Your book is about to release…
You know having a bangin’ release day is important…
You don’t have tons of money to throw into ads to make the most of it…
Have you thought about throwing an online release party?
There’s a huge indie author community online. If you’re a part of it, then you have probably noticed they all use Facebook events to celebrate the release of their books. Maybe you’ve even taken a whack at it, as you should!
There’s no doubt utilizing this tool is great for your launch, and probably much more effective than an in-person launch, but have you been doing it right?
Create your event
Creative the event using your Facebook business page. Just go to your page, click events, then click create event.
You will want to have a a graphic made for the event photo to help attract people. You can get custom graphics made at A Novel Connection, or you can use free sites like Canva.
There is no need to get too crazy with the name of you event. Example: Weathering the Wicked Release Party is just fine.
Send your invites
In order to make the most out of your online launch party, you should send invites out to your event about a month in advance. You don’t want to go too much longer because people may forget or even get burnt out from your content.
Facebook should allow you to send out about 500 invites to the party, although I’ve heard of some people only being allowed to send out 200.
Send out as many as you can. A little trick–At times, your PC will only allow you to send out 50. If that’s case, get on your phone and send the invites out instead!
How to get more invites with an Author Takeover
Hosting a takeover is a very effective way to get more people to your event!
This is the part most authors are getting wrong. In fact, I have never seen an author do this effectively, besides myself.
In case you’re not familiar with an author takeover, I’ll give you a short description. This is a set of [usually] 30-60 minute spots dedicated to other authors spotlighting themselves and their work.
When an author throws an online launch party, they usually schedule a takeover, and simply allow the author to take over their event without asking for anything in return.
The point of a takeover should not be a charity event…
You’re not giving them the attention of your audience out of the kindness of your heart.
There needs to be a strategy behind your takeover. That is why you should be requiring your authors who sign up for a takeover spot to invite X amount of people. I personally require 100 people to be invited in order to sign up.
I don’t just simply put it in the description of the takeover post, I also ask them to specify in the comments that they sent their invites out when they sign up. For example, if someone comments, “Can I have the 2:00 spot?” I would respond with, “Once you confirm you’ve sent out your 100 invites, I will book you for that spot.”
I’ve had a few authors who were resistant to sending out invites because they “have never had to do that before,” and I always want to say, “because most authors are doing it wrong,” but in those cases, I just politely move along.
Honestly, if you’re hosting a takeover for your launch party and not requiring they send out invites, you’re doing yourself and the other authors a huge disservice. This invite requirement benefits everyone involved!
However many spots you have is up to you! I usually start with 6-8 one hour spots in a day, and if it fills up quick, then I’ll add an additional day of takeover spots.
A paid ad is an easy way to get more attendees to your party! Once you make an event, FB will more than likely obsessively prompt you to boost your event, and it’s really not a bad idea if you have the extra funds. Even $5 will help!
Now that you will have all these attendees at your release party, give them a great reason to be excited about being there. A giveaway is a great way to do that!
Not only does it excite your guests, but it gives you an opportunity to get more engagement in your brand.
This is what I mean…
For my giveaway, I use Rafflecopter to run it because it makes the giveaway super easy to run, and it picks a random winner for you.
Rafflecopter will have you choose ways for your guests to enter. If you’re using the free version, you’ll most likely need to choose “Invent your own” for all the ways people can enter.
Here is a list of different ideas of how you could have people enter:
- Like Facebook page
- Share and like pinned post on Facebook page
- Follow on Twitter
- Retweet pinned post on Twitter
- Follow on Instagram
- Follow on Pinterest
- Sign up for mailing list
- Purchase book
- Follow on Amazon
These are just a few examples of different ways you can have your guest enter, which will helps you move your brand up the ladder.
What you want to give away to the winners is all up to you!
I’ve done several release parties for myself and clients and I have learned something: People get burned out with all the takeover posts.
By the time you start making your posts about your own book, people might not be paying attention to what’s going on in the event anymore. You could post your stuff about your book before the takeover starts, but there’s still a problem with that. The only way people are going to see those posts is if they are present at the exact time you’re posting them because your content will be buried in the hundreds of posts from your takeover authors that follow.
So what’s the best strategy here?
I’m glad you asked!
What you want to do is post 1-2 things every single day from the time you create your event to the day of your launch, rather than posting it all at once.
Use your takeover script, if you have one, and post that! If you don’t have one, make one, and schedule out all your posts for the entire month. You don’t want to make every post about your book. In fact, only 50% of the posts should be about your book. Alternate your posts between–a funny book meme, a game, a question, or anything like that– and promo posts about your book.
Ideas for posts about your book and you:
- Introduce your book to people by posting the blurb with the buy link and a teaser graphic, if you have one. Remember, A Novel Connection creates custom graphics at an affordable price.
- Introduce your characters and include a picture of them. You can find free pictures on Pixabay.
- Post any teasers you have of the book
- Post a book trailer, if you have one. A Novel Connection also makes these at a very affordable price.
- Post your social media links and FB group, if you have one
- Post your website
- Post your mailing list sign up link and explain what’s in it for them when they subscribe
- Post your giveaway! This should be in the pinned post of the event
- Posting your book buy link in the comments of every promo post helps
When you post over the span of 2-4 weeks, the chances of getting sales and engagement is way higher. Rather than giving people a day, or even an hour, to see what you have to say, you’re giving them a daily reminder (via notification of your post) for weeks!
I tried it for the first time with my release party, Enduring the Energy release party, and I’m telling you, it’s been way more effective than any past release party I’ve done in the past.
When you post all your promotional stuff prior the takeover/launch day, it’s given people plenty of time to view everything you have, so by the time the takeover literally takes your event over, all your guests have already seen everything you have to share!
Do you have other tips regarding using FB events to celebrate your book launch? Post them in the comments!