Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Business of Self-publishing:
Of Fan Pages and EdgeRank

As an end consumer of Facebook content, I feel Facebook's filtration algos have gotten a bit out of hand. I use a browser plug-in called FBPurity to force the Facebook news feed to sort by "most recent," but I'm still not catching everything. For instance, a band I like announced a new album last week and that announcement wasn't pushed to my feed. I liked the band's page for a reason; I wanted to know when their next album was coming out. I was left wondering why I should have even bothered.

If you want to ensure that you get every post a page makes, there is indeed a workaround. But as a fan page manager, you have to be realistic. Few Facebook users even know of the like sub-menu's existence, and the feature will probably be phased out eventually.

Events like these coupled by the vocal ditchings of Facebook by fellow authors like Kevin Hearne inspired me to get educated. That's how I stumbled on a blog called Just Ask Kim. I've found it pretty valuable. She talks about the history of EdgeRank in this thirty minute video [with bonus meow]. If you're managing fan pages on Facebook, it's worth pulling out a notepad and giving it a listen.

So where does that leave people like me? Paying to reach folks who liked my Facebook page simply isn't in my budget. (I need to spend that money on great editors and cover artists.) So I'm just going to continue to focus on directing everyone here for announcements and to the New Releases list for publishing updates. Hopefully, a service like will come along and get us out of this toxic consumer-as-product model of social media. But that's a far and away pipe dream. Until then, I guess I'm going to just grin and bear it, keep experimenting, and see what works.

Now back to cleaning up some dialogue...



François-Xavier Thomas said...

Well, there's always RSS feeds, that's how I follow your blog posts. I know few people who use them, but it's still the best solution IMO.

It seems that tons of indie authors jumped into Google+ though, you might want to take a look! I actually discovered (and bought) a few books there ;)

B. Justin Shier said...

Very true. I use GoogleReader, myself. (Yea, I know, I should use a better reader.) But I haven't done so for entities like esoteric bands or Skyrim modders or George Takai. Some folks just don't want to be bothered with Twittering or blogging or still prefer to post notices solely to Facebook.

And, yea, I need to get with it on Google+. It's just that I feel I have too many online assets to manage as it is. I think I would need to make the conceptual leap like Kevin Hearne did and automate my Facebook updates. I'm just not there yet, though. I enjoy the Facebook conversations when Facebook deigns to let me see them.


Anonymous said...

That is a GREAT movie.

Dave said...

I just read that Kevin Hearne post you linked to and am utterly shocked. I had no idea Facebook was doing that.

Dep said...

Hey, just saw the "cleaning up dialogue" note. Can't wait for book 3!

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