Many book authors set up a profile on Facebook, but they fail to take full advantage of this powerful networking tool. Below are six strategies for promoting books and authors on Facebook:
1. Take full advantage of the promotional opportunities on your Facebook Profile. For example, just below your photo is a small box where you can enter a concise description of what you do, including the title of your book and a link to your book sales page.
The About Me box (under Personal Information) is a good place to describe your book and your business. In the Contact Information section you can enter multiple website addresses. Post your book cover in your photo album or another application and display it in the left column of your profile.
Mention your book in your status updates, without being too promotional. For example, announce your book launch, mention reviews and awards the book has received, talk your own book promotion activities.
Remember, your Facebook profile must be registered in your real name. If you create a profile for your book or business, you risk having your account cancelled.
2. Facebook Pages are similar to personal profiles, but they are created for business use and they are an ideal place for promoting books. You can create a page for your book, your business, or even one of the characters in your novel. People join a page by becoming a fan.
You may want to offer an incentive to join (or at least visit) your page, such as a free download or a coupon for one of your products. Another way to attract fans is to set your page up as an information hub, offering links and resources. You can also send messages to your fan base, which will show up in their Facebook newsfeeds.
3. Groups are a great place for book authors to meet people who share their interests and find new friends, while subtly promoting books. Search for groups by entering keywords in the Search box at the top of the page and then clicking on the Groups tab. You can gain visibility on a group page by introducing yourself on the wall, participating in disucssions, and posting your book cover, photos or videos.
Forming your own group can also be beneficial. Be sure to encourage discussions and offer valuable information such as free downloads and links to resources. You can send direct message the entire group.
4. Hosting an event is another way of promoting books. Set up a Facebook Event and invite others to live or virtual events such as book signings, teleseminars book launches, speaking engagements or virtual book tours. Joining other people’s events is a good way to get visibility because you can write on the event wall and post photos.
5. Facebook displays pay-per-click ads on most pages on the site, and ads can be targeted by age, gender, location, education level, relationship status, or keywords in people’s profiles. Consider advertising if you have a very specific target market that can be targeted by more than one of the above criteria. For example, if you have written an exercise book for women over 50, you can target that demographic on Facebook and you can even target the keyword "exercise" in people’s profiles.
6. The Facebook Marketplace is a classified advertising area where you can post a free listing promoting your books. It’s worth an experiment if the topic of your book is something that might be searched for on a classified site. For example, if you have a book about collecting costume jewelry, people searching for costume jewelry will see your listing. (Don’t forget to use this strategy on Craig’s List and eBay as well).
There are a number of ways of promoting books and authors on Facebook, but remember to be subtle when using profiles, pages, groups and events. If you are too promotional or make promoting books your main focus, you will turn people off.
Excerpted from Facebook Guide for Authors.