Daily Archives: April 15, 2013

Party on Facebook

Just finished up with my first Facebook Release Party celebrating my new series, Ladd Springs.  It was a lot of fun, but it was my first and what I consider, a “work in progress.”

facebook logoWhat I did:

Hosted 5 days of online festivities, beginning on release day (Wed-Sun).  Not sure if days of the week matter, but I wanted to make sure busy working women could stop by and post.

My series is set in Tennessee, so I posted Tennessee trivia questions each and every day for visitors to guess.  It was sort of my way to get into the “region” of the story.

I posted personal pictures from Tennessee, specifically the property that inspired the series.  This was to give readers a visual for some of my scenes in the books, then encouraged them to post their own pics of TN.

“Name that horse” was a post on day two, giving readers a chance to name a foal in an upcoming book.  Visitors posted their favorite horse names which I collected and plan to post on my website and offer up for a vote via Poll Daddy.  Name with the most votes wins and credit will be noted in the acknowledgements.

Tex and King

“Name that southern comfort food” was another day, giving readers a chance to name–you guessed it–a character’s favorite comfort food in an upcoming book.  But I’ll also use this food item on my recipe cards (SWAG) that I create for each and every release.

During the entire event, my street team (Bloomin’ Warriors) were given the chance to win the entire Ladd Springs series if they posted a picture of themselves wearing their bloomin’ warrior T-shirt (included in their sign up package) on my Facebook event page during the party.  I had 10 show up in their garb!

Of course there were prizes throughout.  Each and every comment entered visitors into a drawing for adorable gift boxes filled with flower seeds and garden to-do note pads.  I cross-market between my garden blog and romance writing so garden gifts abound!

bloomin display of boxes

What I learned:

Facebook parties are fun!  Really fun when everyone is on and commenting in real-time, though I had to continually refresh my page to keep current.  Unlike Twitter, Facebook doesn’t do that for me. 🙂  And I learned how to make a bunch of new FB symbol/icons to add in my comments! Link is here.

Readers loved the trivia questions and enjoyed the camaraderie with other readers.  They also seemed to enjoy the giveaway prizes!

I also learned that a lot of people don’t understand what a “facebook party” is quite yet.  Several people thought it was going to be held at a physical location, others weren’t sure how to interact.  Perhaps I’m more technologically advanced than my kids think!  Anyway, a better, more thorough explanation up front may have helped with that angle.

So that’s my story.  I’d love to hear about your experiences, both writers and readers alike!  What makes a great online party?  Facebook?  Twitter? Something new and improved?

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