Facebook for Writers

Not all authors are introverts. However, many of us are slightly bewildered at the thought of readers being interested in us, and fail to fully grasp why it’s important to play on the social media playgrounds with readers and other writers. In Amazon Author Central, we explored some of the reasons readers are interested in learning more about authors, themselves – not just in reading their books. A glimpse into the writer’s “process” – which may be methodical and rather dull at times, or quirky and fun at other times – can be helpful to fellow writers and amusing to readers. It adds an extra dimension to the reading, sometimes. Here’s a good example:

Can’t you just imagine yourself reading this book – knowing that Bruce Coville’s cat helped with the writing process? Does it give you a helpful insight that you might put into practice in your own writing, or even day to day organization, if you’re not a writer? Are you, like me, thinking of running out to the nearest animal shelter to adopt a cat?

Every writer needs an assistant. I’m not sure I’m ready for one with fish-breath, really, but it’s tempting.

Facebook is a great way to reach a global readership. Whether through your personal profile page, author page, or a combination of the two – it’s a good way to link longer blog posts and quick, on-the-go updates. As writers, we can and should do better than the one-word status updates or boring chronologues of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sleep. Sure, it’s okay to have an “off day.” It’s okay to have a “dull day.” Perhaps it’s good to know that writers have those, too – and maybe that’s the moment in which the writer begins to think up stories to entertain the numbed brain. Share the process.

There’s a bit more “elbow room” on Facebook than there is on Twitter or Instagram. Just about everyone in the world who uses a computer or smartphone uses Facebook (though some like to pretend they don’t). It works well for both images and text, and it works best when “shameless self-promotion” meets “playfully engaging.”

Sometimes, of course, it’s not about being playful. Sometimes, it’s important to be vulnerable and open.

Sometimes, you have to get serious. Because important things do, sometimes, demand serious earnestness.

It’s important, if you’re an author, to have your own Internet home – a website with a blog is ideal – but it’s also important to play where your readers play, and allow everyone a glimpse of your personality and process.

Yes, I really do like to climb trees. The one I’m perched in, there, is in my front yard – I grew it so my kids would have a climbing tree like the one I loved when I was little.

Be sure to link all your playgrounds together – using your own website or blog as the central “hub.” This not only tells search engines that you know you best – making you the resident authority on YOU – it tells people where to find you. And as you use social media, you’ll find that each site has its own character, culture, and personalities – and deserves a different approach from the others.


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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