Facebook Author Page Vs. Personal Page

I know I should be hard at work on my present manuscript – which is finally starting to flow! But I’d like your input on a Facebook matter. You see, back when I first sold to Harlequin Mills and Boon, author pages were the rage on Facebook.  And since I already had an established personal page, children whose lives I’d like to keep private, and friends who may not be interested in my career as a writer, I set one up. If you haven’t seen it, you can visit it at Wendy S. Marcus Author Page.

The problem is, whenever I post on another Facebook page, like the Mills and Boon New Voices page for example, Facebook does not allow me to comment as my author page. So I wind up commenting via my personal page. Confused yet?

Anyway, as a result of my activity on Facebook, I am blessed to receive many friend requests on my personal page. This after I specifically encourage people to visit my author page. Initially, I responded to each one explaining that to protect my family and my children, I do not accept friend requests from people I do not know personally. 

In one instance, after sending the above response to a friend request, I received a not-so-nice return message stating if the person – who shall remain nameless – wasn’t good enough to be my friend then she wasn’t good enough to be my fan.

So now I send out a blanket statement thanking people for the friend request and encouraging them to LIKE my author page to receive my updates. I send the link and everything. I’m pretty active on my author page. It’s a great place to get in touch with me.

Now here’s the issue. Very few people go on to LIKE my author page. Why is that? 

I would like to go on record here to let you all know that I mean no disrespect by not accepting your friend request.  I purposely set up a Facebook author page for the author side of my life. It is not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings or make my readers feel like they are not important to me. You are very important! That’s why I gave you your very own page!

And I hope to see you there! Wendy S. Marcus Author Page

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  • Posted November 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Wendy –

    Excellent post! I think it’s hard for people to keep it all (pages, profiles, etc.) straight. They know how to friend, and so that’s how they want to handle everything.

    I have to say I forget to “like” pages most of the time, but a direct link would definitely help someone like me (forgetful). I completely understand wanting to keep your private life private.


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Kelsey!
    I agree. The author page had me totally confused when I first set it up. Remember all the conversation on the GIAM loops?

    I get the feeling people think authors with author pages are obnoxious for always hounding people to like their pages. But that’s the only way we can keep in touch with people when we post.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Wendy, I think the problem with the fan page on FB is that status updates never show up in my news feed.

    I have several authors I am actual friends with. I like pages all the time when someone asks me to, but as I said, they don’t show up in my news feed.

    Plus people with fan pages never respond to anyone else’s status. We are all egocentric, but interaction between parties is the life blood of social networking.

    A NYT best selling author I know makes sure she sends birthday greetings to anyone who is on her friend list. I have never seen anyone with a fan page do this.

    I could be wrong, but I really believe people no longer hit the like button because they just don’t get the interaction they want from fan sites.

    I am not switching to FB so I can like your page.

    Thank you for raising this topic. I look forward to see what other people have to say.

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    Hi Carolyn! And welcome to my blog!

    You raise some important issues. As far as author pages not showing up in your feed, this may have to do with your FB settings. They made a change a while back and automatically opted people in. It involved only seeing posts from people you interact with regularly. I wish I knew how to fix it but I don’t remember. I do know that many people get my updates because some of my posts get a lot of comments.

    On fan pages, we don’t get the status updates from people who like us. But when people post on my page I make it a point to comment back.

    As far as birthday wishes, I get birthday notifications on my personal page but not on my author page, otherwise I’d send birthday greetings, too.

    Since your not should be a now, thank you for switching to FB to LIKE my page! (I commented on your post!!)

    And thank you for visiting my blog!

  • Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy!
    I haven’t sent up an author page yet but then again I don’t have fans yet so….
    But I think some readers may feel feel like an author page is one-sided – they see you post and they can comment but I don’t think the author page allows you to see what’s going on with them.
    So maybe that’s it.
    I don’t like author pages (except for those I personally know of course – lol)

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Hi Liz!
    I do get updates in my feed from author pages I’ve liked with my personal page. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don’t. I think the purpose of the author page is to keep fans updated on what’s going on with the author and give fans a chance to interact with an author.

    Had I known the major differences beforehand, I may have opted to go a different route. But here we are…..

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy, Great post. I think (just my opinion) some fans like to feel that they know authors personally ‘as friends’, and don’t appreciate the fact that when someone in the public eye ‘friends’ them it is usually because they have more than one facebook account – one private and one public! Personally I know a lot of people who use ‘pages’ in FB for business (not just authors) and they aren’t always that popular. I don’t know whether this is because they create a ‘distance’ or because pages just aren’t the mainstream way of using FB day to day.
    You have to be able to keep your personal life seperate, but I suspect the only way is to have 2 FB accounts, but whatever you do you won’t please everyone!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    Hi Susie! And welcome!
    I agree that some fans feel they know an author personally ‘as friends’. And I must admit, after chatting repeatedly with people, I do consider them friends, too. Online friends. I grow to care about them and look forward to chatting with them. But I don’t really know them. It’s a blurry line.

