Yesterday was the launch of Laura Roeder‘s Facebook Fame* on Amazon. To help celebrate and encourage sales for her digital book, she held a live, virtual book launch party. The service she used, Vokel, allowed her to broadcast via webcam, have a live chat, and feature guests or attendees could be seen through video as well.
She did giveaways of Kindles, an iPad, and sponsor products (I did not win anything, alas). There were special guests, such as Derek Sivers of CDBaby fame, and opportunities for guests and attendees to do dramatic readings of the book. I don’t know the final numbers, but for the two hours I hung out there were around 250 attendees.
One guy was really not happy. He seemed to be in it for the prizes and was not shy in voicing his opinions on what was wrong with the whole thing. I never saw Laura confront him, and I was glad. As much as I wanted him to be told how rude he was, it was better to ignore the one partypooper in favor of all the happy campers.
His complaint that the LKR team wasn’t as prepared as they should have been did have some merit. One note I took was that when I do one of these, I will do a trial run with the various tech services I will be using.
While it didn’t really bother me, the lack of flow because of problem solving did take some of the professional edge off. On the other hand, seeing an internet celebrity deal with mistakes in an authentic way without getting flustered added to my respect of her.
There is a fine line to walk when you are a leader: you want to give people a reason to believe you are worth following without being so advanced that your tribe thinks they have no chance at similar success.
This guy had a right to his opinion, whether I agreed with it or not. Still, how many people attend a party and tell as many people as possible what they don’t like about it and how the hostess could improve things? Thankfully, not very many.
Making new friends
While I found one person I was definitely not going to connect with in the future, I also made a (Facebook, natch) friend, Erin Griggs. Her name in the chat was “Wordlinguese” which immediately peaked my interest. (Mine was just my first and last name; note to self: brand better in these situations!)
I checked out her website and found we had a lot in common: we’re both doing work with words, have a great sense of humor, and like fantasy books. Plus, she calls herself a “Wordslinger,” which is awesome and in the spirit of how I call myself a “Wordsmith.” I “liked” her Facebook page and left a comment explaining who I was and how I found her, to which she kindly replied.
This was not about making friends with the competition. I believe there are enough clients out there to go around, and the more people I know in my niche, the better. I’m eager to share what we know so we can both be more successful and serve more people.
It can be defeating to find someone else who is doing what you’re doing. You can start to wonder why you should even bother, because someone else is already doing it. But the snowflake rule is true: no one does something exactly the same way you do, because it’s impossible. And one person can’t serve everyone who needs what they offer. Maybe she’ll be fully booked and want someone to refer to. Maybe I’ll get someone that I think would be a better fit for her. At the least, I will have a colleague to commiserate, cheer, and geek out with.
I thought this party was great, and I hope to attend more in the future. It was fun, informational, and I applaud Laura not only for her successful party, but for getting her book into so many hands that Amazon’s ranking machine overheated (okay, I don’t know that for sure, but she seemed to be ranking high on a lot of lists).
Now, it’s time to actually read the reason for all this fuss! Look for a review in the near future.
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Have you attended any book launches, virtual or in real life? What did you think of them? Leave a comment and let me know.
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