and quite frankly I DO count them as real friends, I’d be lost without the social intercourse and learn a lot during the course of a year. Thanks for your time and effort I’ll certainly be reading your posts in future.

  101. #160 by inkingdreams on July 16, 2013 - 11:19 pm

    I gratefully haven’t got one of those post but I can feel them coming. I agree though about lists people get careless and easily say the wrong thing to the wrong list.

  102. #161 by Kate is on July 16, 2013 - 11:49 pm

    FAN-tastic advice and not something I have thought of at all. I’ve just closed my FB for the time being, concentrating on the writing at the moment but is is something to remember when I open it again. :)

  103. #162 by Kali Anthony on July 17, 2013 - 1:02 am

    If I had received a message like you did, I would have been highly offended. So you’re right and the author was wrong. Badly wrong.

  104. #163 by Eliana on July 17, 2013 - 1:33 am

    “Well, I’m only doing this writing thing until I can land my dream job in sales.”

    Kristen, you’re hilarious. :)

  105. #164 by Leisl Leighton on July 17, 2013 - 2:33 am

    Firstly, Kristen, I love your references to Star Wars, Star Trek and Grumpy Cat. If you added Dr Who, Firefly, Buffy and Stargate into the mix, then it would be Nirvana for me.
    I wasn’t on FB at all, but was told to get on it when I got my first publishing contract earlier this year. I took a course and was told by my publisher just to do the fan page thing, but quickly discovered it was really difficult to get anyone to like my page from there. I was reticent to start up a personal page, because I was worried family and friends would want to post personal family things to me on my page, and while I want to be human and share likes etc with my ‘friends’, I didn’t want everyone seeing my nephew running around half naked. However, I had read some of your WANA posts and so took heart and surged ahead.
    I don’t post personal family photos etc on my FB profile page, but I do talk about what’s going on in my life in a more general sense, the things I’m watching, reading, doing, share blog posts, what’s going on in my writing world etc etc. I’ve joined some groups and have some great discussions. I friend pretty much everyone who asks to friend me, because I see this as a way of building relationships and helping me to create fans who might like to go over and like my fan page as well, not instead of. Many people keep telling me I’m doing it wrong, that I shouldn’t friend people I don’t know on my personal page, but I keep pointing out, I am not Leisl Leighton mother, wife, sister, daughter etc on that page, I am Leisl Leighton, author, friend to lovers of reading and writing and all things sci-fi, paranormal and romance. I have actually told my friends and family that if htey want to share something private with me, not to do it via FB, but to email me. They can also DM me on FB if they like. My family and personal friends are my friends on FB and I do interract with them, just as I interract with everyone else and I feel this is working quite well for me. It’s also meant by friending lots of people, I’ve been able to build my likes on my author fan page, which has been great.
    I have received messages telling me I’m being ‘unfriended/defriended’ and it hasn’t amssively bothered me, and I have gone over and ‘liked’ their author page, but a ‘like’ doesn’t allow me to follow them in the same way as being their ‘friend’ did. So I’m seeing the benefit in the personal page more and more. I do see why you would have been miffed though. It is a little confronting to be told you are not a friend anymore – regardless of if you actually have been to their place or not. We’re all ‘hanging’ together here, aren’t we? And if I’m hanging with you, reading what you post, then doesn’t that make me your friend.
    Great post. It made me feel like I’m not floundering but am taking the right path despite all the naysayers. Now – off to continue writing that next book.

  106. #165 by Dominica Malcolm on July 17, 2013 - 3:17 am

    I agree with your comments about lists. I’ve spent a good portion of the last two years talking about my novel and the progress I’ve made with it on my personal FB account, and had people I didn’t expect to be interested talk to me about it. One of them was someone I knew from the stand-up comedy scene around a decade earlier, and I probably hadn’t exchanged too many comments with her in more recent years. She ended up being one of the first people to order my novel. You just never who is reading and interested, so why limit yourself?

