This is a guest post from the awesome author Michelle Saint-Germain. If you’re a writer and interested in writing for us, give us a shout.
Are you launching a book soon or thinking about launching a book?
If so, you might be looking into marketing strategies. Your book won’t sell if people don’t know it’s available.
But how do you let people know your book is available without sounding like a shameless self-promo egocentric moron?
One way is to host a FACEBOOK BOOK LAUNCHING party. Have you seen these? Been to one?
If not, consider attending one before you launch your own. You’ll get great ideas and know how it works.
At the top of your Facebook page is a drop-down box titled MORE. (See below.) Click on that to find EVENTS. Click on that and open CREATE EVENT. Then read the screen, create the party and invite your friends. Post comments and share reminders. It’s easy.
Or you can hire someone to handle your party. They typically cost so much per hour so it depends on the duration of yours as to how much it costs. Ask your party diva what she can give you for $50.
But you can host your own party or find another Facebook party planner. Simply google Facebook party divas.
The etiquette of a Facebook party is different than other parties.
People can crash the party, interrupt conversations, wear what they want, and still win prizes. Attendees play games, post hot photos of their favorite places and people, and share their personalities with you.
Prizes? Yep. I had to come up with 12 of them. Some were Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, a chocolate basket, and a Mary Kay Cosmetics basket. Some authors give prizes geared toward their book’s theme. One prize that didn’t cost me any money was choosing a winner and using her/his name in my next novel. You can name characters after winners or use their hometowns in your novel. You get to choose the prizes. (You get to pay for them too.)
The best part: You get to wear whatever you want because no one will see you.
The other best part:
You get to hang with your friends and family and meet a lot of new people too. Friends and family get to invite whomever they want. The person who invites the most people wins a $10 Amazon gift card. (or whatever you choose to give them).
Over 1668 people were invited to my party. That’s as big as a Grand Ball, except no one had to dance! (Which could be a disappointment to some, but hey, if attendees want to dance in between posts they can go right ahead.)
How do you talk to each other?
This is where it gets crazy. Everyone meets at a designated Facebook page location. It’s your THIS EVENT page that you created. During the specified time of your party those who drop in (via their computers) will “talk” or post comments. Sometimes there are 20 – 30 people posting at one time. (I never typed so fast in my life. My fingers were actually tired by the end of my two-hour party.)
To keep up with all the posts you’ll have to hit REFRESH often.
Since geocaching is a theme in my novel, CACHE a PREDATOR, (which is on sale right now for $0.99) I chose to have a forest theme. (Geocaching is a recreational sport where a person hunts for and finds objects in hidden cache boxes by means of Global Positioning Device coordinates posted on a website.)
But you can choose your own theme depending on your novel. Think creatively.
What do you talk about at the party?
That depends. What is your book about?
Besides a geocaching theme, my novel had this theme: “Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” (by Herbert Ward)
One of the questions I asked party-goers was how many knew of someone who was abused as a child. I couldn’t believe how many willingly admitted they had been. It made me sad. I NEVER expected the discussion we had, but it gave them a chance to talk about their life and experiences. And it gave me a chance to connect with them on an emotional level.
You might want your theme to be less intense and more upbeat than mine. I can’t blame you! Do it. Make it your own.
Why have a Facebook party?
- Creates a buzz about you and your book. It gives people a chance to meet you and learn about your personality. Word of mouth is the best way to spread the news about your book.
- Identifies your brand. Research shows that readers have to see your book cover close to 20 times before they buy it.
- Increases your Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and Goodreads friends. The host typically asks those at your party to LIKE your pages.
- Maybe someone will buy your book.
How many books will you sell?
Probably not many. Eek! Why have a Facebook party then? The purpose in having a party is to let others know your book is available and peak their interest.
Have realistic expectations about your party—you probably won’t sell many books. Yet. Marketing is difficult to measure.
Readers want to see favorable reviews first. How many do you have? Do you use positive reader quotes in the description at Amazon? If not, you might want to consider asking party-goers to read and post reviews. Then you can add their positive comments in your Book Description category at Amazon.
Give readers a call to action when they attend your party. What do you want them to do? (Besides buy your book?) Share your Amazon page at their Facebook page?
Don’t be surprised to meet groupies who only come for the prizes. Some readers are crazy about parties, but most won’t be your loyal fans. However, at this stage you don’t know who your loyal fans are, so it’s best to treat every attendee like a favorable reader.
Above all, HAVE FUN!