31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 4: Author pages

[Before we start, have you followed 10 new people yet?]

New Pages, New Audiences

photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop
Photo by Antoni Shkraba on Pexels.com

Did you know you can create Author Pages in Facebook (which is separate from your profile), Goodreads, and Amazon Books (called Amazon Author Central)? If you know of other worthwhile ones, please drop a note in comments.

For Day 4 we are going to broaden our reach by creating said Author Pages.

I’d like you to complete at least ONE today. Grab that handy notebook’s To Do List and write down any site you don’t get to today.

Since FB is the only one of the three where you don’t have to be published, I’m only going into detail there. And, FB’s step-by-step guidelines are only four steps! Others give instructions and I know you can figure it out.

If you already have author pages in all these places, you get a GOLD STAR. Pat yourself on the back (no really, do it! You are doing great!). Today you overachievers are going back to EACH page and tidying up. How does the “look” serve your author brand? Clear out old stuff that no longer serves, add some pretty art or colors, post some new news or facts. Bonus points if you add links to your other social media accounts and ask readers to follow!

If you don’t have any author pages yet, you need them. The reason behind adding author pages is because they’re perfect place to talk to your audience—the ones that have already signed up and agreed to listen to you. They are your fans!

Author pages are great places for:

  • introducing yourself to your readers, letting them get to know you
  • linking them to your website/blog/social media accounts
  • adding breaking news like upcoming titles
  • sharing book cover reveals
  • offering discount codes
  • testing out a few promotions that we’ll be getting to later in the month
  • sharing videos that you’re probably nervous even thinking about. (My thought there is since it’s a smaller audience it might help give you more confidence if you post your first few here, then as you get the hang of it you can post the others across the rest of your social media.)
  • posting book trailers
  • getting newsletter sign ups (we talk about newsletters later!)

Basically, they are the one place you constantly get to shamelessly self promote!

Specifics on the Facebook Author Page:

  • A Facebook author PAGE is not the same as a Facebook PROFILE like you already have and probably refer to as a page. The Facebook page you have now, the one you use for family and friends (and I bet have posted waaay too many food pix on) is actually not a “page.” It’s a “profile.” The technicality is important. Why?
  • A FB profile has a social purpose. It’s perfect for keeping in touch with far-off cousins and swapping recipes and high school reunion updates. I will say I’ve been using it to stay in touch with writer friends and future book buyers too.
  • A FB page is for business. And, since you as an author are your own business (party of one!), I am learning it’s the most effective use of FB for you as an author. Keep the profile!! I’m not telling you to start over from scratch. You’re simple adding a page.

I’m going to go off on a “you are a business” aside here. If you are uncomfortable with viewing yourself as a business, you need to get over that. Don’t think of it like you’re a seedy salesman. But let’s face it. You DO want to sell books. And since you want to author more than one book, the business isn’t that book, it’s YOU. You are your brand. Here’s a post to consider reviewing: https://bitsykemper.com/creating-an-author-platform/

Back to the page creation task at hand.  To begin setting up your new page, log into your existing Facebook account/profile.

  1. On the left side, click Pages
  2. Below Your Pages and profiles, click “Create new Page”
  3. From there you pick a name for your page (make it easy; I picked Bitsy Kemper Author), and a category (I picked Fan Page)
  4. Click “Create Page” – and it’s official!

Once it’s created, FB will walk you through customizing it, such as adding bio, profile pic, cover photo, etc. Have fun with it but don’t obsess—you can add and change anything later. It will ask you to create your first post, and with the click of a button will even invite all your existing FB friends to like it. I advise making sure the page is set up and ready before inviting anyone. Also make sure you’re OK with the default privacy settings!

You now have a place to concentrate your writing news and events. Keep the more personal posts on your profile page, but it’s ok to be personal here too. In keeping with your brand, if you’re looking to grow FB followers, here is where you can start to focus and funnel them. Include this author page link instead of your profile page on every post you make from here on.

Here’s a link to examples of impressive FB Author Pages and ways they effectively engage. (None are kidlit but it’s nice to see the different author brands they so easily present.)

