Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hacked Email & Setting Up Author Pages

Before I talk about today's topic, yesterday I found out my email account had been hacked. A friend has received emails from me that I didn't send. As they used his Facebook name, which is an alias, I can only assume they may have hacked my Facebook account as well. I have taken steps to resolve this problem and hopefully no further bogus emails will be sent out. However, if anyone receives an email from me that doesn't feel right, please contact me.

Now for today's post.

 

Over the last few days I've been setting up author pages on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon, because I came across an author page for myself on Goodreads - it was automatically created when my name appeared as an author in the Tribute to the Stars anthology - and I decided I needed to have some control over what it contained. This then led me to Facebook and Amazon. However, setting up these pages has not been as straightforward as I thought and I'd like to share my experiences (so far) with you all.

Facebook was easy. All I had to do was create a page, add a few details, and publish it. After that I was free to promote it on my blog and on Facebook itself. There have been a few minor irritations, though. For some reason I keep flipping between my usual account and author page without realising. I might like a page as an author but it shows on my normal account and vice versa. There are some things I can not do on my author page, such as linking to another friend in a posting or show my Goodreads activity. I also believe there is an issue with being unable to change certain page elements once you received a certain number of likes. If anyone one knows more about this, I would appreciate some input.

Goodreads and Amazon are a different story.

For Goodreads I had to apply to become part of their Author Programme. If you already have a Goodreads account and they already have an author page for you, this is easy. Even if you do not have an account, it does not take long to set one up (for details on how to set up an author page, click here). After gaining approval, all I had to do was upload a profile picture, add a bio, link to my blog,  and my page was completed. I then turned my attention to linking all the anthologies I have appeared in. This is where my problems began.

At present the only anthology I am listed as an author for is Tribute to the Stars. None of the others list the individual authors, just the editors and maybe one or two authors. This means I cannot link them to my author page. I searched Goodreads help section but could not find any reference to this problem. I posted a question in the Authors Feedback Group and quickly found out I have to post a list of the anthologies I need my name added to in something called the Librarians Group. I will let you know if/when the problem is resolved.

Unlike Facebook and Goodreads, I wasn't able to set up an Amazon author page straightaway. After starting the process here, I found I could not get past step two, confirming my identity. I am listed as an author for The Mysterious Dr. Ramsey, yet when it gives this as the option to confirm I am an author,  it only offered me a choice of five of the contributing authors - none of them were me. Yesterday, I used the relevant help page to query this problem and also contacted them regarding the same issue I have with Goodreads - not being listed as an author for anthologies I've appeared in. They have responded with what I need to do to add my name to the anthologies and have set up an author profile for me, though it will not show for three to five days. I have to say, I was impressed at how quickly they responded.

Setting up author pages has so far been a frustrating process. However, I am sure my patience will eventually be rewarded. Do you have an author page for Facebook, Goodreads, or Amazon? Have you experienced any problems with them and if so, were you able to resolve them? As always, I would love to know your thoughts.

Happy writing.

52 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry you got hacked.

    I didn't have any trouble with my author pages, though Amazon does insist on me taking ownership of a book from some other author. I've tried several times to tell them it isn't mine, but nothing changes.

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    1. That must be extremely annoying. I wonder why they won't listen to you?

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  2. Sorry it's been such a hassle. I'm not on Facebook, but I do have an author page on Goodreads and Amazon US and UK.

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    1. I did wonder whether you had a Facebook page or not. Good to see that a FB page is not necessary for promoting books and building a fan base.

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  3. What a nightmare, Ellie! I'm always concerned my eMail or Twitter is going to get hacked. Glad to hear you've got it straightened out.

    I've been going through the same things (setting up all of my author 'stuff') lately, so your post was comforting. I'm not sure I fully considered all of the hoops I'd need to jump through to get my Facebook, Goodreads, etc. set. Think your post is going to be very helpful to a lot of authors. :-)

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    1. Glad the post was helpful. With regard to email, Facebook etc, I think the lesson I've learned is to have different passwords for each account (a pain but worth it) and to activate the two-stage sign in process - a password AND number, with the number being sent to your phone every time you log in with a new device. Also, I now receive emails from Google+ and FB every time my account is accessed. I'm not sure whether hackers have a way around this but it's a start.

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  4. That sounds like a hassle. I don't have anything published, so I don't have any author pages, either--hope the problems you're having do get resolved!

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  5. I have just recently created a Facebook page. I too find it a bit frustrating about not being to reach out like I would like, but it's coming along. It was very easy to set up, I don't have enough likes yet to know about what restrictions might show up later. Good luck with all that you are doing.

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    1. I'm rather puzzled by the inability to form connections on FB pages. I wonder why FB made this decision?

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  6. thank you for the updates and steps to better the sites you have!

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  7. Wow, sounds difficult and confusing! I probably would have given it up and gone back to writing before I ever figured it out!

    Good luck with getting your email fixed! My sister had her email hacked, but I think she fixed it.

    Have a nice day :)

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    1. Thanks, Jess. I was tempted to say forget it!

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  8. Ellie:

    Since I'm a moron at such things, I don't know what to tell you other than I'm frustrated as hell. THis is when I need to hire a five year old because he or she would get this job done with great finesse. Something I don't have when it comes to this schnit.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  9. Yeah the whole "do it yourself" signing onto the social networks and places like Amazon is tedious work. I try to do it really slow. Like maybe one a week. I know that seems like it would take forever, but I eventually get stuff done.

