Do Authors Need Two Facebook Pages?

It should come as no surprise that since signing a publishing contract for Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road, my mind has turned to marketing. It also isn’t a secret to longtime readers of this blog that while I find Twitter somewhat intuitive, the secrets of Facebook elude me. So I’m pleased to have as a guest blogger today Carole Jelen, co-author of Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent’s Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps, which was just released from BenBella Books. Her focus is on helping published authors promote their work, but her lessons provide value to any creative looking to grow his or her online platform. And if you have a Facebook page, note that she’s asking you to share it below!


Do authors need two Facebook pages?

The tech tools enable it; the new digital rules guide it, and all the pieces of your author platform fit and work together to grow an overall impact on increased readership over time.

bookWithout a clear plan to become easily findable, far too many great books and authors get lost, no matter how delicious your content, no matter how compelling your visuals or titles on your blog. That means you need your author brand to appear on the big 4 social networks of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + and learn the author strategy to use them together for greater impact.

Sadly, not enough authors use Facebook effectively, and it has made it difficult for the growing author community to support you.

One of the important tech tools that enable critical linking and sharing is the Facebook fan page, and the authors who understand the superior system of separating your private page from your fan page are able to increase audience reach most effectively. Keep your friends and family private by building your personal page first; then build your author platform very visibly in public by creating your Facebook fan page.

Authors: there is no sense in arguing which of the social networks to choose between! One of the new digital rules is that you must now show up in multiple locations to be found as different audiences congregate at different locations. Join all four.  Leaving out one of the big social networks is as unbalanced as standing on a single leg, or stocking your book to only one bookstore.

Please get your Facebook fan page set up today if you do not have one, and share its url with me and others who support you so that we can Like your page. It’s free. It’s easy. Then provide that url to the many author communities springing up to collaborate with each other for Likes and to stay up to date on your latest blog posts. Broadcast your Facebook url right here, in an Artist’s Road comment box below, and tell your friends to do so, and each reader can contribute Likes to each other and stay current on each others’ work in one location.  Join one or more of the growing communities of authors looking to exchange Facebook Likes, like the author megasheet link here.

So why is a Facebook fan page necessary for authors? They allow you to:

  • Drive an audience to your site and blog;
  • Increase audience reach;
  • Provide SEO and social proof of your audience;
  • Multiply your audience through Facebook groups;
  • Build a community via audience dialog;
  • Easily use buttons such as Buy Now, YouTube, and Freebie;
  • Conduct direct advertising via customized audience Facebook ads;
  • And have unlimited followers, as your personal page is capped at 5,000.
One trick to note: You must be logged in from personal page for Likes to count.
handsThink of your free Facebook fan page as another web site for your author brand that will be listed when readers search your name. For example, you’ll find my fan page location with its own separate listing at  Like an MC Escher drawing, the postings on your fan page lead to additional locations. When you click on my Facebook fan page link, you find my blog post listing as a post, that leads you over to my blog. Successful authors work this system in many ways online; learn the linking strategy that continues to pull the parts of your author platform together, to work for you literally while you sleep at night.
CaroleFounder of Jelen Publishing and vice president of Waterside Productions, Carole Jelen has been representing authors as a top-producing literary agent for over two decades. A former editor for three publishing houses, Jelen holds a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and California teaching credential, instructing publishing/platform workshops. Jelen also works as a publishing consultant, aiding authors and companies in the publishing process. She is the co-author of Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agents Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps.

45 thoughts on “Do Authors Need Two Facebook Pages?

  1. I have “liked” several Facebook author pages in the past few years. The fan pages used to show up in my newsfeed, but now they never do. I’m not sure if this is a Facebook algorithm issue, but I’ve had several author-friends mention this to me…that their “fans” never see what they post unless they make the effort to visit the fan page.

    Just an FYI.


    1. Carole Jelen

      Anthony, thanks, I just Liked your page which made it easy for me to click on and explore your great web site and discover your creative work, will be returning.


  2. davidbgoldstein

    I agree with you about keeping our personal pages separate from our professional page. Here is where I’ve gotten stuck.

    As you said, it seems only possible to like other pages by using a personal page – but this seems to cause a kind of cross contamination. If a recipient of our “like” wishes to reciprocate – they see our “personal” profile photo and would have to notice that we also have a professional page. They could then switch to their personal page to like our professional page. Am I missing something or is there an easier way?


    1. Carole Jelen

      David, Ah… the workaround. I just Liked your great page while logged in from my personal page, and pressed Message to give you my facebook fan page url. I use the same photo on both pages (the public sees this) but on my personal page, I mark my posts private so that the public can’t see them.


  3. Carole Jelen

    By Liking your page just now, I was drawn into your site , and now am interested in your work. Authors are readers and book buyers, so joining an author list (there’s a link in this post) it brings potential readers; as they Like, they also discover your creative work and tell friends.


  4. I’m going to disagree on this one. I’ve got over 700 likes on my author page, and about ten people see each post I make, which begs the question, “What the heck is the point?” I don’t want to pay for it, so I’m slowly changing my personal profile over to my author one so that people can actually see what I post.


  5. I just realized I should put in my own Facebook page:

    I echo others in terms of traffic. I have 375 Likes, but it’s pretty clear most of those people do not see my posts. I think it’s an algorithm thing; if your page has more activity, it’s more likely to show up in folks’ feeds. I don’t really post on my page–it’s mostly just auto-fed blog posts–but it seems a bit cheeky to promote the popular over the not-so-popular, because that simply increases the spread between the two. Perhaps I’ll start linking to videos of cats.


