Author Promotion in the Digital Age by Lisa Kessler
Book publishing changes at a rapid rate and that carries over into author promotion as well. No longer can you count on your publishers and book stores to promote you and your books. With so many bookstores closing, it’s more important than ever for authors to look online to virtually promote their books and series.
Instead of signings in brick and mortar stores, readers are discovering new authors through social media and browsing digital stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Getting published is no longer the end game. Getting read should be your ultimate goal whether you publish traditionally or self-publish.
So the big question for authors is: How do I find readers to let them know my book exists?
There are, of course, many ways to do that: placing ads on websites, advertising a sale through discounter emails like BookBub, BookSends etc., author newsletters, blog tours, reader conventions, sponsored posts on Twitter and Facebook, Facebook book events, and the list goes on.
For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to focus on Facebook events aka Book Release Parties.
I’ve hostessed parties for authors, attended as a guest, and even thrown my own Facebook events, and right now, they’re a great way to make connections with readers long after your event is over.
What is a Facebook party?
A Facebook party is a virtual get together on Facebook during a specified time.
How do I set one up?
If you have a professional “page” on Facebook, you can add the Events app to your page and create your book event. Choose a date and time for your event. I recommend posting the event at least 2 weeks before the event to give you time to promote it and get people to join. And the party itself can last any length of time. In my experience 3 – 4 hours is optimal.
Example of a Facebook Party Header:
What should I have ready?
Prizes – These should not break the bank. Readers are excited to get eBooks, small gift cards ($5 – $25), signed backlist paperback, fun jewelry that ties into the book, etc. Don’t over spend. The purpose of the party is for readers to get to know you better and get excited about your new book. TIP – Do not give away copies of your new release. You want people to purchase the book and they may wait if you’re giving the books as prizes.
Excerpts – Have at least 4 short excerpts from your book that you can share during the party to get readers excited to buy and read your new book.
Pictures – Have pictures of your giveaway to post in the party. Pictures of how you envisioned the characters, etc. Be creative and have fun!
Remember the point of the party is not how many books you sell during the event, it’s connecting with readers who will continue to communicate with you in the future on Facebook and hopefully read and review your books. This networking is fun and priceless if you’re trying to build up your core readers and/or build a Street Team.
If you’re a newer author without many connections on Facebook or if you’re an introvert and need some help, you can hire people to hostess your event for you. If you do look for someone to handle the event, be sure to find out exactly what they’re offering to do so that neither of you is surprised on party day.
With fewer in person book events, virtual reader events on Facebook can be an excellent opportunity to find new readers. And the bonus?
Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for best Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror, and also won the Romance Through the Ages Best Paranormal and Best First Book categories. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. She’s served as President of the FF&P Chapter and the San Diego Chapter of RWA as well as chairperson of RWA Universtity. She teaches fiction writing and also runs AuthorElf.com to help authors with promotion. Lisa lives in southern California with her husband and two amazing kids. You can learn more about Lisa and her books at Lisa-Kessler.com