Authors and Facebook

by Shirley Crowder

I was very late joining the Facebook (FB) bandwagon. I had to have some of the youth in my church help me set up my account and teach me how to use it! So, I am by no means a FB expert, yet I know a few things that may help you, and thankfully, I have great friends who are willing to share their knowledge with you via me!

I love the way so many Christian writers are eager to help each other, which points to disciple-making—but that’s a topic for a different article!

Help your author friends publicize their books and blogs and they will do the same for you!

technology-2847357_1280After deciding whether you want to create a FB account, you need to determine if you want to use one account for personal and writing author posts, or, if you want to separate those. I only have one FB account. My friend, Harriet E. Michael, with whom I do a lot of co-writing, has both personal and author accounts. Everything you find online says an author needs an author account. If you are uncertain, contact some of the authors you know and talk through why they do or do not have an author account. The foundation you must remember as a Christian author—non-fiction or fiction—is that everything you say in books, blogs, social media reflects on Jesus Christ.

Click to Tweet: As a Christian author—non-fiction or fiction—glorifying God in and through everything you say in books, blogs, and social media is imperative. @InspiredPrompt #socialmedia #author

Prayerfully consider everything you post through the lens of God’s Word so that you do not reflect Him badly.

Prayerfully consider what image you want to portray and design your FB page and posts in line with that image.

Don’t forget to ask your friends and followers to pray for you as you write!

Here are some things I hope will be helpful—not that I do all of them!

For Consideration

Friends and Followers and Reactions. Be careful that you know those whom you friend on FB. In the same way, be careful about whom you follow or what posts to which you react.

What is the best day/time to post? You can do research online, however, my friends and followers don’t react and comment when the “experts” say they will. Do some tests and discover your own best time-slot.

Guests posts/bloggers. Ask fellow authors to write a post for your blog and share it through your social media. Use this as a way to introduce their followers to you.

Enlist a couple of friends who follow you on FB and ask them to let you know immediately if they find any typos, etc. I have many friends who help me with this! Sometimes we are so familiar with what we type or are doing it so quickly we do not catch our errors.

Ask your FB friends to share your posts. Don’t be afraid to study and write about a subject on which you are clueless (i.e. me writing this article).

Try to keep up with how FB changes will affect you as an author. This is where joining Christian writers’ groups will help. There are always some who understand these things better than me and are able to give me the “bottom line” of what I need to know.

FB Live. I have several friends who use FB Live. Author Ruth Buchanan attended a “social media” workshop and was told, “Just do it!” Ruth learned to schedule the FB live event in advance and advertise, and ask people to leave comments. And, to keep it short (2-3 minutes).

FB Ads. I suggest you look at other FB ads to glean some good ideas. The results for those whom I have heard from who have used FB ads are mixed—everything from “total waste of time and money” to “excellent results, will definitely be posting more ads.” Harriet and I have used FB ads with limited results, and we will likely use them again. Author friend Lisa Mayer has used them in the past and commented that she’s had “some mild success, but they did not get many reviews.” Another friend was very frustrated because “there was very little guidance” on how to set up the ads and how they work. Consider earmarking money for advertising through various venues.

Writing Prompt: Outline a plan for announcing a new book on Facebook. Begin writing FB posts to fit into that plan.

Click to Tweet: As a Christian author—non-fiction or fiction—glorifying God in and through everything you say in books, blogs, and social media is imperative.

3 Questions Wednesday with Deborah Dee Harper

Deborah Dee Harper now writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, after living in Alaska for a year where she chased bears and moose and generally made a pest of herself. She writes inspirational, humorous books for both children and adults, and when she’s not writing or visiting grandchildren, she enjoys herb gardening, photography, and very, very amateurish astronomy.

Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Deborah!

First question—Can you describe yourself in three words?

Forgiven, funny, maternal

Forgiven because I’m a Christ-follower, funny because I write humor and try to see the lighter side of life, and maternal because I thrive as a mother and grandmother. I’m not married now, so my focus for the past several years has been to provide the best care and devotion I’m capable of toward my children, their spouses, and their children. Part of that focus is presenting a Christ-like model, and humor is my way of enduring life’s difficult times.

Those are great words that go together well. Next question—

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

I’d go to Israel. I’ve long wanted to visit the land of Christ’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. I can’t imagine all the ways a trip there would change my life, but at the very least, visiting the places I’ve only read about in the Bible and other supporting books and articles certainly would give me a new perspective. Learning through books those places He visited, the roads He took to move around the country, and the vistas He saw is one thing. Seeing them for myself would bring them to life vividly. I know people who have made the trip and their reports are all the same. It’s life-changing, awesome, and moves your heart, mind, and soul in ways nothing else can.

What a wonderful choice! It would be life-changing. And speaking of life, here’s the last question—

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

I believe “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” would sum up my life very well. I’m still a sinner and no doubt will be one until I take my last breath. Knowing my sins have been (and always will be) forgiven is something I cling to daily.

I love that, Deborah. Readers, Deborah Dee Harper has some exciting news!

