Guest Post: What Everybody Ought To Know About Facebook Account Management

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By Andy Thompson – Freelancer

Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms, and indie authors can use it to help build an audience and promote their books. Guest author Andy Thompson goes over the basics of Facebook pages, as well as strategies on how to implement them.

For any successful business these days, the concept of social media marketing is undeniable. On one hand, we have business giants like Starbucks using their Facebook page to announce their new plans and products. On the other hand, we have rookies (think of your local pizza place) trying to promote social media page, allowing more people to be familiar with their products via the Internet. Proper Facebook page management and using the right Facebook strategies have created success stories for a large number of businesses. Hence, if you can properly manage your social media account, your business might be added to this successful list.

Before you begin your social media exploration spree, here are some Facebook page management basics:

1. Multiple admins

As a page owner, you probably know that you can assign a number of people as administrators as well. There is no limit to this number as long as the ones you include in the circle have liked the page. However, Facebook also provides the option of assigning different positions and privileges to your fellow admins – Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, or Advertiser and Insight Analyst – each with different degrees of allowances. By default, all admins are managers and have page privileges. Hence, when choosing admins, be particular about the post you assign them.

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2. Page Insights

An important tool for all page owners, Facebook insights lets you know the reach of your page and how successful the posts are. It is extremely helpful to understand what works and to use this data in promoting the social media page.

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3. Public posting preferences

So you’re trying to get a good name for yourself online, but sneaky little punks keep ruining your timeline with negative comments? Apart from trying to improve your product, you can manage your social media reputation by checking who can post to your timeline. By disabling posts by other people on your timeline, you can put a check on negative comments, at least on your Facebook page.

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4. Page restrictions

If you’ve got a page about a local nightclub, liquor, or basically anything, you wouldn’t want children to know about. You can now prevent them from finding out about you on Facebook. Two of the most important Facebook page management tools are the age and country restriction tools. These tools let you choose the age group and region of the people whom you would not want to know about the page. Facebook provides you tools for post visibility to different audiences and screening out the profane words so you won’t get into trouble with the conservatives.

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Now that you are aware of the basics, here are some tips and Facebook strategies to up your social media account:

1. Use insights

Use the Facebook insights to determine what works most for your page. Is it pictures? Promotional posts? Humor? Increase the number of such posts in the future to gain a greater number of likes and a wider audience. Also, figure out the region and the time you get most of your likes and post accordingly.

2. Pamper your audience

Any successful page makes its audience feel important and involved and that’s exactly what you should do. Replying to the audience’s comments and queries shows that you care. Also, remember to thank your followers whenever you reach a milestone.

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3. Get involved

Many companies like Starbucks, Coke, Red Bull and others started out with online campaigns and competitions to get their users involved. You could have, say, an online selfie competition or a hashtag campaign. This tactic is undoubtedly one of the most successful ways in promoting social media pages.

4. Utilize Strategic ads

Facebook ads definitely work and it doesn’t need an explanation. Use insights to find out who and where most of your audience are and publish your sponsored posts with that in mind to get the most of your ad money.

Link other social media accounts such as Twitter and Instagram – this shows you have a larger reach and helps people across social media platforms find you easily.

Kiev, Ukraine - October 17, 2012 - A logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Kiev, Ukraine – October 17, 2012 – A logotype collection of well-known social media brand’s printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

5. Link to other social media

Whether you own a business page or community page, the proper Facebook strategies and page management will help you reach your target audience. Work hard and smart and you’ll undoubtedly see desired results.

image7Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. Her passion in writing is her main drive in crafting articles that are engaging, informative, and meaningful. Her partnership with TroopSocial has given her a whole new opportunity to take writing to a whole new level.

CODEX Hackathon: Connecting People with Books

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Code for America, where the hackathon took place

Over the weekend, I participated in my first hackathon, called CODEX Hackathon. I had no idea what to expect; all I knew was the theme was “‘connecting’ — connecting around books, connecting readers and authors, connecting libraries.”

Things kicked off Friday night with an opening reception at Github, which has an amazing office space.

Github

I only saw the first floor, but there was a bar, live music, plenty of room for eating and drinking, and even a foosball table. The reception was also for the concurrent ALA Conference, and it was great to meet librarians and other attendees as well as people from the hackathon.

reception Continue reading

Ebook Review: My Life As A Sperm

imageMy Life As A Sperm by William Darrah Whitaker

Buddy Price, a Hollywood agent, dies in a car crash and finds himself in Heaven. There, he discovers God’s had enough with people and plans on pulling the plug if we can’t learn to get along – a ‘love thy neighbor or else’ sort of message. An unlikely hero as there ever was, Buddy convinces God to let him fix things and gets a second chance. From the first few lines of the book, we know that he’s probably the last person we’d want to depend on to save the world, but God’s got his plan. Our fate rests in Buddy’s hands… or, who knows, maybe he’s just crazy and needs lithium or something.

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Indie Authors: Self Publishing Advice

Being an indie author is tough. There’s the long hours of writing, the nail biting and teeth gritting as you revise your work, and of course there’s marketing, promoting, and hoping that maybe you’ll get a few, or a lot, of readers.

Over the years, more and more indie authors have published, and shared their advice and experiences. Though writing tends to be a solitary activity, publishing is not. And I think it’s great that so many people have shared and connected over the topic of indie publishing. Here are a few helpful links I’ve found (in on particular order): Continue reading

Ebook Distribution: Google Play

There’s a lot going on with Google Play lately, at least when it comes to ebooks.

