Thursday, January 29, 2015

Facebook and Authors by Patricia Green

Well, the time has come, my friends. Facebook is ratcheting up their revenue model. Now, they hope to make a few billion dollars on "boosted" posts as well. What does that mean?

Some of you (I hope most of you) have seen my Facebook ads. I buy one whenever I have a new book released. I find it introduces the books to new readers and reminds current readers that there's more Patricia Green to enjoy. "Boosted" Facebook posts, on the other hand, are regular professional page Facebook posts that an author wants to particularly emphasize. Currently, 10% or fewer of my author page "likers" actually see my posts. That's another tricky bit of Facebook wisdom. So if I want more people to see my posts, I have to buy boosts. A boost delivers my post to more of my fans and their friends as well. So I actually do get my posts out to the people who've liked my page, so long as I'm willing to pay $10 to do it. For every post. Which, for me, adds up to $10 per day, or $3650 per year. How do you like them apples?

Do you think I can afford $3650 per year plus regular ads that cost a few hundred dollars a piece? If money grew on trees…

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm aware that I've been riding on the Facebook gravy train for the time I've had my author page. It's been free marketing and I'm grateful for what I got. Furthermore, Facebook is not a charity; they have to make a profit or their shareholders get ticked off, and with good reason. When one buys stock in a company, one expects the stock to go up in value, otherwise, why invest? I don't think Facebook is greedy or underhanded. They're doing what any good business ought to do. It's just too bad that struggling artists like me are going to be the ones taking the biggest hit.

My problem is: how do I reach my fans and new readers? It's a fact of life that without readers, I'm out of business. So here's what I would ask of you (you knew there'd be a request in her somewhere, I'm sure), sign up for subscriptions to your favorite authors’ blogs. Mine is here. Most authors will include posts with excerpts, blog hops, prizes, new release notices, articles about relevant things that they hope will inspire you to greatness whether you're an author or a grocery clerk or something else. Occasionally blogs have guests. Virtually always, you can unsubscribe at any time. Tell a friend as well, especially people who have been using Facebook to reach authors like me.

That's my new model and the model to which most authors will migrate. I'll be beating that drum for a while over on Facebook, to try to get folks to sign up with blogs instead of relying on Facebook to deliver the goods. I don’t know how many authors will be eliminating their Facebook pages, but, as Facebook works toward a total ad revenue model, they will be reaching fewer and fewer of you there. I'll be missing you and, if I've done my job right thus far, you might miss me, too. So sign up, tell your friends and I'll tell mine. Let's work with what we've got rather than kvetching about what we can't have. 
Wish me luck!

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