Succeeding on Facebook; how to stay in your lane

Proceed with a little caution and wisdom, and you'll be fine. (Photo Credit:

Proceed with a little caution and wisdom, and you’ll be fine. (Photo Credit:

Today I’d like for us to discuss Facebook author etiquette. The platform itself offers a wonderful opportunity to get our work out there to the public for free, which is especially great if you’re at the start of your career, and not yet raking in the dough. You can post links to your books on your personal page as often as you like, or at least until your friends beg you to stop. Lol.

For this very reason many authors have created a business page dedicated solely to their books. It is presumed that if someone “likes” or follows your book page, they should not be surprised or annoyed to see multiple posts about, well…your books. Authors can  put up reminders of upcoming book releases, book signings, post chapter excerpts and conduct giveaways.

Now Facebook will even permit, actually encourage, you to create events. Everything about it looks and sounds glamorous, giving your book-related happenings all of the allure and fanfare of an old-fashioned Hollywood premiere. You can invite all of your Facebook friends with one quick click. The only thing is that I wish it had an option to hide the little box that shows how many were invited and how many are attending. It can be a little embarrassing to see that big banner reading “INVITED – 1,562 , MAYBE – 25, GOING – 3”.

However there is one thing that I see occurring more and more, and it’s really a tad bit rude. It seems that many authors in their eagerness to share their “baby” with the world have taken to plastering links to and blurbs about their books on their friends’ pages without said friends’ permission or prior knowledge. This is a no-no and can get you blocked from many book club pages. Many of these book clubs are highly organized and have specific days that authors are allowed to promote their books. Pay close attention to those days. We all make mistakes starting out, and you do not want to be me with the page moderator’s comment under my book blurb saying something to the effect that presumably I wrote better that I followed instructions. You talk about a horrifying experience, but learn from it I did. Of course I deleted my post as soon as I saw the comment, but who knows how many people saw it  and made a negative judgment about my book before I deleted it? Ouch, that moment still gives me shudders.

But back to your personal friends. I don’t care if you and Judy or Jack knew each other 30 years ago in grade school, right is right. And the polite thing to do is to send a quick message to your friends asking them would they mind if you posted such-and-such about your book on their page. Nine times out of 10 they will say yes the first time. But don’t take that yes as a permanent contract that allows you to post all day, every day, forevermore on their timelines. It might seem like a pain, but I would ask each time I wanted to post. As long as you take full advantage of Facebook, but never of your Facebook friends, you should have no problems at all. Happy writing. 🙂



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