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How to Create a Facebook Welcome Page by John Ames

We have a great guest post for you today!  John Ames, author of Adventures in Nowhere, is here to help us with creating our own personal Facebook Welcome Page.  You can visit his website at www.johnamesauthor.com.

How to Create a Facebook Welcome Page

by John Ames

These days, authors have to do a great deal of promotion for themselves, which usually involves creating a fan page for yourself, your book, or a product connected to your book. Creating the page itself is not very hard. Facebook gives good instructions on fan page creation:

http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=12809&ref_query=create+fanpage#!/pages/create.php

Once the page is up, the next move is to make it as attractive as possible. One way to do this is to create a welcome page, which allows you to place on it a large image or series of images similar to those seen on the index page of a website. This will be the first thing a visitor will see when viewing your fan page. When I looked into how to do this, I found that the sites explaining the process routinely assumed that I knew more than I did, or they confused me by explaining more than one thing at a time. This post will concentrate on showing you how to put an image of your choice on your Welcome Page and making sure that it is the first thing your visitors see.

In order to accomplish this, you will have to have an image posted somewhere on the web. If this sounds incomprehensible, skip down to item 10 to see what I mean.

To set up the welcome page follow these steps:

1. Find the blue link on the fan page that says either “Edit Page” or “Edit Info.” If you are in the classic view, it will be Edit Page, and the link will be located on the left under the profile picture. If you are in the new format, it will be Edit Info and you will find it at the top of the page under the title you have chosen for the page.

2. Click the link Edit Page or Edit Info Link, either of which will take you to the profile page. On the left side of the profile page you will see a column of choices with “Settings” in the top spot. About eight choices down you will see a choice called “Apps”

3. Click Apps, which will take you to a page of choices. One at or near the bottom is labeled “FBML,” which stands for “Facebook Markup Language.”

4. Click the blue “Go to App” link, which is on the bottom line to the right of the FBML logo. This will take you to a page that asks “Add Static FBML to (your page)?

5. Click the blue “Add Static FBML” button. You will be returned to your page where, in the column on the left side, you will see a gray logo labeled FBML has appeared.

6. Click that logo, which will open up a large white box. At the top of the box will be the title of your page followed by “FBML.” Right beneath that title will be a blue link that says “Edit Info.”

7. Click that link, which will take you to the profile page. On the left you will again see the column containing “Apps.”

8. Click Apps, which will take you to the list containing the FBML logo. You will again see “Go to the App.”

9. Click Go to the App, which will bring up a two white rectangles. The narrow top rectangle is labeled “Box Title.” Inside the box you will see “FBML.” Delete FBML and replace it with “Welcome.” You have now named your landing page.

10. Up to now, this job has just been tedious but relatively easy. It is about to get a little harder. That second large white rectangle with “FBML” to the left of it is the place where you will put the information that will fill your welcome page with the image of your desire. This requires a code. You do not need to know anything about the code, except that it has to be copied exactly, and that you will have to insert some of your own information. In addition, you will be sorry to find out that Facebook does not host your image. You have to have it stored on the Web, someplace with an Internet address. It could be in a Flickr account or on a web hosting site.

Here is what I use to get the cover of my novel Adventures in Nowhere on its fan page.

The first part means “Image Source is at http://johnamesauthor.com”
johnamesauthor.com is where I have the image stored. You would insert the address of your Flickr account or wherever else you may have your image. If you have a website, you can store the image with the service that hosts your website. That’s what I do.

The name I have given my image is coverforface6. It is a jpg image so the full reference is coverforface6.jpg.
Once again, the whole thing is:

If you put your own information in, and you faithfully type the marks and the letters, and you follow the spacing exactly, then your image will show up on your page. All the slashes, quotes–every little mark has to be included. The best approach is to copy my code, paste it into your rectangle, and then replace my address and image name with your own.

11. When you have finished with the code, click the blue “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. A light orange bar will appear above the box saying “Changes Saved.” Look in the upper-left corner of the page, where you will see the title of your fan page in blue type.

12. Click that title, which will return you to your page. Again you will see the FBML logo on the left.

13. Click that logo. You should see your image in all its glory. Look to the left side of the screen. You will see the FBML logo at the bottom of a column of choices. At the top of that column you will see a button saying “Get Started.”

14. Click Get Started, which will take you to a page asking for information. Look to the upper right of the screen where you will see a button that says “Edit Page.”

15 Click Edit Page, which will take you to a form that asks you to fill in information. Go down the column until you find “Default Landing Tab.” On the right will be a down-arrow button.

