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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Posted on April 15, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Glad this was a success for you, Dianne!

  2. I’ve never done this, Dianne, but it sure sounds like it worked for you. Cool.
    Patti

  3. I’m going to be honest–the very idea intimidates me! But your ideas are very helpful, Dianne. You are dragging me kicking and screaming into social media, but I need it. Thanks. 🙂 Of course, three weeks from now, you might want to turn off your computer so I’m not hounding you for help!

  4. I love FB parties. 🙂 I’ve done one for my November release and another agency author and I have done two BookEnds Babes Write-a-Thons as a FB party, which were a blast. I plan to do another one on May 7th for my REASON rerelease in mass market.

    They take some planning, and time goes by very quickly I’ve found. I’ve only done them as a one day event, I have never stretched it longer than that. I think that would be interesting to do, but with a dayjob, I wouldn’t be able to take off the time to moderate it.

    I have found that readers love these parties, especially if you can get multiple authors involved. You end up all gaining each other’s readers, and they get to know new authors. And win great party favors!!

    Kudos to you, Dianne!! Glad it went well!!

  5. Thanks for the rundown on the FB party, Dianne. I popped in once to check on it and you looked like you were having a blast. And your ideas on what to do each day were great. Thanks so much for sharing them! 🙂

  6. You’re very kind, Sheila. And thanks for checking in! Appreciate your tweets, too. 🙂

  7. Congrats again on your release, Dianne! And the party sounds like great fun. Well done, I’m sorry I missed it.

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