Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What About Facebook Fan Pages? by Morgan Mandel


Suddenly everyone I know  is very much involved with Facebook. I've had an account there for a while, but hadn't paid too much attention to it, since I also belong to zillions of egroups, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, LinkedIn, and who knows what else. It started out as promotion for my books, but has become a great way of meeting lots of good friends.

Now that I'm getting more hooked on Facebook, I'm wondering is it better to have a Fan Page or just keep a regular Facebook account? In a way a Fan Page seems a good idea, but then it seems I'd be splitting my attention, or isn't that true?

What's your take?

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com/
http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel
http://twitter.com/morganmandel

25 comments:

Adrianne Brennan said...

I like them because there are no friending limits, unlike the profile pages which have a limit of 5k. That may seem like a lot but I'm already at nearly 3.6k and about to reach my limit in I'm estimating 3-6 months. :(

Paige Ryter said...

I have one for one of my other pen names, and it's different...and tough to get used to, unlike my regular FB page. People don't comment as much on it, which is frustrating. I beg them to interact, just to get some dialogue going, but nothing. Oh well...it's like talking to myself. HA!

Maryann Miller said...

I'm like you, Morgan, I am so stretched between the blogs, Twitter, regular Facebook page and lists, I'm not sure another page somewhere is going to be of great benefit, and the time involved in social networking gets longer and longer each day. Takes too much time away from writing, so I am really torn about this.

Deb Larson said...

I wish I had your energy! If you enjoy exploring the possibilities- then give it a trial run for a few weeks or months. Be sure to share what you discovered with the rest of us!!
DL Larson

Judith Leger said...

You should really consider it. It wouldn't hurt!

Hope you have blessed Christmas!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I don't have a clue how to do a fan page. I love Facebook though. I think it's fun. I don't do any of the games though.

Merry Christmas

Rob Walker (the infamous Wascal) said...

I have heard neg ad pos about this Fan Page thing; on surface it looks rather banal to be asking people to join up as a FAN when that term has such connotations as it does when in fact 90 percent of the people you are asking to Fan you are not "fans" of your work or have ever read you....so ther is that aspect but recnetly Joe Buff explained that limited number thing on FB, so he is now being fanned so he can go beyond 5K. I had not known about that when I first saw these fan pages going up. If you substituted the word fanning for friending it is basically the same and not "arrogance" on the part of the person askign to be fanned...Still, I am reluctant to add anything anywhere for same reason as others here -- TIME!! But then at the same tine, I know I have gained readers by being on FB, Twitter, Myspace, etc....maybe never had any anywhere else as on chat groups cause I piss too many people off but that is another story.
I would say bottom line, consider your time. I have trouble with what i have already.

Tony Burton said...

I have to admit that I don't do MySpace, Facebook, SpaceFace, MyBook, or any of those things. I do have a CrimeSpace account but I seldom update it, and even though I have a twitter account I've really neglected it lately. I have LinkedIn and Plaxo, but those are primarily for networking and maintaining contact with people, not strictly for self-promotion. Oh, and I blog.

I guess I'm trying to focus on writing, editing, and publishing more than anything else, and the whole social media thing seems to be lots of smoke and mirrors.

Sure, it works very well for some people, but I know just as many people who devote lots of time to it and can never point to any concrete evidence that it has helped them to sell a single book, or even to become better-known. It's such a HUGE place, and to me the concept of friending is about as banal as it can be. People seem to collect these things (friendings) like beer coasters or something, but if you have 5,000 "friends" how many of them really give a darn about what you are doing, and how many of them simply friended you to get your own friending in return?

It sounds so DESPERATE, you know? It's like when I was in grammar school and people would pass around these notes saying something like "I like you. Do you like me? Check yes or no!" There are so many things about writing and marketing that seem to be so much more important than trolling for pseudo-friends among hundreds of thousands of people I don't even know.

Maybe I'm just a cynic, but it seems to be more of a time-waster than anything else. The fundamental thing that writers do, or should do, is write.

Sure, we also have to market and promote, but is social media the way to do it? Can you point to solid evidence that you gained readership by using Facebook or MySpace or anything of that nature? Can you show me the ROI of the time and effort invested in those things? I'd really love to know if you can, because the things I'm reading suggest that social media are becoming very passé now. We have to consider what is the best use of time that could be spent either writing or making direct personal contact with readers instead of being part of a huge, huge mass of people.

Ben Small said...

Nope. Not for me, at least in the foreseeable future. As Robert says it's sorta banal to be asking people for fan support, and I just don't have the time for more Facebook stuff. I have a hard enough time keeping up now. I routinely delete these requests when I receive them.

