American Booksellers Association member bookstores can sign up now to take part in HarperCollins’ Facebook Live program in 2019, though the publisher has made a few adjustments to this year’s program.
In a change from 2018’s Saturday schedule, booksellers will livestream videos from their stores every Thursday during the 2019 season. The #HarperCollinsLovesIndies program will also focus more on hand-selling than on store tours this year. Beginning this month, HarperCollins and Book Studio 16 will celebrate the art of the hand-sell and the indie booksellers who have perfected it, said Lisa Sharkey, senior vice president and director of creative development at HarperCollins.
Every Thursday, a new store will create a streaming Facebook Live video featuring their staff, who will recommend titles via personal pitches. While HarperCollins still encourages bookstores that have never participated to include a walkthrough of their stores, the publisher asked the bookstores who make videos in 2019 to train their focus on hand-selling new titles they are excited about.
The move to Thursday streaming dates will allow booksellers to pitch the books they are enthusiastic about heading into the weekend, with a focus on “What’s new this week” and “What I’m reading.” HarperCollins has even created a new hashtag, #TheHandSellLive, which booksellers can use to tag their videos on Facebook and use when reposting them to other social media platforms.
In 2018, 51 different independent bookstores created streaming Facebook Live videos as part of the #HarperCollinsLovesIndies initiative. Every Saturday in 2017 and 2018, the program featured a new bookseller giving a 20-minute virtual tour of their store, providing a behind-the-scenes view, introducing staff, discussing upcoming events, sharing staff picks, and answering questions posed by commenters.
In 2019, ABA will publicize booksellers’ videos by sharing them with the 39,000 followers on its IndieBound Facebook page and will promote the videos in advance on ABA’s Facebook page. HarperCollins will also continue to help bookstores plan their Facebook Live videos by sending a “best practices” guide prior to taping.
Booksellers who would like to sign up for a Thursday this year or who have questions about the 2019 program can e-mail HarperCollinsFBLive@harpercollins.com. To see the Facebook Live videos that were posted throughout 2017 and 2018, browse the #HarperCollinsLovesIndies hashtag on Facebook.