When I started having stuff published, I resisted the idea of having my own Facebook page, because it seemed a bit vain. Which is odd, really, because I’m actually quite a vain person. However, when I was campaigning to get MRS DARCY VERSUS THE ALIENS out in the world, it became a necessity, so I set up a page for her, and that became the page for the book when it finally did get published.
When DOT DASH and TAKE IT COOL came out, I followed the same logic and set up individual pages for them. However, when it came to LOVE AND LOSS AND OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF, I decided not to create a new page because it was all getting a bit out of hand.
The trouble was, the whole point of having a Facebook page is to encourage more engagement, and I needed to face up to the fact that what I really needed was an Author Page. Fortunately, it turns out that you can actually merge Facebook pages. But it’s not entirely straightforward.
The first point is that you’ll keep all the likes and followers from both of the pages you choose to merge, but you’ll lose all the posts from the page you choose to merge in. That’s not necessarily a problem, but it’s worth bearing in mind.
Secondly, you can only merge pages that have similar names. How similar? Well, I’ll come to that.
Thirdly, given Facebook’s Byzantine navigation system, the only way you’ll find out how to merge two pages is by Googling “How to merge two Facebook pages”. Alternatively, you may just want to bookmark this link.
So how did it go?
This is what I did.
- I renamed “Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens” to “Jonathan Pinnock, Author”.
- I renamed “Dot Dash” to “Jonathan Pinnock, Dot Dash”.
- I renamed “Take It Cool” to “Jonathan Pinnock, Take It Cool”.
- I then tried to merge “Jonathan Pinnock, Author” with “Jonathan Pinnock, Dot Dash”.
- It told me there was a request to merge already pending for “Jonathan Pinnock, Dot Dash”. It took me a while, but I found out eventually that what this misleading error message actually means is “you have to wait a week after changing a page’s name before you can do anything about merging it”.
- So I waited a week and tried again.
- This time, it told me that the page names weren’t similar enough. So I changed “Jonathan Pinnock, Dot Dash” to “Jonathan Pinnock, Author 1”, and “Jonathan Pinnock, Take It Cool” to “Jonathan Pinnock, Author 2”.
- I waited another week.
- Finally, this morning, I tried again and, joy of joys, it all went through.
So I now have a bright new shiny Facebook Author Page with all the likes and (slightly confused) followers merged together. Here it is.
Consider this a public information service for any other authors out there wondering whether it might be worth doing this. It’s certainly do-able, but it takes a little time and patience.
And to reward you for persevering this far, here’s me performing a massively puerile new poem for kids, entitled “The Humungstrous Fart”. I hope you like it.