August 5, 2013

In your FACE – BOOK!

By Elaine Raco Chase

Hum the ominous "Dum - - - de - DUM - DUM" (Dragnet March) as you read the opening.
     Ladies and gentlemen – the story you are about to read is true. The names and facts have not been changed because she is innocent.
     This is the city – Facebook.
     Every 24 hours a little bit of everything happens – over 1 billion people use it each month.
     Some of it is public. Some of it is personal. Success. Failure. It's all there.
     I work and promote here.  I'm a writer.

     It was late Friday, January 25th - it was sultry in cyberspace.  I was promoting my romance novel, Best Laid Plans, which was going to be free for the weekend. 
     My partner – hmmm…I didn't have a partner. 
     My boss...hmmm…I'm the boss. 
     My name is – Elaine Raco Chase
     The crime – an author (me!) had been run down, banned by Facebook.  Seriously injuring her attempts to make sure her free novel was known to all. 
     The perp: unknown. Reported postings as spam.
     No way to find the perp – but suspect it was a "troll."

     The final outcome – read below!

While every author I know dreams of being "banned in Boston" – that always equals a number one spot on every bestseller list – being "banned on Facebook" is more nightmare than anything. Both indie and traditional published authors need to connect with readers. Ebooks are – invisible.  They take up no shelf space. They can't be held unless they are in an eReader.

And we authors need to get them into eReaders.

I did what thousands of other authors have done, are doing, are thinking of doing – I joined numerous Facebook groups and pages that want, no, beg for authors to post their books/links on the site. Especially if those eBooks are free. I made a variety of fun postings for Best Laid Plans, with the Amazon link for US/UK, and posted away. 

Did I over post?  I didn't think so…I was following other authors who were posting as well.  I took breaks, revised posts, and again followed other authors through the groups/pages.
Then – it happened. My computer screen went totally: white! Not the traditional blue screen of death but WHITE.  

I blinked at it.

It blinked at me. Then a blue banner popped up that read: your post has been reported as spam – you have been blocked for two days. If you try to post we will delete you from Facebook.
Delete me from Facebook! Wait a minute, I yelled to the white screen, Facebook is a public company. Where's Freedom of Speech? Where are my rights?  

I have none. Neither does anyone else.

Facebook has done some interesting things…they now want you to pay to promote…there's a little link that pops up. I chose to ignore that.

Anyone can tag your post as a "spam" – and that sends a message to FB police department.  The same person can tag your post as "spam" over and over again.  Then the Dragnet hits. You may get a pink tag that states: you are posting too fast. You may get the direct "banned from posting" notices, like I did.

So what's an author to do?

I haven't stopped posting. I have done just a few in the morning, then a few more later in the day. So far, so good. I try keeping the postings fresh and post about different eBooks/audiobooks – but it is hard when you have a free book and want to get the message out.

I've enlisted a "street team" to help…those are fans/readers who actually volunteered to post on Best Laid Plans that weekend.  One person got a pink slip for re-posting my post. I've heard from over 20 authors who were also banned/threatened by Facebook when they, too, posted on their books. And their postings were tagged: spam!

A common promotion tool – the Facebook Blog Tour was shut down by FB. Why? Because an author who waited too late to join got angry, and reported the blog tour postings as "spam" – and the entire tour was shut down. 

Be careful out there in Facebook land. If you're an author, vary your promos for time and content.  If you are lucky enough to have a street team make sure they know the ever-changing rules. 

As for the FB promote here link – I'll leave that to you. It may work better but factor in the cost.
Well I'm off to promote….but will walk a fine line!

Oh, how did my free book do?  #10 in contemporary romance; #20 in all free Kindle books. Nearly 10,000 downloads. 
Elaine Raco Chase is the award-winning author of seventeen paperback novels with over 3 million books in print. She is published in 25 countries and 15 languages. Was past President of Sisters in Crime International, a charter member of Romance Writers of America.
@ElaineRacoontwitter; and iTunes! The Author's Corner on

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