14 Facebook Live Ideas for Authors

Rachelle Gardner

Blogger: Rachelle Gardner

If you’ve done any Facebook Live posts and paid attention to your traffic, you probably already have a good idea of how much more engagement you can get with FB Live versus other kinds of posts. This is especially true if you experiment with various kinds of content, times of day, length, and other variables.

We highly recommend our authors start doing FB Lives, and shoot for about once a week if possible. It seems to work best if you follow a few guidelines (from Facebook Media):

  • Let people know ahead of time what time you’ll be live.
  • Before you go live, write a compelling invitation and description. (When you click “Start a live video,” you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your description where it says, “Say something about this video.”)
  • Try to speak to your commenters by name while you’re live.
  • Let your audience know they can tap on the Follow button on live videos and opt-in to get notifications the next time you go live.
  • Facebook recommends staying live for ten minutes, to give people a chance to discover that you’re live.
  • Make sure you have a strong signal. WiFi is best.

I’d like to add that a fun, dynamic location is really helpful and makes the experience better for both you and your viewers. You’ll also want to avoid a static, staid, rehearsed video, and don’t look or sound like you’re reading. Don’t be boring!

But the biggest question is always… what the heck do I say on a Facebook Live???

Here we’ve gathered a few Facebook Live ideas.

1. Talk about your book launch.

2. Talk about other authors’ book launches (for books who share your same audience).

3. New things: cover reveals, new website, new title, your latest giveaway, etc.

4. Interview people, authors or not, related to your book topics.

5. Do live Q&A’s with people of interest to your audience.

6. Offer tips and tricks (for anything that would interest your audience—need not be related to your book!)

7. Give some insider info (again — on anything your audience would find interesting).

8. Answer questions from readers (that they send you through FB, Twitter, email, etc.).

9. Talk about your day or some aspect of your life as a writer.

10. Do profiles of other authors.

11. Do TV show reviews, movie reviews, book reviews—anything you love, you can assume your readers may also find interesting.

12. Give a tour of your office, your writing space, even the coffee shop where you write.

13. Report live from any event of interest to your readers. If you’re going to be speaking or teaching at an event, do a FB Live beforehand, sharing what event you’re at, what you’ll be speaking about, etc. Even your pre-speaking nervousness!

14. Do a fun “5 things about me” segment where you share some non-writing-related things about yourself, using visuals or a tour to illustrate. (Thanks Beth V. for this one!)

Hope these are helpful! By the way, this list also works as possible ideas for blog posts or regular Facebook posts. Have fun!

Which of these have you done? What ideas can you add to our list?

Image copyright: chrisdorney / 123RF Stock Photo

34 Responses

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  1. GREAT post, Rachelle, and I am dead-certain that you have jump-started a lot of publicity campaigns today. Now…I hope you don’t mind…I’m going to have some fun.
    * Well, heck, gosh, and golly-wolly-darn…this Facebook Live may not be for me. I can’t say more than a few words without getting the dry heaves (and oft-times worse…duck!) and my zombie-like pallor doesn’t exactly commend confidence, though it does commend a call for make-up. YO, dawg, where’s my eyeliner???
    * So maybe I can do this…instead of Facebook Live,, how about Facebook Walking Dead?
    * A tour of the office would be fun. “And this is Rufus the Jack Russell Terrier, the inspiration for…uh, Rufus? No? Rufus, NO! RUFUS!…Aw, crap.”
    * Well, let’s go outside, visit the Back Forty. Barb and I will be sighting-in the long rifles for winter.
    “Eight inches high, five right.”
    “Four high, two left.”
    “On target. Great job, sweetie-pie.”
    Bet you never expected a spotter to say THAT to The Gun.
    * OK, maybe not. Barbara is camera-shy. So I guess I’ll just point the camera at a piece of rice-paper, on which I shall write, in grass-hand:
    “For those who must fight for it, life has a certain flavour that the protected will never know.”
    * That’ll do, and does anyone still say golly-wolly-darn?

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      Facebook Walking Dead sounds perfect, and will get great ratings! Grab the eyeliner and go for it! I particularly love the tour of the office. I want to meet the dogs!

    • Loved this, Andrew. I always enjoy your sense of humor. 😉 It shines here!

    • Andrew, you crack me up. I think golly-wolly-darn must have been out about the same time as jim -dandy, which I think is the type of Facebook Live event you would have. I’m absolutely sure it would be a humdinger and ripsnortin! Other might think it would be the bee’s knees or the cat’s meow. One thing is for certain your ideas are foodies and dillies!

  2. Pat Iacuzzi says:

    Hi Rachelle–

    o.k….IF someone happens to complete their novel…and IF it gets published…how does that person (a bona-fide introvert) get over the absolutely terrifying ordeal of going public and doing something like this?

    p.s. are stand-ins legal? 🙂

    This is a great idea though….maybe a few practice runs would help?

