Author time slots still available! Comment below or message me to claim one!! (insert link to the Facebook event here).
I know you’ve seen a post like this on Facebook before, especially if you belong to a writing group. You’ll scratch your head, cock your head sideways, and your mind utters a big “Huh?”
Others of you may nod in understanding as you’ve done them before, even had your own launch party where authors from all walks of life offered their support by taking an hour of your time to promote themselves. If this is what runs through your head, then you probably also think it’s a waste of time as it doesn’t sell enough books to warrant the effort. If this is your opinion, keep reading (or at least humor me) because I’m going to not only explain the purpose of the Facebook Author Takeover but also tell you HOW it benefits you as an author even if you never sell a single book through an event.
What It Is
Short and simple, a Facebook author takeover is a designated time slot for any author to claim. During this 30-60 minute time, that author can share anything they want to—from books they’ve written, to excerpts, to all their social media links for following. They may offer a giveaway, or not. They will also probably play a game or two to help draw interest. In short, it’s your time to do whatever self promotion you’d like to do. You can do one even if you’ve never published anything. You’ll understand in a few minutes.
How It Works
Many authors chose to host a book release event to gain exposure and announce to the world they have a new book. In order to get a good turnout, you’d invite as many authors as you can to participate, so they invite all their readers and author friends as well. You chose the day(s) and time(s) of your event. You slap a cover image, and you send out invites. You spam your social media outlets with the news of your event. When the day comes, you add authors as hosts so they can post freely during their time slot. Don’t forget to set aside time for yourself as well, to talk about you and your book to captivate all those new readers those authors invited. Offer a raffle or a giveaway to entice people to come to your event. It’s not mandatory, but it’s the general principle. Don’t advertise a giveaway if people need to purchase something to be entered to win the raffle.
Congratulations. You’ve hosted your first event. It gets easier every time.
What To Do
This is where things get a little more complicated. With a little planning, you can manage to communicate and respond to the people who comment on your posts during your time slot without missing a post. My system is to create a Google Doc (I actually have three), a template if you prefer, that allows me to copy and paste the info into the text box. I keep a folder in my pictures just for takeover containing any images I may want to use. This includes book covers, book quotes, sales promos, game images, etc.
Now, if you participate a lot, you don’t want to come across as boring, especially if you see the same people attending over and over. This is where having more than one template prepped comes in handy. Even if you just mix up the verbage a little, share a different snippet from your book, and play a different game, you’ve won.
Why You Should Participate
And now, we’ll get to the purpose of this post. This is pretty simple too, but easy to dispute. There are pros and cons to everything, and this is no exception. I’ll list the pros, because the cons are easy enough to find with a little research.
- You gain exposure.
This is the single most important reason to participate in these events, even if you never see a direct sell through them (but it does happen!). You’ll reach a new audience every time you participate, which means potential new readers who will follow you on Facebook and everywhere else.
This works in the same way that submitting to lit journals and anthologies that don’t pay does. Despite the naysayers that expect payment for everything, it really does help new and unknown authors gain more exposure than they could on their own.
The Bottom Line
If your dream is to be a known author with a following, then this is one way to get your name out there. This is a great outlet for the more introverted authors among us to do some easy marketing and networking for a set amount of time.
Don’t shrink away from these things because someone else thinks it’s a waste of time. Don’t dismiss them without at least spending an hour or two at one and seeing what really goes on. You’ll even pick up great promotional tips from other authors at the top of their marketing game.
In fact, why don’t you come visit an event I’ll be participating in this weekend? OWS hosts the launch their 5th book written by the esteemed poet, T.G. Martin. I’ll be there with all my bells and whistles (and maybe a cocktail or two). If you hurry, you might even snag a slot for yourself.
See you there!