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    1. Good advice, Michael. I think I will do the same.

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  10. Ugh, that hacking thing is horrible! It's such a violation!
    I don't think I had too many problems with setting up author pages ... Oh, on Goodreads there was another Rachel Morgan author, so linking books to me was a problem initially. I emailed for help and it didn't take too long for someone to respond. I think they fixed it by putting an extra space between my name and surname! I didn't have the same problem on Amazon though. That went smoothly.

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    1. Glad to hear your problems were sorted, Rachel. My new beefed-up security detected a few hacking attempts on Thursday and Friday, but none so far Saturday. Hoping they've got the message.

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  11. I found it rather easy to make a facebook page, although some of the functions are not available until you get 50 likes, which seems a little high in order to make things work.

    Amazon author pages were so tedious for the simple reason of having to do five different ones for the different Amazon sites, but other than that, it was ok.

    Ohh how horrid, the hell of being hacked, right old pain in the back side, so I feel for you on that, the only thing I'd suggest is changing all your passwords, where you've used that email address as the base for changing passwords on other sites.

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    1. Didn't realise I've got to do a page for each Amazon site. Argh.

      All my passwords have been changed and are now different for every site. Fingers-crossed.

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  12. Facebook was easy to set up, but I haven't set up a Goodreads account yet, as I'm not an author. I'm just a writer...for now. :)

    Sorry to hear about your e-mail!

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  13. I do have author pages on Amazon, GR, and FB. I have a fan page, and I use my regular FB account for author stuff, too. I don't really keep a personal FB account. Probably because I'm one of the world's worst FB friends. lol

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    1. I've been wondering for a while now whether I should just stick to a writing-related FB account, though of course it is nice having contact with friends and family.

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  14. It took me a while to work out Goodreads, especially with my middle inital which Goodreads doesn't appear to allow for. Instead, after much faffing, they offered a work-around. lol.

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    1. Glad they were able to help you, Lynda.

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  15. Yeah, I've got pages on all those places. The tricky thing I find is keeping them all up to date. I found the Facebook one the trickiest to set up, but then I must admit I find the Facebook interface confusing generally.

    Hope you've sorted out the hack now. Not nice.

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  16. I have an author page for all three- I found facebook to be the easiest one to use and set up. Amazon was the hardest, mainly because it takes so long and in order to add my name as an author to an anthology I had to scan and send a copy of my name listed in the print book before they would add me- yet there response time on my problem was awesome.
    I'm not such a fan of the good reads author page and while i do have it set up and am active in general on goodreads, I don't really mess with my author page for it too much yet.

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    1. Sounds like a lot of work for Amazon. But, as you say, they are quick to respond.

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  17. Feel bad about all the internet problems you had. I don't have an Author Page on Facebook or Amazon. Because I am a published author I automatically have a page on Goodreads. I need to get more proactive on these sites.

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    1. I'm getting there, Rachna. Thanks for your positive thoughts!

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  18. There's been a lot of hacking lately, makes me curious how these people get the passwords. Sounds like you've had a positive attitude to the problem and you've been quite productive setting up your pages.

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    1. Thanks, Charmaine. It's a slow process but I am getting there.

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  19. I think that people who use pen names have a harder time setting up on Amazon. Or they could just have two author pages.

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    1. I hadn't even thought about pen names. Too confusing!

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  20. Hi Ellie - that is a pain .. someone called 'Barbara' emailed I just ignored it .. and others I know have been hacked ... it's keeping passwords etc different and unique and probably changing them every year or so - a pain, but necessity in the times we live in.

    Good for you working through all those pages etc and getting life sorted in the Media workplace ..

    Cheers - Hilary

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    1. Sorry to hear you've been receiving emails from hackers. Frustrating to say the least. I shall be changing my passwords more regularly from now on. Sad but necessary.

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  21. I am sure you will eventually figure out all the web pages you wish to subscribe to. I've seen more and more that these are the tribulations that a self published author has to navigate. it is daunting to me, and I'm sure I'd have to hire someone who know's the ins and outs to keep me updated.

    I haven't put a lot of effort into getting my books published because I'm overwhelmed by the amount of work that is required by authors in today's publishing world. What I see is that an author either gets pick up by a Big 6 house, or self publishes or goes in for a small print publisher - which is about the same as self publishing as the author has to accomplish all the promotional publicity.

    I applaud self pub authors. Thy have to do so much for their works.

    ..........dhole

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    1. I think even if you get one of the big six your are still expected to be social media savvy. I'm also sure that small press publishers are looking to see how active you are in this area before deciding to offer you a contract. I have to say I am finding it all a bit overwhelming at the moment, but I am trying to break it down into one job at a time.

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  22. I had my blog hacked while using free airport WiFi earlier this year; the scum bag posted inappropriate material on my own blog as well as Write1Sub1. Not cool at all. Leaves you feeling violated, doesn't it?

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    1. That is horrid, Milo. It makes me feel sick just thinking about it. There are some nasty people out there.

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  23. Hi Ellie. Thanks for sharing all these things with us. These are very helpful and informative.

    I'm sorry about your email, etc being hacked. Glad all is ok now.

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  24. Sorry about the hacking. SOOOO irritating and inconvenient. That's good to know about the other stuff.

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  25. Thanks for the useful tips about author pages, social media is everywhere now these days.

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  26. Social media is spreading everywhere these days. Thanks for the useful pointers Ellie.

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