ASK PZM: April 2012, Timeline

Q: What does the new format for Facebook Pages mean for authors?

The new format for Pages (formerly fan pages) offers new opportunities for authors.

First, though, let’s talk about an author using a Page to connect with her or his fans:

On Facebook everyone starts off with a profile in his or her own name. (It is in violation of Facebook’s terms to use a book title or company name as your profile name.)

Once you have a profile, you may create as many Facebook Pages as you want. And this is where considering your marketing strategy is important.

Why have both a personal profile and an author Page?

Good question. And the answer will be different for different people.

Some people, for example, may only post on their profile personal info intended only for family and close friends. These authors would then want an author Page on which to share news about their books and writing projects.

Some authors, including me, share info about their books and writing on their Facebook profile. These authors want to take advantage of opportunities a Page has that a profile does not. (Yes, these opportunities change frequently, but there always continues to be more functions on a Page.)

Second, let me walk you through my own decision process as an example of what you might want to consider:

I started on Facebook soon after I self-published my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT in April of 2008. When I understood enough about Facebook to create a Page, I had one for book marketing, another for my online marketing company Miller Mosaic, and another for my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT.

Later I added more Pages for other projects, including a Page for my ebook technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS.

Which brings me up to now.

At the same time that Facebook Page formatting was about to drastically change, my newest ebook, HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE, became available at Amazon’s Kindle store.

I had already decided that I did not want a new stand-alone website for this ebook series as I had for both MRS. LIEUTENANT and MOLLIE SANDERS. Thus my business partner Yael K. Miller created a WordPress website in my name – www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com – as a central point for all my writing.

I decided this strategic approach was also what I wanted for my upcoming Facebook Page activities, and thus I needed a centralized Page for all my writing.

By the merging of the MRS. LIEUTENANT Page and the MOLLIE SANDERS Page into this new author Page, I had enough “likes” to immediately get a customized URL at www.facebook.com/username

Ironically, as I already had www.facebook.com/phylliszimblermiller for my profile I could not get this for my Page and instead got www.facebook.com/phylliszimblermillerauthor

Third, let’s look at two new opportunities:

First, on your Page’s “timeline” (replaces the “wall”) you can create milestones (similar to “life event” on Facebook profiles).

I decided that the earliest milestone on the Phyllis Zimbler Miller Page timeline would be the date in 1992 when the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION that I co-authored with Rabbi Karen L. Fox was published by Perigee, a division of Putnam.

Now I can fill in more milestones, including the date in 2008 when MRS. LIEUTENANT was self-published.

(For an example of a current milestone, see my announcement from March 29th that HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE is now on Kindle.)

Second, you can “pin” a Facebook update to the top of your Page timeline for seven days. (At this writing a profile does NOT have this option.) This is a great opportunity for any announcement you want to make about your book where the announcement does not merit a milestone.

For example, if you have a book signing a week from now, you might want to pin the book signing announcement at the top of Page. But you probably would not create a milestone entry for that signing.

Thus our updates to our Facebook Page now require strategic consideration. Is something worth being created as a milestone? Is an update worth pinning to the top of the Page? You get to decide.

Additional tip: Although I started on Google Plus when it was still in beta a few months ago, I know I am not yet using it effectively. I have just read Guy Kawasaki’s ebook “What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us” and I highly recommend it. Of course, I will probably have to read the book a couple more times to truly take in all the terrific advice. And then there is the implementation of his advice!

P.S. I am looking for people to read a review copy of my newest ebook, HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE, for a possible review on Amazon. Check out info about the ebook at www.HowToSucceedEbooks.com – and if you want a review copy, email me at pzmiller@millermosaicllc.com and let me know whether you want the mobi (Kindle), ePub (Nook, etc.) or pdf format.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and Pinterest) is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com, which is WBENC certified and also builds WordPress websites for clients. More information on her books and ebooks can be found at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

 © 2012 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Visit Phyllis’ Google Plus profile.
Check out Phyllis’ books and other projects at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com

If you have a question you need Phyllis to answer, email me at cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca, and I’ll make sure she gets it. 

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