Enter to Win a Copy of Super Sitter’s Playbook!

by Aubre Andrus on April 15, 2014

My seventh book is a book about babysitting, and it’s great for girls who already babysit or who are just thinking about watching little kids sometime in the future. I’m giving away three copies on Goodreads. Enter now through May 27th — the release date of Super Sitter’s Playbook!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Super Sitter's Playbook by Aubre Andrus

Super Sitter’s Playbook

by Aubre Andrus

Giveaway ends May 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

{ 0 comments }

A Little Bit of Travelin’

by Aubre Andrus on April 11, 2014

I was already able to squeeze in a few good trips in 2014 — the benefits of the freelance life! It’s nice to be able to fly out midweek (cheap flights!) and work from anywhere (thanks, Google Drive!). Here are a few snapshots from my latest travels:

photo 1

Walking the High Line in NYC.

photo 2

Klyde Warren Park’s outdoor Reading Room in Dallas.

photo 1

At the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma.

photo 2

Just another Sunday afternoon in Dolores Park in SF. Read about my geeky encounters in the city here.

photo 5

Touring the food truck and brewery scene in Denver.

{ 0 comments }

I’m Giving Away 3 Copies of Pretty in Paper!

by Aubre Andrus on March 25, 2014

*** THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING, EVERYONE! ***

Enter now through April 10 for your chance to win one of three copies of my latest book, Pretty in Paper, published by American Girl. I love these Goodreads giveaways. They’re tons of fun. You can check out giveaways from other authors on the site as well. Every day there are new books added and all you have to do is throw your name in the hat with a couple clicks. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pretty in Paper by Aubre Andrus

Pretty in Paper

by Aubre Andrus

Giveaway ends April 10, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

{ 0 comments }

Pretty in Paper is Out!

by Aubre Andrus on February 27, 2014

Pretty in Paper Cover
My latest book, Pretty in Paper, is on the shelf! Before the SCBWI conference — and after working from the New York Public Library — I swung past American Girl Place New York and whoa, was it busy. And whoa, they already had Pretty in Paper on display! Hooray!

PiP close upPiP on shelf

I’m especially excited about this book because it’s not illustrated — it’s photographed! I styled all the crafts in the book and on the cover as well as the wardrobe for our two models. It was a strenuous two-day shoot but we managed to squeeze everything in. And holy cow, the book turned out amazing. It really is Pretty in Paper. The book comes with gorgeous paper especially designed for the book by my AG partner-in-crime and art director Sarah Boecher.

One of the most exciting things is that I happened to be standing in the bookstore admiring Pretty in Paper when a girl and her mom walked by. “There it is!” she yelled as she leapt for Slumber Wonders. “That’s the book I’ve been wanting forever!” Her mom said, “Are you sure? You only get one thing — I’m serious.” And she said “YES. YES. YES.” as she clutched my book to her chest. UH-MAZING. And made Kate Messner’s poem, “What Happened to Your Book Today” even more of a tear jerker for me.

Buy Pretty in Paper at AmericanGirl.com.
Buy Pretty in Paper at Amazon.com.

{ 1 comment }

SCBWI & “What Happened To Your Book Today”

by Aubre Andrus on February 27, 2014

I am lucky enough to say that I just returned from the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrator’s Conference in New York City. It was an amazing reminder of why I write – I write for kids.

If you’re a children’s writer who’s feeling uninspired lately or a children’s writer who’s feeling beat down by one-star Amazon reviews or if you’re just wondering why anyone would dedicate their career to writing for kids, this poem is for you. It’s written by Kate Messner, a children’s book author – and TED talker – who absolutely stole the show on the last day of the conference with a talk on the power of failure. Here’s a poem she wrote a few years ago and shared with us called “What Happened To Your Book Today.”

Somewhere, a child laughed
on that page where you made a joke.
Somewhere, she wiped away a tear,
Just when you thought she might. 

Somewhere, your book was passed
from one hand to another in a hallway
busy with clanging lockers,
with whispered words,
“You have got to read this.”
And a scribbled note:
O.M.G. SO good.
Give it back when ur done. 

Read the rest of Kate Messner’s “What Happened To Your Book Today.”

