Do Authors Need an Author Page?

Do Authors Need an Author Page?

Or, is a Personal Page Sufficient?

This week  I was discussing the pros and cons of creating an author page with  Amy Hill Hearth. Amy is a New York Times bestselling author who created an author page at her publishers insistence. In order to be honest with y’all, Amy and I were actually discussing the cons of an author page.  We really can’t ascertain any benefit. Anything that causes an author to manage two pages (personal and professional)  is inefficient and nonsensical.

Amy explains: The emphasis from S&S is never to have a page devoted to a single title. It should be under your name. We are supposed to be building our “brand,” that is, ourselves.

Publishers want their authors to tweet twice a day, blog at least weekly and have a social media “presence” on Facebook. For that reason, I have noticed several friends who are shutting down their personal page and opting for an author page. The problem is this: will people move with you? If they do will they be pleased with an impersonal author page? (most are not)

So I posted a comment on my wall stating that I would not create an author page (because I enjoy a more personal interaction with people). My sweet friend, Theresa Shadrix, explained that I didn’t need both.

Oh Theresa, my angel, tell us more!

She explained that if one sets their “permissions” on FB to allow followers, then there isn’t a need to create another page.

Not totally convinced, I visited Shawna Coronado’s Facebook page. Shawna is the knower of all things plant, marketing, and friendship. One little look and I was convinced. She has a friends section,  AND a following.

The reason authors are strongly encouraged to create an author page is that Facebook will cut you off at five thousand friends. Once you reach that number you can not add any more. Author pages accommodate an unlimited number of followers and are supposed to inform readers each time you post. To test this theory, visit some of the pages you have liked. Did their latest post appear on your news feed? Probably not. I have found that unless I have interaction with people on their wall, or visit their page,  I rarely see updates from pages I have “liked.” So asking people to “like” your page probably does not reach the target audience you intended. Why? Because when people “like” a page they rarely take the extra second to click the button “show in news feed.”

Be honest, you don’t do it either. You didn’t even know there was a drop down button. You were just asking for likes.

Shawna bypassed all of this which was why I sent her a message asking her about her decision. Here is her response;

I was speaking online to Scott Monty, who’s a famous SM expert that works as a VP at Ford. My complaint was about the fact I was double posting for a fan page and my own page and the whole “fan page” thing seemed ridiculous. He said, “It IS ridiculous. If you have your permissions set right you can just get subscribers and they can comment and follow you — you can leave comments or send them notes — SO the idea is more like a Twitter following.”

This idea I liked. It eliminated the double posting. My fan page was going nowhere because everyone wants to know the more personal side of me and I was posting all the personal stuff over on my regular page. Therefore, I closed down the fan page and kept up the personal/regular page allowing people to subscribe (“follow”) as they want to.

By the way, you should follow Shawna or at least visit her website.

Those who don’t want the burden of having two sites can make the transition in less than one minute.

Go to Account Settings  (top right of your FB page)fbcapture

Click Followers (on the left side of page).

Check the box to “Allow Followers.”


Answer a couple quick questions and you are done !

No more double postings. No need to create an author page and then transition everyone over to your author’s page. No more fretting that you have an author page with three followers. Readers can find you in one easy place and you can devote time to writing.

Thank you for reading. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me here.

Renea Winchester is the award-winning author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes. In 2012 she released Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. 2014 will see the release of In the Kitchen with Billy: Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches. She is currently working on her first novel. She would love to hear from you. Visit her at

NaNo and Emerging Authors Beware

Newbie and NaNoWriMo authors will soon discover a legion of businesses eager to publish their manuscript. Wanting to capitalize on inexperienced authors, these  “reputable companies” whose names we all recognize, basically accept every single manuscript submitted. They are printers, not publishers. 

Don't trust your manuscript with just any ole printer

These printers realize that authors want more control. They are preying on giddy authors who have accomplished a significant goal and now want a finished product.  While I do not advise against self-publishing, I do warn authors to enter with caution. Recognize that there are many businesses who can destroy your reputation in a blink. Also recognize that you may be too “in love” with your manuscript to be rational.

First, prior to publication, step away …pause…and then pass your manuscript to someone to read, and ko-wreck(t) the misstakes [sic].

While the life of an author is filled with people willing to help fledgings through the process, few will read something you’ve written and bleed red ink across the pages. Why? Because authors are notorious for drama, fits, tantrums and other outbursts which (quite frankly) people just don’t have time to deal with.

This is one of the reasons why New York publishing houses will not take a risk on a newbie. They have zero time for drama. They also have zero time to deal with a stubborn author who refuses to see mistakes, or bend to improve their manuscript. They are weary of highly educated authors who believe “The End” means perfect.

Second, ask a self-published author about their results. Filter their response with the knowledge that some printers offer “author incentive” programs. Meaning, if they refer an author to their services they earn a reward. You aren’t asking if they like their printer or were satisfied with the results. You are asking about sales after the end-product was shipped to the author’s home.

You are not one of the suckers born every minute who will fall for a sales pitch. You are seeking the truth.

You understand the importance of distribution, distribution, distribition versus: unsold stock, unsold stock, unsold stock.

Ask point-blank questions. If the self-published author only offers eBooks ask: “How do you direct readers to your ebook?” If the answer is vague, file the response in the “Danger, Danger” category. While it is rude to ask how many copies the author has sold, ask; “where do you garner the most sales?”

Do not under any circumstance upload an ebook in December and expect it to sell.  Let the words rest. Let the words commune with their friends the sentence, the paragraph, the page. Do not be in a hurry to make a mistake. As always, I welcome any questions.

Remember, Kindle owners can order a copy of Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author for $ 2.99 until the end of 2011. Amazon Prime Members can upload it for free.  Also: In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love  & Tomatoes has  once again been added to book clubs across the south. (Hello, Texas and Mississippi readers!)  It is also available wherever books are sold. Click this link  to your favorite bookstore.  (you might have to ask them to order it); Garden with Billy is also available on Kindle and Amazon.