Facebook Author Parties/Events and Why We Do Them

Over the summer, I participated in a Facebook event unlike any I had ever been to before. It was an online Women’s Fiction Summer Party. A collection of women’s fiction authors banded together to hold a Facebook event that lasted several hours (5!). By cross-promoting the event, these authors were helping each other to increase their fanbase and mailing lists.

This same group of authors is hosting their next event, a Facebook Author Holiday Party on November 7, 2017. So, if you want to see this phenomenon in action, check it out!

The idea seemed ingenious to me and was one I wanted to learn more about, so I contacted one of the participating authors, Patricia Sands, to see if she’d be willing to fill me in on the process behind the event a bit more. After spending a lovely hour talking with her, I knew I wanted to share this information with you as well, so I asked her to write today’s guest blog post.

So, without further ado, here’s Patricia’s feedback on how to hold a successful Author Party on Facebook for your fans.


The key ingredient to success is organization.

After being a novelist for eight years, I have learned many lessons about interactions on Facebook with readers. The bottom line is that writers and readers all benefit from opportunities to connect with each other. Make them fun!

Facebook author events are always chaotic with many conversation threads going at the same time. It is essential to refresh your page regularly to keep up with the chat. Some people actually follow along on a second device, such as an iPad, phone, or another computer. I have not mastered that technique yet!

The Setup

There are Author Assistants (AA) who offer services to manage such an event. In my opinion, this assistance and experience are crucial to the success of the party. What our AA offers us is priceless. She helps put together graphics and makes suggestions with regard to the theme.

To participate in the event, each author commits to be present at a specific time and to provide at least one giveaway as a raffle prize for the readers.

Once all the authors are on board, the AA sets up a Google document or Excel spreadsheet. Each author enters their information into the spreadsheet, including desired time slot, name, giveaways, questions they want asked, website, Rafflecopter links, etc.

Facebook Author Event promo exampleWe typically have a theme for each Facebook author event (usually seasonal, for example, Summer Party) so our AA can prepare promotional graphics for us.

Each author shares about the event through all their social media platforms. We may even send a “save the date” message out first.

Our event is also cross-promoted as a Goodreads event. However, we hold off on serious promotions until a week before the event. At that time, each author invites all their “friends” on Facebook and Goodreads.

The Event

During the event, each author has a half-hour time slot (or whatever works based on the length of the party and number of authors) to be featured to the attendees. (Scheduling consideration is given for different time zones.)

The AA introduces each author at the appropriate time, including posting an author photo and book covers as well as other basic information about:

  • the author
  • the book being promoted at the party
  • their giveaway.

Ebooks and paperbacks are the standard prizes for giveaways. However, everyone makes an effort to add more creative prizes, from something as simple as Amazon gift cards or book bags to coffee mugs and candles.

At our last party, since my book was set in France, the biggest prize I gave away was a box of macarons (cookies) from France. It was a big hit.

For each giveaway, a question is posted by the author, always accompanied by a photo of something relating to the topic. The more fun you can make it, the better.

The AA monitors everything, keeping track of participants and winners. She comes in at the appointed times to introduce the next author and keeps everything to the established timeline.

The AA also sets up a Rafflecopter raffle, which fans must enter to be eligible for the BIG prize (established by the authors) and tasks must be completed to enter (such as subscribe to newsletter, “like” certain social media pages, “follow” on pages, etc.) Often the authors will all kick in an agreed amount for the “big” prize…say ten authors will each contribute $10 to offer a $100 gift card. Or $20 each and have a few smaller gift cards as well.

The After-Party

At the end of the event, the AA sends an email to the authors with contact information for the winners and a separate document with all of the new names.

Authors also go back into the event once it’s over and “like” any new person who attended.

Our experience with these events has been positive. We try to maintain meaningful topics for our questions that allow readers to tell us something about themselves, rather than us doing the talking. Each author attempts to respond to every comment posted on their threads…although this is not always possible when there is a high attendance.

The key thing is to make it fun, sincere and interesting…with good giveaways.

Patricia Sands, authorBestselling author Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else, and calls the south of France her second home. I Promise You This, Book 3 in her award-winning Love in Provence trilogy, was published May 17, 2016. Her next novel, Drawing Lessons, was released by Lake Union Publishing on October 1, 2017.

Find out more at Patricia’s Facebook Author PageAmazon Author Page or her website. There are links to her books, social media, and a monthly newsletter that has special giveaways, photography from France, and sneak peeks at her next book. She loves hearing from readers.

Patricia is represented by Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency.

Want to Boost Traffic to Your Content?

If you blog, you need this tool!

MissingLettr is a cross between a virtual assistant and an automated drip campaign, but it’s for bloggers.

