Whether you have published a book or not, there are still many ways you can begin self-branding on Facebook. One of the easiest ways is through Author Takeovers. Let me clarify, an author takeover is not the same as an event. One is a networking tool, the other is a marketing tool. In brief, Facebook takeovers are great tools for building your fanbase, gaining readers, and getting your name out there. You don’t even have to be published yet to do one. On the other hand, a Facebook event is a marketing tool to bring awareness to your new book and create sales. Since I am huge at networking, let’s talk about successful Facebook author takeovers.
Where to Find Them
The first step really is networking. Join author groups, look for “event” groups and join them. Turn notifications on so you know when people are hosting events and providing author slots you can claim. After you do a couple, and make connections, people should be inviting you to events. The more you attend and participate in, the more readers and authors you meet. I’ve offered a few good places below where you can find connections to author takeover slots and events:
WFW Marketing Group (This is a women’s only group sprung from their very popular Women Fiction Writers group.)
Quill & Ink Book Tours (this is a company who caters to paid promotion for authors, so they always have free events and author signups going on.)
How to Plan Them
Now you’re set up to start building your readership. You’ve signed up for a few takeovers and it hits you: you have NO.IDEA.WHAT.TO.DO. Don’t panic! I got you covered!
- Stop in the event early and watch what others are doing.
- Share the event and invite people to it before your time slot arrives. You can add it to your author Facebook page as an event also.
- Open a fresh doc and start planning what you’ll post. This saves you time so you can interact and connect with attendees during your time slot.
- Open a second tab to the event and work back and forth between them to set your posts up without stressing yourself out.
- Put all your images in one file so they are ready at a click.
- Use online tools like Picmonkey and Canva to create images and graphics specifically for you and your book. Teasers are a great promotional tool for gaining readers for books not released yet. They are simple to create, just choose a favorite quote from your story and make an image with it.
- Look for fun quizzes, games, and memes to share during your slot so it’s not all business. The more fun you create during your slot, the more people will want to attend your takeovers. *You also don’t want to be known as a “spammer” sharing nothing but buy links and promos.
- Offer to answer questions. Start conversations by inviting them to share something about themselves and respond with a comment of your own. People love learning random facts about authors.
- Get all the facts about the event beforehand. Know when you should start and when to stop, and if you need to introduce the next person.
- Share your social media links.
- If you aren’t published yet, you could share a popular post from your blog or instagram.
- Be confident, be honest, be real, and be yourself. You are the brand and your book is your product.
- Toss them one last tidbit with your final post and make sure you thank your host for the time.
Every time I do an author takeover, I learn something new. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right at first. Like anything else, it takes practice. The best tip I can offer you is to participate in the event beyond your author slot. When you interact with the other authors in the event, you’re telling them you care about their work as much as your own. This will leave a lasting impression, and soon you’ll have more invitations rolling in than you have time to do!
Have you done an author takeover? Share your own tips and tricks in the comments.
*Edited post to add this advice from another reader.