Please consider giving me a like and follow on my FB Author Page, https://www.facebook.com/BitsyKemperAuthor/

For your Amazon Author Page, NY Book Editors offers a great “how to.”

Recap: Create at least one new Author Page, whether in FB, Goodreads, Amazon Books, or anywhere else you can find. Make sure you add all your social media handles to it (or at least the ones that are in good shape).

It might take a while to get a following, but I think it’ll be worth it!

Let me know about your experience. Was it easy? Do you think it’s worth it?

If you already have a page, have you found it beneficial? Comment below!

3 Ways to Rock Your Bio

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, right? Your bio may be the only time someone decides if they’re going to invest more time or energy into getting to know you, into hiring you, or into trusting you. So you want to put your best foot forward. Make that both feet.


This image was brazenly and randomly stolen off the internet

1. Know Your Audience  What is the bio for? A book flap? Conference? Website? School visit? Who is reading it? Make sure your qualifications match the reason you’re there as a speaker, writer, professional. You’re a complicated (yet attractive) beast with many facets. You can’t possibly put everything down every time; nor would you want to. Play up your experience for that circumstance, adapting as needed. If you’ve written a piece on molecular biology, your stint in improv has no place in that bio. Your experience as a second grade teacher might, if the piece was written for grade schoolers. If it’s for college level, though, just mention being a teacher. Do you see what I mean? Highlight what uniquely qualifies you or makes you stand out for that situation. Do your audience the Continue reading

Twitter 101: The Basics, For Writers

Twitter 101 for Writers Part One

The past few writers’ conference presentations I’ve given about Author Platforms have prompted many of the same questions. Most surround social media. I’m gonna tackle one biggie here: Twitter. Let’s look at the very basic concept of Twitter in this post, for the true beginner. How to use it effectively will be a different post, so be sure to keep looking around on my site if you need more help or detail.

“I know what Twitter is, but I don’t know how to use it like I should. Is there a specific process?” “Why do I want to use Twitter in the first place?” “What is Twitter anyway?” Let’s start with the very basics. Here are some definitions of Twitter:

  • Twitter is the best way to connect with people, express yourself and discover what’s happening. – Twitter

That’s kinda broad. Let’s look at a different definition:

  • Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short update posts called tweets. –WhatIs.com

Okay, that’s not really helpful at all. Let’s give it one more try:

  • A stupid site for stupid people with no friends, who think everyone else gives a sh*t what they’re doing at any given time. –UrbanDictionary.com

Haha well that sure is one way to look at it! I view Twitter as a huge cocktail party. You interact as much as you want, you come in and out of conversations as you see fit, you listen to other people rant or rave, you observe trends and popular topics, you initiate some conversations and contribute to others, you walk around to see what’s happening over in that side of the room, and yes maybe you enjoy a few people so much that you follow them around a little bit.

Looking at some statistics, it’s clear that social media is here to stay.

  • Facebook: 1.23 Billion users as of Dec 2013, 81% outside of U.S. (Facebook.com), 57% American adults, 73% 12-17 year olds (Pew Research)
  • LinkedIn: 277 million users as of Feb 2014 (Digital Marketing Ramblings)
  • Instagram (where you share photos and up to 15-second videos, image filters are offered): 150 million active users, 1.2 Billion likes/day (DMR, Feb 2014)
  • Vine (users share 6-second videos) : 40 million users (Vine)
  • Twitter: As of Aug 2013, Twitter reports

    280 Million users

    500 Million tweets/day

    Average 5,700 tweets PER SECOND

    135,000 new users/day

A tweet, or Twitter post, gives you 140 spaces, called characters, to say whatever you want. “Happy birthday” is 14 characters (without the quote marks), and “Happy birthday!” (without quotes) is 15. With quotes, they’d 16 and 17 characters. Anything that takes up a space, even a blank space, counts as one. The good news is you are forced to be brief. The bad news is it takes practice to get your point across succinctly.

Once you’ve got the hang of 140 characters, why keep going? What’s in it for you? Plenty. When used effectively, Twitter can: