Sunday, December 6, 2015

Strategies for Promoting You Book Using Social Networking (part II), by Uvi Poznansky

copyright 2015 Uvi Poznansky

So, you have been promoting your book all over town, day in and day out, shoulder to shoulder with other Indie writers, all competing for attention. It’s time to find a new tool for reaching out to readers.

If you have never set up a Facebook event before, try it! Right off the start, one important thing to know about it is that it is an incredibly potent tool. Every word you utter on your event page, every post reverberates to a wide audience. When a guest likes your post or comments on it, Facebook sends notifications to her friends and friends of friends, and they come in, curious to learn what the fuss is about. I cannot stress enough the importance of bringing as many guests to the event well before its start, because this ‘reverberation’ is far reaching, much more so than anything that happens in Facebook groups.

In fact, this tool is potent to such a degree that it must be used with care. You better not create an event every day of the year, not only because of the considerable preparation you must invest but also because you are testing the patience of your friends. Over time it may thin out, because in their ears this powerful reverberation may have turned to noise. So choose the date of your event carefully, perhaps to announce the release of your new book.

Also, over the course of the event, you must monitor the interest of your guest, by noting how many of them respond to you, so that it peaks at the right moment. You don’t want to reach the point of announcing the winners of a giveaway when your guests have already turned off their notifications from the event. So my advice is: start with a whisper, end with a blast!

In this article I will give you detailed insight, based on my experience, about planning an event. The next level—setting up a multi-author event—is even more elaborate: be prepared to deprive yourself of sleep! In my mind it can become as elaborate as planning a wedding.

But let’s start easy. You have a book release coming up. You want to throw a party and invite your friends. How should you go about it?
  • Start early—a couple of weeks ahead of time. Create an event, setting the privacy mode as appropriate for your purpose. This is crucial. To celebrate a family affair, the default mode, Private, is just right. In this case, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas: it will be visible only to the people you invite. But for the purpose of announcing your new book to the world, change it to Public—or else all the rest of your work, to be put into planning, will be mostly in vain.
  • Design a killer banner for the event. The dimensions of my banners are typically 1546 × 572. If you have a particular theme, suggest it graphically, so your cover image is over the background of the theme, be it winter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Love or what not. The lower right corner of the banner will be partially obstructed (by Facebook) by the date of the event and its name, so avoid placing important information there.
  • Choose a catchy name that will pique the curiosity of the people you invite, and write a blurb for it, promising fun for all.
  • Invite, invite, invite! The time between creating the event page and the actual start date of it will make or break your event. In recent months, Facebook has imposed an upper limit on the number of invitees, so start by choosing carefully: if your book is in French, for example, you may want to invite all the friends you have who live in France and Canada. Only when you have invited all of them, go back and invite the rest, until you hit the upper limit.
  • A few days before the start date, post a ‘teaser’ on the event page, letting your guests know what to expect, asking them to invite their friends.
  • Prepare your posts for the event days in advance. When you have a complete script, you can adjust things, decide to add or delete a post or two, and interject some fun posts such as offering virtual food and drinks to your guests. Advance preparation will help you on event day, because just being there and responding to guests for hours can take the wind out of you...
  • The use of polls, which is a tool you can use in Facebook events, can add excitement. If you plan to give your book away at the end, you might want to ask your guests about their reading habits: kindle, nook, itunes, print, or audiobooks? When they give you this information on the poll, you can make the prizes fit their habits.
  • The use of contests can add excitement as well. For example, when I release my poetry book Home I created a contest between the guests, asking them to write their own poem about what home means to them. I posted all these poems on my blog—which was perceived by the contestants as a great honor in itself—and then posted a poll to select the best poem. This caused traffic on my blog to skyrocket. In addition, it set the focus of the event to the joy of writing poetry and to contemplating the subject matter of my book.
  • About two hours before the end of the event, prepare your guests for the big announcement, naming the winners of your giveaway. Make sure you ‘friend’ them ahead of time, so they heed your private message later, when you hand the prizes over to them. With great fanfare, announce your winners, making sure you ‘tag’ them, so they get notified by Facebook. Stay around and engage with the winners and with guests who drop in to congratulate them. The more you engage, the more people you draw in, the more attention you bring to your book.


Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” She received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. Uvi writes across a variety of genres: romance, literary fiction, historical fiction, biblical fiction, poetry, horror and children’s books. Among other work she penned two series: The David Chronicles and Still Life with Memories.


Sheila Deeth said...

Thank you for all that great advice Uvi!

Uvi Poznansky said...

My pleasure Sheila!

Traci said...

You make it seem so easy, Uvi! You are a treasure to work with

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks! I may try this when I finish Dead Mule Swamp Druggist