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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gina Holmes Suggests You Become a Fan of Gina Holmes

Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Journey and Novel Reviews. Her debut novel, Crossing Oceans, is set to release with Tyndale House -May 2010. To learn more about her, visit:

In the last year, I must have recevied dozens upon dozens of requests through Facebook that look something like this...

"John Doe suggests you become a fan of John Doe."

What goes through my mind when I read

1. Who?

2. I don't think I've ever read a book by him.

3. Oh wait, yes I have. Wasn't my thing.

4. Is he the president of his own fan club? Wierd.

5. How presumptous of him to think I'm his "fan". I mean "fan" is a pretty strong word. I'm a fan of maybe a dozen writers throughout history and time, and not one of them has ever suggested I become their fan. I just was.

6. Note to self: Don't make up your own fan page and suggest people become your fan.

I'm not trying to be mean, honsetly. I just don't think many folks are getting how these suggestions may be interpreted.
But with most everything, there is a right and wrong way. Here are my thoughts, (and yes subjective opinion), on a better way:

1. Have someone else put up your fan page and send out the invites. (Suggesting someone become your fan page on Facebook comes across as suggesting someone join your real life fan club. Would you walk up to someone and say, "Hey, I've just started a fan club for myself and I think you should join?"

They'd probably wrinkle their nose and avoid eye contact for at least the next few run-ins with you.

2. Don't call it a "fan page" if you're setting it up yourself. Call it a "reader page" or "reader circle" or "friends of author John Doe" or "people who can get through John Doe's books without falling asleep" or something along those lines. It just sounds less presumptous.

I'm curious. What are your thoughts on this? Did I hit or miss the mark on how most of you feel about these fan requests?

Nothing deepens a stream like a good rain . . . or makes it harder to cross.

Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter.

As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love to change everything—to heal old hurts, to bring new beginnings . . . even to overcome the impossible.


  1. Very gracious suggestions, Gina. Good job!

  2. I don't have a problem with it because the designation "Fan Page" comes from Facebook, not the authors themselves. It tells me that they simply wish to separate their professional, promotional activities from their personal.

    The question I must ponder is whether I wish to follow all those fan pages as well as personal pages.

  3. I'm with you, Gina. Even if it is FB that creates this "Fan" designation, it just strikes me as odd to invite someone to be your "fan."

    And by the way, your book sounds so great. I can't wait until it releases!

  4. Gina,

    You hit every thought I have when those come in from people I don't know or haven't read. I'd rather follow a personal page in that case. To get to know you before declaring my devotion to your work. Yet I do understand that the "numbers" for a personal page are limited. [unless that's changed] And I understand that some want to separate personal and professional stuff. But to be a "fan" means to be a fanatic! Let's not water it all down just to build ourselves up on pretense! Otherwise...what does it really mean?

    Just my thoughts...

  5. Gina, I think you're right on. As a writer, I understand what these people are doing, but it does come off a bit weird.

    May I add another don't do? Or maybe it's a do do--keep track of who you invite to become a fan (or whatever term you use). That way if they say no, you don't invite them to become a fan again.

    And again.

    And again.

    There's an author that's asked me to be a fan of her books no less than six times. I don't like her genre so I say no. But she keeps asking. It doesn't make her look good.

    I'm still new to FB so I'm not real sure how some things work, but if you can track who you're inviting to be a fan, DO!

  6. Thanks for your thoughts everyone and taking the time to comment.

  7. Thanks. I haven't joined facebook yet, and when thinking of joining stumbled onto fan pages and wondered if that was what I should do. I'm still wondering, but I do agree, inviting people to be my fans would be very weird.

  8. I do too. The strange thing is asking another writer to be a fan isn't who you want to reach. You want to reach readers...the ones who BUY the books. Not that authors don't read or don't buy books but most of us get them for review or influencer copies.

    I say no to being a fan, partly because I get so much on my wall on Facebook, I miss the ones from my close friends.

    That said, I'll be the one to start your fan club, Gina. I met you first, so I get to do it!!!! :D

  9. Ane, the feeling's mutual. I'll be heading up yours as well! love you!!

  10. No, it's never bothered me at all because it's not what we named it. We have no choice in the matter.

    It's a page where I can offer things I could never offer on my personal profile page. All my give aways and contests would just be left to the chance of my FB friends just happening to see it in the stream of consciousness of everyone elses posts.

    I'd never allow someone else to run my business page for me. If you want something done right, do it yourself, as they say! chuckling. Besides it's a lot of work and I can't afford to pay someone to do it.

    But it's a page that's necessary to all businesses even if the business is personal, such as photography and writing. It never occurred to me to think ill of the person inviting me to his business page. It surprises me that others do.

  11. I love my Facebook account because it helps me keep up with my faraway kids, grandkids, and friends. It's personal. If I ever have fans (hoping and dreaming), I'd rather keep that separate and call it one of the names that Gina suggests rather than a fan page. But is that possible with Facebook?

  12. I totally get the concept of them. Okay, I sorta get it. Anyway, FB must allow you to call them something different because I've gotten an invitation from the wildly talented Tosca Lee and it read "Tosca Lee invites you to join Tosca Lee Readers". Now THAT didn't come across bad at all. I AM a reader and in her case, a fan but even still that came across more tasteful to me. Thanks for the comments!

  13. I concur with your sentiments about starting one's own fan page. Better is praise from another's lips than our own; that's for sure! I enjoyed the post.

    Cup o' joy
    and a fresh taste of the bread of heaven....


  14. Gina, spot on. I'm a "fan" of multiple authors, but I'm not going to join the hype. I'll push their novels on my blog and Examiner page. I'll tell friends to read their stuff. I'll recommend them on FB or anywhere a discussion of their work shows up, but I'm not going to go to a special page and fawn over them.

    I'm probably alone in this, but the oversell turns me off. Completely. I want "relationship" as a reader with an author or with a reader as an author. I don't want idol worship.


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