16 Click the down-arrow button to reveal the choices for Default Landing Page. Choose FBML. Look to the bottom of the page and locate the blue “Save Changes” button.

17. Click the Save Changes button. Make sure that your choice has been saved. If not, try again. When it says FBML in the default landing slot, look to the upper right of the screen and find the “View Page” button.

18 Click the View Page button, which will take you back to the Get Started Page. You will continue to see this page for a while unless or until you have added a lot of basic information, but anyone other than the administrator of the page will see the FBML Welcome Page.

They don’t make it simple do they?

Adventures in Nowhere: Interview with John Ames

John Ames has a master’s degree in English from the University of Florida, where he was a Ford Fellow. After graduation, he built a rustic house and lived for several years on the edge of a spiritual community located near Gainesville, Florida. John’s search for enlightenment ended when he decided that he was too far from a movie theater. He moved inside the Gainesville city limits and taught English and film for thirty years at Santa Fe College.

He has produced and acted in numerous short films and videos, including the cable TV series the “Tub Interviews,” wherein all the interviewees were required to be in a bathtub. For ten years he reviewed movies for PBS radio station WUFT.  He has appeared as a standup comedian and has designed and marketed Florida-themed lamps.  He coauthored Second Serve: The Renée Richards Story (Stein and Day, 1983) and its sequel No Way Renée: The Second Half of My Notorious Life (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and Speaking of Florida (University Presses of Florida, 1993).

His recent book is a coming-of-age novel titled Adventures in Nowhere.

You can visit his website at www.johnamesauthor.com.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, John.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Adventures in Nowhere is the first novel I have had published. I have had several publications as a coauthor. Two Renée Richards autobiographies, Second Serve and No way Renée, are the best known. My protagonist in Adventures in Nowhere is not a transsexual, so you can see I am branching out.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I went the route of meeting a famous transsexual who needed a coauthor. Like so many beginning writers, I stumbled onto an opportunity. Renée was training in Gainesville, Florida, where I live, and she met a friend of mine who was aware that I was writing, though I had published nothing since I placed a news story in the college newspaper ten years before. My friend is famously enthusiastic, and when he heard that Renée needed a coauthor, he said, “I have a friend who writes.” Renée had tried to work with several high-profile coauthors and somehow could not make it work, so with a deadline looming, she decided to give me a try. The opportunity fell in my lap, but I had to be ready for it. Renée was lucky that I was competent, but together we wrote one of the best books on transsexualism that has ever been published. I think it may be the best, but I haven’t read them all. After that, I could always introduce myself as a published coauthor, but I didn’t write voluminously because teaching took up a great deal of my time.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

In the case of Adventures in Nowhere, the advance copies were out seven months after I signed the contract. That is fast work, but I had a lot of help from people I know in academic publishing. Louise O’Farrell, an accomplished free-lance designer, designed the book, Deidre Bryan, who was for many years the managing editor of the University Press of Florida did the editing, my friend Henry Rowland took the author’s picture, and I did the cover art. We offered an attractive package to the publisher, which helped them decide to do the book.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I wish I had a cracking story to tell about feeling a fantastic uplift leading to a rowdy celebration with a bunch of picturesque characters, but I don’t. I have a reputation for being a deadpan guy, amusing but in a restrained, wry way. Every time I told anyone about the publication, I got the same question, “Don’t you feel great?” I could never satisfy them. Maybe it’s the Irish in me: never get too delighted because you might call attention to yourself and spoil the deal.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I built my website: johnamesauthor.com. (Just plain “johnames” was taken.). People seem to like it. I have used an unusual approach. In addition to the conventional items like my biography and an excerpt from the book, the site gives a lot of information about the setting of the novel, which is crucial to the plot and interesting in its own right. Adventures in Nowhere is set on the Hillsborough River near Tampa and in the little community of Sulphur Springs, which started out in glorious fashion and then had a great fall. When I knew the river and the springs in the 1950s, the river was undeveloped past a certain point and Sulphur Springs was still interesting though definitely on a downward spiral. Most of the town was bulldozed in the early 1980s to make room for a dog track parking lot. The big spring that fed the swimming area is now polluted from storm water runoff and is unfit for bathing. I wanted to chronicle the place as I knew it before it is lost to living memory. My site helps readers understand what the novel is about by exploring the real Nowhere.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I have had a long time to develop as a writer, so I am not sure I have changed in the months since my novel was accepted. Since I was first published back in the 1980s, I have grown more and more leery of adjectives and adverbs. I still have a tendency to sometimes use them mindlessly. If I see that I have called something “pretty interesting” I almost always go back and take out the “pretty,” even though it seems a little naked at first. This may seem a small thing, but it ties into one of my goals as a writer, which is to say as much as I can as simply as I can. I don’t mean “simplistic,” I mean straightforward and unpretentious.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

