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Let’s Live Stream on FB!

“Lights, camera, action!”

Not the words you like to hear thrown at you? I definitely fall in that category. But I was asked to live stream a video at a Facebook party, and I took on the challenge. Low and behold, it was actually fun!

Today, readers want to know more and more about their favorite authors. Gone are the days when we could just hide away and write. Social media has blown the doors wide open, and the public wants to talk with us.

So, I’m going to show you how simple it is to do a live stream on Facebook. I was very nervous, but it really was just like having a conversation with the people commenting. Here is a tea party for Reader Appreciation Day that I live streamed a couple weeks ago (It’s long so don’t feel like you must watch it all! LOL!). I ended up with two-hundred views and met several new readers.

Reader Appreciation Tea Party

Posted by Heather McCollum on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Here’s how FB live streaming works:

  1. Think ahead of time about what you want to say to and show your viewers. Know your time limit, and if you have a tendency to talk on and on, set up a timer to keep you on track. Practicing what you will say, and timing it, is always a good idea.
  2. Decide where you will be filming. Check out what is in the background. I filmed at my desk once and on my back porch once. I made sure that the area was tidy and free of distractions. You will be filming with your cell phone, so check out how you will set up the phone to record and what is in the frame.
  3. Write up a little introduction, which you can post right before you go live in a different post. Let people know that you are about to go live in your next post, but if they miss the live version, they can always watch the recording.
  4. Have your computer available to watch the responses pop up in the comment section under the live stream post. I set up my lap top to the side and my phone directly in front of me.
  5. Turn on your Facebook app on your cell phone, and go to the FB page where you wish to post the live stream.
  6. Click on Write Something, and a box will come up. Either post your intro here and then do it again to post the live stream, or just jump right into the live stream after your intro in this same post.
  7. Click the little red camera for Live Video. Don’t worry, you aren’t recording yet. You will see that you are filming in the direction away from you, so if you want to record yourself while watching yourself, you need to redirect the camera to film a “selfie”. Keep in mind, that if you hold up your book while filming as a selfie, the words will appear backwards on the recording. But you can always post the cover in a comment after the recording.
  8. When you are ready, hit the blue “Go Live” button and say hello to your readers.
  9. Make sure to check your computer periodically to answer comments and questions from your viewers. There is a small delay in the recording from real time, and sometimes the questions/comments get hung up in FB. Just let the viewers know that you’ll answer questions after you’re done talking if this happens. Don’t let a glitch stop you from saying what you had planned.
  10. When you are finished talking, remember to stop the recording. It will automatically set up as a recording on Facebook.
  11. Then go down the list of comments, and answer the ones you did not answer while talking.

I’ve also recently recorded a video (not live stream) on my phone as part of a promotion on my publisher’s FB page to celebrate the release of my new Highlander book, THE DEVIL OF DUNAKIN CASTLE (releasing 11/13/17!). It will be posted tomorrow on the Entangled Tea Time Takeover: https://www.facebook.com/EntangledPublishing/

My ten-minute segment will likely be posted around 3:30 PM ET tomorrow, but the fun starts at noon.

Recording ahead of time makes it possible to record over and over to get it just right. However, that takes a lot of time. Also, the final recording needs to be uploaded into Movie Maker or an equivalent application. When my husband did this, the recording ended up being too large to e-mail to my publicist, so we uploaded it to Google Drive. I then sent her a link to the video in an e-mail, so she could retrieve it and upload it on Facebook at the planned time.

So even though this seemed to be a “safer” route, and my publicist liked to have the recordings uploaded ahead of time, it seemed more difficult than the live streaming (for me, anyway).

Have you dabbled in live streaming? Do you post recordings regularly? What type of recordings do you like to watch online?

 

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