By Polly Letofsky, Publishing Consultant, owner of My Word Publishing
There’s hardly anything more fabulous than having a book launch party with plenty of wine, music, and you signing your books, surrounded and being celebrated by close friends and family. But there is now another way—launching your book into the world via Facebook.
Many people have done a launch via Facebook before—full of posts and questions and interaction—but now we have an even better means, an upgraded Facebook launch, and that is via Facebook Live.
There are pros and cons to a Facebook Live launch—cons being that there is no food or photographers. But the pros are that you can reach a much broader audience across the country and around the world.
Here are 13 Steps to hosting a fabulously fun book launch via Facebook Live:
You get to decide on a date and time. You might consider a Tuesday or Wednesday night with a two-hour event span. 5pm – 7pm is always a good bet.
It looks “polished” to create a matching banner and invitation for the various social media platforms we will advertise your event from. You can use Canva.com to create your own banner or find someone on Fiverr.com to create it.
You’ll want to send a “Save the Date” as soon as you know the date for your event—maybe 6 – 8 weeks in advance. Then, post it as a Facebook Event, Eventbrite.com, Evite.com, and via a good ol’ fashioned email or newsletter.
4. SEND INVITATIONS
Four weeks in advance, send a more detailed invitation to all your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, etc. You’ll want to explain what your Facebook Live Book Launch is, how it works, and where to find you. Facebook Live events are new to almost everyone, and most people don’t necessarily know where to show up, so you’ll want to make it clear to everyone. Your link will be your Facebook Event page.
NOTE: You should also announce it at your live-in-person book launch, if you’re going to have one, and ask for their help to spread the word.
Send out your invitations once a week, the day before, the day of, and the hour before. Announce the event on social media even more frequently.
On your event pages, announce that the event is $20 (the cost of your book plus shipping). They can buy a ticket to the event, which is essentially the cost of buying one book. During the event you will have your list of who bought “a ticket” and announce that you’re signing a book for each person live, e.g., “Jimmy Bloggs ordered a book. Jimmy, here’s a shout-out to you, and I am signing your book right now, live!”
You’ll want to have a lot of things to talk about, your list of books to sign, and questions to ask in order to engage the attendees. You’ll want a stack of your books next to you, and you can also have prepared posts to post on your social or book Facebook pages during your event.
7. GET HELP
You should engage the help of a friend (or three) to tweet and post about the event—before and during the event. Give them the hashtags you want to use for the event. They can help keep track new book orders coming in, the winners of the giveaways, and be your sidekick. This is a team event!
You should create an eye-catching setting. Have a banner behind you, or nice-looking bookshelves, maybe even some guests surrounding you.
Dress in your branding colors and have a signing pen in your branding colors.
10. HOW TO RUN THE EVENT:
- Sign books live.
- Greet people as they arrive into the event.
- Have questions ready to engage with the attendees. Announce their answers as they come in.
- Have a giveaway—or many!
- Tell people live how to get your book: your website, Amazon, or order it right then and there so you can sign it for them. You can watch orders come in via your PayPal—and announce them!
- Talk about the process of writing a book, encourage questions about it.
- Read a very short excerpt from your book. Ask questions afterward.
- Talk about your topic. If your book is about healthy eating, ask your attendees about their favorite foods, restaurants, recipes, etc.
- Tell attendees to tweet about the event and to use the hashtags you have chosen.
- Ask your attendees to please leave an honest review after they’ve read the book.
- Sign more books! Give shout-outs to those who have bought!
SIGN-OFF the event with gratitude and directions one last time for how to connect with you: website, title of your book, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook addresses, etc.
LEAVE THE EVENT ON YOUR PAGE after the event. People can still see it and entertain themselves with the posts from the event well after your event is wrapped up.
PLEASE NOTE: I personally don’t think it should replace your local live kickoff event, with all your local family and friends, so a good idea might be to have your local hometown book launch, live and in-person, at a local party joint, then have your Facebook Live Book Launch a day or week later. In fact, at your live event you could ask everyone to save the date, and help you promote and share your Facebook Live Kick-off. Win-Win!
Polly Letofsky is a publishing consultant, and owner of My Word Publishing. Together they have published over 300 books, and to date, 60 best sellers. She began with her own award-winning book, 3mph: The Adventures of One Woman’s Walk Around the World. To schedule a free publishing consultation, reach out to her here to start your own publishing journey.
Kerry Roepke is a genre fiction writer and a publishing consultant at My Word Publishing. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Metropolitan State University of Denver and has a background in editorial journalism.