Friday 25 December 2009

Geeked Up for Christmas: TALL STORY has a Facebook Fan Page!

At one of the London Book Fair seminars on marketing this year, one of the facts bandied about was that more people now use Facebook instead of email for online communication.

Not being totally on the ball that day, I can't provide you with the exact source/figures, but trust me, it must be true.

One of the websites I designed this year belonged to someone who didn't have time for social networking. When we reviewed the website's visitor stats however, we discovered that most visitors came from Facebook!

Indeed, Facebook has become such a distracting force in my own life that I have had to leave the house (and the internet) and work in coffee shops to avoid getting caught up in its allure.

A neat little app called 'My Year in Status' collated the best of my FB status updates - revealing how much I enjoyed hanging out on FB:

Click on the image to see it in readable size

If you've been living in the Real World, you might not know what a status update is. Facebookers post short status updates of what they're up to, what they're thinking, what they're doing. Status updates can be very entertaining and addicting especially if, like me, many of your FB friends are fabulously witty.

It's a bit like Twittering or Tweeting, except it's less ephemeral, and you can comment and have conversations with other commenters. (And please don't ask me what Twitter is.)

Last week my author friend Elizabeth Pisani sent me a link on how to build a Facebook Fan Page. To a compulsive geekoholic like me, it was a temptation not to be resisted.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Elizabeth's book is pictured right. Please buy it. You know you want to understand sexual health, prostitution and the politics of Aids funding.

Building an FB page for my book TALL STORY was a fascinating exercise. So was thinking through how to promote it and get people to actually become fans of the page (my KEY STRATEGY: uninhibited BEGGING).

I created this landing page for people who happen to search for TALL STORY:

You can read about how to create a landing page here. The page, that is, not the image, which I put together using Photoshop.

And once you become a fan, you get this page:

(The red heart and scrawlings are just me pointing out the fun stuff)

To make the page a bit more exciting, you've got to create an image that will tell people why the hell they would want to sign up as a fan. Graphic skills are very useful. Or a publisher's art department. Or an artistic teenager.

The word fan, of course, is a misnomer because TALL STORY will not exist in the real world until June 2010. I wish FB used the word 'follower' or 'person who thinks they might possibly like...' - but there you go. Fan it's got to be.

Now,  I love adding friends on FB (I'm a bit easy that way). At last count, I had 457 friends. Oops.

Mini digression: I was writing in the cafe the other day when I overheard two women discussing teen novels. As they were leaving, one of them turned to me and said, 'Candy, is that you?' It was the author Keren David (When I Was Joe), who I had friended on FB. With her was Gaby Halberstam (The Red Dress).

As a result of the meeting, I managed to schmooze an advance copy of When I Was Joe and  got to read The Red Dress ... and OMG lucky me,  these two titles turned out to be terrific! Definitely on my list of STAND-OUT young fiction reads of the year!

Shameless but Sincere Promotion: READ READ READ When I Was Joe and The Red Dress!

Where was I?

Back to TALL STORY's Facebook Page: I begged classmates, friends and acquaintances to help me not look like a fool and become a fan. And lo and behold, the last time I looked (today) I had 136 fans.

THANK YOU, fan people. YOU ARE AWESOME! If I could pay you for your awesomeness, I would. Instead, I promise to make the page as interesting and relevant to YOU as I can.

And to all the lovely authors hoping to build their own FB fan page, watch this space, once I've managed to digest the tonnage of Christmas junk I've consumed during these holidays, I pledge to post a How To article taking you through the Facebook Page process step by step and in simple, ungeekified English.

It would be a cool way for Notes from the Slushpile to celebrate the new year.

Many happy returns this holiday season!

Me, the husband and kids pose for our annual holiday portrait

... and have a MAGNIFICENT 2010!


  1. In the name of disclosure, I must hasten to add that Keren has said some very kind things about this blog in the past. But seriously, I couldn't put down When I Was Joe. Read it through the night to the annoyance of husband.

  2. Hopefully you will one day be able to teach me how to do a fan page! ;-)
    Happy to be fanned to Tall Story! x

  3. If you've got literary talent AND the ability to self-promote in the technosphere, both the editorial department and the marketing department will like you. Dream author!

  4. Candy, you are the grandmother of my blog. It wouldn't exist without you..and that was before I even 'met' you. Looking forward to reading Tall Story, of course I'm already a fan.

  5. Comments from Facebook

    Candice: I can send you the figures. I have it somewhere. :)

    Judy: happy 2010 daerest candy and all of you

    Danilova: Happy Holidays!

    Rachel: howdo i become a fan it wont let me!!!

    Candy: rachel, there's a button at the top of the page that says 'become a fan'


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