Friday, 12 April 2013

Google+ Events - How They Can Help Authors

 Most authors are familiar with Goodreads. One of Goodreads most overused facilities is the Events feature. Once you accumulate a list of Friends you can post them notice of a coming event and request a response. Lots of these events tend to feature free giveaways of books. In fact so many books are given away using this feature that you could well overload your Kindle!

The problem with Goodreads is that most of your friends are also likely to be authors or readers saturated with offers of free books. Google+ can actually support your Goodreads Event by reaching a wider audience with its own Events feature.

Obviously to use this feature you are going to need a Google+ account. If you haven’t already got one I’m giving away a copy of Google+ eXplosion which explains exactly how to open an account plus much more. One of the biggest benefits of Google+ Events is the fact that anyone using Gmail or Google Calendar will easily be able to add the event right onto their calendars. With just the click of a button, all the information and details about that event will populate in their calendars. What a time saver! Furthermore, the event will automatically be added to the Google Calendars of anyone who is already in the Circles you invite.

Step 1: Click on the 'Events' Tab

No matter which section of Google+ you're looking at, if you're logged in to your account, you will see a sidebar on the left-hand side of the page. This sidebar includes options to select HomeProfilePagesHangoutsCommunitiesEventsPhotos, and More. In this scenario, you'll want to click on the 'Events' tab, which is listed as the sixth icon from the top.


Once you've clicked on the 'Events' tab, you'll be directed to a page that will guide you through creating your event. The images you see are various options for event cover images, and above these you'll see a bold, red button that says 'Create Event.' 


Step 2: Click 'Create Event'

Once you've clicked on the 'Events' tab, you'll be directed to a page that will guide you through creating your event. The images you see are various options for event cover images, and above these you'll see a bold, red button that says 'Create Event.'


Step 3: Fill in Your Event Information

Once you've clicked on the red, 'Create Event' button, an event template will pop up where you can add your event information. Is this event a Google+ Hangout? Is it a webinar? Be as specific and explicit as possible, and make sure you fill out every form as best you can. 

Tip: It's best to include both a start and end time for your event so people using Google Calendar can add the event to their calendar without any question about the event's end date.

In this instance I am giving away a copy of my report ‘How To Create A Twitter Download Wave For Your Book’ which explains how I create Twitter promotions with a small account that consistently persuaded an average of 200+ Followers to download extracts from my book or visits to my website each campaign, a total of 1,221 over several weeks.

This particular event will run from Saturday 13th April until Friday 19th April.

If you would like a copy of the 11 page report entitled ‘AUTHORS: how To Create Your Own Twitter Download Wave’ please visit: 


Step 4: Customize Your Event's Cover Photo

To customize your event, click the transparent grey, 'Change Theme' button in the bottom left corner of the current cover image you see (see image above). Once you've clicked this button, you'll be brought to a page that shows you a variety of options for your Google+ Event's cover photo -- all provided by Google.



 Of course, if you're a DIY design whiz, you'll probably want to upload your own cover photo. Creating a cover image that's unique to you and your specific event or book is a great way to differentiate it from any other created by the people you're following. To upload your own cover photo, choose 'Upload' from the list of theme options:


Some social networks will allow you to choose a photo of any size, and will resize it to fit the dimensions of the cover photo. But because the cover photo for Google+ is so long and narrow, you're going to have a hard time using a pre-existing image without resizing it. Your best bet is to create a custom image that's exactly 940 pixels wide by 280 pixels tall

Once you have sizing down pat, upload your image, and test it out. Keep in mind that you should leave some white space open in the bottom left corner, because on the final event page, this space will be taken up by your event's title.

If techie stuff is not your thing use Google’s templates but just think how much better it would be if you could get an image of your book up there.

Here's how you event might look in edit mode up until this point:


Step 5: Add More Details Via the 'Advanced' Tab

But wait ... there's more! To add even more information to your event, under 'Event Options,' click 'Advanced.'



By clicking 'Advanced,' you'll be able to notify people that this is a Google Hangout, an on-air event, or provide a URL where people can learn more about the event. This is particularly important if you want people to register elsewhere or take a specific action. In the case of my event, to join a specific community in order to get access to the information.

To add a URL, click 'Show Additional Fields.'


Here, you can add a URL and other details for your event:

Step 6: Invite Guests

Once you're satisfied with your event, you can start inviting guests. Depending on who the target audience for your event is, you can add specific Circles, Communities, email addresses, or simply make the event public on your website or blog. Once you've added the names of the people you think would be most appropriate for this event, click the green 'Invite' button. Remember, the beauty of Google+ Events are that they automatically get added to the Google Calendars of the people in the Circles you invite.

Once you've published your event it will look something like this:

That’s it! You've successfully created an event for your book on Google+. Once the event is over, you still have the option to communicate with folks who attended through the Event page. This is a great place to upload photos of the event, give any updates about next year's event, etc.

Copies of Google+ eXplosion will be made available on this blog next week. See you then!

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