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

As a children's-YA author, I've found that a lot of teachers and librarians appreciate having a "fan" versus "personnel" page to direct their students to. And I can see that.

Though I'm always very aware that a ten-or-twelve-year-old reader could be seeking me out anywhere on the Web, that's not true of everyone who writes for young readers.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Morgan, I have both a personal account and a 'group' account for my YA series. The group account is updated 1-2 times a month, mostly so I don't annoy the snot out of members. My personal page gets my blog feed and me visiting there a couple times a week.

And social sites DO work and DO sell books! But the key is to focus. If you start doing a lot with FaceBook, what will you need to drop? Only you can decide that!

Holly Jahangiri said...

I have 385 "friends" on my personal page, and I think I have around 50 "fans" on my fan page - but they're mostly my real life family and friends. Does that tell you anything? LOL

My personal page is just that - the fan page is all about my books. Anyone who's interested in my books, but doesn't want to be bothered with my occasional forays into silliness - like Farmville - should just join the fan page or check out my blog. I try to make it easy to find the same info in different ways. To me, the point is that some readers prefer Facebook, some prefer blogs, some like Twitter... it's not about what I want.

Morgan Mandel said...

Maybe I'll see if I can do a fan page for Rascal. I wonder if they allow that.

Morgan

Theresa de Valence said...

Curious. I don't accept any "Be a fan of xx" requests, on principle. Yet, as long as some of a person's "Friends" are people whom I know, then I accept the "Friending".

So I must be all upside down. Sheesh!

(But, nor do I see it making any real difference in my "network" so what does that tell you!)

Best,
Theresa

Nancy Means Wright said...

I have just started both a personal and fan page. The fan page, called "Becoming Mary Wollstonecraft" (the real life protag of my new series has a portrait of 18th century Mary so that I'm basically out of the picture, and I put up photos/pictures of her times, quotations, et al. I've only 28 fans right now, but hoping to find more--perhaps through a short ad so students in women's studies might drop in as fans. It will take time to achieve that,but will hopefully be doable. (Nancy)

Holly Jahangiri said...

I think they do. Trockle has a page, but I got stuck on something when setting it up, and never got it just the way I wanted it.

Stephen Tremp said...

I focus my social networking to three sources, my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Between the three I have 557 followers/friends. I recently started a Facebook Fan Page and have a dozen followers. I plan to do a weekly update along with book signings and events info. A few pictures and such. But that’s about all. Expectations aren’t that great. The page will simply be one of numerous tools to keep people in the loop of what I’m doing and keep the buzz fresh so people do not forget my name or my books.

Stephen Tremp

Sunny Frazier said...

I don't know if it's a "fan" page, but my protagonist, Christy Bristol, put up her own Face Book page called "The Christy Chronicles." She wanted to talk about her astrology clientele on line, open up a bit about the emotions she goes through looking into people's lives. So far she's just talked about herself and her family. And she bad-mouths me. She thinks I'm the fictitional character!

Holly Jahangiri said...

Ahhh, Sunny - good to meet someone who understands. I'm having a hard time stuffing Irma back in the box. She sings naughty Christmas songs about me! (Well, not really, but I did NOT give her nasty looks.)

Morgan Mandel said...

What's funny is when the characters forget which book they're in - or maybe it's me that forgets. Then I think, oh, yeah, that didn't happen to her. It happened to the other one. (g)

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Kay said...

I am not into Facebook too much myself, but Fan Pages seems hot. I'm setting up a page and am taking a course on leveraging Facebook Fan Pages that I can help my author clients with later on. It's officially great for authors

carl brookins said...

I'm not into fan pages. As a freelance reviewer, I couldn't afford it from an ethical POV, and anyway, time is becoming a severe limiting factor.

Tribute Books said...

Our authors find them extremely helpful - they're great for spreading the word about your interviews with bloggers.

Lesa said...

I'm not into the fan pages either. I do have a Facebook account, and I'll accept Authors as Friends there, but I don't spend a lot of time. And, I accepted one or two Fan accounts, and quit doing that. I'm just not that interested.

I think it's very valuable for children and YA authors. I devote most of my time to reviewing and talking to readers on my blog, and I Twitter quite a bit, and communicate with publishers, authors & others there. Twitter is fast and easy.

I just don't take the time for Facebook, and Fan pages don't interest me.

Anonymous said...

I think having a fan page might work better if you have more than one book published. It's a place where you would focus on solely your writing and events related to writing. Good luck making your decision!