What is an Author Takeover?
An author takeover is when an author throws an event or opens their fan group to other writers so they may talk about their books.
Yes. You read that right.
The point of an author takeover is for an author to gather similar genre writers to share followers and strengthen networking bonds. This could be in response to a new release, rerelease, or just because. Some writers do one monthly and others couldn’t tell you the last time they took part much less hosted one.
By encouraging your followers to go to this event, they might discover the author who came on before or after you and become a faithful reader of their books and yours. And vice versa, their readers come, take part, and might become a follower of yours.
Events used to be wildly successful, but due to FB AIs, that hasn’t been the case according to many authors.
Instead, authors opened their FB groups to these takeovers. With the AI configuration, their followers see the takeover posts in their newsfeed consistently, even more if they are active in the group, and it allows for more Rated M for mature games for some genres.
The perk of doing these things in groups:
- If members participate, the posts will not show up for their family and friends to see, and they can be as wild/carefree/honest as they want to be.
- FB has allowed pages to join groups. This makes it easier on the authors who use a pen name or want to keep a clear line of separation between their user profile and strangers.
The downside of doing these in groups:
1) Your followers will have to join the group to see/engage with you doing a takeover in the group.
The perk of doing these as events:
- Everyone can invite others/easy to share.
- Anyone can go to it.
- They don’t have to actually join the event to participate—someone could share a post; it shows up on their wall, someone else comments on it, and boom, you’ve extended your reach.
The downside of events:
1) You have to plan the event accordingly.
For the best chance of getting your event posts to publish on people’s walls and be seen in their newsfeeds, according to Adventure Social, is that you want your event to end a day or two after your last post. That way, FB AI considers your posts relative and will show them more.
2) People say they will come and forget all about it.
**If you use photos you find on the internet/FB, please do not clip out the watermark. If you’ll tag the photographer or model, they could take part which could give you exposure to more readers.
Yep. Games. You didn’t think you’d spend 15-30 minutes just talking about your books, did you? The most successful takeovers have the authors using interactive memes and games to get people participating.
For most, they thank the author for giving them the chance, pitch their books, post their social media, bring out the games, and end with a few giveaways. Some qualifications for the giveaways could be following your FB page, joining your newsletter, or coming up with the most creative answer on a game.
Useful Game URLs
- Random Comment Picker: https://commentpicker.com/
- Polls: https://www.strawpoll.me/
- State Visitor Map: https://m.maploco.com/visited-states/
Yes. A giveaway could be a copy of your books, a gift card, or even a copy of the hosting author’s book. The prizes are as limitless as your creativity.
Do I have to be published to participate?
Not unless the author makes that a stipulation to join.
Takeovers are a good way to increase your follower count before you hit publish. By using gift cards and the hosting author’s book(s) as prizes, you give the readers a reason to participate, and depending on the stipulations you place to earn the prizes.
Problems with Takeovers.
There are not really any issues with takeover themselves. They can be as time consuming as you want them to be. Some authors keep a Google Doc filled with the wordage of games, sign-ups, URLs, etc. handy so they can interact with the people attending/participating instead of hunting for posts materials.
If you’re hosting one, or wanting to throw one, they can be hard to manage. It isn’t something that you can just set it and forget it. Be actively involved in making sure that things aren’t getting caught in FB filters and need your approval, that someone’s time isn’t being cut short, that someone else didn’t run over their allotted time, that someone didn’t mistake their time because of time zone differences, etc. There are companies that will put takeovers together and manage them if you don’t feel you’re up to the challenge or just don’t want to be responsible for all the little things that make these work smoothly.
The only thing I stress is pay attention to the genres. It doesn’t make much difference if you write anything/everything, but if you’re writing romance and participate in a horror or a sci-fi, the interactions and enthusiastic interest isn’t going to be the same as if a horror writer participated in a horror themed takeover or a romance to romance, etc. Look at holidays, seasons, and see if you can put together a genre/themed event to spark interest.
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This post was edited/proofed by ProWritingAid.