But we did do the party and it was a blast. Faith, Hope and Love Chapter which is the Christian chapter in Romance Writer's of America sponsored the Facebook Party. The chapter is going to host a Facebook Party each month that features four of our Christian authors. You can find the FHL Facebook page if you click here: FHL FACEBOOK
Tanya Stowe, our Director at Large, initiated the parties in our efforts to provide modern promotional events for our published authors. I interviewd Tanya and she will share with us how to set up a Facebook Party.
|Tanya Stowe, Director at Large of Faith, Hope and Love Chapter of RWA|
1. Hi Tanya and welcome to Seekerville. You have been hosting Facebook Parties for the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter of RWA. Can you explain to us why FHL decided to do this?
FHL’s purpose is to support our members in all facets of their career. It’s a daunting challenge to keep up with the changing face of publishing so our job is to help our members meet the challenges whether that’s understanding Indie publishing or navigating the tricky waters of social media. We’re doing our best to help broaden our members’ understanding and scope of social media not only with our Facebook Parties but also with Monday Twitter day. These sessions give tips and how to’s as well as provide an opportunity to get to know each other better. We’re also hoping to institute monthly webinar meetings with questions and answers on branding, building a platform and making Pinterest work for authors. There’s so much to learn and so little time! Lol!
2. Can you describe what a Facebook party is? Why would it be of benefit to an author?
I look at Facebook parties a bit differently than most folks. Facebook is where a number of my faithful readers hang-out. My reader demographic is on Facebook so I see FB parties as an opportunity to connect, to meet and greet readers and hopefully, like we are doing each month, introduce them to new writers in our genre. I think a lot of people look at Facebook as an advertising tool…and it is. Of course you want to spread your name across the media and reach folks interested in your genre and style of books. But mainly, a Facebook party is to connect with readers so they can get to know you and help build your brand.
3. What are the technical requirements for Facebook to host a Facebook Party? Since the FHL Facebook page is a group, are you named an administrator? Or what gives you power to set one up?
All that’s necessary for a Facebook party is to have a Facebook page. I highly recommend creating a public page for a number of reasons. Foremost it’s important to protect your privacy and that of your family. But it’s also a good thing not to inundate those close to you with book updates and releases that are essentially for your readers. You could hold a FB party on a personal page but your friends and family won’t thank you for the multiple posts and comments coming across their screen continuously for an hour or more. In addition, I suggest holding your FB party on an event page. I’ve done parties on my reader’s page and on the event page of my reader’s page. It’s easier for the participants to follow the party on the event page and those annoying posts won’t go out to your entire list. So the long answer is yes, it’s necessary to be an administrator of your public page to create an event and send out invites.
4. Can you list the steps taken to set up a Facebook Party?
Below the banner on our public page are three tabs, Liked, Following and More. Click on More. Go down the list until you find Create an event. (See Screenshot)
Click on it. A menu box will pop up with questions about your event. Answer the questions. Choose a date and time…remember to pick a time that will be friendly on both coasts. Once you’ve completed the questions you’ll be sent to an event page and your event will automatically be posted on your public page, announcing your event. Once you’ve created your event move to the right hand corner of your event page to the Invite tab (See Screenshot).
Click on that tab and you will be able to send invites to readers and friends you think might be interested. Then on the day of the party, show up, start posting on your event page and engage, engage, engage. If you build it they will come!
5. I was one of the authors featured on the last Facebook Party. You sent me a list of questions and things you needed, like book covers, author biography, etc. Can you share that questionnaire you sent to each of us?
It’s a real simple list:
Short bio with website and social media links. Because FHL is a non-profit we do not allow links to booksellers but if you are holding a personal face book party, of course you would include those.
The cover of the book you are promoting.
A short blurb and perhaps an excerpt of the book.
A question or two you would like to propose that relates to your writing career or your book, anything that you think your readers might find interesting. Since we feature four authors on the FHL parties, we don’t have time but in the past I’ve posted recipes, historical tidbits and movie trivia related to my books. Have fun!
And of course, a giveaway. That can be a book or swag, anything to liven up the fun. But be sure the giveaways are done randomly. Facebook does not allow prizes to be given as rewards for an action on the part of the participant. The prizes are given randomly just for showing up and participating.
6. How did you put our questionnaire answers into the Facebook party?
If you have an active group participating, they will be chatting ninety miles a minute and asking all kinds of questions. If there is a slow down in the posts, I’ll post a question to get the chatter going again. If the group is very talkative, I have to make sure I get all of the information in during our allotted time. I like to keep the parties to an hour or so I try to post something every 15 minutes.
7. What have been some of the responses to the party? Should authors think about Facebook Parties as a viable promotional tool? Why?
Of course Facebook is a viable promotional tool. But it’s important to understand the basics of how it works. People are on Facebook to connect with other people. If you approach FB strictly to promote, than more than likely you will not consider your FB party a success. People do not join Facebook to buy things. They join to connect with people. So if you approach the parties as just that, a reader party to get to know your reader friends, then you will have fun. They will have fun and they will come back again and again and more importantly, they’ll tell others about you. That’s a good thing.
8. Tanya, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and share with us the process of hosting a Facebook Party. What books do you have coming out now and in the new year?
My Heart’s Haven sisters and I have a new collection coming out in April. My novella is called That Doggone Baby!
In addition, we’ve just started a new series called Love at Christmas Inn—a family resort where Christmas is celebrated year round. We’re having lots of fun with it.
Some of our Seeker friends have been in Facebook Parties as well. If you see one announced, it is a fun way to get to know and support your author friends.
To visit the Facebook Party I was in on December 7th, click here: FHL Facebook Party December 7, 2016
Tanya will visit us off and on throughout the day so if you have any questions, please ask and she will answer them when she checks in. I might be able to answer some myself. (I'm getting so techy, it scares me LOL) Those who comment will be entered to win an ebook copy of Tanya's Love At Christmas Inn. You will also win one of my ebooks of choice.
Remember to check in and join us for our New Year's Celebration. Lots of prizes and fun!!
Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She is based in Arizona, but she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome and enjoy the outdoors. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible. You can read more of Sandra's posts here.