The nice thing about being friends with authors is that you get to help them when they try new things. When Laura’s second book in the Revealing Hannah series came out, I quickly bought a copy. When she announced she was having a book launch party I was excited for the chance to help. This weekend was the party and boy was it fun!
The nicest part of the party was the overwhelming support and turn out for Laura. The event was packed with about 30-40 people coming through. She sold all the books she brought to the event, autographed a bunch, and even took pictures with people who came.
Laura asked for my help and I hope I made things less stressful for her. We had a lot of fun with social media, which is what I took the lead on. We set a hashtag (#revealinghannah) that we can use for future book launches. We focused people on Instagram and Facebook for social networks to connect on. We wanted things to be manageable and popular. There was a photobooth area with Greek god props and selfie sticks. I created a magazine cover and we took some of the pictures shared to make personalized magazine covers for attendees. The response to this was limited, but fun. What was most popular were the games we played on Facebook. We had three games that we played with people and it got a good response.
I think we made some good decisions about social media management for the event. First, we didn’t go crazy. I felt the inclination to try to do so much more, but reining things in made it easier to focus. I hope picking a hashtag we can use for the next 3 books will be a smart decision. We also managed all the games through the Facebook event. Pictures were posted there, games were played there, and people were encouraged to go back to it over and over.
What lessons did we learn? I am curious about Facebook live events. Laura was offered the chance to run the launch as one, but we really didn’t know what it would mean. I suspect it has to do with the way information is shared with people on Facebook. As it was, you could only see things if you were to the discussion section of the event. I suspect the live event would push content to people who identified themselves as attending. It is something I want to explore more.
We started creating a book launch box. This is full of supplies we know we will need for future events like this. In it I put the plastic frames we used to display hashtags and such, raffle tickets, a power strip, and sharpies. I suspect it will grow as more local authors in SIPA want to do book launches.
I also hope to be able to apply what I learned to my own future book launch party. Until then, I am so glad I got to help Laura with hers and I hope it helps her find new readers!