Thursday, August 11, 2011

Facebooking Writers

When I began writing Booker's World, I understood that the chances of getting published were stacked heavily against the new writer. I tested with submissions to all the major Irish publishers and agents and a few in the UK. It wasn't accepted, so I took the decision to go it alone. I felt when a book set in Ireland, set against the backdrop of recession and in a working class setting, while dealing with social issues wasn't accepted in my own country, the chances of it being accepted elsewhere were probably less.
I ran a series last year called Authors in the Zone where I offered writers the chance to speak about their work and writing and publishing in general. I felt it was important, as a writer, to offer other writers a chance to promote their work. It's admirable the work writers do to get their material read.
I set up a Facebook page for the Don Booker charachter on the day I began writing the book. I decided to concentrate on writers when friending people. I felt it made sense as they would have a lot to offer in terms of what they post and might boost readership somewhat. In terms of content posted it was worthwhile. Readership was another issue.

The week before last I decided to conduct a little research into Facebook and just see how effective it was as a platform for writers. I asked via a wall post for people who read the post to click the like button, an action that probably would take about a second out of very busy lives.
I wanted to use it as an indication into how many of my 'friends' actually got to see anything that I have been posting, and it seemed the best way to do it. I ran the post for seven days, re-posting on five and asking people who did 'like' the post not to do so again. At the time of writing there were 2772 people friending the Don Booker page. Here's how it panned out -

Day 1 - 34 people liked the post.
Day 2 - 4 people
Day 3 - No post.
Day 4 - 16 people
Day 5 - No post
Day 6 - 14 people
Day 7 - 7 people
Grand total - 75 people.

I'm not going to breakdown or go into what this means as I'm sure people have and can draw their own conclusions from this simple experiment. But it does suggest to me two things -

That poor old Don has no place in decent society. (sigh)
That Facebook, as an effective tool for writers is not even in the game.


The Writing Life & Other Absurdities was not paid by Google or Amazon for this undertaking. Onwards and upward.

1 comment:

  1. It is just another platform.If those 75 buy the book, it's 75 more you've sold. Facebook is a tool. Treat it as such. Jon Merz, Kevin J Anderson and a half dozen others all move books thru Facebook. Besides, you still have to build that audience.