This is no doubt a strange time and the longer our practice of Social Distancing is around, the more we find ourselves in need of friends and someone to chat with. One night as I sat in bed watching Jimmy Fallon broadcast the Tonight Show from his home, an idea came to me. Fallon was without any of the bells and whistles that normally are part of a network television show, it was just him, chatting about everyday life, family stuff, and ways to manage this isolation—yet, people were tuning in to watch. He gave viewers the feeling that wherever they were and whatever they were going through, they weren’t in this alone. That inspired me to try and bring the same kind of togetherness to my friends and followers in the book world. Sure, I could have done a live show on my Facebook Author Page, but I wanted to do more, so I reached out to bloggers and book groups and set up a schedule where each Monday, I broadcast my show from a different Blogger or Book Group’s Facebook page. Within the hour, I had my schedule filled through the middle of June. Doing the show has been a blast, I love it, the readers love it, and the various groups appreciate that I am here to support them and their followers during this difficult time. If you’d like to join in the fun, following is the schedule to date. Going forward check my Facebook Author Page for upcoming dates.
April 6 – SUE’S READING NEIGHBORHOOD
April 13 – A NOVEL BEE
April 20 – LINDA’S BOOK OBSESSION
April 27 – READING IS MY PASSION
May 4 – SUZY APPROVED BOOK REVIEWS
May 11 – RENEE’S READING GROUP
May 18 – NOVELS & LATTE
May 25 – BOOKS NOOKS and FUN
JUNE 1 – HIGH SOCIETY BOOK CLUB
You’ve probably heard authors talk about algorithms, it’s how websites like Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and countless others measure the traffic coming and going through the messages or books you have on the world wide web. With Facebook, they measure how often a fan visits your author page, how many articles they “like” or comment on, and how frequently they share one of your posts with their friends. Based on these factors, they give me a list each week listing the top fans. Those people are then given a TOP FAN diamond badge that appears alongside their name whenever they post on my page.
This enables me to thank those fans and followers and that’s exactly what I am doing. Each week, one of the TOP FANS is randomly selected to receive the book of their choice from my collection. I love doing this, it is such a fun way to show my fans how much I appreciate their loyalty. If you are not already a Top Fan, CLICK HERE to stop by my Facebook author page and join in the fun.
Few things are more fun than time spent with good friends, whether we do it in person or online; and with the current Social Distancing guidelines, online seems to be the venue of choice. Book Blogger Linda Zagon and I recently cooked up just such an evening and had a ball doing it. The event was a Facebook Live Party on LINDA’S BOOK OBSESSION and we drew quite a crowd. Over 400 gals came with their virtual beverages, lots of fun questions about books, and some great thoughts about surviving the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, the party ran longer than anyone expected but at the evening we all agreed, it was something we should do again—and soon. Social Distancing can be hard on almost anyone, but it somehow helps to know we are in this together.
I love a fun surprise, and I’m pretty certain my followers do as well. So, imagine the smiles when my fans sit down to read my new release and find that they’ve become a character in the book. I’ve done this a number of times before, and each time it brings about a lot of happy giggles. Early on, while I am working on the book, I ask the members of my BFF Clubhouse to suggest names for characters in the new book that I am working on—theirs or someone close to them. I always end up with way more names than I can use, but no one knows which ones will make it into the book. I say nothing more until the book is published, then I wait and let them discover it for themselves. This is flat out fun for everyone. As I said, I’ve done it before and you can be pretty certain I will be doing it again.
Introducing a visual version of audiobooks… I have to credit one of my fans for suggesting the idea for this event. It happened during a Facebook Live Event—I was chatting back and forth with followers when one of them asked that I read from one of my books. The suggestion took me by surprise and while I wasn’t ready to do so that moment, I mulled it over and thought I’d give it a try. To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical, figuring who’d want to listen to an author reading a chapter or two from one of their books. But still… I went ahead and planned an early evening Facebook Live Storytelling Session, then announced it to my followers. Much to my surprise a sizable crowd showed up and the storytelling experiment turned out to be a lot of fun—so much so that it’s now become a regular feature on my Facebook Author Page.