Posted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.
BENEFITS AND TIPS OF GOOGLE+ HANGOUTS FOR AUTHORS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
What is Google+ Hangouts?
Google+ Hangouts is a virtual communications platform that is mostly utilised for its video format. As an author, you can create a private Hangout event whereby you can invite guests of up to 10 participants or you can be invited to join a Hangout.
What is Google+ Hangouts On Air?
Google+ Hangouts On Air is open to the public and anyone can view it as it happens live. Viewers do not have to participate. Upon conclusion of the event, it is automatically recorded and posted to your YouTube account as well as your Google+ account. This is a great way for authors who are not tech savvy to create videos that are easy to share across their social media platforms.
How Authors Can Use Google+ Hangouts To Their Benefit
- Google+ Hangouts is a great way to showcase your book. This may come in the form of a book launch or a book club type event whereby you can discuss your book in detail.
- You can invite your fans and readers to join you in a “get to know your author” type event whereby you invite them to ask any questions they may have of you. This enables a global reach and allows your fans to get to know you on a more personal level.
- Authors can join writing group Hangouts to collect ideas during your writing process. It’s also a great way to get support from fellow authors should you have any issues or concerns you are having difficulty resolving.
- You can engage with your fans during your entire writing process of your next book. Perhaps create a Hangout every month, after every chapter or when drafts of illustrations come in. Particularly great for those writing a series as fans are eagerly waiting for the next instalment.
- Authors can use Google+ Hangouts as part of their book tours and virtual readings. Most authors don’t have the budget to do so or perhaps physically can’t get to towns and cities that require too much time or expense.
- There is something to be said about getting to know someone personally. Well, at least this feature allows you to get one step closer to your fans and readers. This encourages loyalty, especially if they are able to identify with you.
- The video component of the Google+ Hangout on Air is a very powerful marketing tool that can be utilised across all your digital marketing platforms and it didn’t even require you to produce your own video! Best of all, it’s completely free!
Tips On How To Run A Great Hangout
- Test your event! Make sure all your equipment is available and that they are all in working order. Nothing worse than hosting an event and no one can see or hear you!
- Make sure that you have a good internet connection and that your Hangout doesn’t stall half way or even cut out altogether.
- Make sure you have a good background to work in with no distractions that could keep your participants wondering around the space. The more neutral and minimal a background, the better.
- It is advised not to have pets or children in the vicinity of your Hangout. This is the best way for everyone to lose concentration if the event holder is continually interrupted.
- Sound is very important, especially if creating a video for distribution later. Make sure your surrounds are quiet and you may even want to invest in an external microphone for further clarity.
- Lighting is also important. Make sure participants are able to see you clearly without shadows to distract the Hangout.
- The most important tip of all is of course to market the Hangout. No one will participate if they don’t know about it!
So, camera shy authors (that would be me!), do you believe this would be beneficial to you?