  107. #166 by museofhellheroes on July 17, 2013 - 3:56 am

    I have received a variant of that message that basically says: “I don’t know how many of you actually pay attention to me, so if you want to stay as a friend on my page, say something or you will be deleted.” It never occurred to me that all 400 something “friends” of mine on FB hang on every pearl of wisdom that falls from my lips. I can’t manage to actually glance at, let alone actually read, every post by every friend on my page. I do spend somewhat more of my time working on manuscripts than I would if I were only working on my own writing, not proofreading and copy-editing for others, so it is really difficult for me to take much time at all to look at my feed. I must sleep sometime! It isn’t like you have to actively do anything to maintain your friends’ list. Either they read your posts or they don’t; if you accidentally offend someone they will unfriend you, but making sure you don’t deliberately say something people would find offensive is a pretty good idea…

  108. #167 by selfxt on July 17, 2013 - 4:08 am

    Oh dear Kristen…now I will have to speed up my process and allow more friends and followers into my social orbit. I am too picky! I guess I look for my clones…oh dear! Okay! Thank you for waking me up. I still don’t know how to follow 10,000? My old school says 5 is enough, but that’s the “toothpick” and not the “platform”.

    Tallyho! Here I go….to follow you is very pleasant so there must be others out there…

    • #168 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 17, 2013 - 7:10 am

      On FB follow the WANAs and the people who hang out on my wall. They are a RIOT!

  109. #169 by emmaburcart on July 17, 2013 - 5:07 am

    What I want to know is, when will your new book be coming out in paperback? I don’t have an ereader and I really want to read it. :)

    • #170 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 17, 2013 - 7:10 am

      I am finishing the formatting for print this week and it should be out in paper by next week, Lord willing, LOL. I want it in paper too. This book has been two years in the making so will be fabulous to hold it in my HANDS.

  110. #171 by Mishael Austin Witty on July 17, 2013 - 6:31 am

    This is a great post (and kind of shocking to me, as I do separate my personal life and my writing life on my friend page and “fan” page)!

    I try to connect as much as possible with writing-related stuff (a lot of my fans are fellow writers), but maybe I should branch out a little.

    Oh…and I’ve just sent you a friend request! :-)

  111. #172 by Brenda Holmes on July 17, 2013 - 7:02 am

    Great ! Now I want to know who this is so I can not buy his book because he ticked you off(I take care of MY friends!) and a stroke to your ego, this is a brilliant column! I call myself a writer but with my thin skin and lackadaisical work ethic,most of my writings remain safely hidden away on my computer but I do consider myself a friend to those who are brave enough to stick their offerings before the public and are friendly, those are the ones who get my dollars and my recommendations.

  112. #173 by Merita King on July 17, 2013 - 7:43 am

    Fantastic blog. I’ve made one or two social network faux pas, who hasn’t but now I’m tempted not to remain silent when I see posts like the one you had.

    • #174 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 17, 2013 - 8:07 am

      I probably should have been more diplomatic (and we did keep talking and are now friends), but when we don’t say anything, isn’t that like letting someone run around with her skirt tucked in her panty hose? LOL.

  113. #176 by cynthiagrstacey on July 17, 2013 - 8:56 am

    Wow sorry I missed this post yesterday. I would always accept a friend request from you Kristen. I have a facebook page for public and a facebook acct for private. I don’t use facebook very often. I rarely make comments but do lots of like and share. My page is linked to my blog so it gets updated regularly. So I’m not sure if you think this is wrong or right? Should I make both public? after deleting the family photos etc? Thanks Kristen.

    • #177 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 17, 2013 - 10:08 am

      Read today’s post ;). Also my new book teaches how to do all this stuff. Nine bucks is cheaper than therapy, LOL.

