New author Adam Sidwell has an amazing story behind his debut novel, the self-published Evertaster, and he’s here to tell us how he got his middle-grade adventure book to Amazon’s No. 1 spot for Children’s Mystery.
Before Adam gives us the scoop, he’s represented by literary agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group, and she talks about Adam’s success with Evertaster over on From the Mixed Up Files. Evertaster wasn’t planned to be self-published. Like many such novels, the manuscript was taken out to publishers first AND, according to Alyssa, got great feedback, but sales departments didn’t bite, saying it was too quirky. When Trident launched its own ebook publishing platform, Evertaster was the first middle-grade novel in the line. And the hardwork paid off.
Using Facebook as a platform for an online launch, my debut novel Evertaster shot up into Amazon’s top 100 list in a single day. It rose as high as #51 in overall books and claimed the #1 spot in Children’s Mystery right next to John Grisham’s latest novel and one of the Percy Jackson books. On that day, Evertaster passed up many of the current New York Times bestsellers as well.
And this all happened without the help of a publisher or an experienced marketing team. My agent at Trident Media Group was astounded at Evertaster’s immediate viral success, and she’s been around the publishing block. She said she’d never seen anything like it.
There were certainly a number of circumstances involved, but the Facebook Online Launch Event was a powerful tool to help Evertaster rise so high. Here’s why:
Facebook allows users to create events that differ from wall posts in the following ways:
- Events have a specific time and date associated with it.
- Friends can join, then decline or accept the event.
- Friends can invite other friends.
In the months leading up to the launch, I was very excited to tell all my friends about the book and show off the killer cover art that was being done by Goro Fujita, Dreamworks concept artist. There it is, to the right.
So naturally I wanted to show it off, and Facebook was a great place to do that. It is the perfect platform for authors to announce to the world and their friends that their book is coming out, especially because it allows so much interaction. In the months prior to the launch, the fan base for Evertaster grew to over 2,250 fans. Some of those were friends, but the overwhelming majority were not. This was an incredible place to start for the online launch event.
After you’ve created your facebook event, you can click on “invite friends” to spread the word. You can also encourage others who are attending the event to invite friends as well. The advantage to having a specific time and place for your event is mostly this: people will remember to buy your book. We set our event for 12-2pm on launch day, and people were clamoring about it beforehand. It’s like having an online party — one that stretches across the world — and nobody has to get into their car or dress up to go. Once they get there though, they are expecting something fun. So in the case of Evertaster, I released a snippet of the book trailer I’d promised them. Then we also did a video recap of how things went. You can think of other creative media to share as well. It allows people to feel they’re part of something larger — which they are, and really makes for a fun hour in the middle of an otherwise boring work day. It is a great way to celebrate with the friends and fans of the book.
And the result? Well check it out:
To see some of the other fun ways you can engage your readers, come check out the Evertaster Facebook page.
Thanks, Adam. Facebook Events sounds like a great tool.