Social Media for Writers: How to use Facebook to promote your books

March 19, 2017
Facebook is a great tool for promoting your books and connecting with other writers. In this post, I share ways you can use Facebook groups and pages to promote your books, and why profiles aren't so great.

This post is going to take a similar approach to the previous one (where I talked about how to promote your books on Twitter), in that…

This post isn’t going to be about how to use Facebook. (I mean, if you’d like a post on that, then maybe message me and let me know?) But I’m going to assume that you guys know a bit more about how it works, how to talk to people and make posts, etc. 

This post isn’t going to be about how to use Facebook. It’s going to be about how to use it to promote your books and promote yourself as a writer.

First thing to understand is that Facebook has three main areas: profiles, pages, and groups 

I’ll talk about profiles first. 

This is YOU. This is where you friend people, post photos of yourself, use messenger from. You know what your profile is.

I know some writers (mainly Wattpad writers) who use their profile as a place to interact with readers, but I’m not such a fan of this. I’d rather keep my profile private, for just me and friends and family. I just feel there are more efficient and effective tools available with Facebook. 

Which leads me to Facebook groups.

You can use these with your personal profile, and there are a bunch of groups for writers, bloggers, etc. I’ve joined a couple of Wattpad ones. Usually these groups are private and an admin has to grant you access – don’t be put off by that. You can request access. The worst they’ll say is no. It’s not like you’ve got anything to lose. 

Groups are a great place to talk about your writing and connect with other writers. They’re usually less about sharing links to your book and more talking about the writing itself. Maybe asking for feedback, or asking for advice, or sharing some thoughts. I know it’s not an obvious way to promote your book, but you’re promoting yourself as a writer, which is just as important.

(I mean, think about it as bluntly as this: you befriend other writers. Maybe they connect with you on other social media. Maybe they post about you or your books to their followers. Those followers go read or buy your book. Boom. Book promotion achieved.)

(Not that that’s the whole point of it. Like I said, that was blunt. They’re much more about networking with other writers, making friends. )

And now moving onto Facebook pages.

As far as I’m concerned, this is where it’s at for book promotion.

One thing to note straight off is that they’re free to set up. You can choose to pay to promote posts or create adds, but you don’t have to.

If you’ve got a penname, set your page up under that. So my Facebook page is Reekles. Maybe you just add ‘Author’ or ‘Books’ to your name. It’s totally up to you. (For more advice, check out this post I wrote about setting up your profile.

As for the actual book promotion, you’ve got a whole host of tools in your arsenal: posts, photo albums, events, and more.

A lot of techniques you can use to actually promote your book are similar to those I said work for Twitter, and you can definitely draw inspiration from those – so make sure you check out this post I wrote on how to promote your books on Twitter. 

Most notably: remember to post links with things (you have NO IDEA how important that is); posts with images do better; and share behind-the-scenes style content. 

But like I said: it’s different with Facebook.

You can write longer posts.

Take advantage of the fact that you’re not limited to 140 characters. Yes, your first sentence or two needs to capture everything important because it’s what will capture the readers’ attention, and Facebook does that ‘See more’ thing for longer posts. But you can write more, tell people more.

For instance, if you share a link to your story, you could add a little excerpt, or the story blurb. You don’t have to just give a snippet, like in a Tweet.

Going back to my point on sharing images, make sure you make use of the albums. 

Just like on your Facebook profile, you can make a photo album through your Facebook page. Maybe you make one that’s a collection of books you’re reading, one for your book out in bookstores, one of fan art… The opportunities are endless.

Speaking of, one great idea that I’ve found worked well when I posted on Wattpad is to ask readers to make a cover for your book. I had several submissions and uploaded them to a Facebook album on my page, and then asked followers to vote for their favourite. It was a great way to interact with my readers as well as promote my book.

Don’t forget that you can create events on your Facebook page too.

Got a signing coming up? Maybe you’re running a Twitter chat or a live Q&A. Maybe you want to make an event for your book release date. Another way of engaging with your readers.

Speaking of engaging with readers: private messages.

Maybe it’s just a weird personal thing, but I feel more comfortable using private messages through my Facebook page than I do using direct messages on Twitter. (Maybe that’s because I have to follow people back on Twitter to DM them?)

Anyway. Don’t underestimate the power of the private message from your Facebook page. It’s reasonably easy for people to contact you that way with questions about your books, or just to say they like your writing. (I actually got contacted initially this way for my Quick Reads novella.) If you do get a message, try to reply. Even if it’s just ‘Thanks!’

You can also set up an automated reply to people (something like, ‘Thanks for your message, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can’), if that’s something you want to do. 

Plus: pinned posts.

Much like you can pin a Tweet to your Twitter profile, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page. (You can do this in groups as well, by the way.) Make it a good one.

This is a great function that basically sticks a particular post to the top of your profile. It’s the first of your posts people will see when they visit your profile. Whether that’s an announcement of your publishing deal, or a link to your latest chapter upload, or your book on Kindle. Just make it something people can respond to. 

Like I said – in terms of things you can do (competitions, linking to your book) to promote your book, I covered a lot of that in this post right here. I focused more in this post on what you can do differently on Facebook to promote yourself and your books.

Next time: how to promote your books on Instagram!

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