It's that time of the week again, and the YA (and More) Author Club is taking on another author conundrum and pondering the importance of the Facebook Fan Page vs. the Facebook Friend/Family Page.
In my opinion, authors must bite the proverbial bullet and create a Facebook Fan Page ... carve their personal lives clearly and distinctly away from their business... treat their writing and books with the respect they deserve. An important thing for authors to know is that if they are writing and selling books, they absolutely have a business that should be given the professionalism necessary for it to thrive.
I'm not remotely suggesting that authors create a wall whereby their fans are never given a glimpse into who they really are. In fact, our livelihoods are dependent on connecting with readers/fans in a unique way. Readers and fans must see that we are human beings with feelings, families, hopes, and fears. I'm instead suggesting that authors filter the information shared with their fans similar to the way office workers filter the family memorabilia they bring to work. I say this because we all have a friend or family member who loves to posts sarcastic e-cards (see below). While they can be amusing - and periodically true - an author's fan probably doesn't need to know that after an extremely bad day she/he finds these types of comments hilarious (in a delirious kind of way). They don't know the author on the same level that the author's best friend since high school does; therefore, they have no idea that the author would sooner break her/his leg than kill an ant while walking up the sidewalk leading to work much less another human being. Rather than see that author as the kind soul she/he may be, they might actually get the impression that the author is violent, sarcastic, or cynical. Depending on what that author writes, she/he might not want to give fans this impression.
On a more serious note, one of the main reasons I'm pushing this subject is that I'm contacted all the time by authors who tell me they are a published, and when I try to do my part and LIKE their Facebook Fan Page, I quickly find that they've not invested the time necessary to create their fan page. All I can say is that oversight is a lost opportunity to connect with their fans, for the fans to tell them what they are doing right, and for them to watch the dashboards so graciously provided by Facebook that tells them - without fans input - what they enjoy and how the author can continue to engage them.
I'll also admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Facebook games. More specifically, I'm not a fan of the way they solicit all of your friends and family to 'join in on the fun that you may or may not have had with them'. The last thing an author wants is for their fans to be solicited by these games. Most consider these requests to be spam and will quickly un-friend anyone blowing up their notifications box with these calibers of statuses. If you're an author and you love those games, I'm going to strongly encourage you to carve your professional work away from your at-home-relaxing-fun by creating a Facebook Fan Page.
In summary, I would encourage all authors to create their Facebook Fan Page without one more minute of delay and to immediately begin promoting their page. It will be more important than they know as they continue putting themselves out there in the cyberspace of bloggers, agents, and publishers.