We have been discussing marketing strategies on a budget. Takeovers are a perfect addition to an author’s arsenal of free weapons that can search out sales and gain exposure.
A Facebook takeover is an actual event set up through an author’s page to promote a special occasion. Generally, it is used for book launches or cover reveals. I have also participated in some for charitable events, a cyber-con and a promotion of a live event coming in the near future.
Before you consider hosting your own, I strongly suggest attending a few to see how they run. They are not as easy to pull together as they seem. Whoever is hosting the event must be available throughout the entire time that it is running to make sure everything progresses smoothly and fill any slots guests don’t show up for. If it’s a two day event, I recommend a comfortable pillow to add to your chair.
The host will set up time slots and offer them to other authors to come in and promote their books. Generally each author will ‘throw a bone’ to the host for allowing them to promote their own work. The amount of control the host allows his or her guests is up to their discretion. Some will choose to only allow guests to post during their allotted hour, while others may leave posting open for the entire time.
Each day the host author normally takes the beginning and ending slots. It is a courtesy to be present to announce other authors coming up and thank those finishing on the hour.
All authors are expected to promote the event and invite their followers to join in. The easiest way to accomplish that is to lure them with contests and giveaways. Free is a word everyone enjoys. If you have twenty authors over two days, there should be a steady flow of readers stopping in to check things out.
If you are participating in your first takeover, you may want to prepare some material ahead of time. You will need all of your relevant links – both social media and places to buy, pictures of your books, teasers, blurbs and a game or two. An hour may seem long, but it goes very quickly when it is your turn.
There have been discussions about how much time to allow to pass between posts. The best answer available is, whatever you are comfortable with. I prefer to keep a steady rate of posting to keep the visitors busy, holding them on the page. Other people swear by evenly spaced out, timed intervals. The best advice I can give is to allow yourself enough time to respond to questions and comments without feeling rushed. Once you begin you will be able to gage your own comfort zone.
Making up a game or two can be a fun way to draw people into participation. It can be anything from building a story one line at a time, to guess the number between 1 and 1000. If you prepare it, someone will play.
While not required, most authors have something they give away at each event. Freebies range from eBooks to swag, with the occasional amazon gift card thrown in. If you can’t afford any of those choices, you can create your own unique ideas. Consider naming a character in an upcoming book after the winner or allowing them to be the subject of a dedication.
Remember to thank the host for having you and stick around to cheer on a few fellow authors. You might even pick up a prize or two for yourself.
Thank you for reading. Join me next week for a look at Facebook Hops.