Welcome to 2017, where you don’t need to give people people cupcakes and wine and hold thumbs that they will buy your novel at your book launch. You can successfully launch your book online with a Facebook event. It’s easy, inexpensive and has tremendous reach.
Your readers / target audience and fellow authors in your genre (exhaust all your contacts, don’t hold back. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is the same as a ‘No’.).
What’s in it for you?
You reach wa-aay more people (hundreds, possibly thousands), with more meaningful interactions than you ever could with an in - person launch. It’s also costs next to nothing to pull off. You can be creative. Just pretend you’re already a best selling author, and you’re ready to rock.
What will it cost?
Although you will not be spending money on wine, snacks, a venue, an outfit, transport, a photographer and giving away paper versions of your book - you will be investing your time in preparing for the event and time on the day. Don’t worry, you can do it in your PJs and slippers if you want to, no problem.
What’s in it for the guests?
Not only do your readers (and fellow authors) get to chat online in a live Q&A (I like the game: ‘Ask the Author Anything’), there will also be books (digital) given away - and who can resist a free book?? Some authors give away paperbacks / signed copies / other swag / Amazon gift cards - it’s all up to the author. The best giveaways are the ones where it’s simple, but with a kickback for you, the author. For example: If you like my Facebook page or sign up to my newsletter (insert links for convenience) I’ll send you a free digital copy of my book!
Step 1: Prepare a media kit for your book (*= required)
- Cover images *
- Blurb *
- Teasers (best done with images and excerpts from the book - use Canva.com) *
- Video trailer
- Author bio *
- Excerpts of reviews / bloggger comments *
- Anything else you can brag about like other press coverage
Step 2: Create a Facebook Event
- Create an event on FB from your FB author page about 2 weeks before the event date.
- Set a date and time (this can be a couple of hours in a particular day or it run for a few days, that depends on you). Keep time zones in mind.
- Use Canva.com to create stunning artwork for your event cover / banner.
- Write a decent description of your event. Say it is a launch, explain how it will work (See Step 3). Include all your social media links/ handles etc.
- Make sure the settings allow for invited guests to invite others. The more the merrier.
- Invite as many people as you know.
Step 3: Line up the “entertainment”
- Ask fellow authors in your genre to share the stage with you and promote their work.This is great because it’s generous and helps build a sense of community. You can decide on criteria like only authors who have released a book in a last year if you want to.
- Decide on how long their timeslot will be and on which day.
- Make a schedule and stick to it. Remember to give yourself a timeslots too!
- Get them to confirm their participation and send them reminders.
- Suggest some ideas to them and recommend they get a media kit ready (see Step 1).
- The idea is that they will keep the momentum going on your event page by introducing themselves, sharing excerpts and reviews of their book, take part in live Q&A and do a giveaway / run a competition. Sometimes this means that you have to get the ball rolling by asking the first question or being the first to comment.
Step 4: Leading up to the event
- Finalise that schedule.
- Promote / tell people about the event.
- Boost your event by paying FB a small sum of money to reach even more people. This will cast the audience net even wider, which is what you want.
- Prepare your giveaways / competition criteria.
Step 5: On the day / days
- Make yourself available to introduce the authors participating.
- Have some questions prepared in case the audience is slow.
- Be positive and upbeat.
- Make sure whatever is happening is relevant, interesting and engaging. Varying the content with live video/ music videos / recorded videos / images and soon will really help.
- Promote your book!
- Ask for Follows / LIKES and Subscribers
- Engage with your audience.
- Give of yourself and be yourself - that’s the whole point.
- Ask a friend or two to LIVE Tweet your event with hashtag.
- Share images on Instagram / status updates of what’s happening on your event page on your FB author page.
Why not participate in our very own ROSA member, Erica Taylor’s Facebook Book Launch for her debut novel, A Suitable Affair? Invite all your romance lovin’ friends too!
©Cindi Page 2017
Cindi Page is a digital marketer by day and romance novelist by night. She Indie-published her first novel, A Piece of My Heart, in 2016 and her second and third books are due for release late 2017. Connect: cindipage.com /@1stTruLove /FB: cindi page author / wordofmouthct.co.za/ email@example.com