I just had my third book launch party on Facebook and as with every experience I learned a few new things. This time I shared the spotlight with three other authors. And each of them has multiple books out. Sharing the time is much different than doing it all my lonesome. We get the advantage of the other authors fans coming to our shared party. The Cowboys is a four-author novella collection. We divided the party in four parts. Each of us taking an hour. We all provide prizes for giveaways and purchased a grand prize together.
Whether you’re part of a group or it’s your lone book the launch is focused on here are a few tips.
Choose a date
When planning your facebook party decided on the date you want to celebrate and allow time to post the upcoming event all over your social media. Create an event page. (more on these below).
Talk it up
I went live on FB to chat about the book and what we would be doing at the party. (Facebook live is new for me.) The more I do it, I’m bound to get better. It helps people to see me as more than just print on the page.
Create a banner
Canva and PicMonkey have templates specially for FB so your banner is sized correctly when it’s created. You can ask or hire someone with more experience to create the banner for you. Use a version of the banner to create an event on Facebook. The event template is self-explanatory. Take time to peruse it before you start putting the info in. I’ve miesed it up getting in a hurry. Once it is created post it on your author page. Add links to other groups (if allowed). People can RSVP right on the event.
Choose a time that will give you maximum exposure. I’ve done Wednesdays and Fridays. This last one was a Thursday evening. Depending on your target audience you want the time to be easy for others. 3-5 or 6-8 for a single book launch. (This is my choice, but others may prefer a different time.) An afternoon for a multi-author party. Make sure you clarify the time zone as well. Talk to others who write in your genre for their suggestions for times.
Purchase fun prizes and post pictures online of those prizes ahead of time. This builds excitement. In choosing gifts consider how easily the item will be to ship. I had to find an odd-shaped box for a plaque I mailed. Some people stick with gift cards. You can offer your book in either e-book or paperback or both as prizes. It’s up to you. The prizes are to stimulate platform growth. The chances to win increase as the party goers subscribe to your newsletter or social media. My novel Secrets & Charades, happen to be free on Amazon in e-book the day of the book launch for The Cowboys. One woman immediately jumped on that opportunity.
The party is about more then your present book.
If your visitors interact that is awesome. I posted about the background for my book and the what if moment. Readers love to know what brought you to your setting and plot. Asking open ended questions can get a string of convo going. Linda asked if anyone had ever lived in Kansas. Jen asked for people to share a memory about their siblings after she share her own. We posted pictures of the characters and asked for feedback.
These types of questions give the participants more chances to comment. I like to ask multiple choice questions about my story. That gives people a chance to give a guess even if they’ve never read it, and sparks interest in the book.
Get your Street team involved.
Your street team is a group of readers who want to support you and step in to help where they can. Have them jump in to start conversations. once they do others will follow. Those who have read your book can mention how much they enjoyed it. They might ask their own questions that give you a chance to respond.
Share a portion of your book
I chose to read my first chapter at the last two parties. I went live rather than record it. That’s my preference. Jen did an excellent job recording hers. Recording would make me more nervous. Offering the first page as a post works too, if reading live or recording is way out of your wheelhouse. Nothing says you can’t get a friend who reads well to do it for you. People love to be read to, they really do. It sparks interest in finding out what happens next. We sold copies during the party based on the readings for sure.
And one thing I’d recommend is posting before the event on the event page are a few simple instructions. Remind them to click the discussion bar to see the event unfold. Then add a line about refreshing the page often. Otherwise people won’t stay long because they get frustrated when they can’t see all the posts. Or if they came later they may not know the party takes place in the discussion area.
A final note for after the party
Leave the party page open for 24 hours and encourage anyone who missed it live to go ahead and read through the posts. They can add comments and still be put in drawings. No one needs to lose out.
Hope what I shared helps you in your future Facebook launch parties. Have any of you done Facebook launch parties? Share in the comments things you’ve learned.