In the past few weeks, I’ve participated in two “parties” where I was able to showcase my books. Both parties required some creativity on my part in order to figure out exactly how to publicize my book as a part of the greater whole, fit with the theme and help things run smoothly.
To start, I joined my friend, Lyn, at an open house. She sells makeup and she was getting a number of people together to feature their products—there were people selling jewelry, food, handbags and...me.
She set me up in her living room, since that’s where people read. The food people were in the kitchen, the jewelry people and her makeup display scattered in other rooms. I created some social media invitations and we were all to invite our local friends. Because much of this publicity was through Facebook, none of us were certain who, if anyone, would show up. I had never done something like this before, so I had no idea if anyone would be interested in looking at my books.
But you know what? People came and loved the open-house style of the party. I met lots of people I never would have come into contact with previously, and I sold more books at this party than I have at author-only events. It was a terrific experience!
The second party I participated in was a Facebook author party. These events occur on Facebook, and are usually to celebrate a book release. The author invites other authors to celebrate with her (or him), scheduling people at half-hour intervals throughout the time of the party. The hostess also appears throughout the party. Everyone offers giveaways and prizes, talks about their books, offers insights into their writing life and engages with potential readers. The idea is that each author is supposed to invite their friends/fans and that way, those fans get introduced to other authors as well, and authors can build their reader base.
These parties are iffy. Unless you have a really organized hostess and a very well-planned party that ties back to the hostess' books, I don’t believe they do a lot. This party I participated in was terrific, though. The hostess was extremely organized, the authors all wrote similar genres (which means our readers overlap) and it was very well done. I met new readers and authors, I gained exposure for my current books, and even got inquiries about upcoming ones.
Marketing always remains a challenge, and I’ll continue pursuing those outlets I find useful. And in the meantime, I’ll write the next book!