From the first time I got published until now, which covers a good span of years, I have been continuously surprised at how nice people in publishing are. It is reputedly a cutthroat business, but I have never been treated unkindly. I have a long history of nearly getting published or of writing things that aren’t quite in the salable groove, so I have been turned down a bit but seldom without concern for my feelings. And when I do work with publishing professionals, they are appreciative of my efforts and reasonable in what they ask of me. Oh, I have met a couple of sarcastic characters and some disorganized people, but most have been well meaning and competent.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Having been a teacher, I have always been insulted by that old saw, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” The teachers I worked with were doing a hard job with a good deal of grace. If you put the people who snicker about teachers in front of a bunch of teenagers and let them take a whack at giving instruction, you would soon see the sweat popping out on their brows. I like proving that someone who taught can also do. It may not be the most rewarding thing about being published, but it is satisfying.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Watch your adjectives and adverbs.

Coming of Age Novelist John Ames on ‘Adventures in Nowhere Virtual Book Tour 2011′

John AmesJoin John Ames, as he tours the blogosphere March 1 – April 29 2011 with Pump Up Your Book to talk about his new coming of age novel, Adventures in Nowhere (Pineapple Press). John will be on a nationwide blog tour giving interviews, giving away copy of his books and meeting and greeting new and old fans!

John has a master’s degree in English from the University of Florida, where he was a Ford Fellow. After graduation, he built a rustic house and lived for several years on the edge of a spiritual community located near Gainesville, Florida. John’s search for enlightenment ended when he decided that he was too far from a movie theater. He moved inside the Gainesville city limits and taught English and film for thirty years at Santa Fe College.

He has produced and acted in numerous short films and videos, including the cable TV series the “Tub Interviews,” wherein all the interviewees were required to be in a bathtub. For ten years he reviewed movies for PBS radio station WUFT. He has appeared as a standup comedian and has designed and marketed Florida-themed lamps. He coauthored Second Serve: The Renée Richards Story (Stein and Day, 1983) and its sequel No Way Renée: The Second Half of My Notorious Life (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and Speaking of Florida (University Presses of Florida, 1993). You can visit his website at www.johnamesauthor.com.

Adventures in NowhereAdventures in Nowhere is an absorbing story of the search for self, allowing a reader to live for a while in the mind of a remarkably thoughtful and intense boy caught at the final edge of childhood.

Adventures in Nowhere is told from the wry perspective of ten-year-old Danny Ryan whose realm is 1950s Florida, long before theme parks crowded out the possibility of real magic. Danny refers to his neighborhood as Nowhere, because it seems trapped in time, some parts on the verge of rebirth and others slowly falling apart. Among the things falling apart is the Ryan family, which is dominated by a schizophrenic father who makes every day an adventure, yet Danny keeps his good humor, seeking escape on the nearby Hillsborough River or in the little community of Sulphur Springs with its puzzling mix of the glorious and the shameful. These outings provide Danny a diverting blend of comedy and drama.

But Danny’s adventures take a fateful turn when he begins seeing a mysteriously changing house across the hyacinth-choked Hillsborough. Is he going crazy like his father? Though he feels terribly alone, Danny comes to realize that he has faithful allies among Nowhere’s eccentric inhabitants: Alfred Bagley, a quirky youngster whose fondest desire is to become a junk dealer; Abigail Arnold, an intellectual eleven-year-old with a penchant for blunt talk and red candy lipstick; Donna, a young woman of supernatural beauty and unfathomable motives; Al Gallagher, proprietor of Al’s Swap Shop, a business that is more than it seems; and Buddy Connolly, a confident teenager who prompts Danny toward an odd but powerful salvation.

“John Ames has written a superb coming-of-age novel in the tradition of J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Ten-year-old Danny Ryan wrestles with clashes between his keen observations and deep sensitivities on one side and the cruelties and complexities of adult life on the other. With the Hillsborough River as his trusted companion, the imaginative Danny plunges into adventures, some life threatening, that force him to change, creating a narrative that is dark and delightful at the same time.”

—Bill Maxwell, Syndicated St Petersburg Times Correspondent, author of Maximum Insight

For more information about John Ames’ Adventures in Nowhere Virtual Book Tour, you can visit his official tour page here.

Adventures in Nowhere

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity for authors looking for maximum online promotion to sell their books. Visit our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com to find out how we can take your book to the virtual level!

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