Guest Editor Melissa Wiley re: Facebook v. Google+ as Author Tools


Dear R.…

If you have to pick one platform, Facebook is probably your best bet for now. With over 800 million active users a month, Facebook is where you are most likely to connect with your audience. You’ll want to decide between maintaining a personal profile—where you can choose to make some posts visible to the public, and others visible to your Facebook friends only—or a fan page, or both. Either way, you can share updates, links, and photos, as well as engage in conversations with your readers. If you do go the Facebook route, you’ll want to do a bit of online research to bone up on the platform’s privacy policies. The privacy settings can seem complicated at first, but there are many how-to guides on the web to help you navigate. Two great sources of info are GeekMom (“Lay-Geek’s Guide to Facebook Privacy” by Patricia Vollmer) and Mashable (“Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings Every User Needs to Know“). (Disclaimer: I’m a contributor at GeekMom.)

Google+ is growing every day, and it’s an appealing platform with a lot of flexibility. At this point, however, Google+ users tend to be early adopters and tech-lovers; it’s a smaller audience and you may find it harder to connect with readers there. But a point in Google+’s favor is that Google has reconfigured its search algorithms to give priority ranking to G+ posts! Nonfiction writers especially may find that a solid Google+ presence helps topic-searching users find them more easily.

Melissa Wiley
Guest Editor

Melissa Wiley is the author of more than a dozen books for children and teens, including Little House in the Highlands and other novels about the ancestors of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her middle-grade novel, The Prairie Thief, will be published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in the fall. Melissa blogs about her family’s reading life at Here in the Bonny Glen ( ) and is a contributing writer and social media manager at You can find her on Facebook , Twitter and Google+ .


  1. I just deleted my google+ account. I found it to be too much. I had all kinds of people putting me in their circles and I couldn’t see a link as to why they would want to know what I was posting.

    Right now I use facebook for personal, with the exception of my blog friends that I “know” well. If (I mean when) I have a book published I will add another fb account as an author.

  2. Thanks! Some of the info about where the FB settings were located were outdated on the 2nd site, but I managed to poke around and find those settings so I could change them to something more private. Invaluable! The whole lack of privacy is one reason I didn’t want to join FB in the first place (my agent wanted me to have an account there, so I succumbed).

    • I held out for a long time too, Carol, because I was worried FB would be too time-consuming. But I’m so glad I did jump in. The networking has been invaluable, both ways. Just as people share my news and reach out to me, I spread others’ news and reach out to them. There’s no other way I could be as current with all my friends and acquaintanances through email. And it turns out that email is more time-consuming for me than social media! Plus when I use email I’m more demanding of others’ time. Now I’ve happily gone Google+; I met Melissa in person once but have Google+ to thank for keeping up with her.

  3. I have to agree, Facebook is probably your best bet. I do a fair bit of networking and I have both accounts, but I connect mostly with other authors on Facebook. There are some great groups on there.

  4. You actually could do both…type an update once…copy & paste to the other social network. 😉

    I personally think Google+ is the answer if you HAD to choose just one though. The reason is, Google runs the net basically, lol and to go with fb and then it fall off in the future (i.e. Myspace) and then you have to learn Google+ way after the world has already caught on to it…I say catch on now in the beginning while the rest of the world is still learning as well. Facebook may be established but that doesn’t guarantee followers. IMHO. Hope this helped! Good luck! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Guest Editors