How to … Using Facebook events to Host a Book Launch.

So, I’m having a Facebook book launch today for my new book, Building An Author Platform. It’s a book full of marketing tips for authors trying to find their Tribe. Without spending a fortune or living Every waking minute on social media…

I’ve had a couple of questions ahead of time, from authors who are interested in how to launch a book on Facebook, so I thought a wee blog might be in order.

First things first, here is a (very) basic video of how to set up The Event on Facebook

Now once you’ve done this, you can have the biggest conniption fit about how the heck you’re supposed to keep people entertained.

And that’s where this blog comes in;

Number one, make your launch two to three hours long – only go longer if you’re comfortable being live on-line for that long.

I’ve set mine for three hours, during the school day ~ I couldn’t think, answer questions, panic about whether I’d understood the question, try and drink a cup of tea, and also try to answer very serious requests for dinner, or where are his other trainers are…

(I’ve actually scheduled my launch to stay open till 8pm, but I’ve clearly written in the description that the launch will finish at 2pm, but will be available until 8pm for people who are working and want to pop in and have a nosey later.)

After the logics were sorted out…I Got Prepared

Panic is the mother of organisation, let me assure you.

My launch today is about author marketing, so I’ve written lots of little tips (on a word document) about things authors can try to do, to reach more people and engage with them. I’ll then copy and paste one status every ten minutes or so, and hope my guests find them useful and maybe ask questions. I’ve created a couple of blog posts too, as I’ve had questions ahead of time (thank goodness), and so I’ve written a more detailed response. I’ve used YouTube and Facebook video where I can. (I’m not brave enough for Facebook live yet — but who knows, by the end of this day, I may jump in)

But if you’re launching a fiction book, here’s some things to thinks about;
Have a list of statuses that you can post every ten minutes or so. (Including website links) It will take the stress out of it.

What era is your book based? Can you choose music that matches? — if so, find the music videos on YouTube, and put them on your page, giving a short, chatty reference about how it relates to your character. Or something like “and we’ll kick today off with this number from the 80’s, when (my character) was born..”

Is there particular food or drink in your book, tag up recipes.

Where is your book based; post some gorgeous photos of the backdrop that inspired you.

Is your heroine a fashionista – post some pinterest photos of the outfits she would wear.

Think about your ideal reader and what would appeal to them? Gardening, walking, trees, stars, horoscopes…

The list is endless, post lots of interesting snippets that will leave your audience desperate to find out about your characters and their journey.

Having the posts prepped up will leave you completely free to chat with people.

Good luck with your launches, Writerly Folks.

J x

Keeping the reader turning the page.

Writing for TV


Take Friends and Cougar Town, even shows like Desperate Housewives and Castle.

These shows, like a novel or short story, start with the first season, the first episode; you will find the characters and the setting feel a bit ….well, forced.

Our actors are over-acting as they try to figure our the traits of their characters, there is the back story to be laid out for the viewer, and the reveal of the angst in the protagonists past that motivates them now — which all builds up to the first 4 episodes — this can be a bit of a slog for the viewer to get through. The shows that become great, arguably, have ‘the spark’ right from the start, but those first four shows are where your audience decide if they are going to invest in the characters, their believability and their story.

Now, by the time the fifth show is filmed, the actors are becoming more comfortable with their characters and who they are supposed to be. The backstory has been told and the writer can start cracking jokes and weaving the story they actually wanted to tell in the first place. In the case of a sitcom they have to hit the ground running, cramming in the past, the present and plot points. Once filming has begun there is no going back when they’re six shows in to re-film episode one.

But as the writer we have the time, (and lack of funds) to write, read, edit. Write, read, edit – rinse and repeat – you get the idea.

As writers we often hear the aphorisms ‘show don’t tell’ and ‘less is more’, (btw I think sayings like these are equally right and wrong, depending on what you’re writing.) But we don’t have the first four episodes (chapters) to warm up our readers, we have to get them on the first page to keep them turning.

Some of my work that I’m the most happy with are my flowery, descriptive introductions — I craft and polish, read and edit, in efforts to create the exact opening scene I see in my mind’s eye….

But one of the hardest things I’ve had to teach myself is to leave it alone; once I’ve edited the work to death, I force myself to drawer it, wrap it, box it, attic it; whatever works, but it has to be out of sight for a good fortnight, maybe more. And then, with fresh eyes, I re-read. And, without fail, it’s the introduction that always get cut; the introduction is the self-involved ego of the piece. It’s the fluffy waffle that isn’t giving the reader anything. All those hours; sent to the Archive Bin.

But what can I tell you – writing is hard. And yet in our hoards, we keep coming back for more.

Happy writing folks.