  114. #178 by cynthiagrstacey on July 17, 2013 - 8:57 am

    Reblogged this on Cynthia Stacey and commented:
    Awesome post from Kristen Lamb author of Rise of the Machines-Human Authors in a Digital World.

  115. #179 by Mary Muse Charmer (@harmoniczen) on July 17, 2013 - 10:25 am

    Very good advice. I saw an author do this recently and it really turned me off. Forwarding this post to my own authors. Thank you!

  116. #180 by Jada Ryker on July 17, 2013 - 11:51 am

    Hello, Ms. Lamb, and nice to “meet” you! I agree with your thoughts. I think we need to be good social media members. To me, that means showing courtesy, professionalism, and humanity. For example, I always say “thank you” for good advice from another user. Also, I would never ever be derisive or try to humiliate someone on FB. Oh, wait, I do make an exception for those “you can make money from home if you will just send in $49 now and $9.99 a month.”

    Thank you for everything you do!

  117. #181 by Carolynne Raymond on July 17, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    As a brand new self published author 1.5 months old I found this helpful. Thank you for sharing :)

  118. #182 by Natalie Aguirre on July 17, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    Thanks for the advice today and in tomorrow’s post. I haven’t been very good on Facebook lately and need to get back on there. I have wondered about the author page and why just having a personal page isn’t enough. If I ever sell a book, I probably need to buy your new book to figure it out.

  119. #183 by Diana Shallard on July 17, 2013 - 3:05 pm

    I’m still new in the game of building a platform, but so far, I think the best thing I did for myself as an aspiring author was to create a Pen Name (as shown here) that enables me to act/interact as a public figure whose following will (fingers crossed) increase exponentially over time. I defaulted to a page instead of profile, and that has its pros and cons (never knew about the rule against multiple profiles), but it’s kind of nice to be selective in what I post and where. My personal profile is reserved for family and friends, who I am sure will be happy to promote me and my page (and future books) loudly and frequently when asked, even if it requires sending folks to a different name/page to do it. There’s no guarantee that Fans or Friends will translate to sales, but the interaction FB provides makes it all worthwhile IMO.

  120. #184 by pamelacreese on July 17, 2013 - 5:43 pm

    Sometimes, Kristen dear, I have the feeling you are writing ‘for me’…which only proves how very well you blog indeed. I shall check out the links you mentioned.
    My concern often in accepting friends to my FB is that I really can’t figure out what we have in common and then I worry about offending someone…posting something not ‘age appropriate’ (because some of them look like they might still be in Jr High!) and frankly, I don’t want to have to edit everything I say so it is suitable for my 12 yr old.
    I need to learn how to use FB for more, I see, than just visiting with friends and family and discussing how very VERY much I love my Pitbulls, driving horses, garden, cooking, quilting, etc

    And I STILL don’t have any idea where or what my ‘profile’ is. I can see I have a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I shall go buy your book, lol.

  121. #185 by amandalewisab on July 17, 2013 - 6:15 pm

    Rjjrjjrkrjerjrurururujujkfjjfjf
    Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  122. #186 by mentzer2150 on July 17, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    Great article and I consider you a friend. Even though we haven’t met or have chatted online or anything to that nature. The fact that I know you’re there and I read your blog makes your a friend of mine. I do put people in those lists but primarily to remind myself why I friended them in the first place. Any post I put on my wall is seen by everyone.

  123. #187 by WordsfromTracy on July 17, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    I needed this today! I lost two of my followers this past week and I have been asking “Why?” Maybe I did offend someone with something I wrote, I won’t know unless they tell me. What I can do is take your advice and be more personal on my FB page. Thanks for the advice and as always, the laughs!

  124. #188 by Sophie E Tallis on July 17, 2013 - 8:23 pm

    That kind of behaviour totally baffles me. What were they thinking? I’ve had messages like this many times before and always ignored them but well done you, Kristen, for picking up the baton. For a start, it’s never a good idea to be rude to anyone, unless you have a damn good reason, secondly, don’t they realise that the internet is forever? Whatever you post on the web is there for all eternity, there are no take backs. If you act like an ass, then it’s there for all to see. For this writer to do that only advertises that they are unprofessional, tedious, and amateurish in the extreme, whilst managing to cheese off/offend a host of people who had previously been supporting them! Incredible!

