Saturday, August 9, 2014

For Writers: Facebook Release Party

When my first book, The Layover, came out in February of 2014, it was a complete shock and surprise. I'd spent endless hours learning better writing techniques and figuring out my personal brand and how to set myself up as a genuine interesting person. I always figured I'd learn marketing when my first book was written and sent out for submission.
I never expect a short story for an anthology to become my first book.

The publisher expected me to market. I had no idea how to market a book. I frantically searched Google and found next to nothing of interest or value. Most sites suggested hiring someone for marketing. I hadn't saved any money for promotion and I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money in the first place. I was overwhelmed. Thankfully my writing buddies H.C. Brown and Bobbi Romans walked me through some of the tricks they use. I had a place to start.

Release Party on Facebook

 Facebook parties are fairly simple if you have enough traffic. The important thing is to create enough buzz before the event so your friends and friend's friends can join in.
  1. Pick a date and time frame. Make sure your friends know when the party is and remind them. If they're anything like me, I'll forget and won't be on. I chose a three to four hour party. That's enough time to post teasers about your book, a little bit about yourself for those who may not know you, and have some fun games.
  2. Get your stuff together. Make sure you have your information ready to go. I dropped them into a word document to cut and paste into the party page. You'll need this information for your press release anyway, so it kills a couple of birds with one stone.
    1. Book cover
    2. Book blurb
    3. Your author blurb as an introduction for who you are and what you do
    4. Social media information such as your twitter feed and website link
    5. Excerpts in various flavors. I picked one kind of vanilla, one that suggests things with a PG13 rating and then one on the hotter side.
    6. Snippets: little bits of your story to hook the reader all on a handy little image. Visuals go a long way.
    7. Book buy links. This is important! If people can't buy the book you're feeding them, the party isn't going to do its job.
    8. Conversation starters! Have questions to ask your audience not only about your book, but about the subject matter within. Engage with them and talk about their favorite books or characters.
  3. Giveaways. Everybody likes to win something. I chose to ask questions based from my books and whomever got the answer first, got something fun. I did a couple of $5 Amazon gift cards and an original art piece done by a good friend of mine. I only asked a few questions and gave fifteen to thirty minutes for responses. You can pick up related items at your favorite store. For my Steampunk story releasing later this year, I am making a handmade item to give away. Let your imagination go!
  4. Author Swag. It can be something simple like a business card from VistaPrint or a handmade Author trading card like the Artist trading cards.
  5. Create your page. Go to facebook and create an event page. You have your date, time and what you're doing this for. Fill in the form and create the page! Then invite people. Tell them to invite people.
  6. Drop teasers. This is the fun part. In the time leading up to the release, drop one-liners. Post teasers. Do a Rafflecopter giveaway and announce the winner during the Facebook party. Let people enter once a day by tweeting about your facebook party.
If you do any blog spot trades or or guest posts anywhere, link to your release party and rafflecopter giveaway.

If you would like to hire someone to help you promote, I recommend: