Well, takeovers are a touchy subject with romance authors these days. Ask just about anyone if they are doing takeovers and they will tell you no. They don’t work. But I’m here to tell you they can work if you do them right. I’m super behind on my current book so I’m going to make this short.
So here are the secrets to a FANTASTIC Facebook Fan Page takeover. BTW, you can do this on your own page or a book blogger page. I do both, depending on how hard I want to work on the graphics.
1. Typically takeovers run two hours but you can run them as long as you want. You don’t invite any other authors to your takeover, it’s YOU TIME. Just you and your books. They typically run in the evening. I like 6-8 mountain time because that’s 8-10 eastern. Now, you will lose out on the peeps over in the UK and Australia doing this time zone, but if you keep the contests open for 24 hours, you will catch everyone because they will see all the shares you’re getting and see it on their timeline.
2. You must have great prizes. A great prize is subjective but generally eBooks are not great prizes. You can give out a $5 gift card with it and make it a better prize, but eBook prizes are not all that interesting. Splurge if you’re going to do a takeover. Make it the focal point of your release and do more than one if you can afford it. DO IT RIGHT.
3. If you make every post (I generally have anywhere between 8-14 posts in those two hours) a giveaway you will get a lot more interaction. BUT, if you add in teasers between each giveaway you will get more actual interested readers who will buy your book. These are NEW readers who drop by for the giveaway, see your teaser, like it, and then decide to give you a try. So decide which way you want to go and then own it. Teasers should be good excerpts of your book AND a very pretty graphic to go with it. MAKE SURE TO PUT LINKS! In the example below I added in two small prizes to sweeten the pot, but not enough to draw big crowds just for the giveaway. It’s OK if you DON’T have lots likes and comments on teasers. That is normal. People who read and comment on your teasers are people interested in your book, not just the giveaway. Just think of it like that and it makes more sense (and spares your feelings when you only get ten likes and comments when all your giveaways have 100).
4. People are visual, so the quality of your graphics should be the best you can do. I make all my own graphics—from covers to teasers and everything in between. So I spend an enormous amount of time on graphics for each takeover. And I NEVER do the same takeover twice. Each one is made specifically for the book I’m releasing and the blog I’m guest-posting for.
5. Interact with your guests, have fun with them by making up original questions, and BE INTERESTING. I bet there are a lot of authors in this business wondering how I get away with saying fuck in pretty much everything I post. Well, I say fuck a lot in my real life. Fuck and Julie are the same thing. Everyone who reads me knows this because the person I am online is the person I am in real life. Be fucking REAL. I do these questions called Lie, Lie, Truth – this is a game one of my characters played in a story with his love interest and I carried it over into the real world. So every time I play Lie, Lie, Truth with readers I give them an outlandish fact about myself. I’m a colorful person. I have shit to talk about for days. People think 18 was a made-up story, well, I toned my real life the fuck down to publish that book. You really do not want to hear about how crazy I was at 16, let alone 18. (Or maybe you do, which is why I give that shit out in a Lie, Lie, Truth question. People never know if I was a groupie for White Snake, hiked the Appalachian trail, or wrote my master’s degree thesis on how the FBI fucking lied about the anthrax scare after 911).
6. Pick winners efficiently and post them for everyone to see. Ask readers to find their friends for you if they are winners. Everyone hates “that author” who never sends prizes. I might take two months to send a prize (and never apologize for it) but I DO send them.
7. Be honest about your book. If the book sucks I’d advise working on your craft instead of promotion. Writing a good book is requirement number one. Everything else comes after. But you can practice your marketing while you practice your writing. I wrote a blog post on here years ago called, “Fake it till you make it” and that’s exactly what I did when I started out.
8. Be organized. Look at how I structure my posts. I put the time it goes up, the giveaway number, the prize, the question, and what I want them to do. THIS IS 50% of your success. Your graphic is another 25% and your book is the remaining 25%. Don’t rush writing up your takeover. Take your time. It takes me 8-10 hours to make a fourteen post giveaway with custom graphics and I’m an expert at this. If you’re going to spend money on a takeover and be serious, then take your time and do it right. And for fuck’s sake, make sure you put up all the links to the book you want people to look at.
9. Find a blog that has at least 10,000 fans on the page. NO EXCEPTIONS. I think my cut off these days is somewhere around 25K fans to do a takeover on a page. Otherwise I’m just bringing my own fans along and not getting anything back. So make sure you choose the right fan page.
10. DO bring YOUR fans with you. Post your takeover announcement graphic everywhere and give a nice short link to the fan page. Ask your fans to like the page when they get there. In every post, in fact. ASK, ASK, ASK for what you need. And in order to make it worth the fan page’s time you need to give back to them by having your fans like the page.
11. Because you are associating yourself with a blog/fan page, make sure they are good people. You get to decide what that means, but be careful. There are bad people everywhere and you do not want to get caught up in their shit.
OK, that’s all I have for this week. Next time I will talk about how I structured my 2013 to guarantee that everyone would be talking about me. You don’t want to miss that one. Now go plan your next takeover.
And if you’d like to enter my 321 One-Year Anniversary Giveaway, you can do that here or by clicking the graphic.
Until next time, bitches—
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