Now that I've come down off of the high and madness of getting The Prince of Cups released, I can share some of my observations from this whole self-promotion thing from both sides of the event thing: attending an author takeover at someone else's event, and running your own.
Bryce has a blog, and he's listed a lot of the tips and hints there that I will repeat.
- Invite everyone. Even if it's just for an hour... invite them. That's why you're friends with them on Facebook. The thing is...I know it feels like spam. It does. But the thing is I get invited to them all the time. I check to see who is going, and what time it is (I have a very narrow window for these things), and as an author, I check to see if any event spots are still open. So, if you are an author on Facebook and you have a takeover, invite everyone... especially if there are slots still open. You are helping other authors too that way!
- Prewrite the segments you are going to go over. Have them in a separate document ready to go. I usually attach a picture to them when I post them so I know which is which when I see the pop-ups. Write an introduction, A THANK YOU FOR THE AUTHOR HOSTING THE EVENT (we'll go more on that later), the segments for your book(s), have your excerpt ready to go, and another thank you. If you have it ready, it's much easier to simply copy and paste it.
- Pic out the books you are going to promote. If, like me, you have a lot... pick a couple series and stick with it. Focus on one or two things and it'll be more effective.
- If you are having a giveaway, be sure to keep track of who enters and whatnot... and make them DO SHIT for entering. Usually I have them give my author page a like. Other authors have them sign up for a mailing list (I don't have one yet, which is another thing I need to change, sigh). If they are not somehow helping you to promote yourself, don't do a giveaway. There are a couple of ways you can do it. The first is gifting through Amazon. This runs the chance they may take the money from the gift and buy something else. It's happened to me a couple times. However, if they don't, it does help with your book rank on Amazon. This also costs you money, so the second option is to email them a .mobi or .doc file of your book. This costs you nothing! As a bonus, if they have a kindle, you can send it directly to their kindle via their kindle email address.
- Don't forget to list all of your contact info: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
- PACE YOURSELF. You want to run a more or less constant stream of information, but not so much that it overwhelms the readers, especially when you post something long like an excerpt. Give yourself time between posts to respond to people who are posting on your stuff, and stay interactive!
- Bring people to the event. This goes back to inviting everyone. Even if it's just your BFF saying how awesome you are, it's good for people to see you being interactive and other people responding to that. The aim is to get people want to buy your book, so having friends in your corner cheering you on helps a lot.
Running an Event
- You have all day. After a while, it gets tedious, trust me. Don't sweat taking a break for a few minutes.
- At the same time, you need to be interactive. It's YOUR event. Ideally it's highlighting what you are doing or selling, and so people need to see you doing stuff and responding. Plus, it's nice to support the other authors, especially if they didn't bring people with them to the event.
- Be prepared for people to be late or not show. I've seen people do "reverse takeovers" during an hour where an author didn't show up to some success, and I know Bryce has done a live writing event before that went over pretty well. If nothing else, you can talk about why you're there and sell your stuff, or maybe take questions until the author shows.
- Be sure to thank each author for showing up at the beginning and end of their hour, while you are introducing the next one. You don't HAVE to have a welcome and good bye pic, but it's good if you do.
- Prewrite any introductions you do make, just like for a takeover of your own. If you have them ready, you will be less prone to being scatterbrained.
- Most of the author takeover stuff listed above also applies here to an extent.
I don't know if anyone will read this and find this useful, but these are things I've found. And I can't stress enough that I learned everything I did by either learning from Bryce, or just doing it, but mostly the first. Ask questions of other authors you know, and find out what works for them so you can create your own style!