Just Call Me A Party Animal

Terri Osburn headshot Image~ By Terri Osburn

Back in the day, I *might* have done a bit of partying. Kicked a keg once or twice. Woke up with some fuzzy memories about the night before. But I’ve since offered up my gall bladder in payment for that debauchery, and now I’m what you’d call a teetotaler. One with tattoos who listens to loud music, but I’m toten’ the tee all the same.

However, I’ve recently started kicking up my heels at a new kind of party. And with no commute necessary, you can drink all you want so long as you don’t spill an adult beverage in your keyboard.

I’m talking about Facebook parties.

If you’re an author with a book to promote and you haven’t tried this, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. I’ll explain for the uninitiated.

Facebook provides the opportunity to hold events. To set one up and participate in an event, you must use your profile, not your page. (If you don’t know the difference, ask in the comments and I’ll explain.) Setting up an event is relatively painless (thank goodness.) Then on the day of your event, the wall of the event page becomes the setting for your party, and everything happens right there.

This is an event I held back on Valentine’s Day.

Once you a pick date and time, invite your writer friends to take a time slot (15 mins, 30 mins, 1 hr – totally up to you) to entertain the readers. They would post about their own work, offer up a prize, and engage with the readers in the comments.

Here’s why this works so well. You’re going to invite your fans. Writer friend is going to invite her fans. Writers A, B, C, and D are also going to invite their fans. And on the day of the event, all the fans will be gathered in one place, learning about everyone’s work. We’re talking about a virtual captive audience.

There’s a chance that Writer A’s fans haven’t heard of you. But they will now. And you’re going to be so witty and charming in the comments that they’ll be ordering your books, falling in love with them, and telling all their friends about them within days or weeks.

See where I’m going with this?

For the cost of one afternoon or evening of your time, you’re finding new readers, helping your writer friends reach new readers, and introducing your fans to other awesome reads, something for which they will be forever grateful.

All of this makes the Facebook party the ultimate win-win-win situation. Also, they’re fun. Especially when the man candy pics start flying around. And free! Other than the cost of the prizes, which you’d spend anyway doing a blog tour and be lucky if you reached twenty or thirty readers.

With a Facebook party, you can reach hundreds of readers in a matter of hours. All while sipping a beverage and wearing your pajamas.

But there is one warning. If you are not a participating author, do not show up in a Facebook party and start promoting your work. This is equivalent to crashing your neighbor’s party and drinking all their wine. You don’t want to be that neighbor. Or that author.

Has anyone tried one of these parties? Got any tips to make it run smoother or be more successful? Anyone found something similar that works just as well?

Although born in the Ohio Valley, Terri Osburn found her true home between the covers of her favorite books. Classics like The Wizard of Oz and Little Women filled her childhood, and the genre of romance beckoned during her teen years. In 2007, she decided to put pen to paper and write her own. Just five years later, she was named a 2012 finalist for the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award. The author of the Anchor Island contemporary romance series, you can learn more about this author and her work by visiting her website at www.terriosburn.com.

18 thoughts on “Just Call Me A Party Animal”

  1. Talia, I didn’t go with ranking so much as Facebook Likes and how many of them continued to interact with me afterward. It’s kind of a personal way to gain a fan, much the way guest blogs used to be. But instead of asking readers to go to a blog, you invite them to stay right on Facebook, where they already visit every day.

    The great part is, you can make it as big or small as you’d like. Tailor it to fit what you’re willing to do. And you can also hire someone to do all the heavy lifting, which is nice.

  2. I’ve done a few Facebook parties, Terri, and I agree they are FUN! A great way to interact with fans and with the other authors at the party. It’s win-win-win all around.

  3. Natalie Meg Evans

    Hi Terri, thanks for sharing this information. I wasn’t sure how they worked, but I’ll definitely consider trying it for my launch.

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  5. I’ve not done one yet, Terri, but have been thinking about doing one for my September 1st release. I was kind of on the fence about it, but I think you’ve swayed me to the party side. And I can wear my jammies. Can’t beat that! 🙂

    Thanks for the great insight and information on book parties.

  6. This is so interesting, Terri. Thanks for blogging about it. I participated in one of these last month. I really enjoyed my half hour, and I know I sold books. 🙂 But the host told me she didn’t see that it made a difference in her sales rank. Since then, I’ve wondered how well it works. But maybe none of us had large enough fan bases to bring to the party? Or maybe the readers weren’t cross-pollinating enough? I’m not sure. Still pondering…

  7. Hi Terri. Thanks for sharing! This sounds like a lot of fun. I really want to party in my PJ’s too! Maybe we could do one with the firebirds sometime? (Christmas perhaps? ;0)

  8. I didn’t know that bit about the pages, Sharla. Thanks for letting me know. And yes, they are exhausting, but the time does fly. On Valentine’s Day, I was in my chair for about seven hours, taking part in every conversation. The day flew by, and I was done for, but the readers loved it and I think the authors did too.

    You’re welcome, Stephanie. 🙂

  9. Hi Terri! I do these parties with every release, and have also done joint ones with other authors just for fun or around a theme. They are exhausting (because once you start it doesn’t stop) but so much fun! And you are right, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. You get new readers, your guests get new readers, your readers get new authors to read and prizes… I’ve also done them with no guests, which gives you more promo time for yourself but you get NO break at all. Plus I think bringing in guests breaks up the monotony, your readers get more than just YOU YOU YOU for those hours. My last one was 5 hours, with guests, and it was a great one. The time flies once you get started, because you’re also processing giveaways on the downtime. I’ve done a 3 hr one alone, and an 8 hour one alone. Wouldnt’ suggest that. I was a walking babbling zombie idiot afterwards. LOL.

    One thing I’ll mention. I have done from both my page and my profile, and it worked both ways. From the page I felt it was more professional…downside is the comments show up differently and you keep having to refresh. From the profile it is easier, but then you have to pimp your page and yet still get tons of friend requests and while I’m okay with that, I really try to keep my profile personal and steer readers to my page. That being said, I still don’t turn anyone down. It’s just one of the flukes of FB.

    Now participating on someone ELSE’S party is profile-required. If you only have a page, you can go, you can comment, but you can’t post new. I found that out on the last one, I had two guest authors come that way, and I had to post for them and then they commented, to engage with the readers. Kind of crazy, but there’s always a workaround. 🙂

    Great post and topic Terri!

  10. Debbie Mccreary

    Hi Terri. As a reader/reviewer of books, I have been to these parties. Every thing you said is true from the authors standpoint. I agree exposure is multiplied for each participating author. I, myself, have found new authors that I have since purchased books from. Plus, a great time for all of us. Also, it is a chance to make new FB friends. I enjoy not only the winning of prizes, but the great time shared by all. And all from the comfort of my chair, in my pj’s and drinking what I want. P.S. My family has gotten to enjoy them too, it’s always pizza night!

  11. *LOL* I didn’t even think of the idea of someone gatecrashing by promoting their own work when they’re not one of the hostesses. BAD FORM! *LOL*

    I’ve been to these parties and they are great–but have never thrown one (don’t need to.)

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