And one thing is for certain. If you use it consistently, it’s going to boost traffic to all of your content.

boost traffic using missinglettr

Missinglettr claims to create “strategic, automatic social media campaigns that drive traffic for an entire year. Leaving you to focus on writing your next blog post.”

And that’s exactly what it does (almost!).

I will say that the one drawback I currently see is that it’s not integrated with Facebook yet. That said, Facebook integration is in the works, so I don’t anticipate this being a problem for much longer.

Update: 3 hours after I published this post, Missinglettr announced that Facebook integration should be released by Monday next week (5/15/2017). How’s that for fast?!

As for the rest of the system, though, think about the evergreen content you create.

When you publish a new post, your social media manager (whether that’s you or someone else) has to figure out which content from the post is innately “shareable,” then make up images, then figure out which hashtags to apply to create greater visibility, then schedule out the dates for each post…

It can really bog down the works!

So, many bloggers never get around to sharing a link to their latest content more than 2 or 3 times before moving on to the next post.

All that content and so few readers…

Missinglettr solves that problem for you because every piece of content you write will have a drip campaign set up specifically to create engagement with that content and to boost traffic to your website.

After you create your account, you connect it to your social profiles. Currently, Missinglettr supports Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Facebook is due soon, and Pinterest is also on the “Road Map” of future improvements.

The pricing plan you choose determines how many social accounts you can connect with. If you’re just getting started, there is a personal plan that allows you to connect to 4 social media profiles and 2 websites, while managing 4 campaigns per week per site, all for just $15/month.

If you have a larger team, more websites or want to share even more content, you can scale up from there. Ultimately, I’m sure you’ll find a pricing plan that’s right for you.

Once you’ve connected Missinglettr to your social profiles and given it with your blog feed, it continuously monitors your site for new content.

Whenever you publish a new post, Missinglettr scans it and proposes 9 social media posts that can be dripped out over the course of the next year to your various accounts. The proposed posts are complete with images, text and hashtags that are all relevant to the content of your blog post.

You can then edit and approve the posts all in just a few minutes.

Take a look at how easy it is to use!

Missinglettr is more than just a scheduler. It will help you to boost traffic to your site, which will, in turn, translate into more book sales, email sign-ups and client revenue if you play your cards right.

2017 Social Media Image Sizes Cheatsheet [Infographic]

One of the most powerful things you can do to your social media updates to make them more engaging is to ensure they have eye-catching visual components.

With social media changing all the time, the standard image sizes regularly change as well.

Bookmark this handy reference to social media image sizes, created by makeawebsitehub.com, for the next time you find yourself in need of the specifications for your favorite social media site. They’ve even provided Photoshop templates for you to use as well.

makeawebsitehub infographic - social media image sizes cheatsheet

Source: https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-image-sizes-cheat-sheet/

Doc Swiner is Your Favorite Social Media Family Doc

Today’s guest post is from C. Nicole Swiner, MD, whom I recently met through a Facebook group we both belong to. She is a family medicine/general medicine expert (look for #docswiner), covering a broad spectrum of both medical and mental health issues, as well as an author and speaker.

Your Favorite Social Media Family Doc…

…that’s what I like to call myself.

C. Nicole Swiner, MD

C. Nicole Swiner, MD

When I first started practicing Family Medicine, I didn’t even know what Facebook was. I avoided it like the plague, wondering why anyone would want to share their private moments and pictures with strangers on the Internet. But as I began to write articles and started to blog, my husband (who I think is a Marketing genius) encouraged me to consider it more. I was new in my practice, getting ready to start a private practice, and decided to soon write a book, so it made sense. I needed to be on social media. Most importantly, it was free.

I was new in my practice, soon to be starting a private practice, and decided to write a book as well, so it made sense. I needed to be on social media. Most importantly, it was free.

After a while, I became a pro (or addicted, some might say!) and I was on all of the popular social media outlets. I later developed a separate business page just for my medical blogs and, from those, my book How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex was born.

Not many of my colleagues had written a book and most didn’t use social media at the time. For me, it has been a necessary and effective tool for building visibility my book and brand.

I owe the success (and funding, for that matter) of my book to Facebook and social media.

By using GoFundMe.com, I was able to raise money for publishing my book and start taking pre-orders, while the word spread like wildfire. Within a month or two, I’d raised money and pre-sold a large number of books. Thereafter, whenever I sold a copy or spoke to someone about the book, I asked him or her to post a selfie with it and tag me in it. Every time, at least one of their friends asked about the book and bought it. That’s a win-win.

I’ve also become a fan of repurposing one thing and using it in multiple ways on social media to be efficient. For example, I still write my blog, so this is how I repurpose it:

  • I do a live biweekly broadcast on Periscope on a given topic.
  • I have someone transcribe what I’ve said and post it as a blog.
  • I share the blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Then I share the article with Facebook groups I belong to, who may use it to post to their collective networks or in a magazine.
  • Soon I’m going to start doing webinars, based on the blog post, and add a Powerpoint presentation to it.

