Around the Write on Sisters water cooler we’ve been having conversations about marketing and book promotions. For some of us, it is our current reality for others of us, marketing and promotion are future issues. But for all of us, we are still learning and trying to figure out what to do when and how.
We thought we would share at Write on Sisters some of what we’ve done and learned so you could contribute your experiences (in the comments section). Then we all get smarter. Deal?
But, for now, let’s assume that you have a book release date coming up. One of the aspects of letting your potential readers know your book is available is the venerable book launch. Back in the day, there was one flavor of book launch (but with many different toppings available). You rented or were allowed to use a venue and you invited press and many others to attend. You may have opened it to the world or limited attendees. It was done, as they say, in “live”.
But there is a second flavor (again with many toppings) available now. Virtual book launches are conducted on-line through some hosting site (Facebook is very popular for this). You invite your “friends” and urge them to invite theirs. The potential attendance can be in the thousands. No live book launch could handle so many.
I’ve been attending on-line Virtual Book Launch Events for a few years now. Before I became an author hawking her own books, I never knew there was such a thing. But, you know, there’s something about the magic of book contracts and promotion expectations, to thrust one into the midst of figuring things out.
My first realization was that while writing is a solitary pursuit, a book launch is a celebratory sharing. People want to be part of that energy! This post focuses on virtual book launches. I’ll do a post later about live events.
At each event I’ve attended, I made note of what virtual book launches included. Here’s what I found. Features that were the same in each of the successful events were:
*Cover art displayed
*Book blurb available
*Early reviews available
*Purchase info easily found and often presented
*Links to author pages of various sorts
*Giveaways (often run by Rafflecopter www.rafflecopter.com free basic
service, but they have paid plans with more options); Attendees tweet, post, share to win
*Video or audio links (including book trailers for author’s own or others’ books; might be links to music or YouTube videos of content related to your book)
*Pictures related to the era/theme/content
Some of the virtual launches also included:
Trivia questions of the era, book and/or related content to win prizes
Pictures of foods you are “serving”; sometimes with recipes
Opportunities to be named in next book, or vote on a character name
Links to free stuff on the author’s site–bookmark, excerpts, etc.
Guest author participation; some gave away a book as a prize
Planning Your Virtual Book Launch
1) Pick a date, and make sure your book is available then.
2) Determine how many hours to run your launch.
3) Plan for something happening/posted every 2-4 minutes throughout each hour; repeat some items each hour,
but include new content each hour also.)
4) Ask for a helper if your event will run more than a couple of hours.
5) Create trivia questions about your books, genre, and special interests
related to your genre(e.g, cooking or police procedures).
6) Create list of other genre writers to invite; feature two authors each hour.
7) Identify prizes to award (e.g., apron, recipe cards, signed copies of your book/others’ book).
8) Create an hour-by-hour outline of content/contests/videos/and so on.
9) Identify 10-20 friends to help promote the event in advance through e-mail,
tweets, and Facebook postings you provide.
10) Don’t over-plan. Allow time for attendees to respond to questions and
one another and ask questions, too.