Opportunities for booksellers who are interested in creating a HarperCollins Facebook Live video are available for every Saturday from September 15 to December 29, 2018.
The publisher, which launched the Facebook Live program in 2017, is inviting a new bookseller to share a video on Facebook Live each week; during these videos, which are usually around 20 minutes long, booksellers can introduce themselves and the store’s staff, show how the store works behind the scenes, discuss upcoming special events, share current staff favorites, answer questions posted by commenters, and more.
“It’s an absolutely perfect time to be doing this — during the holiday shopping season,” said IndieCommerce Director Phil Davies at the March 8 online marketing roundtable session, the American Booksellers Association’s biweekly video conference held via Zoom.us. “HarperCollins will take what you post, like it, and share it with other folks, and hopefully it will snowball as far as traffic.”
Another participant in that day’s online marketing roundtable session, Andrea Thatcher, the social media manager at Wellington Square Books in Exton, Pennsylvania, agreed that these Facebook Live videos provide a great promotional opportunity.
“If you do one in the future, it would be great to have a call to action that you’re giving people,” said Thatcher. “During the session, maybe have a special book that you’re offering at a discount, especially if you do online sales. It would be good to have some way to capture people’s interest. You can also direct people to your mailing list or your social media pages — whatever you’re focusing on.”
Davies agreed, suggesting that booksellers might want to close out their Facebook Live videos with a call to sign up for the store’s mailing list or newsletter to receive a coupon, gift certificate, or unique signed title that customers can’t find anywhere else.
This year, the American Booksellers Association will be sharing booksellers’ HarperCollins Facebook Live videos with its 44,000 followers on Facebook and IndieBound. To participate in this initiative, booksellers will need a smartphone with an Internet connection and the Facebook app. HarperCollins is also helping bookstores plan their Facebook Live events this year by sending a “best practices” guide in advance of the taping date.
Booksellers interested in claiming one of these fall or winter dates should e-mail HarperCollinsFBLive@harpercollins.com and make sure to mention the referral came from ABA. To browse the numerous Facebook Live videos posted throughout 2017 and 2018, see the #HarperCollinsLovesIndies hashtag on Facebook.
The next online marketing roundtable is scheduled for Thursday, March 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST. Stores do not need to be part of the IndieCommerce program to participate; interested booksellers can send an invite request to Phil@bookweb.org.
Check out all of the 2018 #HarperCollinsLovesIndies Facebook Live videos so far:
- Downtown Books, March 10, Manteo, North Carolina
- Old Firehouse Books, March 3, Fort Collins, Colorado
- Tattered Cover Book Store, February 24, Denver, Colorado
- Penguin Bookshop, February 17, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
- Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary and Garden Arts, February 10, Berkeley, California
- Belmont Books, February 3, Belmont, Massachusetts
- Wellington Square Bookshop, January 27, Exton, Pennsylvania
- Card Carrying Books & Gifts, January 20, Corning, New York
- Liberty Bay Books, January 13, Poulsbo, Washington
- One More Page, January 6, Arlington, Virginia