When speaking in the community, I draw topics from the conversations there to discuss with my online following. Why re-invent the wheel?

So, as you can see, I couldn’t do business without social media. It’s another way for me to practice medicine in this tech-savvy world and to reach people I’d otherwise never meet. It’s a must for entrepreneurs of all types now. You’re behind the times if you’re not online.

How Speakers and Authors Can Use Mobile Marketing

Today’s guest post is from Sophorn Chhay, an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales  and qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS and marketing automation solution, he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members.

Trumpia is offering a free Mobile Marketing Success Kit, so don’t forget to grab your free copy.

Mobile marketing offers many channels for reaching your audience, including reminding them of events and sending them special offers for your next book. It is a great way to add some oomph to your existing marketing strategies and connect personally with your followers.

Mobile marketing for authors and speakersMobile is now the primary way that people connect with the Internet, and you can take advantage of this communication stream to deepen existing relationships with your readers and find new ones.

Here are some easy ways to increase your following with mobile marketing.

1. Create an SMS marketing subscriber list.

SMS or “texting” is one of the top activities that people use a cell phone for. Texting is the most used application on smartphones, with 97 percent of U.S. users texting at least once a day.

Use this knowledge to your advantage by offering an opt-in service for your followers.

Not sure which mobile marketing platform to use? Here’s a comprehensive list of the Top 50 Mobile Marketing Tools and Platforms for Business.

You can use this an SMS service in a variety of ways. For example:

  • Send reminders of new books or upcoming presentations.
  • Let people know when you will be in town.
  • Send out alerts for your newsletter or contests on social media.
  • Inform followers of giveaways and freebies.
  • Offer free tickets to your next speaking engagement if they share your text.

Creative ideas for SMS message marketing are being thought of daily.

You can divide your list in several ways, including by location to let readers know when you will be in their local area for a meet and greet, book signing or convention.

You can also divide the list by genre, if you write or speak in more than one topic area. Send reminders only to followers for that particular genre when events come up.

Additionally, run surveys of your readers to see which of your characters they like best or which book is their favorite.

2. Optimize your website for mobile users.

Now that more people access the Internet from mobile devices than desktop computers, you should optimize your website for mobile.

Optimizing your site for mobile will not turn away desktop followers. In fact, they may not know the difference. Many people go online using both their mobile and desktop device, and can follow you on both.

The best practice for making your site mobile accessible is by changing it to a mobile responsive theme. Talk to your webmaster to see how much work that will be.

Don’t know if your site is mobile responsive or not? Visit the Google Webmasters site to check. And if you don’t have a developer who can help you, feel free to contact us. We’d be glad to do what we can.

Mobile responsive themes respond to a signal from devices, displaying your site in best fashion for each device’s screen size. They also reorder elements of the site in a predetermined configuration. This process is automatic, making the site friendlier to mobile users.

3. Use social media sites that are popular on mobile.

Some social media sites have great apps designed to make them easy to use, making it easier to access information and share content with friends.

Instagram is a mobile-only social media site that is primarily a picture/video sharing site. You can use this to promote your upcoming events and let people get to know the real you. [You do have to upload your images from your mobile device to use this app.]

Pinterest has a very sophisticated mobile app that you can use for letting people know about events, sending out quotes from your books or your inspirational messages, and sending out advance notices of your book covers. It is a very active site on desktop and mobile, and book covers are the perfect size for Pinterest images.

Depending on your topic area of expertise, you can create boards sharing recipes, offering business advice or cosplaying your main characters (dressing up and acting like them).

Facebook is used on mobile for sharing images, videos and text, and can be adapted to mobile easily. Many authors create pages to announce new books, get feedback from readers, and let people know where they are traveling for conventions. You can even send videos of yourself meeting followers or speaking, or ask people to tag you when they post their photos to Facebook of your meeting.

Just a Start

These ideas are just a beginning to the many ways to publicize your work on mobile. You will be amazed at how easy it is to add mobile marketing to your marketing strategy.

 

5 Steps to Success in Social Marketing Your First Book

”This is the first time that I’ve offered someone a Featured Author interview with whom I had no prior relationship.

Victor Prince headshotHowever, when Victor Prince reached out to me last April to see if I might support his book launch in mid-July, he did everything exactly how I tell my clients to do it.

  • He provided plenty of time.
  • He explained what his book was and why it was important.
  • He shared with me what he was offering to do.
  • He told me clearly what was in it for me, as well as for my readers.
  • He made it clear that he was willing to bend over backwards to make the whole thing as easy as possible on me.

