Since I’m awaiting final edits for SCATTERED SEEDS, it’s time to start thinking about throwing a Facebook launch party. As you can see in the photograph, my giveaways are starting to pile up. I’m going with 18th century and Irish themes, so I have everything from 18th century playing cards to tin cups to St. Brigid’s crosses that my husband brought all the way from the Soggy Auld Sod. We even made those dice!
I enjoy Facebook parties, and I’m honored when another author asks me to co-host one. Not only are they a lot of fun, but I always see an upswing in sales and new “likes” on my Facebook page after an event. I gained 30 new “likers” after co-hosting one party.
Don’t expect those numbers for every party. Some events are more successful than others, but that’s just how it goes. A lot depends upon how many supporters and readers an author has. I am extremely blessed in that regard, which means I can always count on a few friends and readers following me into an event I’m co-hosting. This benefits the launching author by introducing my readers to her work. Likewise, her readers are introduced to me during the event. And, my followers get the chance to win a prize. It’s truly a win-win-win, and you get a good deal of reward for a small investment of your time.
How do you get people to attend your launch party? You entice them with lots of chances to win great stuff, including free copies of your books (I would recommend sending through Amazon, not emailing your ARC), since that means you might gain a review later on. You should create pre-party chatter by posting little teasers about co-hosts who have agreed to take a time slot and sharing photographs of your giveaway loot. Make it sound like a big deal, because frankly, it is a big deal! The more chatter you create, the better attended your party will be. Definitely invite your family and friends. They are your proud supporters, and their banter will bring life to the event.
Trivia contests are always fun at these events. You can help your co-hosts by giving them leads well in advance. For example, co-hosts for SCATTERED SEEDS should prepare questions relating to 18th century Ireland and America. However, since the idea is to engage readers, you don’t want to make the questions so hard that attendees leave the event to Google the answers. This happened to me at a recent event, and I’ve since learned that it’s often better to ask things that everyone can answer, like, “Where’s the most exotic place you’ve visited?” You can also put up a picture and ask attendees to caption it or name the characters in the scene.
Definitely make a script for yourself, and be prepared to post something new every ten minutes of your time slot. I keep a “Launch Party Scripts” folder on my PC. The folder contains all of my past trivia questions and corresponding images. You’ll find you can recycle many of them, which will save you time in the future.
I asked our seasoned authors what they think of Facebook parties. Here’s the lineup of today’s participants:
Collette Cameron is an Amazon bestselling (3 times Amazon Kindle top 100) and award-winning author of Regency and Scottish romance. If that’s not enough to convince you she knows what she’s doing, how about this? She won the 2013 Sneak Peek Contest, was a 2014 RONE Nominee, a double RONE Finalist in 2015, Aspen Gold Finalist 2015, and 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Reader’s Choice Winner. At this time, she has nine books under her belt with contracts for four more. She self-published a series, has four group projects already published and two more coming out in early 2016.
Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.
Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.
Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.
Ryan Jo Summers writes romance she calls “a mishmash of inspirational, time travel, shape shifting, paranormal, mystery, any and all combinations of the above.” She has three novels out now and another three coming in 2016. She blogs at http://www.summersrye.wordpress.com
Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.
What do you think of Facebook launch parties?
Collette: I’ve been involved in a bunch of Facebook events and have found them a nice venue to meet new readers as well as network with other authors. There are guests who go from event to event just looking for giveaways and whose intent is to pirate books so you have to be careful.
Tema: I’m all for parties, count me in. No, seriously, I haven’t done one, but, for my Soul Mate Publishing debut I certainly want one.
Tina: I haven’t done one – yet. When my next book comes out, I’ll have my assistant help with that. I joined a few for other authors and it’s fun hearing the excitement they have for their new release.
Catherine: Never had one, never attended one, so I don’t have any feelings on way or another. As I said before Facebook and I don’t get along. J
Ryan Jo: Never been to one. I have been invited to a few, but never found the time as I was usually at my ‘day job’. And I lack the ambition to try my own. If someone had a good following, sufficient social media skills and time, I’d say they could consider trying it.
Samanthya: I like them. You can learn a lot about an author. I love Facebook parties because they are fun. You get to know the other people posting, you find out what part of the country they are from, and we play and laugh a lot.
Have you thrown or co-hosted a Facebook launch party? Ever attend one? What worked (and didn’t)?
Up Next Week: What should writers do pre-publication?