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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Networking and social media are the way things are done these days. Everything, it seems, has gone virtual. Whilst traditional publishing in the past depended heavily on the shelving of real books in real bookstores, the reality of the present, and probably for a long time to come in the future, is that book marketing is done online. It is expected that authors have their own webpage, their own accounts on Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn and, of course, Facebook. But, with so much competition and so many people doing the same marketing schemes, how does one make their work really stand out, especially on Facebook. It’s easy enough to set up a personal page and an author page, but that’s not enough. You can share and like and ask others to share and like you as well, but with all the material appearing on everyone’s pages, how is it possible to even be seen on Facebook?
Once again, Gisela Hausmann has a tool to help authors use their Facebook pages effectively. Her succinct, no-fluff book, The Little Blue Book for Authors: 101 Clues to Get More Out of Facebook, leads authors, both new and seasoned, on the road to establishing and maintaining a successful Facebook page. The author writes: “To succeed on Facebook, indie authors have to: align their goals with Facebook goals, optimize the appearance of their pages, network with fans and friends on the right pages, AND stop listening to people who only regurgitate information that is supposed to make things look easy.” There is nothing easy about marketing one’s book. And, it is imperative that authors associate with like-minded people. Potential fans of a children’s book author are not going to be impressed with shared links to an explicit romance or horror author. And, believe it or not, potential fans don’t want to plow through countless shared photos of someone’s cute baby. All of these will definitely defeat the purpose of even having a fan page in the first place.
As the author points out, there are a lot of pros and cons to using Facebook. And everyone should be extremely careful what they post or share. Her good advice is to share only what you would be comfortable flashing on a huge highway sign for everyone to see. But on a positive note, “Facebook doesn’t discriminate.” There is no favoritism towards best-selling authors over newbies. “Facebook simply hands you the “store keys” and it’s totally up to you what you make of it.” The bottom line: it’s a good tool if used wisely. So make use of this little book to guide you along the way.