How to Host a Platform Party

 

How can authors target readers on a specific platform? What’s the best way to educate your audience about their book-buying and eReader options, to ensure they’re happy with their digital reading experience?

Author R.L. Syme was mulling over these questions and decided, why not throw a party? Specifically, she wanted to focus on Kobo, and help engage readers with the platform without pressure. She asked indie author friends to join her, put together amazing prizes, decided on a theme, and the stage was set. Syme and her fellow authors invited their readers to Fall in Love with Kobo Romance.

The result? Over 400 people reached. Increased fan engagement for each author involved. Major bump in sales and category rankings—several authors hit the Kobo Top 50 list, and #1 in their categories. Quite a remarkable success, considering the event was specifically, intentionally focused on the Kobo platform, not on the participating authors or their books! We thought this was such a smart, unique idea, that we invited several of the participating authors to share the secrets behind the event’s success.

Several titles featured in the event ranked in Kobo’s Top 50 eBooks list.

 

 1) Set a specific goal and choose a theme

The goal here was to help readers discover a new platform – Kobo – and the theme was romance. Syme said, “A key feature of the online event was that there were no author names on the header, and no book covers on the header. The point had to be to help readers get to know and enjoy the Kobo platform. In the long run, having readers familiar with all platforms, and having a diverse access to all platforms will help us… Authors need to get involved in helping to curate the reading experience for readers. We need to help readers find a place where they love to get books, not just the place that’s the most convenient. It’s a win-win.”

 2) Choose an organizer to coordinate the authors, and an event coordinator who is experienced at running Facebook parties

Elena Aitken noted that Syme came up with the idea for the party, coordinated all of the details, and chose an assistant to run the Facebook event. “It was a great idea to target readers on different platforms, so I was all in,” Aitken said.

3) Give away significant, exciting prizes

The authors gave away four Kobo eReaders, several gift cards, and a coupon code to download select eBooks for free from Kobo for a limited time.

“Because we had so many authors, no one had to foot the entire bill, and we were able to give away far bigger prizes by all banding together. This both attracted readers and made our fans feel like we were engaged in them by offering this prize to them. Both can go a long way in author-reader relationships in the future,” Syme said.

Syme worked with a professional graphic designer to create ads for the event that clearly represented the party’s goal, theme, and prizes.

 4) Use trivia questions that are purposefully discussion-promotive and on topic

“One of the cool things the organizer did was put up Kobo trivia questions like, Where can you read Kobo books? Answer: on a Kobo eReader, or with the Kobo app on any tablet or computer… Participants had to answer the trivia questions about Kobo for a chance to win a Kobo eReader.” -Kylie Gilmore

 5) Invite fellow authors, and collectively invite all of your readers

By choosing one genre as a theme for a platform party, you bring together readers with similar tastes and have the added benefit of helping them discover new, great authors.

“I think cross promoting with other authors is a key to success. The event was a great example of cross promotion and introducing readers to a new platform.”-Chelle Bliss

6) Measure your success

Syme tracked several metrics from the event, such as click-throughs from ads and links, and rankings and sales on kobo.com. She said that the best way to coordinate a party like this is to run it “like a specific campaign: a defined beginning, measurable goals, data gathering, analysis, response, and follow-up. Then, a defined end.”

“One of my books ended up on the front page of Kobo as a bestseller for the day. That was a first for me and very exciting. The visibility the event gave me was priceless. Plus, we reached out to readers and helped educate them about a great platform for reading that they might not previously have been familiar with.” –Krystal Shannan

 7) Publish directly with the platform you’re promoting, and reach out to them to see if they’re interested in helping

Aitken said that being in touch with the Kobo Writing Life team as part of your planning process will help ensure that every participating author can take advantage of opportunities, such as being involved in a coupon code giveaway. The KWL team always loves hearing about cool author initiatives, and are happy to help when we can.

If you’re planning a platform party, contact us at writinglife@kobo.com to let us know!

About the Authors:

 

R.L. Syme

R.L. Syme

Books on Kobo

http://twitter.com/beck_a_tron

http://facebook.com/rlsyme

http://rlsyme.com

 

 

Elena Aitken

Elena Aitken

Books on Kobo

www.twitter.com/elenaaitken

https://www.facebook.com/elenaaitken.author

www.elenaaitken.com

 

 

Chelle Bliss

Chelle Bliss

Books on Kobo

https://twitter.com/ChelleBliss1

http://www.facebook.com/authorchellebliss1

http://www.chellebliss.com

 

 

 

 

Krystal Shannan

Krystal Shannan

Books on Kobo

https://twitter.com/KrystalShannan

https://www.facebook.com/KrystalShannanAuthorPage

http://www.krystalshannan.com

 

 

 

Kylie Gilmore

Kylie Gilmore

Books on Kobo

https://twitter.com/KylieGilmoreToo

https://www.facebook.com/KylieGilmoreToo

http://www.kyliegilmore.com

 

 

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