Monday, June 20, 2011

No Smoking Penguins: Why Authors, Poets, & Writers should have a Facebook page...

This is me.
This is me on Facebook.
Get the picture?

Um, well, I didn't for quite a long time.  Let's just say it I'm a slow learner.

Kelli Russell Agodon

Promote Your Page Too

After years of being anti-Facebook groups, I started a Facebook author page to keep in touch.

You can connect with me here to make a poet happy. 

I'll be honest, it was tough to do this.  One reason is that you have to "Like" my page to be included in it.  That's kind of weird, isn't it?  Very Mark-Zuckerberg-is-in-his-twenties-who-grew-up-in-a-world-where-you-want-to-be-liked.

For me, it felt a little too Sally Field, "You like me, you really like me."  But I'm not the multi-billionaire behind Facebook, though honestly, I'm not sure I'd have come up with a better word.  If not "like," then what could I have used? "You'll do" or "I choose you" (Pokemon style) or "Good enough."

But I got over it.

And learned (and this will sound strange because it's in Facebook language)-- I'd rather you "liked" me than to become my friend.  

See, that sounds bizarre.

But I'll tell you why- I currently have a backlog of friend requests and my regular Facebook page that brings me down because it now feels like a chore.  This new author page feels light and breezy, and the best part is if you "like" it, I don't have to approve you, I don't have to sort through your family photos to make sure you are real and not scary.

And if I see that you've liked my page, it's easier for me to friend you because then I know you know who I am.  (I know, that sounds weird, but it's true for me-- if I see you've liked the page, you don't have to sit as long in my FB purgatory.)

I had been so anti-group in the past, the groups were the worst because you had to "be a fan," which felt worse than "liking" someone.  I said I'd never make a page for myself, and then it happened--someone made me a page.  And honestly, this was sweet.  I thought it was so cool that someone did that for me.  Someone liked my work enough that they thought I should have a page so people can like me (er, Like me.)

For a long time, it had 2 people and I felt good about it.  Ah, my 2 fans.  I love them.

Then a few more people signed on, and I was good, until we hit six and I thought--omg, someone might think I started this page myself and I can't control any of the info on it. What if it gets fifty "likes" and they upload a photo of a penguin smoking and I can't do anything about it because it's not my page?  And then will people think I support smoking penguins (which I do not, thank you very much)?

And so the control-freak Capricorn inside me started my own page to stop the promotion of smoking penguins.  And that felt weird, but oddly, good.

And this anti-page/anti-group girl found she actually preferred the new author page to her actual FB page (which surprised me).

It's kind of weird, by having a page, you can actually "be" your page, which means, I can be my author page and like other pages (from authors to favorite foods to other poetry presses and so on) and then interact with these pages as my author page.  It's bizarre and yet a really great way for me to keep up with all the things I'm interested in.

So, now I'm pro-FB author page.

And I think if you're a writer who has a book or plans on having a book in the future, you might want to consider a page too.

Here are the reasons why I think a Facebook Author Page is better than your Regular Facebook Account with Friends --

1)  People choose you, and you don't have to "approve" them.

2)  It's an easy place to keep everything up-to-date and together.
-- I know when I like a writer, I like to see what they are up to, this is a great place for that.  And it's free. And no strings attached.  You can like then unlike someone.

3)  By interacting with other pages (authors, writers, etc.), people who might be interested in what you do, can find your page.

4)  You will never be asked to play Farmville.  This alone is a reason to set up a page.

5)  You will see who really wants to support you.
-- Okay, this sounds a little like strange goth teenage girl talking, but honestly, I wanted to see which of my friends would press Like.  No, I wasn't going to disown anyone, but it was really nice to see who were the first people to press the Like button and who continue to find my page and support me.

6)  Because people have pressed "Like," you know they care about what you're doing.
--You know they know who you are and have pressed like completely unselfishly, not to have 4999 friends.  For me, this is huge.

My biggest concern on FB is that I'm never sure if the person is asking to be my friend because they are interested in poetry or writing too, of if it's because having lots of friends is some sort of thing they do compensate for spending their younger years licking the swingset.

This is why I have a page (not because I licked the swingset, I was too busy chewing on the clay from the earth), but because it made so much sense to me once I had one.

Seriously, when I see a new name who has clicked like, I send out so much good energy to the universe, I think I keep a few stars alive a little longer.  I make lightning bugs seem like static electricity bugs.

And I'm getting over my aversion to the word "Like."  I guess it's okay to have more Like in the world.  Likers are so much cooler than haters, that's for sure.

So this is why I have a new author page and why you may want to set up one yourself as well. (They are easy to set up and you can find the "Create a Page" at the bottom of any of these pages).

Oh and Jeannine reminded me if you get 25 people to "Like" your page, you get to name it.

So here are some pages, I Like (with a capital L)-- And the best part, if you're on Facebook, you can like them too, just by going there and clicking Like, then you're connected.  That's it!

Favorite Facebook Pages--

My Author Page:

Jeannine Hall Gailey:

Crab Creek Review:

Steve Almond:

Mary Biddinger's new book:

Dan Savage:

C. Dale Young's book TORN:

Jennifer Michael Hecht:

Sandra Beasley:

Collin Kelley:

Michael Wells:

Garth Stein:

If you have a Facebook Author Page, please feel free to add a link to it in the comments--
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