American Booksellers Association member bookstores that would like to sign up to participate in the HarperCollins’ Facebook Live program in 2019 can grab their spot now. This year, the publisher has adjusted the program so that all livestreamed videos will air on Thursdays and focus more on book recommendations from store staff.
As part of this year’s #HarperCollinsLovesIndies program, the publisher and Book Studio 16 will celebrate the art of the hand-sell and the indie booksellers who have perfected it. While HarperCollins still encourages bookstores that have never participated in the program to include a walkthrough of their stores, the publisher asks bookstores to train their focus on hand-selling the new titles they are excited about.
In a change from 2018’s Saturday schedule, each new participating store will create a streaming Facebook Live video on a select Thursday that features staff talking about titles they have been reading, loving, and recommending. 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.”
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. The publisher has also created a new hashtag, #TheHandSellLive, for the 2019 campaign, which booksellers can use to tag their videos on Facebook and when reposting them to other social media platforms.
The next available date booksellers can claim is Thursday, May 16. Booksellers who would like to sign up for this date or another Thursday later in the year, or booksellers 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. In addition, here are several Facebook Live videos that have aired in 2019 so far: