On December 16, 2016 I hosted a Facebook Release party to celebrate the release of my first novel, My Mistletoe Master. In mid-November I published a blog post called Planning a Facebook Release Party: Part One. In that blog post I went over why authors host release parties, what to expect when you attend one, and I listed about 8 tips on hosting a party. I’d never hosted, or even participated in one prior to my party (with the exception of attending a few as a guest), therefore those tips I posted were ones I gathered from other authors and from research I’d done online. What I’d like to do now, is provide you with a list of things I learned by hosting my own party.
- Don’t offer to pick up your nephews from school that day. I love my nephews, but picking them up from school at 3 and having an online party that started at 5 was a bad idea. While their dad was early to pick them up, it was just a little too chaotic. My focus need to be on starting my party, and ensuring that my first guest author had 100% of my attention.
- 5 pm EST is too early to start. My first guest in particular (and my second guest probably felt it too) didn’t have many people to interact with. Many people are still commuting home at that time, or settling in after work. They weren’t ready to celebrate yet. Starting at 6 or maybe 7 would have been better.
- Connect with each author the day of to remind them. I had one author who missed her time slot. Ooops! It happens, life gets in our way, and December is a difficult time of year because there is just SO much going on. I don’t blame her at all. She did come online afterwards and hang out with us through the remainder of the party. So what I took away from that was that I needed to connect with all of my presenters earlier in the day to remind them. I was glad that I had created extra posts and materials, therefore I had posts to cover the half hour time slot.
- My husband is awesome. He arrived home from work around 4:30 and took over hosting my brother-in-law and my nephews. When the house was quiet again, he excitedly asked me about the party. He planned to play video games in a different room that evening, so not to disturb me, but before he left he poured me a drink and ordered dinner! He’s be wonderful and supportive through this whole journey.
- Have fun. I had an absolute blast. The authors were great, my guests participated (once they got home from work), and I think everyone had a lot of fun. It pays to be organized though, and not to panic if something goes wrong, which it will, that’s life.
Would I do it again? Definitely!
When? Maybe for one of the final two books in the Unexpected Changes series, or maybe to launch my next series. We’ll see.
A final note: EXtasy Books releases their books on Fridays, but their titles are released on third party sites (Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, etc.) for about a week after the book releases. I understand why they do this. They are a smaller publishing company and want to try to make as many sales as possible from the home site, rather than loosing profits (for both themselves and the author) due to the chunk that third party sellers take. I would consider having my release party once the book hits the third party sellers. By then some of the attendees will have already bought the book through EXtasy and will be able to talk it up. Also, those that only by from their preferred site (personally I like to buy my books from iBooks) will be able to purchase your book right away, rather than having to wait a week, by which time they may have forgotten)