Yesterday was a day that will undoubtedly go down in social media history. It was the day that Facebook crashed and left many of us without access to Facebook AND Instagram. Generally speaking, this wasn’t a big deal. I had a new book on my Kindle I was eager to dive into and other ways of communicating with friends and family. However, as an author who launched a new book yesterday and one who relies heavily on social media for marketing, it was a goddamned nightmare of epic proportions.
Around 11:45am EST, I stopped being able to post/comment on anything. Soon after, my ability to interact at all was gone. My launch party for May the Best Man Win was slated to start at noon EST, and now all 20 authors (including myself) were unable to post anything. The crash was inconsistent- some had partial access to Facebook, while some of us had none. Some of us who had posts pre-scheduled saw some of those posts go through at their scheduled time, some of us did not. Some of us had our pre-scheduled posts show up at random intervals. This lasted for roughly 9 hours. That was the entire length of my release party. Around 9:30pm EST, we all just started pushing our posts through which caused some of us to be posting right on top of one another and many posts getting buried in the melee.
Some authors were never able to post at all, and I still haven’t heard from some of them. Are they lost out there? Did their connection never reestablish? Have they been blasted back to the Stone Age? I have no idea.
Not gonna lie, when Facebook crashed, my heart was CRUSHED. I love this book, and I was so excited to share it with the world. And as a small-time indie author on a non-existent budget, social media is CRUCIAL in terms of marketing. So, there I was with what I feel is a pretty awesome book…and NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT.
But then something incredible happened. My author friends, those who were scheduled to party with me that day, STEPPED UP. I suddenly had numerous offers to post my promo material in their reader groups. I also started seeing these beautiful people posting giveaways for MY BOOK in both my reader group and in their reader groups (once Facebook was working again, of course.)
And then it got even better. Because READERS started posting about the book everywhere. I saw readers sharing posts and commenting and even hosting giveaways of their own.
So, there were two very important lessons reiterated to me yesterday.
- Be adaptable. Shit happens because that’s life and that’s what life does. And you KNOW what they say about the best laid plans. Though my heart was crushed in the beginning, I had no choice but to roll with the punches. There was nothing else TO do. And in the end, we made it work in the best way that we could for us.
- This goes for every single person on the planet, but in this context, it’s particularly important for new authors to hear this: FIND. YOUR. TRIBE. When it all goes to hell in a handbasket, there will be nothing and no one more important than those you have in your corner. Establishing friendships in the publishing community is arguably more important than selling your books. I won’t say that you can’t do it alone, but your life will be so much fuller and (and easier) when you don’t have to.
So many people had my back yesterday, and I’d love to name them all because they deserve to have the spotlight shine on them for a bit, but I’m absolutely terrified that I’ll forget someone, and that would make me feel like a giant jackass, so I’ll just send a humongous THANK YOU out to the universe and hope that they all hear it.
I spent a few hours last night and this morning combing through the various posts, comments, and giveaways. I’m TRYING to thank or at least acknowledge anyone and everyone who shared about my book. I KNOW I’ve missed some, and for that, I’m so sorry. If you’re reading this, please know that I appreciate every single one of you, and I’m fully aware of what you do for me and my writing career. You. Add. Value.