Tips for an Online Social Event

Guest Post
by Kim Mutch Emerson

Authors are awesome! We know how to create a universe, solve murders, negotiate with someone bent on destroying the world, and how to match lovers up with their perfect partner. What most of us are not great at is marketing our books. It makes us all squishy inside. We would rather face a three headed giant than write an ad. That is one of the big reasons I try to create fun ways to help authors “market” their stuff. I put the word market in quotes because it’s more about building relationships to me than selling stuff.

Big advertising and marketing campaigns are too expensive for most indie authors. The most affordable tools we have are the social media sites. The keyword here is “social”. We can’t treat them like billboards or people will tear out their hair and go screaming for the hills. People are not on these networks to read ads. They are on the networks to socialize and build relationships. One good way to build relationships online is to team up with other authors and create an online social event.

I can hear it now, “how are we supposed to sell books at an online social event?” Glad you asked. I have a few pointers.

Arriving at the Party: Building Relationships Online

• Don’t just post and run. That’s like asking a question at a gathering and then turning and walking away as people answer you. Interact with people. Ask them questions and then respond to them.

• Take an interest in them. Find out what your target audience enjoys. Talk about those subjects.

• Use images, video, quotes.

• Team up with other authors who write in your genre. Interact with them. Share their books and have them share yours.

Become the Life of the Party

• Don’t wash the dirty diapers in public. I am not saying you should be dishonest in your public image. I am saying try to keep the negative as private as you can. Although a lot of people like to gripe and complain and you might get a lot of action on a negative post, most people don’t really enjoy the smell of dirty diapers.

• Make it positive, make it fun. Find fun ways to share stuff. I do a weekly eBook giveaway on my Facebook status called Winner’s Wednesday. It is very rarely my own book. This creates four things. It makes the author happy, it makes the reader happy, it makes me happy and while we are doing it people are seeing the game scroll by in their newsfeed and they think to themselves, Oh, yeah! I have to remember to play that game next week and try to win a book.

• My all-time favorite way to “market” is with a Facebook party or event. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

~ Wrong way: post a bunch of stuff that says “buy my book” or “I’m so cool.” If you create an event and just use it as a big billboard it will become a huge turn off.

~ Right way: make things interactive. Ask questions, post games, videos, jokes, surveys. If you do a giveaway make sure the winner gets the prize.

Putting together a multi-day, multi-author event takes a lot of effort, but it can work out really well. If you think it’s more responsibility than you want to take on yourself, there are companies out there which will do it for a fee. Or, you can probably find an event through one of the author groups you belong to on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms. Still not sure it’s your cup of tea? Stop by the MKSP Publishing Facebook event Nov 29th-Dec 2nd to get a good feel for what goes on. Nearly 100 indie authors will be featured. The only requirements to participate were: 1. Each author is responsible to have engaging content and give away several prizes. 2. All authors were required to offer their books for 99 cents. Authors do not have to be published by MKSP to participate.

So stop by, check it out, and see if this is something you’d like to participate with next year (for the Black Friday event), or, if you think this is something you could pull together with some of your writing colleagues. No matter how you do it, make sure you have a good time.

Owner of Master Koda Select Publishing, LLC, Kim Mutch Emerson’s deepest joy comes from assisting other writers in creating their dreams. She is an award-winning author who enjoys a good adventure on and off the written page. You can learn more about Kim on Facebook or on her Amazon Author Central page.

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50 thoughts on “Tips for an Online Social Event”

  1. Great post, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing this information with those of us who may be “online marketing challenged”. Will be dropping by the event on Black Friday. 🙂

    1. It’s great to meet you S.A. and you are so welcome. We were all new at one time. The way we can create success for everyone is to join together and help each other.

      1. Thanks Kim, you are an inspiration to all of us. I have been thrilled with the support received from Master Koda in the short amount of time I have been in the group. Looking forward to working with you and other fellow Master Koda members even more when my novel and book of short stories is ready for publication. Love supporting other Indie authors and promoting them when/where I can… Thanks 🙂

  2. You do a perfect job of it. Your guidance is such an inspiration. You make it fun with your enthusiasm and upbeat personality. I would follow you to the moon if I had to!!!

