Three easy ways to use Facebook to get mailing list sign ups

Here are three different ways you can use a Facebook page to direct people to your mailing list/newsletter sign up page.

  1. Add a sign up button to your page
  2. Provide a link in your page’s cover photo
  3. Use an app to add a sign up tab and form

Add a sign up button to your page

Underneath the cover photo on your Facebook page is a button labeled “+ Add a Button.”

If you click on this you’ll see a popup containing a slew of options. To set up a link to your sign up page:

  • Select ‘Get in Touch,’ then on the next popup select ‘Sign Up.’
  • Enter the URL to the sign up page on your author/publishing press website and hit ‘Add Button.’

Your Facebook page now has a ‘Sign Up’ button that takes you to the link you entered. If you hover over the button you’ll see a ‘Test Button’ link – click it to verify that the button goes where you think it should.
 

 
Provide a link in your page’s cover photo

  • Click on your page’s cover photo.
  • Edit the description for the photo and add a link to your sign up page.
  • Save the description.

Now when someone clicks on your cover photo, the description – with the link you added – will be displayed.

Use an app to add a sign up tab and form

You can use an app to a tab to the sidebar of your page. When the user clicks on that tab, a sign up form will be displayed on your Facebook page.

aWeber, Constant Contact, and MailChimp are a few of the companies who currently provide apps to integrate mailing list/newsletter sign ups with Facebook. Each app works a bit differently, so make sure to read the documentation for whichever one you use.

Here’s a screenshot showing how app configuration works with aWeber. Notice that the list and the form used are options, so you might create one form for use on Facebook and another for use on your website.
 

 
And here’s how this particular sign up form looks on a Facebook page. Notice the ‘Email Signup’ link at the bottom of the sidebar – clicking that takes you to this page. In this screenshot, there’s also a ‘Sign Up’ button under the cover photo that was created following the ‘Add a sign up button to your page’ steps above.
 

 
If your email marketing provider doesn’t offer an app, you can always write one yourself.

Adding social media buttons to your Goodreads author profile

Your Goodreads author profile is much more versatile than it might first appear. 🙂

The ‘biography’ field supports HTML, so while that does mean you can do nifty things like format words in bold or italics (although not change the font color, alas), it also means you can provide links to images or other websites. This gives you the ability to add buttons which link to your various social media profiles, your website, your favorite cat videos on YouTube…the only limit is your imagination!

If you have a website already set up, you probably have social media buttons that look something like this, where each button takes you to the appropriate website.

You can set up the same type of thing on your Goodreads author profile with a little bit of very simple HTML. Here’s an example of the end result.

Note that you can use any image you want, and link to anything that floats your boat – it doesn’t have to be just buttons linking to social media pages. Just be mindful of how this will look to the reader. Plus the Goodreads librarians might not appreciate you linking to images of dinosaur photos – unless perhaps you write books about dinosaurs. 🙂

Steps

  • Edit the author data on your Goodreads author page.
  • Look for a section called ‘biography.’
  • Add the appropriate HTML (see below) to this section.
    Note that you can add the buttons anywhere, but they’re going to be more noticeable and recognizable to the reader if they’re displayed at the top, just under the other summary data about you.
  • Click save.
  • Verify that the result looks correct, and make sure to test the links.

HTML text

For each button you link to, you’ll enter HTML that looks something like this in the “biography” field.

<a href="http://facebook.com/your.author.page">
<img src="http://url.to.images/facebook.png"></a>

If you are adding multiple buttons, like in the screenshot above, you don’t need to add spaces or newlines in between them. For example:

<a href="http://facebook.com/your.author.page">
<img src="http://url.to.images/facebook.png"></a><a href="http://twitter.com/your.author.name">
<img src="http://url.to.images/twitter.png"></a>

Where to find images

I created a new directory on my website to hold the images I’m already using elsewhere because I wanted to use the same images in all places. I also wanted to maintain my own copies of the images so that I could easily modify them if I chose.

That might not be an option for you, or you might not have the same type of control issues. 🙂 If you’d like to link to icons maintained by someone else, Michael J. Sullivan has been kind enough to provide access to his icons. You can find instructions on how to access them, as well as a much more in-depth description of this entire process, in a document he’s put together called Creating contact icons in a Goodreads profile page.

Michael’s Goodreads author page is an excellent example of how you can add buttons and other relevant images to your profile. Michael and his wife/business partner Robin talked about this topic, as well as a number of other interesting ways to use Goodreads, when they were interviewed on Stephen Campbell’s Author Biz podcast..

How to claim a title as your book on Amazon

If a book is not showing up on your Amazon author page, you need to ‘claim’ the book as yours.

This can happen even if your name is listed as an author on the book’s page. In this situation you can search for your name and the title and the book will come up, but it won’t be listed on your Amazon author page.

Another way this can occur is if you’re one of more than 10 authors participating in an anthology, box set, etc. Amazon’s interface only allows 10 names to be entered for each ebook title, and additional names must be added later.

If either situation applies to you, don’t despair! 🙂

Here’s how to claim your book.

  • Log in to Amazon Author Central.
  • Click on Books in the menu at the top of the page.
  • If the book is missing from your list of titles, click the button labeled Add more books.
  • Search for the book.
  • Once you’ve found it, click the button underneath it that reads This is my book.
  • A screen will pop up listing the names of the authors in that book.
    • If your name is in this list, select it.
    • If your name is not in this list:
      • Look in the Need your name added? section and click on the contact us link.
      • Fill out their form.
      • Wait a little bit (maybe as long as a day).
  • Shazam! The book will be listed on your Amazon author page!

Note that if there are more than ten authors, your name will still not appear on the list of names on the book’s page, but the book will appear on your author page.

Reference: Amazon’s help page on this topic.