At the end of Kate’s hour-long talk, there had been tears in the audience many times over. She got a standing ovation from YA writers, middle grade writers, picture book writers, non-fiction writers, poets, and illustrators alike. I think I found my people.

 

{ 3 comments }

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.45.12 AMSocial Media Consultants and Facebook Page Managers — This is a post about my recent Facebook block due to a copyright infringement claim on a page I used to manage but currently have zero association with. As it turns out, your personal account will always be associated with any content you’ve ever posted on anyone’s page — even if you’re not an admin anymore – and therefore at any time someone can claim it as copyright infringement and Facebook can block you personally and professionally.

*** SCROLL DOWN TO SEE TIPS FOR HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AS A FACEBOOK PAGE MANAGER or SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT ***

Above is a screen shot of the friendly message that greeted me Tuesday morning. It was in regards to a page I once managed, but I wasn’t even an admin of the page at the time. I hadn’t been employed by this company for months. But now MY business as a social media consultant in which I manage pages for MULTIPLE companies plus my personal Facebook account with 8 years worth of irreplaceable photos were all threatened.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t totally surprised. Why? I had a bit of a warning five days previously that said something like, “A third party requested content that you posted to be removed because it violated copyright infringement. If it happens again, your account could be blocked or permanently suspended.” 

It turns out that a former client of mine — who I haven’t worked for in months — is in a fight with her business partner. I won’t go into the details because I don’t want to get involved in this, and you won’t find this client mentioned anywhere on my website, LinkedIn, or portfolio. All you need to know is that anyone can report copyright infringement on any page and Facebook will give them the benefit of the doubt — your personal account and your page can be shut down. Gone. Just like that. Both members of this party I’m speaking of agree that Facebook shouldn’t have dragged me into this — especially considering I’m not an admin on the page anymore and I don’t work for this company anymore. But low and behold, I was. 

When I clicked “continue” on the box above, I saw this:

Edited Screen Shot No Contact InfoSo at least Facebook told me who dragged me into this drama and shared that person’s email. (Note: I didn’t include a screen shot of the first box that appeared that shows an example of a post that was removed — it gives you an idea of what kind of content got you in trouble).

From here, you’re kind of at a loss. It says “tell this person to email us once you solve the issue” but they don’t tell you what email address to use. Thanks, Facebook! Also, if you don’t capture a screen shot, you’re never finding your notice number or the contact information of the complaining party again.

When you click “Continue,” it just brings you to the Help Center which is just one big loop of half-explained information that doesn’t help you at all.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.45.37 AMWHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’VE BEEN BLOCKED FROM FACEBOOK
If you’re a social media consultant like me, THREE DAYS with no access to your pages means three days of potential income loss. You can’t post anything. Anything you scheduled WILL NOT go through. And if you’re the only admin on the page, you’re screwed. I had a product launch planned for another client of mine that included promoted posts and a custom tab so naturally I was FREAKING OUT.

If you’ve been caught in a situation like me or if you believe the alleged copyright infringement has been reported in error, here’s what you can do:

1. Immediately email the person who reported you. If you’re willing to take down the content, tell them that. Tell them to email ip@fb.com and reference your notice number. This will allow Facebook to reinstate your account — and the content — and then you can go in and delete it.

2. Email ip@fb.com. Explain the situation and why it’s an error. Reference your notice number. PS that email address came from here. Don’t get too excited about the phone number that’s listed. Basically Facebook has a phone line to tell you they don’t have phone support via a recorded message.

3. Check how bad your ban is and send Facebook a message. Log into Facebook and see if you can at least view your newsfeed. I could log into my account and see everything, but I could not post any content or comments with my personal account or the pages that I managed and I could not “share” or “like” either. I couldn’t even post, like, or comment in my private groups but I could send personal messages from my personal account.

If you can log in, click “like” on a post. A box will appear that says something like:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 3.40.31 PM

There are pieces of information here. One, a countdown of how many days and hours are left. And two, a link that says, “let us know.” It will bring you to a screen where you can explain your situation and cite your reference number:

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.21.33 AM

4. Create a fake Facebook account. YEAH, I SAID IT. Email any other admins of the page and have them add your fake account as a page manager. (Friend them and ‘like’ the page first to expedite the process.) I was able to gain access to almost all my pages this way THANK GOD. I kept my explanation short — “I’m having some difficulty with my account and was hoping you can add this account as an admin…” and I felt like an idiot but it was worth it.

