Important Sherlock Holmes Facebook Pages
What is Facebook?
It is an online social network that has nearly a billion members around the world. If it were a country, it would be in the top 5 biggest in the world and has a population close to that of the USA and Europe combined. So imagine ignoring the US and European markets for your book and you get a feel for its size.
It enables people to have 'virtual' friends that may share the same interests, and it is also a good medium in which to interact with 'real life friends'. Facebook also holds an incredibly deep level of information about its members, more so than any other organisation in history. Most importantly it holds information on people's interests, and for us we can quickly and easily identify those who are fans of Sherlock Holmes. Content that interests you (from your 'friends' and anything else you link with on Facebook) appears on your own personal Wall - the wall can be seen as the flow of filtered information defined by your choices - i.e. if you are friends with someone and they post a message to all their friends, you will see it briefly on your wall. Likewise with any pages or groups you engage with.
Imagine getting all the daily newspapers from your city, and having someone cut out only the articles you might be interested in (by subject, location, personality etc) - imagine how much more productive reading the papers would be - you'd get all the papers instead of one (if they were all free). Used properly, Facebook can be an extremly efficient aggregator of interesting content as well as an instant and simple mass communication tool.
Facebook Pages - are set up by individuals and organisations to bring together people with a common interest. Our main Facebook Page for Holmes Books is https://www.facebook.com/BooksSherlockHolmes . To join a page you simply 'like' that page - to see how many people have done that look on the left of the page.
Do you have to be social on Facebook?
Several authors have flatly refused to go onto Facebook as they have a preconception that it means that either a) they have to share personal information or b) they have to interact with unknown people. This is a misconception. You only have to engage with Facebook to the level at which you are comfortable, and in fact you can do it virtually anonymously if you so choose.
Many people split their work and personal life very carefully on Facebook - like almost 100% of major celebrities. We always recommend you adopt the tightest security settings, and where possible set up a separate page for your book(s) so that you can create a clear distinction between your personal friends and 'Facebook friends', and somewhere where fans can interact with you without having to do that in person. I for example have hundreds of Facebook friends, most of whom I would not share personal information with so I don't load much personal information onto Facebook - I don't share my address, but I am happy to share my marital status as quite frankly a couple of Google searches on a name as unusual as mine and you wouldn't need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out who I am married to. If you choose to stay off Facebook though, you are missing the easiest free tool you have in your armoury. If you still have concerns, feel free to contact me to go into more depth.
How does MX Publishing use Facebook?
In a number of ways. The primary thing we do is that we use Facebook to get visibility of our authors to the Sherlock Holmes fans around the world. We also use other channels (like websites and Twitter) to cross-promote to and from Facebook too. Whereas the societies are great to reach serious fans - lets call them 'serious' fans (between them several tens of thousands), Facebook collects together 'light'fans in their millions. As joining a Facebook page only takes one click, good pages can grow quite fast. Our page now has over 3,800 fans. Below we include a list of important Facebook pages - some have tens of thousands, some hundreds of thousands of members.
Some specific actions we undertake:
1) Grow the Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle Books Page - this is our very own real estate on Facebook - our turf. Due to the nature of the page it generally attracts more serious fans - as such its worth us spending some advertising money attracting people to it - we gain 40-50 new members a month from advertising alone.
2) Support our Holmes friends - we have some wonderful supporters out there from podcasts to websites, bloggers to non-MX authors who recommend and support us - helping them grow their fan base on Facebook has a big benefit back to us.
3) Drive traffic to our authors blogs by posting links to their interesting articles - e.g.
Great new article from Dr Dan - Apochryphal Sherlock Holmes http://bakerstreetbeat.blogspot.com/2012/01/apochryphal-sherlock-holmes.html
This is often called peer recommendation. Dan posting up a link about an interesting article on his blog gets some traffic, other people doing it (like ourselves and other authors) is recevied much stronger by fans - think of it as independent peer recommendation.
MX Author Pages
Friends of MX Pages
Leading Sherlock Holmes Pages