Friday, December 11, 2015

Facebook Parties (how they can help you meet readers)

copyright 2015 aplazar
Before I met my publicist, the amazing Aileen Aroma, I had no idea what Facebook “parties” were. I’d get “invitations” in the mail and scratch my head. Where am I supposed to “go” in this virtual world? How can I go to a party by sitting at my desk? I was so confused.

Then I hired Aileen to represent me, and she opened up the world by explaining this and a million other mysteries about Facebook. Yes, I really was behind the times before she took my hand and led me into the present day.

A party is officially called an “event” on Facebook.

Once you set up the party, it’s important to invite your Facebook friends and ask them to invite their friends. But you must be careful how many people you invite in a day (I limit it to fifteen per day) and in total. So be sure to schedule the event at least two weeks in advance, if not longer. NOTE: Don’t automatically invite all your friends, or Facebook will put you in Facebook jail and not let you invite people for a while. That happened to me, before I learned my lesson.

You will have to explain what a “party” is to your friends who haven’t heard about events like this. Tell them it’s sort of like a live chat on a special time and day. As an attendee, you don’t have to sit around for the whole timeframe if you’re busy, you can pop in and out of the event as you wish. As the host, you must prepare to be available and active the whole time.

You can have “book release” parties, “cover reveal” parties, or “special” parties to showcase a deal or freebie. I’ve been part of the first two many times, with Aileen Aroma hosting the event. She keeps it lively, posting pictures of beverages or delicious foods, adding music that matches the book’s theme, and basically keeping folks active if they slow down.

Your part, as author, is to be prepared with synopses, free excerpts, cover art, links to Amazon, etc. But that’s just the start. You want to engage these folks, get them to know you and (hopefully) love you, and maybe even check out your books.

I often post questions for folks to comment on, like “Did you go to Woodstock?” or “Who’s been to Cape Cod?” or “What do you like in your romantic male characters?” or “Who can find the cutest picture of a dog?” etc.

One of the most popular pieces of my events have been the giveaways. I give eBooks and audiobooks away like a madman. I post up to twenty “contests” during the event for prizes, and most of the time the question they have to answer has to do with my series. For example: “Prize Alert! A free copy of The Seacroft eBook to the first three people to name the series this book comes from.”

Folks will scurry around, look for your website (which you already should have given them, up front, of course), check out your Amazon Author Page, etc. Once the first three people answer correctly, your host (or you) will post a “contest closed” message so they’ll stop answering that question. And so on, and so on. Keep it going. And make sure you post the best prizes for the last half hour or so.

How long should the event be? I’ve seen them go for days or hours. Lately I’ve chosen to have mine from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, or something along those lines. You can also have evening events, where you might get more people who have day jobs to participate.

When it’s all said and done, you may give away over a dozen eBooks. Do it strategically, and if your fans or new readers fall for your book, then will likely want to read the next in your series. That’s what happened to me with plenty of my Facebook friends. I just love the energy and fun that surrounds such an event, and can’t wait for my next one!


Aaron Paul Lazar is obsessed with writing. He's completed twenty-four books to date, and has earned nineteen literary book awards. He writes mysteries, suspense, love stories, and more. You'll usually find him writing his heart out in the early hours of the day - preferably in the dark, quiet hours when no one else is awake in his bustling household.         

“Addictive, award-winning fiction.” 


Dennis Higgins said...

Great blog and ideas. Also, we have something in common. Aileen is a great promoter.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thank you, Dennis! Yes indeed, Aileen is the best! ;o)

writerchick said...

Yes Aileen is the best. Make the parties fun. I have been to a few of these and Dellani Oakes and I have hosted a few parties like this using Aileens ideas.

Unknown said...

Team Work is the reason these events are successful. Having an author present and active is truly what the fans want!! I couldnt do it alone!!

I am truly blessed to have you all in my life!!!

Thank You!