How to host your own author event on Facebook or Instagram Live

This year, like many of our Fremantle Press authors, you might have been ready to launch your new book the traditional way, in a bookshop over some old cheese and a glass of vino, but now that’s no longer possible, why not take this as an opportunity to have fun with social media?

Follow in the footsteps of Paper Bird Books in Fremantle, who have started a Home Club on their Instagram page. Their Instagram Live events feature children’s book authors and illustrators such as our beloved Fremantle Press authors James Foley, Norman Jorgensen, Meg McKinlay, Deb Fitzpatrick, Kelly Canby, Kathryn Lefroy and Dianne Wolfer. Tune in at 10.30 am on weekdays, or access their recorded Live videos on their YouTube channel.

Below are some tips on how authors can host an engaging event on Facebook or Instagram to build an engaged community.

Get your brain juices flowing
Grab a cuppa and preferably an enviable array of snacks before you get settled at your desk for some brainstorming. First off, you’d want to think about what you’d like to share with your Facebook or Instagram community. It could be a virtual book launch, a catch-up on what you’ve been up to during self-isolation, or a Q&A about yourself, but these are just a few suggestions. There are no rules, and the world is your oyster. Don’t be afraid to get personal – your community is genuinely interested in what you have to share!

Write it down!
Jot some dot points down, or go ahead and create a script on what you’d like to say. You can even do a test run in front of the mirror to calm your nerves and get your camera ready; we know it can be daunting being on camera in front of so many people!

Get camera-ready
Figure out where you want to host your Facebook or Instagram Live. It can be any space you’re comfortable in, such as at your desk or in the garden – whichever feels most authentic to you. Feel free to do some decoration, or show the world your space as is – we won’t judge! As long as your community can see your face (and know that you’re not an impersonator …) they’ll be a happy audience.

Lights, camera, action!
Now it’s time to set up your Live.

  • For Facebook: Log into the Facebook app on your phone and click onto the homepage. Here you will find an option that says ‘Live’ under the status box. Press the ‘Live’ button and adjust your background and face filters as needed using the buttons at the bottom of the screen. Don’t worry, this won’t be made public until you click ‘Start Live Video’. If you’re on your computer, look under the additional options to create a post from your homepage and click on ‘Live Video’. Be aware that you won’t have access to the same features on different devices – for example, face filters are only available on the mobile app, but you can only access things like polls and questions on the desktop site, so think about how you want to structure your live event before you choose your device.
  • For Instagram: Log into the Instagram app on your phone and click onto the homepage. From here, you can either swipe right, which will take you straight into ‘Stories’, or you can tap the camera button in the top left-hand corner of the screen.  Once you’re in, swipe across to ‘Live’ at the bottom of the screen.

Remember to fix your hair and check you haven’t left any dirty clothes on the floor behind you before pressing ‘Start Live Video’ on Facebook, or ‘Live’ on Instagram. And that’s it, you’re in! If you don’t want a permanent copy of this event, you can delete or hide it from your timeline once it’s finished.

Hot tip

You can let your followers know that you’ll be hosting a live event by posting about it across your social media channels, or you can even schedule it through the Facebook desktop site. This could be a couple hours, a day, or even a week in advance. Get them excited!

We look forward to seeing some Facebook/Instagram Live updates on your social media channels! Tag us @FremantlePress #FremantlePress.

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