My Thoughts

Why I Deleted Thousands of Likes on my Facebook Page

Jarrod’s Journal

So, if you took a look at my Facebook page a few days ago, you would have seen over 5,000 likes. This is because back in 2015, on my personal profile, I posted a (regular, PG) photo in a group that got plenty of attention. At the time, I mistakenly believed that followers (or friends, in Facebook’s case) = success or relevance. I began accepting all friend requests without vetting or actually knowing anyone. So much so, that I made it to Facebook’s cap of 5,000 friends. Because I was beginning to focus on being an author and because I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to split up my content between both the page and my profile, I decided to merge both and just have a Facebook page. Side note: I was also kind of bored with Facebook at the time as well. Converting everything over to a page caused the page to count all of my friends as likes. So, for the moment, I was happy! I figured an audience of 5,000 would see and interact with my updates. Not so. As anyone who has a Facebook page knows, boosted (paid) posts rule, and I was not about to pay for each post to be seen by my audience. Not only that, but just because I had 5,000 followers didn’t mean they were interested in me as an author. I began to regret the decision and decided to undo the merge and get my profile back.

I hadn’t decided to do much about my amount of likes until earlier this week. That’s because I’m now planning on making the best use of my Facebook page. That starts with engaging people who are actually interested. So, I deleted most of the likes that came over because of the merge, leaving me with a little over 700. I would have gone down to zero if I could, seeing as I’m positive I haven’t gotten 700 real likes, but Facebook isn’t letting me. I’m also going through the process of removing the unvetted “friends” on my list (which is way more tedious than the like removal process on a page).

This led to an important lesson about tying up my self-worth and definition of success in likes or follows. These social media metrics mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Now, my gauge of success is impact on my audience however small. I cherish my 1500 or more followers on Instagram and Twitter because they, for the most part, found something interesting in what I had to say or offer. My goal is to do the same now with Facebook.

If I removed your like on my page and you’re interested in following my journey of growth as an author, please give it another like. There will plenty of great content to come that I know will impact you in some way.

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My Thoughts

I Released My Book Too Early

Jarrod’s Journal

I learned a lot of things about self-publishing on the fly while getting my first book finalized. Having a whole series ready before you start was not one of them.

I wish I had learned this before writing Pangaea. Instead, I’m at a point now where sometimes I feel overwhelmed with trying to get a bunch of things done marketing-wise and not having all the pieces in place. It’s much better to have three or so books to release back-to-back while working on the next one. That way, you have a cushion of work to rely on while you go through drafting, cancelling, and/or agonizing over your next book.

You may read this and think “It’s okay to release a book a year” because you’ve noticed some of your favorite authors do it. And that’s true on some level, but for someone like me who is self publishing with the hopes of turning this into something full time, it seems the general consensus is that you have to release work at a faster pace. I’m struggling with my pace.

I’m not going to list a ton of excuses as to why. This year has been a huge learning experience for me as to what it takes to not only publish, but build a platform for myself. I’ve learned about editing, proofreading, cover design, the cost of all three, as well as business stuff like intellectual property rights, and how to promote my work online. Content, attention, and growing an email list is important, but I don’t know if it would be nearly as hard if I had more books on the marketplace. So, I’m playing a bit of catch-up. There’s no use crying over it now, but if you’re an author looking to jump in, my advice would be to not make the same mistake. Get a few books done and edited within an inch of their life. Save your money and get the formatting and cover design to look as good or better than what’s on store shelves. Then come up with a strategy for release that will have you grow at a normal pace.

I may have learned this important lesson a little late, but I’m hopeful that I’ll rise above and make the changes necessary to be successful.

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