When many authors consider events for promoting their books, they think about in-person events: book signings, launch parties, even book tours.

As bookstores close, budgets shrink, and schedules fill and as authors seek to grow their influence beyond their own hometowns and communities, online events offer an attractive alternative and the potential of reaching a much wider audience.

We regularly host events with our authors, introducing them and their content through interactive webinars.

These free webinars allow our authors to talk with their readers, fans, and followers, building a closer connection and helping their books and ideas come to life for participants. We record every session and upload our events to YouTube, creating a resource that can be accessed any time, anywhere, by anyone who is interested.

We often partner with special guests to expand the possible audience for our events.

As you consider events for launching your book, consider what online tools you might use facilitate events to bring people together to build excitement for your book and content.

Tweetchats. Sharing your book through a Q and A format in 140 characters or less is a fast-paced, fun way to find new readers for your book or to build relationships with people who are interested in your ideas.

Webinars. Webinars are a flexible format — you can use slides to share key content from your book, field questions from readers, or lead a discussion about your book’s topics.

Live video conversations. Using a Google+ Hangout or Spreecast you can invite others to participate on camera or stream live video of your event.

Facebook event. Some brand pages are hosting live conversations on Facebook. You could choose a one hour time period and invite your fans to join you on Facebook for an interactive event. Similar to a tweetchat, a Facebook chat allows you to connect in real time through text discussions with your fans at a predetermined time.

The most successful book launch strategies employ a combination of online events and in-person events. As  you plan your book launch events, be sure to consider how you can leverage online networks and tools to connect with your readers.

Tell me something! What other ideas do you have for creating opportunities online to create interest in your book?