I have two books coming out this summer! Misjudge is the third book in my Road’s End series, and Laramie on the Lam is my children’s adventure series coming out in six different books, one per week. To date, four of the books are available.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of my coming release, Misjudge, or one of my Laramie books (winner’s choice!), leave me a comment to enter.

Here’s more about the books:


Misjudge is the third book in my Road’s End series, and Laramie on the Lam is my children’s adventure series coming out in six different books, one per week. To date, four of the books are available.

In Misjudge, the POTUS returns to Road’s End, Virginia, for an international peace conference, despite Road’s End being the most cantankerous place in the free world. Love is in the air, Emma River comes face-to-face with her history, and the citizens reveal unusual things about themselves. It will be published this summer. I hope readers will take away the message that we all, no matter our age, have valuable contributions to make to society.

In Laramie on the Lam, 11-year-old Laramie Wyoming finds himself in hot water when he holds open the door for some men not realizing they’re robbing the bank. When one of the men stashes $30,000 in Laramie’s backpack, his life changes forever. He and his family and his worst enemy (and now foster brother) travel across the United States in a motorhome so his mother can gather information for her travel books, and the bank robbers chase them every inch of the way. They visit interesting locations, encounter wildlife, lots of adventure, humor, and some mysterious help along the way. Book #1 is pictured and they can all be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y6vh3szc

Laramie on the Lam teaches youngsters

  • The importance and value of depending on their parents, and the joys of visiting interesting, historic, and scenic places around our country
  • How to get along with others—even if that other kid is your worst enemy
  • The comfort of knowing God is always watching over them

You can find Deborah Dee Harper on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authoredeborahdeeharper/

Amazon Author Page: Deborah Dee Harper

Her website is currently under construction.

Did the Inspired Prompt Say Something About Winners?


Why, yes we did! In fact, the month of May showered us with four winners. Who were they? Read on…

Davalynn Spencer offered an an e-copy of An Unexpected Redemption to Polly Delk. Congratulations!

Melissa Henderson won a copy of A Home For Fritz gifted by June Foster. Woo hoo!

Dawn M. Owens has offered an audio copy of her new book, Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction, to LelandandBecky. Congrats!

Kate Lloyd graciously gifted Susan Collins‌ with a signed copy of one of her Amish books, readers choice. Yay!

And as always, a big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment. We appreciate YOU!

And continue to leave comments while you wait to see if you might be our next winner…

No More Apples

My heart dropped and I bit my lip to keep from crying. On the page, in black and white, was all the evidence I needed. Never mind what positive and encouraging things folks had said in the past. Never mind that scripture assures me I was wonderfully and beautifully made.

That one negative comment blazed across my vision in a big red X. Who said that?

Oh, she did.

Her post garnered more likes than my post.

Her picture was perfect.

Her wit sharper.

Her humor funnier.

Her advice bolder, holier, and wiser.

Her story had a better plot, cooler characters, stronger verbs, and a more satisfying ending; and, it was just a tale of her niece’s recital. I don’t even have a niece. How am I supposed to compete against that?

I heard that oh-so-familiar voice slither into my ear … Who do you think you are?

As I cowered at the keyboard, another voice – steady and strong and sure – said, “Kristy, you are my redeemed, my inheritance.”

That’s the voice I leaned into, buried my head in His chest, took a few ragged breaths, scooped faith and perfect love and grace into every available pocket, and then turned back to face the screen before me.

For a brief span of time, I had been pinned down in the battlefield of comparison. Poison darts of self-defeat, an advancing army of past failures, the rocket-bright glare of a thousand blank pages I could never hope to fill on my own, and then the near-fatal wound from Miss Perfect. I faltered when I lost my line of sight on His plan and His purpose for my writing, and my life.

The distraction of comparison is a very similar tactic to the one Satan used in the garden, isn’t it? The slithery voice asks, “Is what God gave you really enough?”

I had a choice on that battlefield: walk away in defeat or, pick up my focus, dust it off, and keep on marching. The march, however, involves risk.

If we, as Christian writers, are to heed the call to write AND to complete the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), we must risk vulnerability on many different fronts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.; both on our personal pages, and on our author sites. Rest assured, we will receive responses from ‘out there’ (others) and ‘in here’ (our own heads).

Take comfort, dear writers, for here are some practical steps to safeguard our tender innards against a wound on the Comparison Battlefield.

  • Pray – Pray for protection. Take up the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) so that you may believe that He who began a good work in you will also bring that work to completion (Philippians 1:6) Pray to do nothing but that good work (Ephesians 4:29) so that no matter what social media channel you are on, you will be found to walk worthy of His calling (Ephesians 4:1).
  • Decide your intention before you even open an app. Do you intend to encourage others? Do you intend to make an announcement/post? Do you intend to pick a fight, rumble out your rant, and sound off about the latest social stumble? Don’t make God sorry He gave you this word gift. Read Genesis 6:5-8 and determine to find favor in God’s eyes.
  • Set a timer for each social media channel. Then, obey the clanging alarm when your time is up.
  • Report to your Commanding Officer after every tour. Confess your faults, your fears, and your faith. Give praise where praise is due. Seek direction for your next assignment, or simply get some R&R. A weary soldier is as bad as a foe.
  • Find a comrade in arms. The NLT gives us a great picture of how and why to incorporate this principle from Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Click to Tweet: If we, as Christian writers, are to heed the call to write AND to complete the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), we must risk vulnerability on many different fronts…

Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers by Edie Melson

Social Media. Is it a curse or blessing?