  3. Excellent advice, Kim, thank you! I’m looking for more ways to put the “fun” back in “marketing.” Um, wait. They only have one letter in common. We’ll have to work on that. 😀

  4. Thank you for writing this! I am still learning from you, Kim. This is a whole new and wonderful world for authors and readers online, and you seem to have a very human and heartfelt approach to it always. I very much appreciate that.

    1. Thanks John. I have never been a big fan of facades. No matter who a person is, that is who they should be or everyone sees a fake. I feel that is the foundation. Thanks for taking a moment to visit.

  5. Hey there … Its a ‘Good-Day-When’ Kim Mutch Emerson puts her heart, mind and soul into helping others … This is a great example, and I am privileged to be part of the Master Koda Select Team … Koda Kudos to Kim and a Huge Thank You for all you do! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      Thank you for your question. On my timeline when I do a giveaway I will come up with a simple game. I have done everything from “be the third person to post a comment” to “write a story about how we met – but it has to be a lie”.

      During the events we play games such as “caption a photo” and the person that gets the most likes wins the prize. Another thing we have done is use to pick the winner randomly.

      We will be using rafflecopter at this event for the grand prizes. People can enter the raffle each day and the one with the most points will win. We have five grand prizes to give the winners.

      Those are a few ideas. I hope they help.

      1. Good stuff, Kim. Kathryn, if you’d like more detail on Kim’s ideas, we have chapters on games, releases, and Rafflecopter in Volume 2 of the Indies Unlimited tutorial book which is free today. Also, if you stop by the party Friday, I’m sure these tactics will be in action. 🙂

  6. Kim, you are an inspiration. You asked me why would I rather be with your company than so this myself as successful as I was, and this is why. You offer more on a personal level than any publisher ever could have and I am proud to have the MKSP logo in my books and also proud to have you as a friend.

    1. Oh Stephanie, you sure know how to make a girl cry. You know I love you and stand right beside you. This year has been a challenge for you, but the sun is rising, my friend. I know you will feel the rays of light soon.

  7. Great post, Kim! I’m a huge fan of easy to follow bullet points. hehe

    For those who haven’t had the pleasure of working with Miss Emerson, let me tell you, she knows her stuff! Without her, my book launch would’ve been a miserable failure and I’d still be curled up in the fetal position in a dark corner somewhere. Thanks seems too small a word to hold the gratitude felt for all you’ve done for me and others.

    1. Jacqueline, you make me giggle. Thank you for your kind words, but you would have been just fine without me. You are true to yourself and people feel that. They want to connect with real people.

  8. Hi Kim. Stopped by when I heard you were to be on tonight. I can’t afford to miss your words of wisdom. Looking forward to the big holiday event. I hope to meet lots of new peeps. I know it will sure be fun!

  9. Great post, Kim. I agree with you about building relationships rather than yelling “buy my book!” at people. Looking forward to taking part in the Black Friday bash this weekend!

  10. Great tips! I also agree with interacting and building relationships. Your heart is bigger than the ocean and I absolutely love your attitude. You are an inspiration to us all.

  11. Fantastic! I think you might have written one of the posts with the most comments! You and Tamy helped me immensely with my recent launch, with your ideas, and her script and everything. It’s definitely true that you can’t ask something and run away – you have to stay there. On my launch day, I was there the whole time from when I got up until I went to bed – long before the party started. And it was great. To my surprise, people popped in all day and chatted. I was amazed at the support.
    I hope the Black Friday event is awesome, Kim. I’d thrilled to be part of it. 🙂

  12. Vickie, I see you as an example of good networking. You are personal and caring. I see such huge growth in you from six months ago. It’s amazing what a team can do.

    When I state you can’t post something and then run away, I mean in general – not just at an online party. We want to be mindful of that little tidbit in all our dealings online. This is something that you are good at. You follow up and people remember that.

    Blessings to you Vickie!

  13. I agree with every word every one said. You are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for just being you and never stop to encourage us. You are a blessing. Soon I will be on board as well.

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