HC's digital festival fires social media

HC's digital festival fires social media

HarperCollins' digital Romance Festival, held this weekend, notched up over six thousand engaged users on Facebook, while the designated Twitter hashtag #Romance14 was tweeted nearly 3,000 times, HC has reported.

More than 100 authors, including Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy and Sheila O'Flanagan, were involved in events such as Google Hangouts and Twitter interviews.

Across social media, thousands of readers took part, with 6,400 engaged users on Facebook, calculated at a total reach of 75,000 people. The festival's activity notched up 3,500 likes and almost 2,000 comments across the weekend (7th and 8th June).

On Twitter, the designated hahtag #Romance14 was tweeted nearly 3,000 times, with a potential reach put at 11.3 million timelines.

The festival was hosted by HarperCollins and also featured authors published by Piatkus, Mills & Boon, and self-published writers. Each day of the festival was devoted to a different area, with one day focussing on readers and authors, and the second offering advice and tips to aspiring romance writers.

Literary agent Carole Blake at Blake Friedmann held a Twitter Q&A as part of the festival. She said: "It was a brilliant idea, faultlessly executed. Fun, useful, multi-platform, publisher-agnostic: a first, surely?" She added: "[It is] so heartening to see cost-free added-value for authors when so many companies in our business (publishers, newspapers, magazines, agencies) are all trying to take money off people wanting to be published."

Sam Missingham, head of events at HarperCollins, said: "The team behind the festival are absolutely delighted with how our first festival went. We hoped for a fun, valuable and engaging weekend that really connected with romance fans and authors alike, and we’re thrilled with the wonderful feedback we’ve had."