Facebook and Instagram Updates You Should Know and Use

Our favorite social networks constantly change. They add or remove features regularly. It’s hard to keep up. Here are a few to note.


Do you have a Facebook group? Well, you’ve probably noticed that when you type an update the paragraph symbol (¶) otherwise known as the pilcrow appears to assist you in writing. Hopefully, they will add it to business pages.

No longer can you or anyone be immediately added to Facebook groups. They can be invited with an option to decline or accept. Admins will be alerted with an invite is pending without action.

If you share videos on your profile or page, Facebook polices potential copyright infringements, and they will mute whatever part of the video (music, movies, plays) that potentially fall into the category of “unauthorized use.” Interestingly, they’ve yet to do the same on their product Instagram.


You can now promote IGTV videos with snippets on Instagram Stories. You can also share a snippet of someone else’s IGTV video on your Instagram story.

You can add titles to your Instagram Live updates.

These are minor changes but they are good if you use both Facebook and Instagram to market you or your products.



Libraries = Strong Communities: Celebrate National Library Week April 7-13

Most of us grew up in an era of community libraries that stamped a card with a return date or had “Quiet” signs hung all over the place, reminding us that we had to be respectful of other patrons. Times have changed. Today’s library systems are more engaging, less stringent and filled with resources from classes to technology and a database that enables us to access even more resources. That’s worth celebrating this week. Here are ways to celebrate even more.

Show your support for libraries with social media shout-outs, include your local branches and system too. The American Library Association offers the following:

Hashtags to use: #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform.

ALA accounts: Twitter: @ALALibrary | Facebook: @AmericanLibraryAssociation | Instagram: @americanlibraryassociation
I Love Libraries: Twitter: @IloveLibraries | Facebook @ILoveLibraries

Ask your followers, friends and family to suggest your book to their local library system. Make it easy for them. Give them the ISBNs for your paperback, hardback and e-books. Create a meme you can post with whatever information they need.

Ask your followers, friends and family to take photos of your books in their local library. Give them a hashtag as well as the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform.

Contribute your library story on your social networks. Tell people a favorite library story of getting your first card or about doing a book chat or just tell what you love most about libraries. There are even opportunities to win prizes according to the ALA.

Post photos, videos, or text on social media highlighting what you love about your library, whether it’s a way your library brings your community together or a few of your favorite library resources and activities. Share during National Library Week (April 8 – 13) using the hashtag #MyLibraryMyStory on Twitter or Instagram or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page for a chance to win big: one randomly selected participant will receive a $100 VISA gift card. The promotion begins Sunday, April 7 at noon CT and ends Saturday, April 13 at noon CT.

Libraries are important to our existence and literacy. Donate books to your local Friends of the Library book for their annual book sale or ongoing book sales.

There are numerous ways to observe this special celebration. Celebrate the library and you celebrate books and authors too.

National Library Week April 7-13: A Calendar of Events and More

We hope you’re observing National Library Week. Here is a calendar of American Library Association events to follow or join on social media as well as locally.

  • Monday, April 8: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2018.
  • Tuesday, April 9: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, administrators, and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. #nlwd19
  • Wednesday, April 10: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make high-quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities. #BookmobileDay2019
  • Wednesday, April 10: Library Giving Day is a one-day fundraising event with the goal of encouraging people who depend on and enjoy public libraries to donate to their individual library system. #LibraryGivingDay
  • Thursday, April 11Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to speak up for libraries and share your library story. #MyLibraryMyStory

Check your local library to see how they are observing this week-long celebration. Some libraries are offering fine forgiveness for either book or food donations. Perhaps you can lead a drive for books and/or food.

Also, you can visit the ALA site for memes you can share on social media.

