Ideas for how to best engage the members, market your work, and build a fanbase all at once.
Creative Ideas For Your Takeover Month
For your “takeover” month, we suggest having a Read-Along Challenge of your book of choice. It is recommended to pick the first book in your series (if you have a series), as this will be the best way to get more sales of successive books. You, along with the ambassadors, can post a weekly chat, offer up questions, ideas, polls, etc. around your book and its themes. Posting quotes from the book, fan-cast images, and discussion questions are all great ways to engage the members and encourage them to read along. Your most intriguing content will garner the most participation, so get creative.
Offer incentives to your members to read your book, such as offering a free eBook to the first 5 to comment on your post, contests to win free stuff (books, swag, and more.), signed copies of your books, etc. The group also offers insights such as “top contributors.” You could give away a prize to the member who participated the most at the end of your takeover month. Whatever you do, make it fun and exciting and they will engage!
Introducing Your Book to the Group:
Introduce your book the group with enthusiasm. “If you like [insert fantasy book], you’ll love this!” Then offer a reason to participate in your read-along. “July Challenge: [Your Book Title] Read Along: participants will be automatically entered to win a signed copy!”
As a new or up-and-coming author, it can be difficult to get people on board with your books. Don’t let that daunt you. Offer best-sellers similar to yours in conjunction with your takeover month. For example, offer all participants of your read-along a free copy of your book, plus a free copy of a NYT best-selling fantasy book too.
Before you begin your read-along, post your book trailer or teaser a few times. Build intrigue. “It’s coming… Join us this September as we read a thrilling dive into the world of the fae, where nothing is as it seems.” The more exciting you make it, the more the members will participate.
Consider making yourself available for a Live Q&A event exclusive to the group (video chat). There you can answer questions, interact with readers, and engage in a way that most fans will never get to have with their favorite authors. You can provide Ambassadors with certain questions to use throughout the Q&A, which will break the ice and encourage regular members to interact and ask their own questions.
It is suggested that a Q&A last for an hour, advertised for at least 2 weeks prior, to ensure the members are aware and prepared to join.
Consider offering a giveaway to members during your takeover month. Ideas include:
- Book Box: with your book, candles, swag, t-shirt, stickers, anything that goes along with the theme of your book
- Frameable Art: commission a designer/artist to make art with a quote or characters from your book that you can print and giveaway
- Free Books: eBooks or signed copies of your books; free copies of a best-selling book along with yours (choose a bestseller that you feel is similar to your work)
- Bookmarks: have a designer/artist make bookmarks that you can have printed in bulk for giveaways
- Gift cards: such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
- Exclusive content: such as “lost” chapters/prologues/epilogues of your book (not included in your work), short stories, novellas, etc.
Games are a great way to encourage engagement with group members. Some ideas include:
- Make an online quiz or game along the theme of your book, encouraging members to play.
- Polls for characters in your book:
- Which wizard is stronger?
- Which villain is worse?
- What place would you most like to visit (use Pinterest inspiration pics)?
- “First person to comment with a pic holding my book wins [insert awesome prize]”
- “Post a video of your bookshelf. The one with the most likes wins.”
- “Post a selfie of you with your favorite fantasy book in the comments. Most likes wins.”
Think of ways you’d absolutely love to get to interact with your favorite author and then offer those to the group members. The sky’s the limit! And remember—the above are recommendations, not requirements. The more creative you can get, the better!
Interact. When a member comments on your post (whether you post it, or it is posted on your behalf by an ambassador or Minor 5 Publishing,) INTERACT. Comment, add gifs, add emojis, just interact. The more the members see your name, the more they get to know you on what they perceive is a personal level, the more likely they will be to buy your books. So don’t leave it up to everyone else. Comment, comment, comment!
Don’t leave it all up to us. Have a great idea? Something you think will really get interaction going or your sales cooking? Tell us about it and by all means, use this group to learn and grow your fan base. Hustle, brotha. Just hustle!
Assume no one knows you, but talk about your book like everyone has read it. In other words, always jump in with comments that will let people know more about you, but sell yourself in a way that implies the members are missing out if they don’t get on your fan train. Selling books is not any different than selling anything else. You’ve got to make people want it. One of the best ways to do that is by wording your pitch in such a way that implies the reader is missing out on something the rest of the world already loves. Don’t be condescending, but don’t sell yourself short!
One of the things that will make this group successful is empowering the Ambassadors to engage well with the other members. The main incentive to become an Ambassador is to get exclusive stuff from authors that no one else will have access to. It is imperative that when you make your plan for your takeover month, you include incentives for the Ambassadors to help you. Why? Because you can tout your work all day long, but when others start singing its praises, that’s when real marketing momentum happens.
Ideas for Ambassador Incentives:
Provide Ambassadors with early access to your book. Consider giving them a copy of your book a month in advance of your takeover month. Keep in mind that physical copies are a much better incentive than eBooks—particularly signed editions. This will give them time to read the book and prepare to engage well with the members when you takeover.
- Offer Ambassadors ARC copies of upcoming works. Not every Ambassador incentive has to be tied to your takeover month. Incentivize them anytime you have something you think they’d enjoy.
- Gift cards: everybody loves gift cards. Thank the Ambassadors for helping you by rewarding them now and then.
- Swag: offer Ambassadors exclusive swag they cannot get anywhere else. Ideas include: tote bags, frameable art, t-shirts, stickers, candle — anything that you can brand around your book
- Other ideas: join other fan groups on Facebook and get an idea of what those fans love. For example, there is a trend right now for scented candles that go along with the theme of favorite books (i.e.: Harry Potter “Butterbeer” candles, etc.). It is also popular for third-party artists to recreate some of their favorite jewelry/mementos from their favorite books. Consider partnering with another artist for such giveaways. (“I’ll give you a free signed edition of my book and promote your page at least 5 times if you’ll make the amulet my character wears for a giveaway.”) Find ways to get creative with your Ambassador incentives and you’ll have fans for life!
Things to remember:
Ambassador Incentives are REQUIRED as part of your role as a Featured Author. If you provide nothing else for free, you MUST provide some kind of gift/incentive to the Ambassadors in exchange for their help in the group. It is up to you what you provide, but keep in mind that the nicer the gift, the more they’re going to want to help you anytime you are featured and otherwise.
All gifts / incentives / giveaways must comply with Facebook’s Policies, which can be found here.
All interaction with the group must comply with Fantasy Books & Movies Policies, which can be found in the pinned post at the top of the group page.
As part of the benefits of being a Featured Author in FB&M, Minor 5 Publishing will provide two (2) free graphics for your unlimited use within and outside of the group. These graphics will promote your takeover month. It is highly recommended that you encourage people who have liked your author page, followed you on Twitter, Instagram, etc. to join the group and be a part of your takeover (and others). The graphics provided to you will be for you to use on your various online platforms to advertise what you’re doing.
What you’ll need to provide for the graphics:
- High Resolution image of your book cover
- Your main incentive/event for your takeover (“Win a free copy!” ~OR~ “Join us for an exclusive Q&A”, etc.)
What we will provide:
Graphics for promotion in 2 resolutions:
- 1920×1080 – HD resolution suitable for social media, screens, etc.
- 1025×1025 – smaller resolution suitable for Instagram, ads, etc.
Ready to takeover Fantasy Books & Movies?
Please click the link to fill out the form and we’ll get you scheduled!