- If you sign up for a release party, don't choose the last spot in the line up. No one was up when I finally joined so I didn't get much participation throughout the entire hour I had to promote my book. Therefore, I had to keep my contests open for the next day so I could get some comments from people when they woke up! It was disheartening, to say the least since that was my first experience with an author takeover.
- If you sign up for a release party, don't choose the first spot in the line up. No one had joined the party yet or they were late getting to it. Again, I had few participants in my posts and very few to give prizes to. The ultimate goal of joining an author takeover is get new readers and to get your name out there as an author. I struggled with that in those two events.
- When creating a Facebook event for your own book release party, make sure you make the event Public. I made the mistake of not even checking that out and FB automatically makes every event Private, unless otherwise stated. I had already invited over 1,000 people before I realized this and was unable to change it at that point. Needless to say joining our event wasn't the easiest. So I added a lot of admins (the authors who said they could do takeovers) and asked them to share the event on their pages so people would know about it. Once someone invites you to the event you can invite others and so on. I feel like we had a great turnout, but now I'm wondering if we could have had more, had I known about the Public FB issue.
- In the Facebook thread, make sure you don't run out of invites either because once you're out, you're out. I even tried to see if I could dis-invite people to the event--no dice. FB doesn't play around when it comes to events. They don't want people to get spammed, and I get that, but for authors who have 5,000 friends on Facebook and only 500 invites, it gets tricky.
- You have to be clever when coming up with posts. Your posts need to be about your book, but not so boring that you won't get people to comment. I struggled with this after a while. I tried to "social media" (yes, I used that as a verb because it is when you're a new author) several times a day this summer and when you do that you run out of things to say. So I had to look at my book--a southern romantic suspense--and come up with tantalizing and intriguing posts for my release party. I also had to come up with giveaways other than Amazon gift cards and free copies of my ebook. Thankfully my awesome agent Ella Marie suggested something southern like a Georgia gift basket. That was my big prize for the evening and I had fun with creating all my posts for the release party. I keep track of them so I don't repeat myself--also a good idea, in my opinion. Many people who are friends of mine on FB and fellow authors in my genre attend some of the same release parties and I don't want to be the author who posts the same things every time.
- Press Kits. Who knew I needed one of these? As a new author I am learning as I go and even with the amazing support team that I have with my two agents at Belcastro Agency and two publishers at Camel Press I still miss things sometimes. I had several blogs asking for my press kit so they could post about my book throughout the month. So I did some research, talked to my agents and was able to create my press kit (see below). It is something that needs to be updated regularly as you sign up for author takeover events, get promoted on blogs or get reviewed. Also if you earn any nominations for awards or win any, those need to be added to your Press Kit too. It's a great way to promote everything you've done as an author in one place so bloggers and reviewers can give accurate info and don't have to search everywhere for it. I suggest giving your author bio, book purchase info, cover photo, upcoming book(s) facts, an excerpt, quotes, blogs, interviews, reviews, contact information and release party dates and times, etc.
So there's my advice on how to run a successful book launch for the new authors out there. Please feel free to comment or contact me with any other helpful tidbits or questions you might have about a book launch or author takeover. The whole process was great fun and I met a lot of amazing people! I even got myself a few author stalkers who have joined my Street Team: Scott's Spot on Facebook. Feel free to join! We're going to have a great time as I have a bunch of things cooking right now! Get ready publishing world: Corinne Scott is here to stay!