Dealing with Bad Reviews and Testimonials like a Pro

You will not please everyone with your literature. It is a fact. Authors who have written classics have received bad reviews as well as some of our best-selling authors. The same goes for testimonials. There will be people who will leave a glowing testimonial while others live to give line-by-line critiques. For some reason, human nature never remembers the good reviews and testimonials; human nature will replay the bad. There is another way: the pro’s way. Here are a few tips:

  1. Pros rarely read reviews or testimonials. Ignore them and keep writing.
  2. Pros pay people (or ask their publishing house) to grab the best sentences and blurbs from reviews and testimonials to publish on the back cover of their books, share in a social media meme, and post on their websites.
  3. Pros who read reviews and testimonials look for important criticism. They want to know if the editing is sloppy or if the book contained too many grammatical errors and typos, and if the story was hard to follow. Why? To improve the next edition and/or the next book.
  4. Pros might take the time to thank reviewers and testimonial givers on Amazon or Facebook or on their sites. They also might take the time to ask the testimonial person why the book is a “must-read” or a bust. They will engage the person for constructive criticism and to build a relationship.
  5. Pros take it on the chin but they do not stop writing or publishing.

It’s like turning lemons into lemonade. Pros learn not to obsess and react but rather remain mindful and thoughtful in their engagement. Also, they know not to engage someone who is obviously contentious.

Take what you need from reviews and testimonials. You’ll be surprised how that will improve your brand as an author.

A Few Old-School Organizational Tools for Writers

Technology can be a wonderful thing. These days we have cloud storage (Dropbox, Evernote), calendar apps on our phones and desktops, tablets, readers, and a thousand other ways to be more efficient using our gadgets and devices. However, there are a few old-school methods that can just as efficient and in some ways important to the way(s) we think and organize our work.

Don’t laugh or sleep on these things. They actually come in handy and promote critical thinking. Technology is awesome but can sometimes miss the mark as in the stapler. Apple hasn’t figured out a way to staple real paper together using an app. Psychologically, cognitive skills are enhanced by performing some tasks using both parts of the brain as in sorting, alphabetizing, writing by hand and by touch.

Did we leave anything off of the list? Share in the comments.

Social Media Share: 10 Quotes about Moving Forward

Who hasn’t been stuck or in limbo? It’s an odd position that can make us doubt ourselves, our faith, and our purpose. However, experience has taught us that being in the valley is only temporary. Someone following you on social media might need to know that very thing.

“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” 
― Carl Sandburg

“Never confuse movement with action.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” 
― Rosa Luxemburg

“And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” 
― F.W. Dupee

“To progress is always to begin always to begin again.” 
― Martin Luther

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious,and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” 
― Walt Disney

“What’s wrong with standing in the same place if it’s a good place?” ― Nora Roberts

Here’s hoping that these quotes will inspire and motivate. Share your favorite moving forward quote or saying in a comment, please.


Author and Book Marketing Tips for Instagram

Instagram is still growing as a social network. There are a variety of ways to use it from selling to posting “stories” to IGTV ,and of course, posting images remains the number one use of Instagram. Here are some tips for keeping your feed fresh and focused on you and your literary projects.

  1. Do not use any more than 30 hashtags per post. In fact, research hashtags and post the ones that send you directly to potential readers.
  2. Hijack a hashtag that belongs to an audience you want to reach. It doesn’t matter if it only has 45 posts, start using it if the audience is likely to find you.
  3. Use natural sunlight when posting photos and try not to post photos that are too filtered or dark.
  4. Post bright memes and memes with quotations that have some white space. It will give your profile a cheerier look and feel.
  5. Need stock photos? Use Pexels and Pixabay for free use.
  6. Do a giveaway of book pairs. Give one of your books away with a book by an established author with a huge fan base to attract followers.
  7. Always study to see which posts get the most interaction from followers and post more of those types.
  8. Be creative. Ask your followers questions you want your characters to answer in your novel. Ask followers a question related to a non-fiction topic you’re writing about. Engage and involve them.
  9. Post regularly and experiment with times of postings.
  10. Surprise superfans and re-post their photos on your profile. Don’t forget to tag them.
  11. Build an organic following instead of purchasing followers. Purchased followers will drop off and few care about the content.
  12. Comment on other people’s content. Leave a sincere comment and keep it moving. Don’t self-promote just reply accordingly.

This is a discovery. Banned Instagram hashtags. Some of the reasoning is clear (they attract bots) while others not so much. Still, it is a handy tool for marketing.