About a month ago, Google Play shut down its book publisher program, at least temporarily, to new users while they sort out all the accusations about pirated ebooks on the platform, according to GoodeReader.

It’s a shame, and hopefully Google will reopen again to new authors soon. For authors already using Google Play though, there’s a lot of good news. As of June 2015, Google Play Books is the 9th Android app installed on over 1 billion devices. That’s a lot of potential readers to reach.

The Book Designer outlines the good and bad points of using Google Play, though some of it may be outdated. One of the biggest complaints of the post was how to upload descriptions for multiple books so they display correctly, but in my experience all you need to do is upload one spreadsheet (where you can format the description with some basic HTML) for an unlimited number of books. On the other hand, this may be why Google Play Books had such a pirating problem.

Interestingly, according to The Digital Reader, Google Play Books may not actually support epub. Though the system will accept an epub, it apparently renders the files differently.

On the other hand, Google Play Books has been making strides to make their ebooks stand out. For example, they released a new font especially for ebooks, called Literata, and they have a patent to trigger sounds in ebooks. There are also platforms, such as Liberio, that allows you to turn your Google docs into an ebook.

What do you think about Google Play Books? Please share in the comments!

Smashwords: An Indie Author Guide

Smashwords is a retailer and an ebook distributor, and a great choice for indie authors. Why? Because the platform lets you upload once and sell on multiple outlets, saving authors a lot of time, and it offers a number of marketing options.

If you want a step by step on how to upload and distribute ebooks via Smashwords, read my EPUBZone article, “Ebook Distribution for the Indie Author.” I also have a video showing the steps in my Udemy course, “How to Create Beautiful Ebooks.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Coker, founder, back in 2012, and Smashwords has only gotten better since then.

How It Works

According to the Smashwords website, more than “100,000 authors, small independent publishers, and literary agents publish and distribute with Smashwords.” Continue reading

New Ebook Fonts Make Ereading More Like Print

The average reader probably doesn’t think a lot about fonts, but they are important contributors to the reading experience.

A few weeks ago, Google announced a new typeface for Google Books, called Literata. The Next Web goes into more detail, but the gist is Google ebooks now have a font that distinguishes it from ebooks read on a Nook or Kindle, and it was created to give a better reading experience, with varied texture to make it more interesting. According to The Next Web, this font has been in the works since April 2014.

Interestingly, just a few days after Google announced its new font, Amazon announced Bookerly, the new font for Kindles. According to FastCoDesign, is a custom-made serif font that replaces Caecilia as the default font. The article says Amazon tested the font for increased legibility, reading speed, and reduced eyestrain–the article said, “According to Amazon’s internal tests, that means it’s about 2% easier on the eye.” Bookerly looks like a mix of Baskerville and Caecilia, and the new font will stand out with Kindle’s new layout engine, which makes the ebooks read a lot more like print books:

Even if you max out the font size on the new Kindle app, it will keep the spacing between words even, intelligently hyphenating words and spreading them between lines as need may be.

The layout engine also contains some beautiful new kerning options. They’re subtle, but once you see them, you can’t unsee them: for example, the way that the top and bottom of a drop cap on the Kindle now perfectly lines up with the tops and bottoms of its neighboring lines. Like I said, it’s a small detail, but one that even Apple’s iBooks and Google Play Books doesn’t manage to quite get right.

It sounds like Amazon was working on these developments for a while, so it’s probably coincidence that Literata and Bookerly came out around the same time.

What I find particularly interesting is that new technologies and designs are geared towards replicating the print experience. In many ways, it makes sense, and I wonder if these types of changes will convince people who love print to embrace digital.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Ebook Review: Life and Beath

Life_and_BeathLife and Beath (Book 3 of Zombie RiZing) by Matt Pike

If Beath and the gang thought life in the school had been hard in the weeks since the riZIng, well, let’s just say they ain’t seen nothing yet. If only they had the resources to stay safe and secure in (Dec) East High, but they don’t and now the big wide zombie-ridden, scary, monster-lurking world awaits.

Sounds crazy, but they need food – lots of food – and to find that they need to get to the shopping mall, and to do that they need transport, which will most likely be found at the car park near the train station. It all makes sense, right?

Did we mention the new monsters? We didn’t, wow, that’s really an oversight on our behalf as they’re a totally new type of devious nasty. Very dangerous.

Still, things might work out well for the gang because… umm… erm… we’re sure there are reasons, we just can’t think of any right now.

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An Interview with Russ Colchamiro, author of Genius de Milo

Genius De Milo 2

Russ Colchamiro is the author of Genius de Milo, the second book in his series, Finders Keepers. Here is the official description:

Best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes barely survived a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy.
But just as they embrace a future without any more cosmic lunacy: The Earth has started fluxing in and out of Existence; Theo’s twin girls are teleporting; and Jason can’t tell which version of his life is real. All because of Milo, the Universe’s ultimate gremlin.
Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that radioactive jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.
In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to FINDERS KEEPERS, he finally confirms what we’ve long suspected … that there’s just no de Milo quite like a GENIUS DE MILO.

Read on for Russ Colchamiro’s interview, as well as an excerpt from the book. Continue reading