Posted On September 26, 2014 by Print This Post

12 Tips for a Stand-out Facebook Event by Kelsey Browning

Our own Kelsey Browning stops by to tell us about Facebook author parties and how to plan them – and better yet, how to make them work!

Author Facebook parties have been all the rage for well over a year now, and in that time, readers and authors alike have learned tons about what makes for a fabulous FB event. Although you may think these parties are less time consuming than hosting a face-to-face event, the reality is they take tons of work to pull off. So use this list as a cheat sheet for your next Facebook festivity!

  1. Pick your event day strategically. Yes, your book may release on a Tuesday, but so do bazillions of others. Would it be better to host a Thursday-after-release event and possibly draw more attention to the party?
  2. Set up your event page early. Great news is you can create an event page in advance but don’t yet have to invite anyone to the event itself. That gives you time to tweak to your heart’s content.
  3. Create an eye-catching banner for the event page. I recommend you (or your graphic designer) create something different from your normal author page banner. Don’t be afraid to be silly or have fun.
  4. Create MORE than one banner. Every time you change the event banner, a post will pop up in people’s FB stream. That can keep interest in the event high. For my March 2014, Celebrating Texas Romance party (which lasted eight days 🙂 ), I made a banner for each guest author. It was graphically simple, but striking, with a black background, the author’s name and tagline, and peppers to indicate the heat of their books.
  5. Pepper-Header-kelsey-browningBe sensitive to your audience. If you’re advertising the release of an inspirational title, assume you’ll attract readers who like closed-door love scenes. That means posting gobs of Man Candy may not be the best way to endear yourself to them.
  6. Post and pin a final winners’ post. Many authors consolidate picking the giveaway winners and posting them all at once the morning after the party. If you pin that post to the top of the event page, it makes it a snap for the reader to discover if she’s a lucky winner!
  7. Label your post clearly if you’re offering a giveaway. That allows attendees to quickly scroll through the posts (because there will be tons!) to quickly find posts they want to comment on.
  8. Decide if you’ll only let admins post to the event page. Some readers prefer the “clean feel” of an event not cluttered with posts from the attendees.
  9. Create a mechanism to keep track of your guest authors (assuming you’ve invited some). Many authors use a Google Docs spreadsheet to track time slots, email addresses, giveaways, and giveaway winners.
  10. Communicate clearly with your guest authors. Before the event, send details on how the event will operate. Be available on the day of the event to answer questions. And then, be sure to follow up with your guest authors about giveaway winners (and to thank them!).
  11. Ask your guest authors to invite their friends because the point of these parties is to introduce readers to new-to-them authors. The more invitations, the wider net you’ll cast.
  12. Invite guest authors who aren’t your besties. Reality is you probably already share some readers with your best buds. So why not reach out to authors you don’t know well but who likely share a common reading audience with you? It could be a huge win-win for you both.

Facebook events should be fun for everyone involved, especially the readers, but just like any “live” party, good prep and organization will help you throw a party people will remember for years to come!

Authors, have you hosted a Facebook party? If so, what tips do you have? And readers, what do you love to see authors do for their parties?

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Do you have fun extras for readers on your website? If so, what do your readers love? If not, will you add them in the future?

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Bio:

Kelsey_Browning_-_Headshot (1)

Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and co-authors Southern cozy mysteries. She’s also a co-founder of Romance University blog, one of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a (fingers crossed) future therapy dog. She’s currently at work on a new contemporary romance series and The Granny Series. Give her a shout at Kelsey@KelseyBrowning.com or drop by www.KelseyBrowning.com. For info on her upcoming releases, subscribe to her Sass Kickin’ News.

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Discussion

14 Responses to “12 Tips for a Stand-out Facebook Event by Kelsey Browning”

  1. Morning Kelsey!

    I’ve been to a ton of FB events…they can surely be a blast! Lots of giveaways and new authors always make it a bit more fun. It seems every one I go to though, something goes a bit wrong…someone’s internet is down or someone arrives late or….what have you.

    What’s the best way to cope with the mini-disasters when it’s YOUR event?

    Hope all is well with you! =)

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | September 26, 2014, 8:57 am
    • Carrie – oh, the disasters that happen behind the scenes (kinda like my wedding cake falling apart before the wedding 😉 )…

      Some quick shucking and jiving, PMing your guest authors, pulling down posts that weren’t supposed to be there. I think the lesson to be learned is that you have to be diligent and really follow the party so things don’t get out of hand. You don’t want your event yanked by FB because of “pornography.” 😉

      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | September 26, 2014, 9:54 am
  2. I don’t always have time to be around for Facebook parties with all the duties I have to take care of on a daily basis, and I suspect the same is true for other readers. I think it is a great thing if the giveaway portions of the party can be left open until the following morning so anyone that wants to participate can check in when they have time. It is okay to slip in some flash giveaways for those that are there and participating all day, but for the bigger giveaways, it is nice for authors to recognize that not all readers are available online at the same time.

    Posted by Amy R | September 26, 2014, 9:21 am
    • Amy – as an author – I really like to be able to check the comments the next morning. Some readers don’t like that because they feel people should attend “during the event” to win. I get that, but choosing the morning after is WAY easier on the hosting author.

      One solution might be to close a few of the giveaways to further comments, but choose the winner (from the eligible comments) the next morning.

      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | September 26, 2014, 9:55 am
  3. Wow Kelsey! A GREAT post packed with great tips…..which I plan to use when I hold my first FB party in December to celebrate the release of Loving You Is Easy!! I’m nervous about hosting one, but the fabulous Amy Remus has agreed to help me. I’m hoping you’ll be a guest-host!!!! And I’m looking forward to participating in your Thankful for Romance FB party on November 24th!!!!!

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | September 26, 2014, 10:26 am
  4. Great post, Kelsey! You’re an ace at this so thank you for sharing.

    I have character interviews on my website and readers seem to really enjoy them.

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | September 26, 2014, 11:26 am
  5. Sorry I’m late, Kelsey! Have your thoughts about this changed since you were first published? Did it take a lot of trial and error to figure out which social media events were the most effective?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | September 26, 2014, 10:39 pm
  6. AWESOME POST !

    Posted by Angi Morgan | September 27, 2014, 9:20 am
  7. Great tips! I’m bookmarking this page. Thank you!

    Posted by Terri L. Austin | September 29, 2014, 11:10 am

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