Depends.

During the month of June, we’re going to take social media and dissect the rhyme and reason behind it. What is it? Which platform is best for you? Do you, as writers, even need bother? If you missed it, check out Ralene Burke’s article which posted here yesterday. It’s well worth the read.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing social media expert, Edie Melson. She has the proven expertise to teach others how to plug in and reach their target audience without the restraint of physical boundaries.

Edie, we’re so glad you could join us. Tell us a little about yourself and your writing.

Edie: My mother would tell you that I’ve been writing since I could crawl to a white wall with a crayon in my hand. That may or may not be true. What is true is the fact that I process life by writing things out. I’m passionate about helping others find their voices and live their stories. That plays out in my fiction and nonfiction and in my passion to help other writers navigate the rocky and ever-changing path of social media, blogging, branding, and platform building.

And we appreciate the help! This month we’re discussing social media. What are your three favorite social media venues?

Edie: I love Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am on Facebook daily because I make valuable connections with my audience, but it’s not a platform that I enjoy.

There are so many different venues out there. Do you think Facebook and Twitter are here to stay? 

Edie: Yes. But I think they are evolving right now. The way we used them last year is not the way we’ll use them in the future.

That’s exciting and a little scary. Are there any new social media sites that our readers should know about?

Edie: I think all the changes and new guidelines on FB and Twitter are pushing users to try new networks and ways of interacting with readers. For me, even though it’s not technically a new site, I’m finding that I love Instagram. I’m on there as @Stop2Pray and have been able to connect with a different set of people than I’ve been interacting with on FB and Twitter. I’m also loving the growth I’m seeing on Pinterest.

I’m a big fan of Pinterest also. Now, I know you love to teach. Tell our readers about some of your classes.

Edie: I teach writers how to more effectively use social media to connect with their readers. Social media is a valuable tool, but we need to learn how to use it without spending hours a day on it instead of on writing. However, I’m also passionate about the fact that social media is a valuable part of our call to write. It’s not something we do that takes us away from what God has asked us to do. In truth, we can reach people through social media that may never read our books. AND we have the opportunity to impact the very dark places online with the light of Christ.

I also teach writers how to blog effectively. Blogging can help us connect with our readers, prove we have something valuable to say and provide incredible community building opportunities. Blogging isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor and I love helping writers find what works for their specific situations.

Blogging is a great way to connect. And we all want to make a difference. How can our readers sign up for one-on-one sessions with you to learn more about social media?

Edie: I offer a free evaluation and initial consultation for social media coaching and blog coaching. Then I’m available on an hourly basis or by purchasing specific packages. You can contact me through edie@ediemelson.com 

You can also get more information about what I teach on my blog: www.TheWriteConversation.blogspot.com

I encourage all of our readers to follow your blog. And at the end of her bio below, check out her latest novel, Maiden of Iron, just released.

Click to tweet: “In truth, we can reach people through social media that may never read our books. AND we have the opportunity to impact the very dark places online with the light of Christ.” Edie Melson, social media maven. #socialmedia #write

Now, a little more about Edie’s social media resource, Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers.


 Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers.

So how much time do I really have to spend on social networking?” It’s the question that plagues every armchair marketer. What is Social Media? How much time do I need to spend on Facebook and Twitter? Do I need Pintrest. What about my blog – who is going to follow it?

Social Networking can be overwhelming – yet, it is essential for a successful writer. Thankfully, with the right techniques, it can be streamlined and maximized to produce exactly the results you need. Written by prolific author, blogger, editor and My Book Therapy Social Media coach Edie Melson, you’ll learn everything you need to maximize your social networking to create powerful connections.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Connections-Edie-Melson-ebook/dp/B00HV5BBVY/


Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s writing for non-fiction readers, parents, military families, fiction readers or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.

In addition, as a respected expert in social media, Edie has the proven expertise to teach others how to plug in and reach their target audience without the restraint of physical boundaries. In her role as social media coach she’s worked with clients that range from authors and speakers to business and ministry leaders. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, has been updated, expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers.

As a leading professional within the publishing industry, she travels to numerous conferences as a popular keynote, writing instructor and mentor. Her blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month and has been named to the Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. She’s the Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Vice President of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine. She’s also a regular columnist for Just18Summers.com and PuttingOnTheNew.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


Maiden of Iron: A Steampunk Fable

When Marion Ravenswood’s brother is killed in a duel fighting for her honor, their father, the Engineering Guildmaster withdraws refusing to speak with anyone. It’s now up to Marion to save the guild’s children and reclaim the family honor. But will a chance encounter with the prince of thieves be an answered prayer or will he just steal her heart and abandon them all?