    I also agree, although I’d never thought of it until you mentioned it, so thank you, that maybe the author page does create a bit of distance as opposed to a personal page. I am very interactive on my author page, but it doesn’t allow me to see the news feeds or post comments on the personal pages of people who’ve liked my page. And I guess that one-sidedness can be a turn off for people. I didn’t realize people could have two personal pages. But it’s too late now.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kavya Kamaraj
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    I think you’re totally entitled to your privacy and people should be honored to get to interact with you on your author page if they’re a fan! Now that I think of it, I am ‘friends’ with some authors and I have ‘liked’ some, and I have always just been happy to get to talk to them either way.
    I’ve gone and liked your page now! 🙂

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Hi Kavya! And welcome!
    I appreciate your input! My whole reason for having an author page is so I can interact with readers. Thank you for joining my author page. I look forward to chatting!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    GREAT topic! I have the same problem. I hate trying to get everyone to like my facebook fan page, but I enjoy interacting with my readers AND friends. It is also the place I can post new writing stuff and not worry about my children being exposed. I really wish there were more options for the fan page and instead of a LIKE it would be great if they could do a different type of friend request – just sounds better I guess. Anyway, I should be working on my new book too, yet I am reading blogs and on Facebook and twiter! Help!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy,

    I completely agree with you that you should keep your personal page private and I sympathize with your author page issues. I’m not on Facebook because I haven’t figured it all out yet and given the fact I’m a complete techno-idiot (I’ve had a printer for two years and never printed anything because I can’t make it work – and it is designed to work specifically with the computer I bought) *sigh* I’m sure Facebook will be a has-been-fad before I do.

    Why don’t people like a page? Most people are not proactive, many aren’t even reactive, they are passive. Given the chance to be passive – read and admire your page, but not take any action to respond to it – most people default to passive.

  • Nancy Holroyd
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Every author needs to do what works best for them. If you ‘like’ everyone you sends a friend request eventually your personal page will reach it’s maximum number. I say keep your personal page, personal. Other wonderful authors do the same thing. You can also use your first name and maiden name for your personal page and let personal friends and family know how to find you. Bottom line? Do what best suits you.

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Hi Jen!
    It’s tough having to like other pages with your personal page, because some pages I like have more explicit pictures of covers and photo shoots that maybe my children shouldn’t see, but that as an author I like to keep up with.

    You and I are the same in our love of social networking. We are also the same in that we always get our work done….even if it’s in a 24 hr marathon the night before it’s due!!!!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Hi Regina!
    You are too funny re: your techno-idiot status. I feel like one, too, although, and I say this in the nicest way possible, I think even I am a bit more advanced than you!!! And just as I’d mastered FB and Twitter I learned of Shelfari and Google+ and, well, I had to draw the line somewhere!!!

    At least we got you onto Twitter!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    Hi Nancy!
    To add confusion to the author page/personal page dilema…At first my personal page was under Wendy Berkowitz Marcus to encompass my maiden name and I had a different profile picture than my author page. But what happened was every time I commented on one of my author friends or reader pages, no one knew who I was. So I had to change my personal page to my author promo pic and my author name so my online author friends/readers would know who I was. But then it adds to the confusion when someone wants to find me on FB and they search Wendy S. Marcus and two come up. One author page and one personal page. OY!

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    I think your dilemma is completely understandable. I have a situation where I am not prolific enough or published enough to have a separate page so everything goes on one page. I was an active blogger two years ago and acquired blogging friends who I’d now consider personal friends on my page. I just put very impersonal messages on the wall and anything private goes into the private message section. I don’t put too many photos up, and I don’t name the kids either. I’m a professor’s wife and sometimes the students friend me. In India, the student/teacher relationship is considered sacred and as my husband’s other half I get a lot of respect from the students although I seldom meet them as the university is in the neighbouring city. I know that Facebook have different ‘friend’ categories and I’m trying to look into this when time allows, so that maybe only ‘close’ get to see all the photos etc. I would love to have a separate page for contacts and social acquaintances as opposed to friends and relatives, but I don’t want to make my life any more complicated than it already is.

    I suppose it would be worthwhile to let Facebook know that sometimes you need to comment from your ‘page’ as opposed to your personal accout. I’ll try to make an enquiry about it too. I suppose if enough people make a noise about it, Facebook will do something about it. Sad about the person who took offence, but it wasn’t your fault. I once sent a friend request to a writer with whom I’m in a group and she responded with the same reply – that she liked to keep her personal life separate. She didn’t have an author page, though. I understood. Anyway, I responded that I had her email if I wanted to get in touch and I could even contact her through our FB group if need be. People should be understanding about this.

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    Hi Maria! And welcome!
    Thank you for your comments! You know, I never thought to voice my author page difficulties to FB. They seem so big and I’m, well, I’m just me. One lone grain of sand on a beach. But you’re right, if many people contact them, maybe we can make a difference!

    Now to figure out how to contact them! I think I will save that for tomorrow!!!

    Thank you for stopping by!

  • Posted December 1, 2011 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

    I’ll get in touch too and ask some of my friends to do so. Together, we may be able to make a difference! And thanks for the lovely welcome. I’ll be back!

  • Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Maria!
    And I’ll look forward to chatting with you here! I try to post every Sunday and when something fun happens. My Australian cover just came out. I’ll unveil that here in a day or two.

    Take care!

  • Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    I’m not on Facebook so I’m not familiar with all the ins and outs of how it all works, but this helped me understand it a little better. Thanks!

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    I love Facebook, Regina. (And I spend WAY too much time there!)

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