Facebook Strategy for Authors: In-Depth Discussion

Facebook strategy

If you’re like most authors I know, you’ve wondered about how to best use Facebook. Should you stick to your personal page, should you create a fan page, how do you promote a fan page, and what exactly does a marketing strategy look like on Facebook?

I’ve written several posts addressing the basics, as well as my personal strategy:

Writer Sarah Bartlett read these posts, and had further questions about Facebook strategy, which I was happy to answer. Our discussion is now available at her blog. Here’s a snippet:

First and foremost, realize that no matter what Facebook does with your profile page, or how the Timeline evolves, most people are interacting with your posts in their own newsfeed. Very few people visit your profile unless they have a reason to research you or be curious based on something you’ve posted. That means: Don’t sweat your Timeline too much. Yes, do fill out as much information on the about page that you’re comfortable sharing (especially for the public view), but beyond being clear about who you are, I don’t think the Timeline/profile format is meaningful from a marketing standpoint.
Here are three keys to behavior on Facebook that you need to understand, based on best business practices as well as what I’ve observed and experienced …

Click here to find out about those 3 keys to behavior, and read the full Q&A.

Side note about interview requests

For many years, I accepted all interview requests that landed in my inbox. Recently, I’ve had to become more selective due to the volume of requests, and also because responding to any Q&A is a signficant time commitment. Unfortunately, many people ask questions that I’ve already answered thoroughly at this blog and elsewhere, or they ask such broad or vague questions that a good answer would easily constitute a book! (E.g., “What do you think about the future of publishing?”)

Sarah’s request was easy to say yes to. She had already read material from me on a specific topic, and had very focused questions on that topic.

Keep that in mind whenever asking anyone to commit to a Q&A that offers you valuable content for your website or blog. Demonstrate knowledge of what that person has said in the past, and explore new or focused territory. That keeps it interesting and worthwhile for everyone.

Posted in Social Media and tagged , , , .
Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

Join the conversation

16 Comments on "Facebook Strategy for Authors: In-Depth Discussion"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Sarah W. Bartlett

Thank you, Jane, for your very kind words. Such helpful advice on the etiquette of interviewing; not to mention excellent modeling of the professional way to follow up. This has been a fabulous experience all around.


 I have a slightly more convoluted question…how do you run a page when you write AND model? Two completely different things…separate pages? Same page?? Panicccc. 🙁

Ed Cyzewski

One of the things that has me thinking about launching a page and restricting my personal profile a bit more is that I sometimes discuss topics related to religion that elicit strong opinions. It’s usually fine among my friends and colleagues, but I’ve also friended some friends of friends who have taken some conversations down. In addition, now that we’re expecting a child this summer, I’m beginning to wonder if my use of my personal Facebook profile will shift to more family and friends related pictures, etc.


[…] ones so she doesn’t have to repeat content. Not a bad idea at all. Today’s post, Facebook Strategy for Authors: In-Depth Discussion does that and also links to a Q&A she did with Sarah Bartlett, Jane Friedman: Authors on […]


Thanks Jane. I don’t often respond, being engrossed in writing a sequel to my novel, but I’d like you to know that I appreciate the clear advice you offer  to writers who struggle for signpost in the information jungle.

Friday Fry-Up — Speakeasy

[…] Sarah W. Bartlett interviews Jane Friedman about Facebook Strategy for Authors, which prompted Friedman to put together a post linking to all her previous advice for authors using facebook. […]

Some great articles linked here. Are you still feeling the same way about, for instance, the Facebook Fan Pages tips, seven months on? This stuff moves and changes so fast… I’m in the process of broadening my platform (up to the pre-query edit phase of a novel I’m hoping to get out there via the traditional route) and am finding the changing (or for that matter, the ill-defined) goal posts the biggest challenge. I’m totally sorted with Twitter (I *get* it, having amassed, over the years, a great bunch of followers numbering in the mid-teen-K’s…) but Facebook is still a… Read more »

[…] Facebook Strategy for Authors: In-Depth Discussion […]


[…] Facebook Strategy for Authors: In-Depth Discussion […]


[…] This is where you will be able to let people know who you are and what you do.  You do not need to put all of your information out there, but it does need to be adequate.  “Do fill out as much information on the About Page that you’re comfortable sharing (especially for the public view), but beyond being clear about who you are, I don’t think the Timeline/profile format is meaningful from a marketing standpoint,” says Jane Friedman. […]