3 Essential (but basic) Facebook Page Changes Every Author Should Make

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Don’t just have a Facebook Profile – get a Facebook Page as well!

A Facebook Author page is essential if you want to increase awareness of your writing, keep your fans informed and engaged, connect with other authors and acquire new readers.

However, it’s surprising how many Facebook pages are very plain and very normal! Come on people – this is the window to your shop. Try doing a bit of window dressing. Your Facebook page is a totally free advert that has the potential to reach millions of people! Why not make the most of it?

Here’s a little break down of the layout of my Facebook Page:

FB Page Layout

1. Profile Picture

Lets start with the very basics! Surely it is a good idea to have a profile picture of yourself. Engage your readers and let them see what you look like – it’s the personal touch. People always respond better to someone they can see

What works well?

– Anything that is uniquely you. Don’t use a picture of your book here – the image is too small. Use the Page Cover for that.

– Pictures of yourself, not looking too silly (unless you are a comedy writer). Ones that are not too personal. Keep it professional. A profile picture is only big enough for heads and shoulders, anything more than that and it will be too small. Only have one of yourself, not several people.

– Your logo or a symbol that is a theme throughout your work.

– Don’t waste the profile space with your name in frilly text. It’s right next to it on the page anyway – why duplicate?

How to change yours

Go to your page and hover over the profile image and click ‘Edit Profile Picture’ then ‘Upload photo’ to take a file from your PC. The image will need to be 180 x 180 pixels. Don’t worry if your image is bigger than this. Once it is uploaded, click the ‘Edit Profile Picture’ again then ‘Edit thumbnail’ option. In this separate window you can drag the image to re-position it, or simply click the ‘scale to fit’ box and let Facebook do the hard work.

2. Page Cover Image

This is the place you can really be creative. You want to give the right impression to viewers as soon as they click on your page. It’s a good idea to change your Cover image from time to time, just like you would if you had a window display in a shop. Keep it fresh and interactive to keep viewers coming back for more.

What works well?

– Images of all your books, repeated in a tiled fashion.

– A single striking image with a few words, like an advert in a magazine.

– Promotion of your latest book with a call to action (Buy now!) or arrow directing viewers to an app that clicks through to amazon.

– Promotion of any competitions (see apps later) with a call to action or arrow telling them where to click.

How to change yours

Go to your page and hover over the cover image and click ‘Change Cover’ then ‘Upload photo’ to take a file from your PC. Click ‘Save Changes’ if you are happy with the image. The image will need to be 851 x 315 pixels. Don’t forget that the bottom left hand quarter of your cover image will have your profile image overlaying it so some of your image won’t be visible. Don’t worry if your image is bigger than this. If you want to reposition the image, hover over the cover image, click ‘Change Cover’ then ‘Reposition’ then drag your image to where you want it.

3. Page Apps

Page Apps are useful little tools, but so many people don’t make the most of them. On your Facebook Page there are several smaller boxes that sit below the cover image. These are apps and you can change them to make them more interesting and personal to your page. Apps provide more information for your viewers and keep them on your page for longer. Only the ‘Photos’ app box is static, the rest can be removed, reordered and changed.

What works well?

FB Twitter App Button– Apps that link other social media sites to your page.

Try Woobox for Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. These are free to use and allow live feeds to be included in your Facebook page. It is good to try and integrate all of your other social media accounts together so followers can find you wherever you are. Using this app for YouTube allows you to include book trailers as well.

Keep in Touch App

– A contact form so people can get in touch with you.

Try Contact Form on Facebook. Click the ‘Go to App’ button and install it on your page. It is free to use. Social Media is just that – social. You need to make it easy for your followers to contact you, ask questions, send compliments or whatever. They need to have a place where they can interact directly with you.

New Release App– Set up an email collection App.

Go to Mailchimp to set up your account, then install the app on your Facebook page. This is another free app, however there is a fee when you have over 2,000 email subscribers and there is a limit to the number of email newsletters you can send per month in the free subscription.

FB App Tab– A promotion or competition.

Try Easypromos. Install the app on your page and create your competition. The first one is free, but if you do any others after that you will need to pay around $15 in the basic package per competition. If you request that only your page followers can enter, it is also a great way to increase your page likes.

FB App Read the Books– List your books. You’re an author – people want to know about your books!

Go to Freebooksy and install the app to your page. Then simply enter your book ISBN number and the app will search amazon and install it into the app. You can enter more than one book.

How to personalize your apps

To the right of the apps you will see a small box with a number and an arrow. Click it and all of the installed apps will appear. To start with change the names of the apps to something suitable for your page – hover over the app you want to change and a pencil will appear in the top right corner. Click it and you will get extra options. Click ‘Edit Settings’. In the ‘Custom tab name’ box you can write in what you want to call the app. It’s a good idea to personalize your app images so they are in the same colour or style to your cover image. Click the change link next to ‘Custom Tab Image’ you will got to a new window which will show the current app image. Hover over it and click ‘Edit’ then click ‘Choose file’ and upload the image you want to use. The image will need to be pretty small – 111 x 74 pixels. Save all these changes and it will update the apps on your page. You can also change the position of each app. When you hover over an app and click the pencil button you can see a list of all the apps on your page. Swap positions with the apps so the most important ones are on the front of your page. You cannot move or edit the ‘photos’ app. If I was you I would move the ‘Likes’ app – people don’t need to see it – it’s already listed under your page name, right next to the number of people who are talking about you!

There are loads of apps available to use on Facebook, most of them are free. If you use another app to those listed above and it works well on your Page, why not share it below?

6 thoughts on “3 Essential (but basic) Facebook Page Changes Every Author Should Make

    1. Hi Victoria – you need to install an iframe app – this will get you a static page or image. You can also make the contents within the iframe exclusive to likers and followers of your page. To do this you need to create a fangate! Go to https://www.facebook.com/StaticHtmlThunderpenny and click ‘go to app’ to install it, then follow their instructions. Have a play around. It’s not straightforward to start with but can be very useful. Let me know how you get on!

  1. Tim this is fabulous! Before I decided to try indie publishing for a couple of upcoming novels, I was simply not a social media person. Ive opened the account, but thats about all. I really appreciate these set-up instructions.

    1. Thanks Teagan – get on the social media bandwagon as quick as you can. You are behind the race already if you’ve only just started. It’s the most effective way to stimulate interest in your books. Good luck!

  2. Wow! This was quite informative! The apps section for me was the most informative as I haven’t done a thing with it! I intend on changing things immediately, although I have only one story in an anthology so apps may not be very useful to me just yet. 🙂 Thank you for this post!

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