Release party post-mortem

Well, today was my first full-on Facebook/blog/Twitter release party, so now I’m writing up notes to help me in planning future events. (And perhaps other people will find this useful too! Learn from my mistakes.)

Overall I was pretty happy with it. A bigger turnout would’ve been nice, but given that I really didn’t advertise it AT ALL beforehand so it was basically just drop-in traffic from my various social media, it went well! I also got some people entering the contest and “liking” my FB blog that I didn’t know, which means I managed to expand my reach just a tiny bit outside my normal social circle, so that’s a success then. \o/

Between FB/Wordpress/twitter/tumblr, I ended up getting 14 contest entrants, which was actually better than any of my one-day contests last year on the DSP blog. On the other hand, it was spread over a bunch of social media and I wasn’t requiring anything more demanding than liking a post, whereas people for the DSP contests had to answer a question, so there is that. On the third hand, the majority who entered my contest today actually went above and beyond the basics, by reblogging/sharing and otherwise helping me spread the word, or commenting and chatting with me, so that is great. 😀

I realized in late afternoon that the contest post, which is what everyone was linking to, actually didn’t have the name of the book or a link to it or really anything to advertise the book at all, so that’s not so great. 😛 I went and hastily edited it in, and I don’t think it matters all that much since most of the people coming to the contest post today were coming by way of another post somewhere else that did have the information, but I really need to remember that in the future.

I also didn’t mean for this to consume my whole day the way that it did — mostly because I didn’t prepare anything beforehand, so I had to write up everything as I went along, select excerpts, etc. It would have been a lot more efficient if I’d prepared it all ahead of time. Although it would have still taken up my time whenever I did it, so maybe that part doesn’t matter.

However, I do feel like I should have had less idle time and more posts to engage people. I got a pretty good response on discussion posts, so I need to think about that a little more more ahead of time and have more of that kind of thing!

Also, even if I don’t prepare much ahead of time, I really need to have my intro posts ready to go. For whatever reason, writing promo copy engages the social centers of my introvert brain and I ended up feeling socially exhausted after launching the release party, which meant I wasn’t as motivated as I should have been to keep engaging for the first couple of hours — exactly when I should have been doing the most to promote it and stimulate discussion! (Not that I didn’t enjoy it; I was just tired and having trouble coming up with new things to post.) So next time, I should do all of that ahead of time, so that when I’m ready to start I can just drop in my prepared posts and be ready to launch.

And so, a bullet-point list of notes for next year:

  • “Advertise” on social media ahead of time, so people know to expect it
  • Have more discussion posts to get people engaged
  • More excerpts (probably in chronological order from the book) and perhaps writing-process posts as well, talking about writing the book; I didn’t even think of doing that this time!
  • Get my launch posts, graphics and so forth ready to go so I’m not doing them at the last minute and wearing myself out before the party even starts
  • Start a bit earlier, so there’s more time for people to participate, especially in European time zones (I didn’t get it going ’til around noon my time, which is already late afternoon on the east coast, and bedtime in Europe)
  • Perhaps I could have games of some kind – round-robin fic, scavenger hunts on blog, stuff like that?

And stuff that worked, so I should keep doing that:

  • Promo posts at Tumblr and LJ
  • Twitter links to new posts on FB/blog
  • Contests
  • Discussion posts
  • Excerpts

And perhaps the most important note to me (something I DID do this year, and need to do next year too!):

  • Have fun, because then other people will have fun too!

I'm a writer and artist living in Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Posted in Blog Hops/Guestblogging, Heatherfield

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Held for Ransom - released November 14

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