    The best policy for all social media interaction, is to be respectful and polite and never assume anything. Presumptions can lead to nasty pitfalls…oh, and while you lose your anonymity to a certain extent, I would also advise you all to never share too much personal info online. Many of my friends share innocent things like birthdays on FB, that, together with home addresses/towns, names and photos, can lead to either stalker problems or identity fraud. I’ve had two friends who have had problems with these. Share and engage with your readers and fans, definitely, but they don’t need to know really personal stuff. :)

  125. #189 by Bernadette Rowley on July 17, 2013 - 9:05 pm

    My biggest bug bear on social media of all types is those who only post promotional stuff and nothing else. Really makes me tune out…

  126. #191 by feltenk on July 17, 2013 - 10:51 pm

    About a year ago, I did the opposite- I turned my “Personal” page into an “Author” page b/c I was burned out with Facebook but I know how important marketing is. The weird part was that all of the people who were following my personal page automatically liked my author page- I don’t think they actually liked it- I think it just happened, lol. However, after some time I decided that I missed my “Personal” page and sent Facebook a message asking (more like begging) them to bring my personal page back (I also kept the author page). I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very round about way, is that I really like having both- I post my writing on both, but my personal is private and I post extra stuff on that and the author page is open. ;)

  127. #192 by Renee on July 18, 2013 - 5:47 am

    Love this post! I’ve never understood people’s desire to have a Facebook page AND outright privacy. The two just don’t go together. There is nothing more infuriating than getting a message from a friend saying “can you take that picture down of me, I’m friends with my uncle and they might get offended.” Are you kidding? Number 1, why are you friends with you’re uncle it they’re going to criticise how you behave in real life? Number 2, no I can’t take down the picture on MY Facebook page – either untag yourself, change your privacy settings or don’t be my friend! Whether you’re an author or an average joe, do not have Facebook if you don’t want your personal business shared.

    One of the best parts of Facebook is getting to interact with your favorite authors and see them as normal people. Why offend your fans and take that away? Fan pages are good but book related updates are not always enough. As artificial as it might be, if I feel a connection with an author, I’m going to be more likely to buy their books. Example – an author I follow just shared her pregnancy online. Not only was I excited, now I feel compelled to buy her next book – after all, she has a family to feed! :)

  128. #193 by Marilag Lubag on July 18, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    Frankly, I think that the writer put the foot on his/her mouth. He/she shouldn’t have said anything at all and create another FB page using an alias that only people closest to him/her know. No need to make a fuss over it. However, if I receive the same message that this writer received, I’d be hurt. My conclusion from this was to take a breather and cool off before posting anything that I might regret–THINK before posting.

    • #194 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 18, 2013 - 1:18 pm

      I apologized. We made up and are now friends. So good came out of both of us behaving badly, LOL.

  129. #195 by Nisha on July 18, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    I must be developing that thick skin that everyone says a writer should have because I honestly don’t see what was so offensive about that. I’m known for being an ultra-sensitive person but I wouldn’t be offended if someone sent me that message. Unless it’s someone I really considered a friend but if they’re not then I would understand their situation.

    • #196 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 18, 2013 - 2:02 pm

      It was offensive because my only perceived value was in supporting his career. We are bombarded by writers spamming us non-stop with their books, taking and never giving. After a while? It gets old. Now, I was oversensitive that day because I was tired. I apologized and now we really are friends. But sending messages like this might not offend others, but it doesn’t inspire them to support us either.

