How important IS Facebook to an author’s career?

Whether some people like it or not, Facebook is the world’s largest social network, which in turn means that it’s the most used app, the thing that people use more often in order to get in touch with friends and family, to discuss ideas, and to find new means of entertainment.

But what about writers? Can an author build an effective platform on Facebook? Is that important? And does having a certain number of likes amount to sales?

Well…

Yes and no.

Yes, because Facebook (and all the other social networks) are prospecting tools. You can reach more people, find potential readers, connect with them, and let them know that you have a book for sale.

The thing is that, when it comes to selling a book, it’s important that people know it exists. It seems obvious, yet many authors out there seem oblivious to this simple fact: that publicity is key.

The more people know about your book, the better it is.

Now, the other side of the coin is that there are other ways to sell books, there are other ways people can find out about your books. Some of them are, unbelievably, even more influential than having an online presence. Plain old word of mouth is still the main driving force behind book sales.

That being said, as is the case with blogging, it’s equally important to build your Facebook page around your writing.

Atticus is a great example of someone who has built an online presence around his art.

Because there are a lot of other writers who take the easy route (me included) and post and blog about other stuff, which is usually the kind of things that other authors like to read about. Or bloggers.

You know, blogging, marketing a book, self-publishing, and all that jazz.

Then, even though wildly popular, you’d be struggling to translate your social media success into sales because people aren’t that interested in the books you write, but in the stuff you blog about(or post on social media), and the two are different.

So, yes, when it comes to building an author platform, it is of utmost importance to build it around the subject matter of your books ( whether it’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc.) Only then can you attract a lot of potential readers with the things you post.

It would be of no help to write books on gardening and post motivational quotes by Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn on Facebook. Yes, it might attract people, but they’re not your target audience when it comes to gardening books.

Also, there’s the thing that all social networks are addictive (they’re designed to be so), highly competitive, and you might get so caught up in the building of an audience that you find yourself writing less and less, which will soon turn into having nothing to actually sell them.

Conclusion?

It’s better having an online presence, so you can reach readers (and vice-versa) than not having one. If you do it properly and don’t spend too much time.

What are your thoughts on using social media to reach potential readers?

Also,

What are your thoughts on using social media to find new authors, new books to read, and the likes?

 

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3 thoughts on “How important IS Facebook to an author’s career?

    • Yes, me too. Only my friends on Facebook can see my post about my new recordings (I am the “beginner”, I write my own songs). Facebook is important to promote, make fanpages and so on, and you decide who you need to read your texts or listen your songs. 😉

  1. I have found since I have joined Facebook in my pen name, I have befriended authors, which is great as they are great stuff to review but will that truly build my audience, do I need to find readers of memoirs which are both authors and the lay person? This whole concept fascinates me and trying to build an audience is not easy especially since I also endeavour to help those who have been traumatised. I guess, I am a little greedy as I want and will help those who have been through turmoil but I also want to advertise my book. Thank you for your post, it was very insightful.

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