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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?

 

Ruby Release: SCOTSMEN PREFER BLONDES

My second book in the Muses of Mayfair series, Scotsmen Prefer Blondes, released last month, but life is finally slowing down enough to take a breather and celebrate! I thought it would be fun to have Cerise d’Amour interview me – she’s the star of “Sh*t Romance Writers Say” on YouTube (and just may bear some resemblance to me if you can look beyond her tiara and sunglasses). And she has a, shall we say, unconventional approach to interviews…

Cerise d’Amour: Sara Ramsey…we meet again.

Sara Ramsey: Indeed, Cerise.

Cerise: Let’s get to this, shall we? Your second book, Scotsmen Prefer Blondes, is out now! If the back cover copy was written solely as a haiku, what would it say?

Sara: That’s a difficult initial question – where’s the small talk?

Cerise: No time for small talk – it’s five o’clock somewhere, and I need to get my #amdrinking on. Haiku, please.

Sara: Okay, fine.

Secret novelist
Compromised by Scottish earl
Sexytimes ensue.

Cerise: Ooh, lovely! I love a good forced marriage plot! But what’s this about a secret novelist?

Sara: The Muses of Mayfair series features a group of women who are secretly pursuing their artistic passions, and Scotsmen Prefer Blondes is about Lady Amelia Staunton, a prim spinster who writes scandalous Gothic romances.

Cerise: So is she a Jane Austen ripoff?

Sara: Err, no. Unless Jane Austen went to Scotland to save a friend from an arranged marriage and ended up compromised by the would-be fiance herself.

Cerise: Well, excuse me for making the obvious comparison. Do people often misunderstand your intentions?

Sara: I wouldn’t say so – although I have been taken to task by a couple of readers for using the rather outdated “manroot” euphemism once in every book. It’s an homage to the great Johanna Lindsey, but readers who don’t know it’s an homage assume that I am totally crazy.

Cerise: I would *never* assume you’re crazy.

Sara: How lovely of you to say that.

Cerise: I don’t have to assume it – I know it. But enough of that. Rum or Champagne?

Sara: Is that a writing question?

Cerise: No, but the clock is ticking and I’ve got weightier issues on my mind than your books – like what cocktail to have after we’re done here.

Sara: Uh, Champagne is my favorite – but a Hemingway daiquiri, which contains rum, might be more the kind of thing I need to recover from your questioning.

Cerise: I knew there was a reason I liked you. What are you working on now?

Sara: I’ve got a couple of projects in the works (shh…don’t tell my agent). The main project is the Muses of Mayfair #3, The Marquess Who Loved Me, which should be out late summer/early fall. It features a painter whose long-lost lover returns after ten years in India. But I’m also working on a super-secret paranormal YA project, as well as a novella featuring the “villainess” from my first book (Heiress Without A Cause) – even villainesses sometimes deserve happy endings, right?

Cerise: You’re more kindhearted than I am. Last question: if the Prince Regent leaves Brighton in a carriage moving at 6 miles per hour, and Beau Brummell leaves London on horseback at 12 miles per hour, how many hours will it take before at least one of their cravats is hopelessly ruined?

Sara: Seriously? That’s your last question? It doesn’t even make sense.

Cerise: Well, I never! Readers, please do not, under any circumstances, buy Scotsmen Prefer Blondes – the author is a shrew and a harridan.

Sara: [mutters] I really shouldn’t have created you.

—————————

I’d love to hear your thoughts on favorite drinks, or a haiku of your WIP, or anything else that strikes your fancy – please share in the comments. In belated honor of my release, I’m giving away a copy of Scotsmen Prefer Blondes in any available format to a lucky commenter! You can find Scotsmen on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and in paperback at Amazon.com.

And if you want to see more of Cerise d’Amour’s antics, check out her “Sh*t Romance Writers Say” video on YouTube. Cerise will be at RomCon, RWA Nationals, Readers and ‘Ritas, and possibly Emerald City, and will be interviewing authors and bloggers there – please get in touch with her if you want to meet her.

 

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