Today is a great day to reflect. Last week I put together my first Facebook Launch Party to announce the release of The Clock Strikes Midnight. We had 110 people there and we gave away many prizes.
What’s a Facebook Launch Party? This is the question many of my friends and colleagues asked. I was just as ignorant as they were about how it works, I learned from other authors and stumbled along in the dark. To help the rest of you understand more about this new way to announce your book, I decided to share some of my observations and to give some tips.
Invite your friends on Facebook. You’ll get a few responses, but not many. Those people who agreed to come or put maybe will receive your future posts. The numbers will increase as the day nears.
Include “game” or “party” posts in which prizes will be given away. You can use snippets from reviews of your book, little pieces of information about your book with inciting questions, or general questions about reading and writing. Here are some examples: a) The Clock Strikes Midnight is a mystery/suspense. What genre do you love to read? b) Reviewers call The Clock Strikes Midnight a page-turner with strong characters. Do you prefer books that a plot driven or character driven. 3) Joan Curtis lists Lee Smith as one of her favorite southern authors. Who would you identify as your favorite southern author? 4) This book was set in the South. Describe where you live.
It helps if they have read an advanced copy of your book and can relate to it while they describe their own books. They can offer a prize of a free copy of their latest release as well and they submitted their posts in advance. We posted for them. In other words, share the fun!
Many people reject the invite because they can’t come for the full 2 hours (plenty long enough, BTW). Let them know they can check in and out. Facebook will notify them every time there is a new post.
You can talk about how this new release fits or differs from your other releases. You can give away signed copies of your other books.
Here’s a list of the prizes we offered: a) Mugs with the book cover b) Book totes with the book cover c) A notebook with the book cover and a pen with the name of the book on it d) Downloadable copies of the book e) Signed copies of my previous books f) An ebook titled: What it takes to Write, Publish and Sell a Novel. g) A 10 minute one-on-one conversations with me h) Editorial advice on the first 5 pages of your manuscript. i) A 10-dollar gift card to Amazon j) A 10-dollar gift card to Harry & David–coz we were close to Thanksgiving.
Otherwise the page lies dormant.
Just keep going. This is new to everyone and it’s supposed to be fun.
Don’t let more than a minute or two pass before you post something. You’ll lose your audience. And, BTW, we used random.org, but you can use any device that randomly selects winners.
When things got wild (with her trying to post the winners), I posted for her. It was a team effort. We had the chat box open so we could communicate with each other.
Post to them a lot. Announce your party on Twitter, Facebook and make a Pinterest Board. The more people who attend, the more fun you’ll have.
I noticed harder questions generated fewer responses. By harder I mean if people have to go to Google for an answer. The questions we had the most success with were: 1) What do you like to cook or eat on a cold night and 2) Do you have any tattoos and if so describe them. Ha!
For example, we generally described the main character in my book and then asked people to describe how they thought she might look (most have not read the book yet). I put a silly response up there to encourage silliness. That worked.
Join me on my virtual blog tour every day through December 19. Come and comment to win $50 Amazon Gift card.