  3. 1) Wow! This is exciting, it will be so much fun to feature it on FB Live.
    2) Gotta do a FB Live. Hmmm . . . what can I say that might actually matter?
    * I’ve seen too much of #2, not enough of #1. I realize that it is new technology, and there’s a performance learning curve. But it’s like a book, it needs a hook to pull me in. Otherwise, I choose to move on.

    • I’m with you Shirlee. I see the notifications pop up on a fairly regular basis, and I see the value Rachelle is noting (exposure, name recognition, etc.) but I’ll sheepishly confess, thus far, I have actually watched only two FBLive posts, both after-the-fact, and in both cases, I thought it was just silliness. “Hi, I’m here at this event/meeting, twirling in a circle. There’s Tim, Tom and Tammy behind me. Say ‘hi’ everybody. Wish you were here too!! (really?) Okay, well, that’s pretty much it. See you later. Byyyyyyyyeeee!!”
      I’m sure there are better uses, such as those outlined by Rachelle above, and there may come a time when I engage in that, but for now, I just have way too many other issues pressing

    • Shirlee, SERIOUSLY? What can you say that can matter?
      * Just look back through your blog, and the history of your comments here. Your Heart for Christ is showing, and it’s a brilliant glow.

    • I would love a Facebook Live from you, Shirlee. It’s like you get a chance to really meet someone. See someone. Hear someone. I was so thrilled to meet Carol at the conference. I can’t wait to meet or hear from you, too. 🙂

    • I agree with everyone else, Shirlee. I look forward to the day I can give you a hug. 😉

      • Well, aren’t you all sweet! I keep my posts to 100 words or less. That might translate to 30 seconds of FB Live . . . hmmm.
        * One minute for words, nine for hugs. Yeah, that works 🙂

  4. After another night during which hell was in session, I now what to say on my Facebook Live session, as haltingly as I must and with all the heart I possess:
    “I have to believe that there is meaning in a life become waking nightmare, that behind the pain there is both purpose and grace. I have to believe that courage and honour and fortitude and good humour are more than empty gestures to a darkness that admits no hope, and that the fading light is merely the harbinger of a dawn so bright that it can be nothing but eternal. May Almighty God give me the strength to live these beliefs in word and deed, for one more hour, for one more day.”

    • Carol Ashby says:

      Amen, Andrew. Beautifully said.

    • Mary Kay Moody says:

      So hard watching someone go through “hell in session,” Andrew, even from afar. My heart aches for you, Barb, the B&S troupe chased by fire right now, and many others. But KNOW that every shred of grace, courage, perseverance, joy, and good-humor you display does brighten a world increasingly dark. Bless you for shining in it. Praying for you and …

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      Amen, Andrew. THAT is something worth saying.

  5. My thoughts are with Michelle, Janet, and Rachel today.
    *Regarding Facebook live, I love Beth’s idea about “5 things about me” … 🙂 And I’m so in awe of those willing to brave it in these early stages. When I see people doing this, I’m always reminded of Andrew’s comment about vlogs … keep the phone lifted high so that people aren’t looking into your nose. 🙂 And for me, I would want to use a phone tripod, or at least have the phone ready to set down after a minute or two, because I just don’t have that kind of arm strength. I think my arm would start shaking if I simply tried to hold it. 🙂

  6. Jaxon M King says:

    Maybe allow your viewers to join you on a short scene writing session. Walk them through your writing process, so followers can see how you do it. I use my son’s Legos to help me plot out action scenes, for example.

  7. Carol Ashby says:

    Thanks for yet one more post filled with useful content. (I learned a LOT in your Facebook session at ACFW 2017, too.) Now I have one more thing I should be doing to boost my platform that I’m not, but maybe someday…
    *Someone who does FB Live that I find worth watching is Roseanna White, who’s written several bestselling Christian historical romantic suspense novels. (Don’t pick one of hers up to read “only a chapter” when you have something else you must get done.) She’s done sessions dedicated to each of her older books that held my interest and brought me back for the next session. I recommend watching hers to see how she does it.

    • Mary Kay Moody says:

      Thanks for this tip, Carol, for a sample of FB Live done well. (So sad to have missed Rachelle’s FB session at ACFW. That’s one I really wanted to see ~ but another appt. was scheduled smack in the middle of it.)

  8. Beth K. Vogt says:

    This is Beth V. chiming in — after I’ve stopped laughing at Andrew’s possible FB Live post. Do it, Andrew!
    I tried FB Live after Rachelle taught a workshop on how effective it is to connecting with your audience. I made myself do it — for out of my comfort zone because, yes, it is uncomfortable. Each time I do a little more. The first time I told a few trusted people ahead of time. The next time, I alerted a few more, including my “Dream Team,” i.e. street team. And this last time, I sent out a tweet an hour ahead of time and posted it on both my personal and Author FB pages. Yep. More people showed up. And I got crazy engagement on this one! I’m planning to do another FB Live not because I love it but because it does work to connect with people. And I just tell myself I don’t have to be perfect … because that will never happen anyway. 🙂

  9. Mary Kay Moody says:

    Thanks for this info & encouragement, Rachelle. With so many options and so much work to do, I appreciate learning what’s especially effective. I haven’t done any live FB, but have participated in a few. I share with many other commenters the discomfort, but hey, unlike speaking at an event ~ you don’t have to haul display material and endure uncomfortable shoes. Onward!