Victor had reached out to me, I believe, because I’d co-authored a book in the same niche as the one he’s releasing, leadership. His co-author, Mike Figliuolo, had even endorsed it.

And while Victor’s original vision for how we might collaborate wasn’t exactly what fit my needs, I was impressed enough with how he was conducting his book launch outreach efforts that I asked him to share some insights with my readers.

So, here’s what he had to say… [Read more…]

5 Tools to Manage Your Social Media Content

Part of building your online presence, whether you’re an author, business owner, consultant, speaker or even an astronaut, is to keep it flowing with interesting content.

It’s all well and good to set up your profiles on each of the hot social networks out there, but then what do you do with them?

This topic came up recently in a Facebook group I’m part of, so I thought I’d share with my readers some of the tools and techniques I use to keep content flowing smoothly, even when my schedule is choppy.

Keep in mind that every social network has a different posting etiquette. Twitter, with its speed, requires more posts in a day to remain visible and relevant than, say, Facebook (although there are some studies that show that’s beginning to change to combat Facebook’s reticence to share page posts).

So, the tools I use are configured in such a way to ensure that I’m posting to the appropriate network at a pace and on a schedule that suits that social network.

That said, here are 5 tools and techniques I use for maintaining a flow of content for my followers. [Read more…]

An Interview with Renée Cabourne, the Money Savvy Woman

Renee Cabourne - The Money Savvy WomanToday’s guest in Aleweb’s Featured Author series is Renée Cabourne, founder of Money Savvy Woman.

Renée and I met at a workshop last fall that had a profound effect on both of us. I attended the workshop because it was being given by a friend and I wanted to support her.

I’ve often joked since then that if I’d known what it was all about, I would never have gone! So, meeting Renée was a fortuitous event because if I’d had any idea what I was getting into that week, I wouldn’t have been there.

Given the depth of what we were experiencing in the workshop, close bonds were created among all of the small group attendees, and it’s been a pleasure to see Renée step into her calling over the past ten months.

So, just who is this Money Savvy Woman? She is someone who uses her passion and expertise to help her clients, students, and readers transform their financial confusion and struggle into a clear purpose and relationship with money.

Her Savvy HarMONEY™ Process gives people the ability to manage their money effectively, resulting in freedom, improved money dynamics in their relationships, and the ability to get out of the “lack & consumer” mentalities and into living lives abundantly. In the last 12 months, many of her clients have moved from living paycheck-to-paycheck to having a savings cushion and making monthly investment contributions. [Read more…]

Google vs Facebook: Who Will Dominate?

A visitor to this site recently shared a new infographic with me. It’s title? “The Tech Cold War: Facebook Vs. Google.” (The infographic appears at the end of this post.)

The details explore the growth and trajectory of both of the tech giants, asking the questions:

Will one side emerge as the dominate power, or will they be locked in a stalemate for years to come? And what does this mean for the consumer?

However, those questions presuppose that there isn’t room for them both, and that they are seeking the same thing, vying for the consumer’s attention.

This is when things start to become confusing. Google and Facebook have tried to occupy the same space, with little success!

Google’s earlier failed social networks, Google Wave and Google Buzz, laid the groundwork for its quasi-success with Google+. But even there, it’s only in the way it distinguishes itself from Facebook (Google Hangouts and Google Authorship) that it’s successful. As a social network, it’s still relatively sparsely populated, even though social activity there contributes more to your SEO (search engine optimization) than elsewhere. [Read more…]

An interview with John Suscovich, the FoodCyclist

As I announced in December, once a month, I’ll be sharing a Featured Author post. Through author interviews, I’ll be uncovering ideas from established authors that will help you learn from those who have gone before. As Jim Stovall pointed out in his book, The Millionaire Map, ”Never accept a map from someone who hasn’t been where you want to go.”

John Suscovich - FoodCyclist and Farm Marketing SolutionsToday’s post features John Suscovich, a resourceful young farmer, husband and father, who has created the perfect blend between “the old ways” (organic and sustainable agriculture) and “the modern world” (using the internet to grow his business and support his family).

John is the Founder and Creative Director of FoodCyclist.com and FarmMarketingSolutions.com. His passion lies in the combination of cutting-edge technology and old-school techniques. This is best exemplified in his marriage of sustainable agriculture and internet marketing. When he is not out weeding, seeding or chasing chickens, he is on the web sharing the  pursuit of his passions.

When John told me about his first eBook,  Stress Free Chicken Tractor Plans, which was released in October 2013, all I could think was “now that’s a niche topic if I ever heard of one!”

Despite what you and I might consider limited appeal for his book, he’s earning enough from this one income source to cover his car payments. For any writer, that’s a great thing to achieve! So, I thought you might enjoy learning about how he’s doing it.

[Read more…]