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As those of you who are regular readers know, for the past few months I've been having issues with Facebook over censorship and their flagrant privacy violations, both of which remain ongoing.
It's no secret that Facebook has become a data mining platform pursuing its own political agenda. But as an author, I've been told, over and over again by all the so-called "experts," that because I'm an author I had no choice but to put up with Facebook's crap. If I wasn't on Facebook, my books would most certainly languish on the shelf. Well, after being on Facebook for nearly a decade, I have to tell you that as usual, the "experts" are wrong.
Most, if not all, of my Facebook friends know I'm an author. Many of them have liked my Facebook author pages, and whenever I would post something about my books, they would hit the like button. Wanna know how many of them actually followed through and bought my books? Well, I know of one who did, and maybe one or two others who might have, but I'm not sure. All I know is I could probably count the total number of Facebook friends who actually purchased my books on one hand. Likewise, I had hundreds likes for my author pages, yet whenever I posted on those pages, I would, on a good day, maybe get twenty people who actually saw the post. And out of those twenty, maybe one or two engaged with it. Wow. If I were a betting person, I'd bet that out of all the people who liked my author pages, the number who actually purchased a book is close to zero.
I stopped advertising on Facebook several months ago because my ads no longer had the reach they once had. It's been well documented that there are fewer people on Facebook these days, and those haven't left the platform are spending less time there. But the fact of the matter is that even before all the Facebook controversy, I simply wasn't getting a good return on my investment for my ads because people weren't purchasing my books, and that's the bottom line.
The other morning I read a news article about how Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple, has come and and said that people need to delete their Facebook accounts. Wow. That's coming from a credible source; an insider who obviously knows more about cyber spying than the average Joe or Jane. So I've deactivated my account, which, to be honest, is something I've been wanting to do for sometime now.
Yes, social media is a good tool for promoting your books, but having a presence on Facebook doesn't mean you'll sell more books, and that's the bottom line. We want people actually reading our books, not just hitting a like button on Facebook. So please, if you're concerned about Facebook and its complete lack of ethics, and if you don't want third parties spying on your every move, (especially without your knowledge and consent), then please don't feel that you have to stay on Facebook to promote your books, because you don't. It's okay to shut down your Facebook account, and you'll probably be better off for it.
In recently months I've an uptick in book sales. It started when I stopped wasting my time on Facebook. I got back into the habit of blogging. I revived my Hootsuite account and post blog links on Twitter. (Through Hootsuite; never directly on Twitter.) I've updated and optimized my websites, including my blogs, and I've started up a newsletter. Coincidence? Well, you tell me.