  10. I’ve been trying to figure out how to dive into the Facebook Live pool. It’s a little scary, and I worry about not having things to talk about that would interest my potential readers.
    *I am trying to think of ideas for those of us who aren’t close to being published yet. We were out in the beautiful colors this morning. I guess that would have been a fun place to share a few tips on getting good pictures of the fall foliage, huh?
    Thank you, Rachelle, for sharing these tips.

  11. I hadn’t considered doing FB Live on my author page. I’m intimidated doing it on my own private timeline! Live? That means no edits! This recovering perfectionist does not handle that idea well. LOL I guess I’ll have to get over it and start working on how to make this something I’m comfortable with. This list of suggestions for what to talk about helps move me in that direction. Thanks!

  12. Oh Rachelle, I love this post because I love to video and do live events. I haven’t done it for writing, but I did it last year when I took a driving trip by myself from Minneapolis, Minnesota to dear friends who lived in Carthage, Missouri. It was so fun, especially because I had no clue wher I was going to stay at night, where I would stop just to take my veiwers with me. So many followed me. I think they wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything too crazy and to make sure I was safe. It has been a highlight of my travels. I’m such a sanguine personality it’s perfect for me. Thanks for the suggestions and recommendations.

    On another note, I am praying for the safety of your husband and other firefighters. My husband’s side has a history of firefighters. Most people have no idea how challenging it can be. The fire suit and gear alone is so heavy. God bless your husband and all those out their trying to co rain the fire, save lives and any structures they can. May God place His wings of protection over them.

  13. Angie Arndt says:

    *I cannot believe I missed this post. Hubby’s had knee surgery but I’m the one that’s hopping! Praising God that it went well and he’s healing nicely.
    *These are great ideas, Rachelle! Facebook Live is one thing I’ve shied away from so far. Since my manuscript is set in a small town, I may a do a live event like a news report during our town’s barbecue festival, describing the amazing smells and tastes.
    *I never thought I had a good reason to do a live event. Thanks for the tips!

  14. Great post! Like many introverted authors, I also don’t enjoy doing live videos (even though I am a public speaker). I enjoy teaching and speaking, but live video is usually more off the cuff, casual conversation which is very different than teaching or giving a planned presentation … so, here’s what I did to move past my avoidance: I just happen to be in the middle of launching a book this week (an in depth Bible study). For the past 2 months, I’ve been doing weekly live videos for my Facebook -private- book launch group (about 50 people- about a dozen watch live and most watch later). It’s a stepping stone and has really boosted my confidence! Then, my publisher was giving away 10 books on Facebook so I planned my FIRST public live video to announce the winners and give a short promo for the book. I even printed out the winners’ names so they could read them in case I mispronounced them. After setting up the time, creating an event, inviting people to watch the live video, etc, the camera (iPad) started to roll. Of course I stumbled through some of it, but it’s ok. It’s informal, right? 3 minutes later. It’s all done. And I go to watch it – to my horror – and amusement- all the words I printed were backwards!!!!! So, the point is – get it over with. Do one, stumble, laugh, and know that you can only go uphill from there. (Oh – and don’t put words on the video unless you print them backwards 😉 God is with you!! “Though he stumble, he shall not fall, for the Lord upholds his hand.” (Psalm 37:24)

  15. JenM says:

    GOOD WiFi is a MUST for Facebook Live! My friend just self-pubbed her first book. We wanted to launch at a place with WiFi but the places she looked didn’t have it available. So we had her launch party at a hall. With no WiFi.

    No problem, I have a WiFi extender! Except it didn’t work. We found out last minute that a member of our church lives across the street from the venue. They allowed us to tap into their WiFi. Thank you, Lord!
    Still, the WiFi kept shutting out during the FB Live! It was terrible.

    We are rookies googling our hearts out and our launch was not particularly successful. But right now God is making things happen one person at a time. In spite of us.

    People are saying “I need this book right now!” Just from seeing the title. The lady behind the bakery counter asked me about it after reading the title on the cake I was picking up. She held back tears, recognizing God appointed our meeting so she could learn of the book. Another friend was reading the book in a waiting room and had a similar encounter.

    Sorry this is off topic. My friend, just getting started with fb live, has since used it to share her heart and motivation for writing the book.

  16. Crystal says:

    I’m considering this for my book launch. Thank you for so many great ideas.