How-to: Creating author pages on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads
Creating a brand for yourself as an author can be one of the most challenging things to accomplish. If you’ve ever attempted to launch a website for yourself as an author or to penetrate social media channels to develop a following for your book, chances are you’d agree success is far from immediate.
The good news is that sites like Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads already have a significant audience and make it easy for you to announce yourself as an author to potential readers everywhere. Here we’ll explore the basic steps necessary to get you started on each.
Many authors find using Facebook pages is a convenient alternative to creating a website for their books or role as an author – at least initially. The primary reason being that many authors are already active on Facebook with personal accounts and managing a Facebook page is as easy as posting to your personal newsfeed. As an added benefit, driving traffic to your Facebook page through invitations to your friends and family is simpler than getting them to visit a website, and the link to your page becomes part of their profile for direct access in the future.
Here’s how to get started:
- Log in to your personal Facebook account from a web browser on your PC or Mac. You can’t use the Facebook app on your mobile device to set up a page.
- Click the Page link under the Create heading in the menu to the left of your newsfeed or visit the page creation tool directly.
- As authors, you can use either category of Facebook page – “Business or Brand” or “Community or Public Figure”. Author is listed under both, so it doesn’t matter where you start.
- Provide a page name and add the “Author” category to your new page.
- Upload a profile picture. A professional headshot or cover image from your latest book is a good choice for this image.
- Upload a cover photo. Pages with cover photos get more views.
- Create a username for your page. The username makes it easier for your page to be found in searches. The page also gets a custom URL of fb.me/yourusername and messages can be sent to your page at m.me/yourusername. Review the guidelines for usernames for more details.
- Add a short description – one or two sentences – to your page. The description can contain a maximum of 155 characters. An example of a description might be “Eric Schmieder is a textbook author in the writing disciplines of Business and Computer Technologies. This page contains information on his latest work.” This is three characters short of the limit.
- Be your first like and follow your page by clicking the Like button under your cover photo.
- Invite your Facebook friends and family to do the same with the invitation links on the right side of the page.
- Share your new page with others on Facebook and other social media and add it to your email signature for greater exposure.
- Post content on the page regularly to gain a following and to give your followers reasons to share your page with others.
For ongoing management of the page, easier posting of content, and to improve responsiveness to comments and messages from visitors, consider downloading the Facebook Pages app to your mobile device.
Amazon Author Central
If any of your published titles are on Amazon, you will want to create and manage your Amazon author page to provide additional information about yourself and your other work to readers exploring your book(s). Your Amazon author page can also be promoted as a direct resource for potential readers to find all of your titles in one place.
To get started with your Amazon author page:
- Access Amazon Author Central and sign in or join using your Amazon account.
- Customize your Amazon author page by adding a biography, photos, videos, blogs, and events to your profile.
- Customize the Author Page URL to something memorable and easy to promote to others. Your custom URL will be amazon.com/author/yourcustomname.
- Connect your author page to your books by using the Books tab at the top of Amazon Author Central to search for your books by author, title, or ISBN.
Once connected, each of the book pages in Amazon’s site will include a link to your author page in a section titled “More about the authors” between the product details and customer reviews. Review each title and the author page for accuracy and periodically update the content to keep readers up to date on your new work.
Goodreads Author Program
Similar to the author page on Amazon, Goodreads Author Program helps connect author profiles to their published titles allowing readers to learn more about the author and find additional works.
To get started with the Goodreads Author Program:
- Access the Goodreads Author Program, sign in or create a Goodreads account, and search for your books by title, ISBN, or author name.
- From one of the books listed, click your name in the author list to view the default author page tied to the title.
- Under the default author profile picture, click the link for “Is this you? Let us know.”
- Provide the requested details and submit your application.
Within two days, your page should be assigned to you, a Goodreads Author badge added to your Goodreads profile, and you will have the benefits of a Goodreads author, including the ability to manage your profile, fix your book listings, promote your books, and interact with readers.
Although many avenues for promoting your books and yourself as an author exist, the key benefit to leveraging these three sites as part of your overall marketing plan is the visitor base they already command within the market. By taking the time to add details about yourself to the existing community of members on these three sites, you can quickly develop a following and use the profiles to promote other marketing efforts such as blogs, websites, social media accounts, and author events.