Using Facebook for Book Marketing | www.lanapattinson.com
Today we’re talking to Author CM McCoy, who is an author, tippety-tapper, and PR Manager at Inklings Literary Agency. Her first book, EERIE, was recently released to much fanfare.
1,087 guests…250 prizes…one epic Facebook party.
Wow, CM! You had an EPIC facebook party for the launch of your first novel, Eerie. Where’d you get the idea from?
Hi Lana! Hey, thanks for thinking of me. Oh my word, yes, the Eerie Facebook Release Party was quite the undertaking. When it comes to parties,we have this saying in our family: go big or go home.
This book launch was a huge deal to me, and I really wanted to share it with all my friends in an enthusiastic way. Since I’m in Alaska, and since most of my friends and family are not in Alaska, I decided to forgo a “real” party and focus on a Facebook party, which my friends from every corner of the world could attend.
I had a couple author friends who were kind enough to let me participate in their FB release parties prior to the Eerie release, which is where I learned:
a) what a FB party was
b) how one pulls off such a party and
c) how one promotes such a party
As a debut author, I obviously didn’t have a fan base outside of my friends and family who had beta-read Eerie for me, so I knew I’d have to do some heavy promoting and call in a few favors to get the ball rolling. I reached out to my favorite authors to see if they would be interested in participating in the release party, some of whom I’d never met personally. I told them my plan for some epic giveaways, including a Coach purse and $100 gift card, and I offered to do some pre-party promo for their books. Most responded with a resounding yes! A few declined. Only one or two never responded.
Even Andy Weir responded (Yes, I wrote to the author of The Martian.) He declined, but his note was personal, genuine, kind, and quite obviously from the man himself. I won’t go into detail, but I did print it out and hang it on my wall.
In the end, we hosted over 1,000 guests, and my novel reached #717 on Amazon’s list of Best-selling Paranormal Romance on release day.
How long did it take you to assemble all the authors / prizes? It sounds very time consuming…
I started planning the party a couple months ahead of time, and had a 14-hour party fully staffed by take-over authors 3 weeks before the party. I had started assembling the prizes in the summer, picking up things here and there.
My first post was a $100 gift card giveaway. I posted it 2 months and 2 days prior to the party, shared it on Twitter and FB groups, and asked my authors to share it with their fans when they signed on for a takeover. We hosted 1,087 guests.
Including myself, thirty authors participated in takeovers over two days. Each author posted at least one giveaway. My agent gave away close to 20 books. Add to that the 57 giveaways I posted plus the two separate online scavenger hunts with even more prizes in December, and we ended up sending out almost 250 prizes.
It was extremely time-consuming, but the connections I made with fans and other authors have proven priceless. The people who discovered Eerie through the Facebook party had so much fun there, they continued following me after the party. They do promotion for me by retweeting teasers, sharing FB posts, and they even nominated Eerie for two awards from a blogger on Facebook (both of which Eerie won because of their awesome support)–these fans have helped me spread the Eerie word online as well as in book clubs and libraries.
Looking back, do you think it was worth the effort? Would you attempt to do it again, for your next novel launch?
Yes. It was absolutely worth the effort. I would do a Facebook party for the next one, but I’d do a few things differently. This worked well for a debut, but I think I’ll do something fantastic and different from the normal FB party for the next one. You probably want to know what that is, but I’m not telling…yet. 😀
Any last words for new authors trying to promote their debut?
Yes. Two things:
1) Whatever you do promo-wise–you get out of it what you put into it. I don’t mean money, I mean enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious. And the purpose of a FB party is to make individual connections with readers to share your enthusiasm. Sometimes you don’t even talk to guests about your book, but about dogs or toddlers eating crayons or whatever. You may not see an immediate return on your effort, but people remember authors that connect with them.
(Or Pickles, in CM’s case…but please continue…)
2) If you’re a debut author, ASK other authors for help. It’s an amazing community. There are folks that can help with teaser images or setting up FB parties or setting up effective Rafflecopter giveaways or strategies for starting your own FB group. Ask whoever you know, and if you don’t know anyone, ask me on twitter: @eerie_o 🙂
Check out CM’s book here: