Sunday, November 27, 2011

Facebook: Personal Profile or Author Page?

Not a week ago, I was saying I didn’t want to join Facebook. But a friend who’s much more of a Luddite than I am said she thought I’d enjoy it. And then I read a good article in by Farhad Manjoo: “Everyone else is on Facebook. Why aren’t you?

Manjoo covers all my objections: that it’s just something else to distract a human from the business of real life; that it keeps people at the computer when we already spend WAY too much time at the computer; that a writer updating her Facebook page is a writer who's not writing; that Facebook “friends” don’t substitute for the real thing; that it’s a gross invasion of privacy; etc. etc.

I won’t repeat all the points Manjoo makes in rebuttal. I’ll just give you the link again so you can read the article for yourself.


Deborah J. Lightfoot


Manjoo convinced me: Today I joined Facebook. I did it in a small way, with an “Author Page” instead of a personal profile.

From what I think I know about it all, an Author Page seems like it’ll be less work than a personal profile. Whatever I post to my Author Page will be wholly public—viewable by everyone, the same as my blog.

Which means I won’t have to keep track of various groups. I’ve heard that some Facebook users restrict their high school buddies to one group, their college friends to another, and their friends from work to yet another. Egads! I’m not that organized. I’d rather have one page with book-related content that’s viewable by everyone.

One friend from my childhood commented, a year or so ago, that she’d looked for me on Facebook but didn’t find me there. So then she Googled my name and found my website.

I suppose now I’ll be findable on Facebook. That’s sort of the point—I think.

It’s not like I was actively keeping my light under a bushel, pre-Facebook. I’ve had a website since 2000. Then I got another one through The Authors Guild. Then I set up a WATERSPELL-only site at The Authors Guild. Then I got a page at SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. And of course there are pages devoted to my backlist books from my other life: The LH7 Ranch, Trail Fever, and A Century in the Works.

Now there are pages at Amazon and Barnes & Noble devoted to my new novels: WATERSPELL Book 1: The Warlock and WATERSPELL Book 2: The Wysard. And I’ve got a profile page at Smashwords.

I was pretty easily findable pre-Facebook. But now maybe I’ll be where people expect me to be. If Facebook serves a useful purpose, perhaps it is in the site’s ability to pull together a big chunk of the world’s population, all under one roof.

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