A friend read the previous post about how Facebook parties work and still didn’t get it. “What the heck is a Facebook party?” she asked.
Imagine you are a fan of the lovely, incredible, wonderful Nora Roberts. You want to meet her, you ache to meet her. She has been your lifelong idol. You might even take a bus trip up to her Turn the Page bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland one weekend — or you might stand on line for three hours at the RWA Literacy Charity Signing one hot July. You finally approach the table. Someone hands you a card upon which to write your name so that Nora will spell it correctly on the flap of her newest book. You can imagine how you’ll treasure that book, how every single word will be all the more special because NORA TOUCHED IT. Nora wrote her name, next to your name, inside it. You are so excited you feel like you’re going to pass out.
Finally it is your turn. Nora is gracious and smiles at you as if she really wants to know you (secret: it is because she does really want to know you!) and you have all this pent up emotion, all these things you want to say, to tell her how she’s changed your life, how you can’t live without her books.
What do you say? Well, nothing much at all. You burble some inanity, words do not come. She finishes signing the book. People behind you are pushing you to move out of their way. In desperation, you ask, “Can I take a photo?” and Nora, smiles, and says, “Of course.”
You will treasure the book, you will treasure the photo — which is blurry, by the way, because the person in line behind you jiggled too much as they took it for you — and you are kicking yourself for being unable to tell her how you really feel about her books.
Now imagine instead, you’re in your own home, in your PJs, a glass of wine or hot tea is in your hand. Your cat is curled up on your lap, and Nora is in a chat with you on the computer. Wow, what a difference. No one is wishing you’d hurry up. There is no noise echoing off of the convention hall walls. And you can compose your thoughts in print.
Not only that, Nora is joking around with you and with the select fans she invited into the chat with you. She wants you to talk to each other, to say hello, see who lives near you. She has thought up a few games to play on the computer with you all. She even has prizes to hand out — copies of her books, some bookmarkers and special novelty items related to her book, and even gift cards for you to win.
Then she goes out of her way to invite other great authors to do the same. You sit there laughing, having fun, and meeting great people, wonderful new authors, play games, chat, discover new books to read, and win prizes — all for free mind you.
Which one do you prefer to do?
Well, I personally prefer the latter — which I recently discovered when I attended a Facebook party. It was wonderful. I even met people who live only a few miles away and were fans of the same author who invited me. No, Nora wasn’t there — I wish she had been, because in person she’s possibly the most gracious lady I’ve ever met and I feel I owe her quite a lot — but it still was a great way to spend a quiet evening at home. I loved connecting, instead of just vegging out in front of the TV.
Maybe you will, too.
If you’d like to be invited to a Facebook party, please let me know. I know there will be one coming up in the next few months and I’d love for you to be there.