17 October 2015

Top 5 Author Takeover Mistakes (Facebook Author Marketing)

I just wrapped up my two-day release event for Song of the Siren (go buy it, I'll still be here when you get back). Normally, I like to be positive. Instead of complaining, I'd much rather offer a solution or at least say what I would prefer. But after running a couple of my own author events on Facebook, now, I'm starting to see some of the same mistakes over and over.

Let me ask you a question: do you WANT to sell books?

Dumb question, right? And yet I see horrible mistakes that result not only in no book sales for you, but make you look dumb. Nobody wants that. So here are the top mistakes I noticed that result in no book sales for you.

Mistake 1. Not showing up at all

Yes. SERIOUSLY. I had authors not even show up, with no warning. If you have to cancel your takeover, it's only polite--not to mention professional--to let the event organizers know so they can fill the empty spot. Just because you write smut doesn't mean you can't act like a fucking pro (maybe you don't write smut, but I do and so do most of the authors I know).

If you're a no-show with no good reason and no warning, you'll never be invited back to an event of mine, that's for sure.

Mistake 2. Showing up late

If you're an author who is serious about your career then you should have at least one PA (personal assistant) or if not then at least a friend who can cover for you. Your PA can post on your behalf until you can get online. Don't schedule yourself to appear at events unless you're sure you can make it (duh).

You may be a great writer but you look like a dolt if you can't show up on time to something that benefits you.

Mistake 3. Not linking to your book so people can actually buy it

The purpose of running a takeover during an event on Facebook is to get new readers. Nobody can read your book if they don't buy it, and they can't buy it unless you link to it. Even if you were the most technically-challenged person in the world, you can still have the web address of your book's page on Amazon to paste into a Facebook post. You should have these bookmarked in your web browser or listed in a document so you can easily copy and paste.

People are more inclined to hit that One-Click if you make it EASY for them. Have links for your books on all major English-speaking Amazon outlets: US, UK, CA, and AU.

Mistake 4. Random activities that don't help you or even relate to the book you're selling

The purpose of takeovers is to get new readers, and you only get 30 or 60 minutes, so why would you do something that doesn't advance anything for you? If you are not getting new email addresses on your mailing list (you DO have a mailing list, right?), getting new likes for your Facebook pages, getting new followers on social media, getting your pages shared, or getting book sales... then I gotta ask: just what the hell are you doing?

Playing some random game that doesn't result in anything for your author career or book sales is a waste of everyone's time.

Think about why people buy books. Think about why you buy books. You want good characters, good story, good setting, and if you write smut, like me, you want blistering hot fucked-up sex. If you want to discuss your books and share info about them during a takeover, try to appeal to what actually triggers people to make a purchase: they're looking for something that fits with what they like but which holds more promise than anything else they might read.

Mistake 5. Not bringing your own people in to support you

Out of all of the above, this is actually the worst for everyone. If you don't show up, the organizing author can usually cover and should have fans and friends that can show up for support. You can flub the actual selling of your book and still get new readers (you just made it harder, that's all).

But if you show up and you're just talking to yourself?

That's just sad.

It makes you feel like you want to crawl in a hole and fucking die. But this is easily avoidable! HAVE YOUR FRIENDS SHOW UP. Facebook has tools to help you share events on your timeline and invite people individually. Use them, for goodness' sake. Not only when you first join the event yourself, but also the day before and at least an hour before, too. Think that's too much? I guarantee you, it's not, because not everyone will see them in their own timelines. Also, remember why you are here: to SELL BOOKS.

If you have a street team, they should support you. That's what they're for! They want to help you because they love your writing. Let them know you need them. I encourage my "Bad Girls" to attend my takeovers and events specifically to make me look good. When I post my book links they comment about how they love it. They participate in the activities to help create a feeling of buzz and excitement and because the more activity a post gets, the higher it rises on the event page.

Even if the only people participating are your own "tribe," that's FINE. It's certainly better than nothing. Activity is attractive. What I mean by that is people flock to where the action is, so you want to create some action around what you're doing.

No, it's not the easiest thing ever.

But don't make it harder than it needs to be! These mistakes all stem from two thing: a lack of professional courtesy and forgetting or not knowing your purpose. What are your pet peeves during takeovers?

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1 comment:

  1. VERY well said and sooo true. I've attended a couple events where the author was a no show or showed up late. You can fell the awkward when they finally do show up. One of my new annoyances is that I will go to these facebook events and its the same stuff over and over again. Yes, its fun to play games and stuff, but it would be nice if it was centered around the book the author is trying to promote. One of the things an author can do to get me to buy their book is to throw out some juicy quotes. Ohhh... I love naughty and delicious quotes. That will have me one clicking faster than a fat girl on a diet racing for the last piece of cheesecake. Anyway, fantastic post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)