Facebook parties are good ways to create some buzz around your book, especially a launch or a milestone celebration. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years.
When you create one, you need to decide where to host it — on your author page or your event page. I’ve done both. For mine, I tend to have them on my author page.
Recruit author friends to help you. Each one should offer a discussion question and some sort of prize. I’ve noticed that things (e.g. bookmarks, gift cards, etc.) are more popular that ebook give-aways.
Make it clear with your guest authors about what they should (shouldn’t do). Authors love to promote their own books, blogs, and newsletters. I always say feel free to do this. It helps everyone when we gain new readers, but some folks just like to focus on the subject of the party. Make it clear up front.
If you’re going to mail a prize, make sure it can be packaged easily and specify up front where you’ll mail to. Overseas shipping can be pricey. Tina Glasneck gave me good advice — Make sure your prize fits in a standard envelope.
Set up a schedule for all the participants at your party. Every 15 or 30 minutes is about right. We’ve done them for longer periods, and it’s tiring for those logged on for a 2- or 3-hour party. I like the ones where the authors chat with guests, so the 15-minute timeslots are good.
You should set up an events page with instructions and the link to your party. This is a great way to invite friends to your event.
Make sure that all of your author friends have access to post on the page where you’re having the party. (Settings and Page Roles). Don’t way until the event to do this.
Make sure you introduce yourself and your books in your post.
Make sure you review Facebook’s Terms and Conditions on give-aways and requirements. These change occasionally, and you want to make sure you’re compliant.
Create memes and announcements for your event — advertising the authors who are your guests. Tag each of the authors and ask them to share with their readers.
Specify the time, time zone, and date of the party in your announcements. Also make it clear when winners will be selected/notified.
Encourage your author friends to hang around and chat after their timeslot. It' makes it more interesting when there are a lot of comments/dialogue.
Facebook parties can be a fun way to hang out with readers.