  130. #197 by Elizabeth Sharp on July 18, 2013 - 11:17 pm

    I recently acquired a new friend through a random mutual acquaintance from my Farmville and Vampire Wars days. She has since become one of my loudest and most eager fans. You never know what connections are going to blossom into something special.

    • #198 by Saronai on July 21, 2013 - 4:14 am

      That’s one reason why I didn’t recreate a new profile after I quit playing the games on facebook. I’d made over a thousand friends and only lost a few hundred who were only in it for the games.

      I thought, if we were once interested in the same games…if I start with a completely clean slate now, it might be better organized and easier to handle, but I’d also be losing hundreds of potentially cool friends to connect with later on down the road over new interests, writing, reading, or otherwise.

      It’s awesome one of your gaming friends became one of your loudest and most eager fans :D

  131. #199 by authorphilpartington on July 19, 2013 - 10:26 pm

    lol Great, great article, Kristen. I would gladly be your friend, and if that’s not an option, am happy to be a writer’s colleague :). Either way, I’m following your blog. I especially thought the point about how we phrase public requests on social network forums was a good one. Now, I do think the person’s reaction was understandable; I’m sure he or she had figured your response was meant as nothing more as an uptight jab. But the fact of the matter is, your observation is correct! If we’re to represent ourselves as authors with the goal of building a network/fan base, then we have to represent ourselves professionally, and the request made didn’t cut it.

    Will be following this blog with interest. Thanks for sharing.

    • #200 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 20, 2013 - 8:49 am

      Yeah, we chatted and are BFFs now. I apologized for being a think-skinned @$$clown, LOL.

      • #201 by authorphilpartington on July 20, 2013 - 11:20 am

        Well, that is the base criteria for BFFs, and now that we are, did you know that I hated waking up this morning, had waffles for breakfast and think I may have some kind of sandwich for lunch…and oh here’s a picture of a cat :P.

  132. #202 by Liz Matis on July 20, 2013 - 7:27 am

    I started a fan page because I was receiving creepy friend requests. Probably should’ve of used a pen name to begin with. But when they search on FB under Liz Matis they will see my fan page before my full name. At least I think that is what’s happening since I haven’t had a creepy friend request since.

  133. #203 by Saronai on July 21, 2013 - 3:59 am

    You’ve most definitely given me a lot to read and more to look into purchasing soon for more reading. I believe I’m one of those who’s bungling the whole social platforming thing. I have a page but no books to sell. Then again, I’m trying a live performance fictional blog series thing too, if for no other reason than to keep me writing and finish my stories rather than leaving them about halfway through.

    I read I needed a fan page and made one. My personal profile is kinda messy and I’m afraid I’m not very consistent about whether I share something in my profile or on my page. I’ve been trying to include stuff on my page so it’s active, but I rarely get responses there and I’ve been trying not to duplicate posts for people that are friends and fans.

    I’m sure all sorts of solutions are waiting in the small reading list you’ve created for us in this post and comments. One thing I think I’m doing right, at least, is trying to connect and sharing links to the work of other creatives. Somebody once told me I needed to be more professional, and I tried heading in that direction. It doesn’t work very well for me. You’re a shining example so far of the ways I prefer to connect with people, whether they like my writing or just like me.

  134. #204 by barbara on July 22, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    Great article. I personally recv these kinds of requests all too often. I generally ignore them. I don’t take them personal–though I do find them a bit tacky. I am a believer that many folks do the best they can with what they have to work with.
    Where I have concerns for myself these days is politics. It is so hard not to have a position on it–is that helping or hurting? The other day I commented on a friends post about something. Someone disagreed w/my comment and called me an “idiot” and a few other choice names. I clicked on her page and believe it or not, she was an inspirational writer (won’t ever feel very spiritual buying her books.) Now, I may get a bit direct sometimes. I NEVER insult folks or name-call and I welcome open dialogue. Sometimes I think I should follow me momma’s advice and never talk politics and/or religion. It is just sooooo hard these days not to talk politics… especially when there is so much passion involved in it. What do you think?

