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Facebook Live for Authors

by Michela DellaMonica, Smith Publicity Publicist and Social Media Specialist

Facebook Live is an exciting new book marketing tool by connecting with readers on the Facebook platform using live video streaming. Here’s everything you need to know about this new feature, and how you can use it to effectively promote your book.

What Is It? Facebook Live allows users to broadcast live video to their followers. Facebook Live was first rolled out in 2015 for public figures and celebrities. It is now available to all users who have smart phones, opening a new window of opportunity for authors to connect with readers.  

How it Works: In the Facebook mobile app, select the “Live” icon to broadcast live video from your smartphone. Anyone following you can tune in and share likes, reactions, and comments, as well as ask questions in real time. During the broadcast, you’ll be able to see the number of live viewers and which of your followers are tuning in. At the end of a broadcast, tap “Finish” to complete the video and it will automatically be posted and saved on your timeline.

Ways Authors Can Use It: The possibilities are endless! Here are a few ways you can use Facebook Live to build buzz for your book, enhance your book publicity efforts, and develop personal connections with your fans:

  • Promote a new or forthcoming book by reading a chapter to your followers.
  • Give readers behind-the-scenes access to where you write and your sources of inspiration. This can include a short broadcast from your desk or workspace as you share your writing routine with fans.
  • Broadcast from your next event to connect with fans who aren’t able to attend.
  • If you’re an expert in your field, broadcast a demonstration, from cooking and crafting to illustrating and organizing. Followers will love to learn from you and see you in action.
  • Broadcast from a location featured in your book.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Plan in advance—know the theme/focus of your broadcast and be prepared to answer related questions.
  • Give your broadcast a compelling name.
  • Control the quality of your video by speaking loudly and clearly. Avoid broadcasting from noisy locations.
  • Use both the front- and the back-facing camera to broadcast yourself and your surroundings. Switch between views during your broadcast.
  • During the broadcast, invite viewers to tap the “Subscribe” button so they will receive notifications the next time you are live.
  • The maximum time limit for a broadcast is currently 20 minutes. Test different times to learn which length appeals to your followers.
  • Acknowledge and interact with your audience—encourage them to comment and ask them questions.
  • Determine whether you will answer questions during your broadcast or at the end.
  • End with a call to action—such as information about your next appearance or where to purchase your book.

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