I've gotten quite a few questions about why I finally decided to delve into self-publishing and how I'm doing it, so I figured why not create a new blog series!
- Follow bloggers across social media platforms. They will often share takeover opportunities.
- Ask other authors if they know of any opportunities.
- Follow PAs on social media as they share a lot of stuff like this, too.
- Join various groups and interact! Please, please do not join a group, ask to takeover, then promptly leave said group. That's rude. Don't be rude.
- Follow the blogger or author on social media.
- If you're looking to do a takeover in an author's group, take some time to get to know the author. Follow them on social media, share some of their promo posts, read one (or more) of their books if you haven't already.
- Basically, don't use these groups for just your personal gain and not offer anything in return.
- If you have a group of your own, offer to return the favor to fellow authors.
- Promote the takeover on your own social media. Invite your readers / fans to attend and encourage them to share, too.
- Plan ahead! I cannot stress this enough! Plan your posts ahead of time, because once the event starts, it will move fast and time will fly, especially with shorter ones. I created a Google Drive folder where I store all my takeover images and a doc with all my posts pre-written. This makes it much easier to just copy and paste as you go.
- Use images! They snag attention a lot better than a simple written post. I use Canva to create images that coincide with the posts. (See below)
- Talk about yourself more than your books. Let them get to know you. Share stuff about your life, your likes and dislikes, etc. Let them know you as a person as opposed to someone trying to sell them something.
- Sprinkle in posts about your books with the blurb, buy link, and an excerpt. If you can make this interactive, do it! For example, I have a teaser image that has the opening paragraph of my book. I post that with the blurb and then talk a bit about how I rewrote the opening so many times before settling on that one. Then I ask what they think, if they'd keep reading based on that paragraph alone.
- Play lots of games! People love games, and if you can tie them in to your book, even better! Because my series is all about vampires and witches, I play games asking who their favorite vampires are. I'll encourage them to show me with a gif or meme, which makes it a little more fun.
- Offer giveaways. People love to win stuff and I've found the posts I make with giveaways get double the interaction than those that don't. They don't have to be huge or expensive, either. I give away digital copies of my books, audiobook codes, and sometimes small Amazon gift cards. Because I have a series, I usually stick to giving away copies of the first book so that winners will be able to start at the beginning of the series, but also because my hope is they'll enjoy it and then go buy the rest of the series.
- Don't make the requirements for playing the games too complicated. I've seen some where the author requires people to go do XYZ then come back, comment, leave a screenshot, share on social media, etc. If you make them jump through too many hoops, they'll just walk away. I usually just require people to comment with an answer to a question. It's simple for them, and it's way less work for me when it comes time to pick winners as I don't have to go verify that people did everything I expected.
- Engage the group with questions that encourage discussion. Avoid "yes" or "no" questions. Instead of asking, "Do you like romance?" ask: "What's your favorite type of romance?" This will get people talking. Readers love to gush about their favorite things, and once they do, others will join in to bond over their shared love of things. Also encourage people to talk about themselves, their likes, dislikes, etc.
- Acknowledge every single comment. Even if there's not much you can say in response, at least take a moment to like what someone says. This goes a long way to show them that you see them and appreciate them taking the time to read your posts and interact.
- At the end of the event, thank the host, thank everyone for showing up, and then invite them to follow you on social media. Include all of your links! I offer a free book to every single person who subscribes to my newsletter, so I always mention this.
As writers, we’re told to start with action or a line that will really just grab a reader’s attention. Trust me, that’s a lot harder to do than you’d think. I rewrote the opening to Eternal Curse at least 5 times before I finally settled on this one.
Based on this alone, would you want to keep reading? What’s the best or worst opening you’ve ever read in a book?
Drop them in the comments!