In this update, I’ll share what I know about pulling off a banging Facebook event. As you may know, my Big Book Giveaway was a bit of a success, and I’m gearing up for my BBG2 – Book Boyfirned Edition this November.
But first, I have to share all my news with you guys! This November 21st, book 3 of the Core Series is coming out. VANE is a full-length novel and it’s the continuation of Cale and Ava’s crazy epic urban dragon story. In other news, I was asked to be a part of Nightshade Reads, a group of YA/NA authors who’s putting out an anthology early next year. So I’ll have an exclusive story in it for you guys (#NSR)! And all the proceeds go to charity, so I’m excited to launch this puppy. Also, I have a free story I’m putting out episode by episode right here on this blog and on wattpad for all my lovely loves. Check out Ill Fate.
Now on to the Facebook Event tips!
Tip #1: Map Out the Day-by-day Activities
Don’t just wing it. Events don’t organize themselves. And your fans will be able to tell that everything is well planned out and structured once the fun starts going. For my BBG2, I have three days of stuff going on. I assigned different fun events for each day so it doesn’t just seem like one messy blob of activities.
Day 1 – Meet and greet, Trivia giveaways, and book blasts
Day 2 – Author takeovers and book blasts
Day 3 – Book Boyfriend wars and book blasts
I have a common activity (book blasts) that runs every day at the same time so my fans feel a sense of uniformity. And then varying activities every day so there’s a reason to come back the following day. When I have the days planned, I dig in deeper and plan every hour.
Tip #2: Map out the Hour-by-hour Activities
I’m a full time author and a full time mom and wife, plus I do a lot of volunteer work, so I can’t take three days off of life to run a successful event. I’m going to insert an adorable picture of my little Jaxter (grandparents in the background) because I’m obsessed with how fun he is.
What I do instead is spend the weeks leading up to the event typing out all the posts I think I’ll need. I literally come up with what I want to say every hour of the event. This helps with organization and with timeliness. It erases the chances that there will be empty, boring down time during the BBG2.
When the event rolls around, I just have to copy and paste all the posts at the right times. If you’re into the hootsuite app, you can even upload those posts early so it’s all automated. Then you can just pop online and actually spend quality time interacting with the people who were kind enough to stop by.
Tip #3: Make Lasting Connections with Visitors
Never take a conversation for granted. When you’re putting on your event, make sure you actually chat with people who are attending. Ask them how they like it so far and what they’re most excited about winning or who they’re most excited about meeting. When the event is over, they probably won’t remember what the plot to your book was or what your cover looked like. In fact they might not even remember details about what you said or how witty your jokes were. But they’ll remember they liked you. And that, my author friends, is gold. I’ve come away from my first BBG with fans and friends I still keep in touch with. It’s wonderful. They’re wonderful. And that alone is worth putting on a great event.
Tip #4: Make a Mirror Event
Before your event is over, click the Facebook option for making a mirror event. It duplicates the basics and specs of your event so you don’t have to start from scratch on your next big venture. Post the link to this next event before your current event is over so your partiers can sign up for it. If they’re enjoying themselves, they can join the next event with a click of a button.
Tip #5: Be Strategic with Giveaways
I haven’t tried this yet, but for my BBG2, I’m not giving away any copies of my own books. Maybe that’s crazy, but here’s my reasoning. Instead, I’m having a huge sale (99c for each book) and encouraging fans to get my goods while the sale lasts. Last time, I gave away a whole slew of copies of my books and I think fans held out on buying them to see if they’d win one. It was counterproductive for me, since I was hoping I’d get a little boost in my numbers. So this time around, I’m giving away gift cards and books that other authors donated. I’m telling my fans upfront that I’m not giving away any Combs books during the event. I’ll be sure to let you know how it works out.
Tip #6: Try a Book Blast
Again, this is a new idea of mine. When my new book, VANE, is released, I’m going to ask all my fans and event attendees to hold back on buying it until the Book Blast at 7pm. I’ll have one blast every day at the same time. I hope it kindles a bit of excitement so my fans can feel like they are directly responsible for my boost in rank. I’ll let you know if it works!
Tip #7: Have a Backup Plan
If you’re asking authors to show up and take over the event during certain hours, I’m going to advise you to have a backup plan, just in case something happens and the authors don’t show. For example, I had each author fill out a fun trivia questionnaire. When a few authors couldn’t make it, I still held giveaways in their honor and posted their trivia answers on their behalf. Less panic-inducing for everyone involved.
So, if you’re curious or you just want to come support me and have fun, join my Big Book Giveaway 2 event! And pre-order my book, VANE. And buy all my other books. And be my patron and pay me ridiculous amounts to write beautiful genre lit. And buy me a mansion. And make me a sandwich. Or just be my friend and say hi!
*If you’re an author and you want to get in on the event, please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.