    1. Patrick, I love cats (!) but prefer author’s posts ; ) Thanks for underscoring reasons for mastering the FB fan page; at the top is leading readers to your blog. I just re-posted on my fb fan page info about the importance of post timing, already 33 people have seen it and views of posts continue to climb. Simply put: all parts work together, well worth learning how.


  6. Ah, I have heard the “have two, keep them separate” advice before, so naturally, I wanted to hear more! 🙂 This is such an important subject and one I know I struggle with a LOT. Due to my not yet having agent representation and also don’t want to post any of my work online, I don’t have an author page yet.

    Patrick, I too, am not a Facebook fan, generally speaking. I find it confusing, overloaded and overwhelming 😦 I know it’s going to be a necessity when the time comes, though. I’ve fallen in love with Twitter, now having gotten the hang of it and how to use it, am on LinkedIn, but getting involved in discussions really sucked up my time, just like following blogs can do! lol I’m signed up for Google+ due to an invite by a friend, but have never used it. Looks like I’ll be forced to learn and do it all at some point.

    Carole, I have one book about this, but I will very likely be adding your and Michael’s ’cause it sounds like you really know what you’re talking about 🙂 Thanks for the guest post! And thanks, Patrick 🙂


  7. Managing the Facebook news feed can befuddle even the savviest user. As folks have noted, it’s an algorithm thing, tuned to Facebook’s best advantage. The algorithm favors stuff your friends share, then stuff Pages have paid to put in your feed, then stuff you’ve Liked in the past; then whatever’s left.

    So what’s a writer with not-very-deep-pockets to do to get out of the “whatever’s left” category? Well, start with your Friends. Make sure you’re sharing all your Page’s content, and asking (humbly) for Shares and Likes. Periodically ask them to visit the Page directly and Like up a storm. Depending on how often you’re adding new content to your page, you could even post a “This Week at ” summary.

    While even your Facebook friends have limits, and you don’t want to browbeat them into visiting your Page, you really do have to ask them to visit, at least till you’re regularly showing up in people’s feeds. Of course, if you’re only posting there every other month, you may never get into anyone’s feed.

    Mike McCallister:


  8. OK, I went to everyone’s facebook pages (so far) and “Liked” them, PLUS ordered your book, Carole and Michael 🙂 So, are you saying that when you’re on someone’s page, everytime you click “like” on a post or comment, that adds to all of it, speaking algorithmically? I hope that’s a word lol


      1. lol, Michael, although you didn’t say I “LOOK” mahvelous, I heard Billy Crystal in my head 😉

        Seriously, though—I love Patrick and his blog (you already know this, Patrick 🙂 ) and the info he passes on. This is extremely helpful and since I’ll be focusing on my blogs soon (too busy creating two characters for PBs right now), I want to start off on the right foot from the get-go. I can tell from this little bit, plus looking at both your facebook pages, that your book was worth the investment. So THANK you for writing it, and THANK you to you, Patrick, for posting this! 😀 Now I just have to get past my cringe reaction whenever I hear “facebook” mentioned lol


  9. Thank you Mike (best coauthor ever) This is the big reason why authors are joining and mutually supporting each other – I mentioned one supportive author community in my post above, just add your name and Like each other. To keep content flowing, each time I make a blog post, I then use my own Share buttons to place it on my big 4 social networks. During the week, I press Share to post items to my networks when I see interesting posts and articles.


  10. Urrrggghhh… I guess this means I’m finally gonna have to crawl out of my cave and make a Facebook page then *hangs garlic round neck, chants various protection spells*

    I know it’s the sensible and the smart thing to do, and thank you Carole (and Patrick) for presenting such a good argument for doing so. I will come back to this post and do the Likes thing as soon as I create my new Facebook Author page…. *shudder*

    And now I’m going to find someone to give me a hug – I might need it in the next few hours…


    1. Feeling your pain here; maybe that’s why there are 8 million results searching on “virtual hug”. It felt like that when I got started and then realized I enjoyed meeting the welcoming and supportive creative people who responded.


    1. Where exactly did you poke around, Patrick? I’m pretty clueless with a lot of stuff on facebook. If my cousin didn’t show me a few things, I’d be TOTALLY clueless. Plus, I think they’re always changing things up *sigh*


      1. So while logged in as my page, I selected the edit page button in the upper right, chose edit settings, chose page info, and then “edit” by Facebook page address. Fortunately I didn’t develop any errors!


  11. Among other problems with Facebook, it no longer allows you to choose a custom URL for your Author Page (just says it’s not working right now, but FB told me they are fixing it…about seven months ago). Also, how can I like and comment on other people’s pages from my Author Page? And how can I ask other groups or nonfriends to “like” it? I only know how to ask friends to “like” it. Here’s the link:


    1. Sue, I too get confused about what I can do from my personal account and what I can do from my page account. I’m now in a private Facebook group for authors who have been published with my publisher, and I thought I posted something to it from my page, but it never showed up in the group. I’m wondering if I have to do it from my personal account, which I generally would prefer not to do, because then the authors will want to friend me personally, and I want to be connected to them via my page. Ugh.

      As I noted, it did let me change my URL, so I’m not sure what your error is.


  12. This is very interesting stuff to consider. I think putting a fan page right on people’s newsfeeds makes them feel more connected with authors and their projects. Facebook somehow feels more personal than Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ IMO.


    1. Thanks, Sherrey! I just “liked” your page, and was sincere in that action! 🙂 In fact, I really liked that Rothman article and shared it on my page (it appears KM Weiland tweeted it, and I follow her, but missed that tweet).


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