5. Reschedule any scheduled posts via this account. Or push them through to post now just to be safe. During your block, it’s best to do this old school and post live. As mentioned, anything that was scheduled will not go through. Your blocked account might let you schedule posts, but they’re not actually going to post while your block is still in effect. You’ll see an error message when you check your Activity Log. 

6. Do your own research. Browse this list of ways you can contact social networks like Facebook.

7. Wait it out. Facebook is not going to get back to you, especially if it’s just a 3-day block so just accept it. I even had some contacts at Facebook who are just like, “Yeah, the block will be over by the time they see this help ticket I’m submitting for you.” However, I really want my name cleared and my personal account disassociated from the troubled page so I continued to send multiple messages to Facebook. I’ve yet to hear anything back.

5 WAYS PAGE MANAGERS AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANTS SHOULD PROTECT THEIR PERSONAL ACCOUNTS
Maybe you think this will never happen to you. But it happens. This person’s entire Facebook page was completely shut down with no explanation and no warning. And I could see this happening again to me or someone I know. What if:

  • A former client posts a picture of a former spokesperson and that person gets mad and claims it as copyright infringement?
  • A photographer goes after a photo on your page and reports it to Facebook?
  • Facebook wrongly identifies something on your page as explicit content?
  • A company changes ownership and the old owner requests all mentions of the former business to be removed from the archives by reporting it all as copyright infringement? (Ahem…)

Remember that even if you aren’t an admin on that page anymore, you can still get in trouble for content that’s been previously posted on that page. So regardless of whether or not this has happened to you, you should start protecting yourself and the access to your pages. Here’s how:

  1. Always make sure at least one other person is an admin on an account.
  2. Remove yourself as admins from pages you don’t manage anymore. (Even if it won’t help! Disassociate yourself because it doesn’t hurt you.) 
  3. Always have a secondary or fake Facebook account (you’ll need to create an email address first) with access to all of the pages you manage. Also, did you know you can create a business-only account? It’s not a great option but you can read more about it here
  4. Think about removing your personal profile as admin from all of your pages and managing the page exclusively from the secondary Facebook account.
  5. If you do remove your personal profile as an admin, think about creating a fake Facebook account for each of your pages as back-up.
  6. BONUS TIP: If you’re running ads for a client, set up a child account. This allows you a separate log-in and password for your client’s specific ad campaign. That means your PayPal account will never get dipped into if their credit card bounces. And if they spend $1500 in the first month on ads, Facebook will offer weekly support. Call Facebook Ads at 1-800-601-0077 for more information. This is also good to have so if you do ever get blocked, you can still access your ad campaigns.

I’m still worried that my personal account is going to be at the mercy of this fight between two people who I don’t even work for anymore. Therefore, I’m willing to remove all admin rights from my personal account and exclusively use a fake account for my work.

Do you think fake Facebook profiles are a risk? What would you have done in this situation?

UPDATE: Here’s Facebook’s response, an hour after my account was reinstated. They really did not listen to my story. I could give two sh*ts about the content on the page — I just want my personal account REMOVED from this situation. I’m not even a manager on this page anymore! I couldn’t even remove the content if I wanted to! Or post any infringing content if I wanted to! Le sigh.

Hi,

Thanks for your email. As you know, we received a claim of alleged rights infringement regarding the removed content. Per Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, users are prohibited from posting infringing content on the site.

If you believe that we have made a mistake in removing this content, then please contact the complaining party directly with the following information to resolve your issue:

Notice #: XXXXXX
Contact Information:
Name – XXXXXX
Email – XXXXXX

If both parties agree to restore the reported content, please ask the complaining party to contact us via email with a copy of the agreement so that we can refer to the original issue. We will not be able to restore this content to Facebook unless we receive explicit notice of consent from the complaining party.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

Mac
User Operations
Facebook

{ 1 comment }