  135. #205 by Raani York on July 24, 2013 - 2:32 am

    What a great article!

  136. #206 by Tasha Turner on July 24, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Great post as always Kristen. I’ve had to talk a few authors out of making post or sending messages like the one you got. I also keep having to remind people that a social media platform is about building relationships and you never know who will read your blog/FB post, tweet, comment and buy your book or recommend you to someone or offer to help you in something they see you weak in.

    I’m partway through your new book. As I did with your previous books Rise of the Machines is required reading before I’ll even take on a client.

    I know many of my friends have surprised me by their interest in my writing life. A number have referred relatives/friends who write, others have begun writing, others just skip the writing related posts. I do tend to put more writing/social media advice on my page and my personal stuff/my own writing on my profile listing what I’ve posted to my page if they want to check it out.

  137. #207 by pamela hodges on July 30, 2013 - 12:35 pm

    Thank you for an interesting article. I invite a lot of people to be my friends. I use to be so private, but now that I am writing, I see the wisdom of being more friendly.
    I would love to be your friend on facebook, and I hope it is you who reads my book. :) “The Artist’s Manifesto. I am working on the illustrations now.
    Sincerely,
    Pamela

  138. #208 by Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) on August 16, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Kristen, I’m that one odd person whose family is NOT supportive of my writing and thus avoids my Fan Page like the plague. Most of my relatives are extremely sensitive Conservatives &/or hardcore Christians, while I am an extremely brass Liberal Atheist. That combo doesn’t mix well. I can’t post any of my thoughts, ideas, opinions, jokes, or blog posts on my Personal Page. My mom would have apoplexy as I’m her greatest source of embarrassment, being a black sheep {she actually referred to me a couple holidays ago as her “left hand”, awkward and unstable, as opposed to my sister, who is her “right hand”… wonderful comparison.}. Many have encouraged me to just “un-friend” those who are hurtful or rude to me, but I cannot un-friend my own mom without it spilling over into a real life fight. It just doesn’t work that way. So for my sanity, and for a relationship with my family {shallow though it may be}, I have to keep my writing life entirely separate from my personal life. Which is weird, because I get very personal in my writing… but seldom bring my writing into my personal space. I also let my “cool” friends know about my Fan Page, and they usually follow me there. I’m slowly building a following and getting more activity on my Fan Page, so I’m not complaining. But every time I read that you should allow your family to advocate for you, I get teary, because my family is ashamed. The only “word of mouth” I’d get from them is to stay away from their devil-plagued daughter. Breaks my heart. But what can I do? Hence the work-around. Maybe not ideal for every writer, but it’s the only thing I can do to maintain my own integrity and refrain from silencing my voice. Thoughts?

    • #209 by lisawhitefern on August 17, 2013 - 4:40 pm

      lol Andi-Roo it may not feel like it , but you are far from the only one with these problems. I don’t currently have them, but only because my dear mother passed away long before she could have discovered Facebook because that would have been a nightmare. I occurred to me what a nightmare it would have been when seeing a post on a message board by some poor woman whose mother was cyber bullying her on Facebook. so as hard as it may be you are certainly not alone. ((((((hugs)))))) And there are many instances beyond arguments over religion where this might occur.

  139. #210 by L. A. Nicholas on August 23, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    Great advice. I love having a wide range of friends on Facebook. Most of my FB posts go to “friends of friends” and I’ve made some interesting lots of friends that way. A number of them have reviewed my books and read my blogs — and I bet, when my next book is available, they’ll want to buy it.

  140. #211 by ruthkj on June 30, 2014 - 3:30 am

    Wish I had read this 6 weeks ago – it makes sense. Just set up a separate author page because I felt I had no right to subject those who were my FB friends with my writing side. Hmmm. How do I rectify this? Now got more ‘followers’ than ‘friends’ and not sure how I can’t get them all back under one roof.

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