Fan Page Duel

Do you remember Xanga? If any of you were like me and used it as an online journal, you probably remember spending hours at a time tinkering with the HTML to make your page look unique. With Facebook, things get a little tricky—you can’t change the background, the colors, or the fonts—you can, however, have great content, consistent interaction, and a little creativity to stir up your online community and start conversations.

If you’re an author with a fan page, this is particularly important.

I thought I’d run through some of the bestselling authors on the New York Times Best Sellers List, in the hopes of finding a good chunk of fan pages to compare.

Boy was I wrong. Based on the various NYT Best Sellers Lists, and in my (and only my) opinion, I found one to be pretty awesome.

NYT #2 Hardcover Fiction: Toys by James Patterson.

If you’re looking for interactivity, I must say, James Patterson’s page is up there. He has two social games on his page — Catch a Killer and Stare Contest. Catch a Killer is played exclusively through Facebook, where you and your Facebook friends investigate crime scenes while attempting to piece together the clues—YOU become the detective in one of Patterson’s thrillers.

Plus, fans of his page get to read 21 chapters for free!

However, to have a “great” page, you don’t need all that glitz and glam. James Patterson has a nice fancy page, but he lacks in community conversation. There’s no discussion board where fans can chat and debate about the better character, no responses to comments on his wall, and no support for anyone else.

A “great” Facebook page is more than a Wikipedia app, more than links to articles that market your book, and certainly more than posts asking people to buy your book.

Interacting, Engaging, Conversing—what more could you want from your social community?

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