SFFMP 102: Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging to Build Your Author Platform (and sell books)

Today, Jo, Jeff, and Lindsay talked about a few things they’ve been meaning to cover for a long time, building an author platform (and selling books) through Facebook, Twitter, and an author blog.

Here are some of the highlights of what they touched upon:

  • Is it better to have a Facebook page or use Facebook groups for appealing to fans?
  • What do you post about on Facebook anyway?
  • How can you naturally get more likes and interaction on Facebook?
  • Can a Facebook page actually help you sell books?
  • When does it make sense to pay for a boosted post?
  • Have the guys had any success with Facebook ads?
  • Twitter — What’s the point of Twitter?
  • Is it possible to sell books on Twitter, and, if so, how?
  • Being a content provider on Twitter versus just doing a lot of RTing.
  • Using the If This, Then That service for some automated posting.
  • What are the best practices for starting an author blog?
  • Should you host a blog on your own site or use a free site?
  • What should you blog about as an author?
  • How to get more traffic from the search engines (and how long it takes to build up a site and start seeing that traffic).
  • Is blogging really worth the time?

If you’re interested in writing for Kindle Worlds, in Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire space adventure universe, shoot Lindsay a note for more details. You can reach her through the contact form on her site (http://www.lindsayburoker.com) or poke her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/GoblinWriter). She’s happy to provide the books for free to any authors who might be interested!


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  • You know, that was a really interesting discussion. And may I just say – without diminishing the contributions Jo and Jeff made, which were excellent – Lindsay is a goddamn hero for showing up and doing this when she was so unwell.

    Keep going, guys. You’re running one of the best, most useful, and honest, podcasts in the business.

  • Just want to add, I first found Lindsay on Twitter.

    I’ve bought books by all of you eventually because of that.

    Lindsay’s “today in typos” thing is something I always look out for.

    And aside from book sales, exchanging witticisms with Lindsay and Jo every now and again, is great fun and worth it.

    I can’t stand FB. Somehow, I’m at home with Twitter.

    • SFFpodcast

      Glad to hear it, Austin! You never know when potential readers will prefer one platform over another. I wouldn’t be on Facebook at all if not for the author stuff!

      • Understood. I just have issues with Facebook on all kinds of levels. Twitter’s probably as bad, but I don’t don’t have the low down on that yet, so I’m turning a blind eye. And I’ve certainly sold books and garnered reviews via my ‘Tweeps.’

        By the way – it seems your website/blog is down and has been down since yesterday. I was hoping to do some revision on launch strategies but the web tells me the site is not accessible. Just tried it again now and I’m getting the same thing.

  • I will start by saying I now have at least 6 must read authors I first found on Twitter. The count for Facebook remains at 0.

    To turn things around I must ask what’s the point of Facebook. I belong to a number of SFF groups and foĺlow a few author pages. With all this I find engagement minimal. Someone makes a post. 100000 people comment on that post. Maybe 10 people attempt to engage in more. Crickets.

    I live on Twitter. I like the always moving freeflow of activity over the more static feel of FB. I also get far more engagement though I can never tell which tweet will strike a cord until after I post.

  • I’m a Facebook person, to the core. I’ve found tons of new authors to read there, and I’m engaged in many Facebook groups where we discuss authorly stuff. It’s there that I’ve found the majority of my self-publishing and marketing ideas. I’ve been on Twitter on and off since 2007, I believe, and now I stay away due to the trolls. I post there but I don’t engage. Facebook has a better ecosystem for handling trolling. Twitter doesn’t seem to care. And anything can set off a troll. Nothing is safe.

    Blogging is my non-fiction arm of the business. I don’t write non-fiction books. Instead, I put it all on my blog. When my blog gets traffic, my newsletter sign-ups go up. And newsletters are the heart of my author platform now. More than anything. I’ve worked hard this year to increase sign-ups and engage with my list. It’s the most important part of my business. 🙂

  • Just an FYI, Lindsey’s website is still down as of Sunday the 16th. I’d want to know…

    • Yes. I just checked the host’s (Site5) site and it seems all their servers have been – and still are – down since about a week ago. They say “they’re working on it” and request everyone’s patience. I just hope Lindsay has everything backed up. 🙁

      • SFFpodcast

        I’ve got a backup and can get into the cpanel — just need the DNS servers changed on their end (long story, but it’s on an old reseller account so it has some special issues). But their help people are taking foreeeeever right now. I’ve already purchased hosting elsewhere and will move it as soon as its back online.

    • SFFpodcast

      It went down in a less than timely manner, for sure. Hoping to be back online soon!