One night last summer, I attended my first Facebook book launch party, celebrating Michelle Weidenbenner's debut novel. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to chat with a bunch of readers and writers and share information about the book.

I made up my mind then and there that I was going to do the same thing.

In October, I attended my second Facebook book launch party, this one celebrating Carole Brown's The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. Again, I had fun — totally different cast of characters, set of questions, everything. Carole's was longer, so I did more dashing in and out, but it was fun and I "met" some authors I'd love to stay connected with. And I can't wait to read Carole's book.

The great thing about a Facebook book launch party is that it's selfishly unselfish. You can support a friend, but still zip in and out of the party, doing other things that need to be done at the same time. And it's not rude to do so — that's the idea behind these parties, particularly when they're more than a couple of hours long.

Sure, guests are welcome to stay the whole time if they'd like to and they're able (and they can enter more giveaways that way), but no one expects them to park themselves in front of the computer for the duration. These parties are set up so people can arrive and leave (and re-arrive) as their schedules permit. There are door prizes, conversations, and tidbits about the guest of honor and her book. The option to buy is there, but the pressure to do so is low.

Now that my novel is finally coming out (release date is January 27), I’ve set up my own Facebook Book Launch party. Like Michelle, I’m using the Release Day Diva, and last night, she set up the link for me. 

It’s been such fun checking back as people RSVP and reading the little messages people leave. I had no idea just planning an event like this could be so much fun. Now I just need an online scrapbooking tool to corral the lovely little notes that are making my day.

Lest you think I’m totally anti-social and interested only in parties where I don’t have to come into contact with actual people, let me assure you I’m setting up real-time, real-world events, too. I’m scheduling my first events in spots that are a tad out of the ordinary, and that mean something to me — coffee shops and my favorite local (tiny) library — before setting things up in the usual places. My goal is to create informal celebrations that are low-key and low-pressure.

So, if you get invited to a Facebook Book Launch, check it out. You can go in your pjs and you can get up and do other things (like get a glass of water, toss in a load of laundry, or go to the bathroom) during the party and no one will be the wiser. 

And hey — that’s probably what the author did while she was writing the book, too.

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Copyright 2014 Lisa Hess