How you approach Facebook events makes all the difference.
For my first book, I basically just used the Facebook event as a milestone marker. I didn’t actually intend to do anything “during” the event, I didn’t post any news or updates about my book leading up to the event, there weren’t any games or giveaways announced through the event.
Not surprisingly, it flopped.
With the second Facebook event, a digital author signing, I actually did something. I engaged, and it went over like gangbusters.
- Make it about the reader, not the author. Everybody wants to believe they’re the hero in their own story, so speak to that desire.
- Talk about the idea behind the book, not the book itself. Most people don’t want to buy books. They want to buy solutions to their problems. Address a universal struggle.
- Don’t tell people to read the book, invite them to join a movement. Everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of something important, something bigger than themselves, so pique their interest with an invitation. If they buy into the movement, they’ll buy the book.
Most Facebook events aren’t that good. Okay, that’s generous. Most Facebook events are lame. They’re boring and insulting to the reader. Just like a good book cover, a Facebook event should respect its audience.
Why am I sharing this?
Because I love books and hate seeing them represented so poorly. Which is why I was excited to be invited to Tom Fallwell’s Essentia: Live #6. Essentia is a live magazine, in the format of an event on Facebook, in which the host, Tom Fallwell, can interview and interact with the authors he features in real time. Essentia: Live is monthly, and each issue features an Indie Author and one of their books. Each issue consists of two venues:
- The first is a video interview between Tom and the featured author.
- The second venue is a hosted Facebook event, an author takeover in which the authors promote their books with contests, giveaways and character takeovers, and readers have the opportunity to learn more about the authors and their works.
Tom Fallwell, author of Dragon Rising and the Rangers of Laerean series, understands that a Facebook event isn’t about whichever authors are peddling their books each month. It’s about the readers that come to those events, and building a sense of community in the Indie Publishing movement. I think Essentia: Live satisfies all three of the criteria above, but I’ll let you judge for yourself.
And whether you ever host a Facebook event or not, remember that successful marketing is all about making others the hero, promoting a worthy idea instead of selling a product, and inviting the audience into a movement.
What do you think makes for a good Facebook event? Share in the Comments.