We discussed earlier this month that I wasn’t thrilled with my launch for Starting Chains.
I don’t think I mentioned then that, despite messing up the paperback, I did things that I had never done before for this launch. And they turned out really well. I was on two podcasts (one of which hasn’t aired yet) I did interviews for several websites.
And I hosted a Facebook Launch party. Which had been a completely foreign concept to me a few months ago.
Now that I’ve attended quite a few, and hosted one of my own, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned about them with you. This is what I did, and what I saw others do, that worked exceptionally well.
Invite other authors to do takeovers
If you’re confused as to what an author take over is, it’s a time during your launch party that you allow another author to post about whatever they want on your event page. I’ve done a few of these, and they’re fun.
I suggest getting a crew of people to take over your event for an hour or half hour at a time. This means that they’ll invite their fans and friends to come check you out, and help get some people excited.
Obviously, no one’s going to know this is happening if you don’t talk about it. But don’t just talk about it on Facebook. Make sure to share it on Twitter, on your blog, on Instagram. Tell people you meet on the bus about it. (I’m kidding.)
The point is, get the word out, and keep reminding people! A Facebook party is one of those things that are easy to forget about.
Have some nice graphics
I made some graphics that matched the ones I’ve been using for the last three months to promote Starting Chains to announce each new author as they join the party. It’s something small, but it’s a nice touch.
They were pretty straightforward to make. I just used Pablo. By the way, if you’re not using Pablo, I can’t suggest them enough for social media graphics.
I’ve played some legitimately fun games during these launch parties. One that I made up, and had a lot of fun with, was this.
Tell me your favorite cereal, and I’ll tell you how you’ll die.
Of course, these were just made up off of the top of my head. But everyone enjoyed it.
I’ve seen several other games that are similar. One launch party had everyone make a wish. Then someone would grant the wish in a horrible way. And, of course, name generators are always popular. Use your imagination with these games.
Get people involved in the conversation
When you’re hosting a launch party, or if you’re doing an author take over, don’t forget to get people engaged! Ask questions, ask for people to ask you questions! Get people talking not just about your book, but about things that are related to your genre. What was your first favorite fantasy book? Who do you think would win in a fight, Mal Reynolds or Captain Kirk? That sort of thing. (Feel free to answer either one of those in the comment section, by the way. Personally, I think Mal would win. He’d pull an Indiana Jones and just shoot him.)
Just like with a physical launch party, you want to have some party gifts. I gave out a free copy of Starting Chains during this last party. When I took part in a cyber con earlier this year, I made a free wall paper for Station 86. Think about what you enjoy getting for free online, and see if you can make some nice downloadable items, especially for people who come to your launch.
Do something original.
I attended a launch where everyone who did takeovers was asked to appear as characters from their books. I attended another where the theme was that we were on a space station that something malicious was crawling around on.
Have some fun with this, it’s a party! It should be a fun time.