Help … my book marketing events have fallen down! Can they get back up?
Were you planning a book launch for your print, eBook or audiobook? If you were … there have been a few hiccups for authors. Actually, lots. And you are stuck at home to boot.
Yes, the online presence of some type was going to happen … but what else? I bet you had some signings—libraries, bookstores, even friends’ homes. Not now. The reality is that it won’t be happening this month … and possibly not next. At least, not happening in person.
That was then … this is now … at least the now of Spring 2020. So, what’s an author to do? The siren of Virtual Book Marketing is calling to you.
Start with upping your laptop and Internet skills—2020 will be the Year of the Virtual Book Events. Welcome to a new form of virtual reality when it comes to staying connected and book marketing.
And so, dear author … what are you going to do?
Here’s where I would start: decide that you can do events right in the comfort of your home of office—even the backyard! Next, put on your learning cap and discover apps that enable you to connect globally. Some you may already know … others are new. Some are more age-friendly. Then, you are going to create a campaign to push you and your book into a global stretch.
There are a variety of sites to use. Many are on overload, so patience is suggested. Most have free versions including Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Google Hangouts Meet, Facebook Live, and Facetime, YouTube, even Instagram can connect up to six at a time. These are a start. Reminder and caution. The hackers are out—make sure you read up on problems that any of the platforms are encountering before you jump in.
Because of the massive increase in use since February, so
My dozen-plus of portals to connect through include:
Skype: This app has been around for some time. It can be used on computers, mobile devices, X-Box One and even smartwatches. Groups of up to 50 people can be included at one time for video connecting and visibility.
Zoom: Typically, Zoom was geared more toward business. That changed with COVID-19 where now families can initiate a family reunion (I did a virtual brunch with friends this past weekend—a dozen of us chatted and nibble together). Personal groups of up to 100 people can meet online for free for 40 minutes. Up to 25 live “faces” can be seen by all at one time. There are business options include packages for sale that allow up to 1,000 participants.
Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts Meet: These are free in their basic form. Allows up to 100 participants at a time. You can even video chat through your Gmail account if you have one.
YouTube: You can do live streaming on your YouTube channel and then do a copy/paste with the link to you other platforms. More than a double-dip for marketing!
Note: Google owns YouTube.
Facebook Live: Viewers can connect from their cellphones, computers and even through their television set if you got the gizmos and gadgets to make that happen. If you record, you can share it through our and groups.
FaceTime: FT allows users to make video and audio calls to groups of up to 32 people. You need to get/download through the Apple store. For those with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, it is already included on your device.
Facebook Messenger: Similar to FaceTime, the FB Messenger allows free video calling around the world for individuals or groups of up to six. It can be used on cellphones, tablets, and computers.
Instagram: Up to six people can video chat at once. Instagram is one of the newbies on the scene—so expect to see some expansion on what users can do.
Note: Facebook owns Instagram.
WhatsApp: Presently, there are more than 2 billion users on the WhatsApp. Both Android and iOS platforms welcome it—therefore, it works on a variety of devices. Not for a crowd, up to four users per session are allowed.
Tango: This free app restricts video contact to two people. You can also make voice calls, send messages and play games using Tango.
Houseparty: Video game players are probably familiar with this platform. It’s a video chat app owned by Epic Games, which developed Fortnite. Those using it can play video games or test trivia skills through its interface. When my grandson is over, this is a portal he uses to jointly play with school friends. It is available through Android, iOS, Mac OS and Chrome. Another increasing popular portal is Animal Crossing.
Snapchat: Alert—Snapchat is a freebie to use but can chew up a lot of data time. It’s wise to connect to a wireless network before making any calls.
Viber: This app is good for international calls and one-on-one video calls. Calls between Viber users are free, but a fee will apply for calling people without the app—that could be an ouch.
I know that there are many others … but this starts the scratch for those who are itching to stay connected.
Yes, book marketing events have fallen down in early 2020. And yes again, they can get back up. What will be your first step to create a virtual book marketing event? Let me know so I can cheer for you.
Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and author of 37 multi-award books. She’s guided over 1,000 authors in creating their books, earned in excess of $3,000,000 in speaking fees based on her books and gathered over $2,000,000 in onsite book sales at her speaking gigs. Her book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech flips a difficult topic into a simple and easily comprehensible plan. If you want to get into speaking, this is the guide that will be the game-changer to success. And, if you want to know more about Judith’s life, her book of “hope” is When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present. You can get it HERE.
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