Scripting a Facebook Book Release Party

1998 cozumel dock by KSBrooksThe virtual food is out, the prizes are all lined up, and guests are starting to arrive at your Facebook party page. Now what? Well, if you’ve written a party script, it’s easy.

I freely admit that I stole the idea of writing a script. Last fall, I was involved in a MasterKoda promotion for which Kim Emerson sent around a sample script. As I looked over her sample, I realized she was doing the same things at the same time every hour. When I was in radio, we called that a clock. You’ve probably heard this kind of clock in action without realizing it; stations like WTOP in Washington, DC, promote their “traffic and weather together on the 8s” – in other words, if you want to know the weather forecast, you know you need to tune in at 8, 18, 28, 38, 48 or 58 minutes past the hour.

Anyway, I wrote my script for the MasterKoda event based on this idea, and it went pretty well. So when I began to get ready for my virtual beach party for the release of Undertow, the first thing I did was to draw myself a clock. Here’s a much neater version of what I came up with.

party clock

You can see that I planned to run two games an hour, starting them at :10 and :40, and ending each one ten minutes later. Because it was a beach party, I posted music videos from YouTube four times an hour (and I threw in an extra song for the pun limbo contest). I also included a question at :25 to get people talking, and a trivia post on a local festival at :55. And at the top and bottom of each hour, where it says “ID” on the clock, I thanked people for coming, encouraged them to stick around, and posted a link to the Rafflecopter for the door prize on my blog.

Once I had the clock done, I knew what I would need for the whole three-hour party: six games (and six prizes), three ideas for trivia posts, and three for discussion posts. I tried to keep everything beach-related, including some of the prizes; I went through my stash of yarn and made a few things especially for the party, and my daughter Kat crocheted some tiny crabs, too.

Once I had come up with the games and other post topics, writing the script was easy. I made sure to have something to post every five minutes so the party didn’t lag. I put the YouTube links right in the script, and I made a folder on my computer of photos I intended to use. When the the party started, all I had to do was copy an item from my script, paste it into the party page, upload a photo if necessary, and then keep an eye on the fun. I ad-libbed a few posts, but that’s a whole lot easier than writing all of them in real time.

I would do a couple of things differently next time. For my first game, I said I would award the prize to the person who posted the most responses. Counting those posts on the fly was a nightmare. It worked much better to have people vote on their favorite posts, because I could tell at a glance who was in the lead. Also, the games that required some creativity, such as “write a beach bestseller,” didn’t work as well as I had hoped; I will likely skip those next time.

And yes, glutton for punishment that I am, I will probably do it again. I gave away all the prizes, and some people even seemed sad that they’d missed the party. (The page is still up, and you can see how it all went by clicking here.) Best of all, I didn’t come home with sand in my swimsuit!

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

16 thoughts on “Scripting a Facebook Book Release Party”

  1. Excellent strategies, Lynne. I might try this for my next release. (I have to admit that I also tucked Kim’s script away for future reference.)

  2. I’m sorry I missed the party (hubby was home on his vaca), but it is always great to see what fun things people come up with for their book releases. Lynne, yours looks like it was a lot of fun and you had great success with it. Thanks for posting the information.

  3. Talk about organization! You had it down. Nice to see Kim Mutch Emerson getting the props she so deserves. We get all the credit while she does the hard job of coming up with something so clever and creative.

    You did a beautiful job and were a wonderful hostess. A great script without that would not work. You kept it together and did it with flair.

    Thank you for sharing Lynne.

  4. What a great way to keep it organized and, more importantly, simple. Much easier than trying to figure things on the fly and getting stressed out. I will definitely do this on my next release. Thanks a bunch for sharing. Excellent ideas!

  5. Excellent advice! Virtually, from actual people! Very impressed.
    Two key importing elements that I liked, scripting is very importing along with “controlled pacing” the flow Book Release Party with your KISS Clock. (Keep It Supper Simple).
    Inclosing, timing is everything……Reported heavy traffic on the GW Parkway coming into the District, coming up on the FIVES, The Rafflecopter Reports….

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