Tips for a Successful Facebook Book Launch party

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.

Time

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.

Prizes

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.

 

 

 

Who Doesn’t Love Cowboys? And a Giveaway?

It’s coming! Tomorrow will be August. On the 15th The Cowboys will be released. I’m so excited. In this post I thought I’d share the WHAT IF moment behind my novella Healing Hearts that appears in this collection.

Don’t you just want to ride off into the sunset with hm?

My editor Pegg Thomas, from Smitten Historical Romance (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) asked me if I’d be interested in being in a collection where the main character is a cowboy. Who doesn’t love a good cowboy story? Three other wonderful authors joined me in the adventure: Jennifer Uhlarik, Sandra Melville Hart and Linda W. Yezak, all wonderful, award-winning authors.

In romance the female character is the first character you met. The book starts by introducing her. But The Cowboy starts with scenes of the male lead. So that was an interesting challenge. Kansas was chosen as the setting for all the stories in the collection. After some emails circulating between the four authors we each chose our main characters setting, time period and dilemma. Cowboys rescue damsels in distress. 😊

A cabin in a blizzard Pixabay

My setting

I decided Healing Hearts would be set on an isolated ranch. The year 1866 sets me up for wonderful possibilities with the Civil War barely over.

Lonnie Holt and Jed Holt are identical twins. so this pic serves for both.

 

My Cowboy

I decided I wanted to introduce two cowboys. Identical twins Lonnie and Jed head to the Kansas ranch they inherited from their late uncle. Both brothers are pacifists. When the war broke out Jed chose a chaplaincy in the Union army. Lonnie chose to stay on the family Texas ranch and not take up arms. Both paid a price for their stand. They only have each other and the hope of a new start.

Lonnie is physically scarred and full of guilt and regret. Jed still has strong faith even with his physical weakness due to time in a confederate POW camp. My hero, Lonnie’s focus is helping his brother get well and keeping him safe.  He has no time or patience for anything else. He’s a bit of a grump, and very protective of his remaining family member.

 

The woman who tames him

Now I needed to have a strong female character to become Lonnie’s love interest. Genny Collins grew up in wealth only to live in poverty because of her father’s gambling addiction. Her past is full of secrets and helpful experiences that play into the plot.  She is weary of men and afraid for her future.  The twins come upon her in their cabin and you’ll have to read the story to discover how she got there.

Genny Collins my heroine

 

Add plot twists

Once they met I had to keep the two stubborn characters together long enough to get to know each other. Voila, a blizzard. Now they can’t send her packing.  Then I added illness, a bit of mayhem and personality clashes to create a good start to a sweet romance. Throw in a few twists that tear at their hearts and Lonnie and Genny find their happily-ever-after. I love these characters. They were so fun to write.

 

A few historical tidbits I’ll mention that you’ll find in the book.

  • Beef was growing as a food staple back east since the railroad made it easier to transport cattle from the west. Ranching would become a very profitable business in the nineteenth century.
  • Marriage Licenses did not exist until 1867. This is a year after the setting of my novella. Until that time writing the name and date in the family Bible might be the only record of a marriage.
  • Without refrigeration many ways were discovered to preserve eggs. The best method recommended and still used by those who prefer a pioneer lifestyle today is slat lye. Unwashed eggs were placed in a slat lye water mixture in a crock. It preserved them through the winter.
  • Sourdough starter was the most common leaven for baking. It was easy to create and could be substituted for baking powder and soda as well as baker’s yeast.

If I have your interest:

Links:

Here is a link to the first chapter of Healing Hearts. The Cowboys is available for preorder. If you want to order an autographed copy from me here is a link to that page. You can order autograph copies of any of my books at this same link.

Over the next two weeks I’ll be posting guest blogs from my three co-authors. If you’ve not subsribed do it now so you don’t miss those posts.

Giveaway: Everytime you post a comment and share the posts about The Cowboys on social media over the next two weeks you’ll be put in a drawing for a $10 Amazon e-card. Today I’ll give you something to comment about to get you started. (All comments mjust be in this blog site to qualify.)

Tell me in the comments whose you’re favorite cowboy. I’ll start. Sam Elliot. His look and voice are the epitome of the imagine in my mind of the American cowboy.  If you know a real life cowboy share a bit about him too.

You’ll have three more chances to enter when Jennifer, Linda and Sandy stop by for a visit.