Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Writing Wednesday: Book Launch Parties

So... my next Young Adult mermaid book releases next month, and I'm all about trying to prepare for the launch. Yeah, I know I'm not great at promo - it's on my list of resolutions for next year, but the book comes out December 15 so I need to institute some of this NOW.

We all know that WRITING and reaching "THE END" are only the beginning of the publishing process. The book launch party is not quite the "real" end but it is a celebration of getting your book baby from conception to its first public appearance.

* Cue the champagne! *

Even a YA book deserves a little bubbly, but I'm thinking it should probably be sparkling cider at the launch party instead of actual alcohol. At least for the readers under 21.

For the launch of the first mermaid book, I held more than one launch party (I was pretty excited to be a new author!) I held the first one over Memorial Day weekend at an indie bookshop on Main Street in Chatham. My sister the chef provided mini cupcakes and my entire extended family came from as far away as Colorado. (well, they were in town anyway.) All the cousins each got a copy...
I had a few other "book launch" parties that summer at various locations around the Cape (Harwich, Hyannis, Provincetown, Brewster, Dennis....) Like I said, really excited.

This time around, I'm trying to be more realistic, as well as realizing there are fewer people on Cape Cod this time of year, so I'll probably sell more online than in person.  I did schedule a "party" at a local indie bookstore in Orleans, and asked about bringing food/treats into the store.  My YA publisher, who is also an author, will be coming with me and signing her own YA series as well.

7 Party Essentials:
1. Copies of the New Book 
2. Copies of Other Books in Series (if it's a series, which mine is)
3. Tablecloths, table decorations that fit story theme (so for me it's mermaids)
4. Postcards, rack card, bookmarks... something for readers to take with them that has your name and book cover on it... even if they don't buy book. Especially if you also have ebooks available online.
5. Candy, pens, some kind of little giveaway to draw in passersby. (good ideas welcome...)
6. A favorite pen to sign with
7. Your smile.
But now that I've been at this awhile and done lots of booksignings at various locations over the last 5 years, I'm wondering how to make this more EXCITING. What sets a Launch Party apart from a regular book signing?

I know a lot of authors stick with Facebook and Twitter launch parties these days - I've participated in several, including for Hunks to the Rescue, and while it can be fun, I also like the hands on visceral experience of being there IN PERSON with readers.

Have you held physical in-person launch parties for the public? What have you done that's different, exciting or drew new readers? Or do you swear by the online variety, because it makes more sales for less investment of actual promotional dollars?

Would love to get some new ideas and conversations going - the holidays are coming up and even if your book isn't brand new, hosting a book signing party might be a fun way to get out there in your community and boost your sales and your author profile.

Happy Writing - and Party-ing - to All!


  1. Enjoyed this post. I've never done a book launch...too chicken, but I'll be following this Blog to see what others come up with. Good luck on your launch.

  2. I do several book signings throughout the year in my community and the state, but they're not actual launch parties. I now have a following of readers who look forward to these events to pick up a copy (or two) of my latest book. Since I had my first online release party over three years ago, they have become my traditional launch party and are extremely successful. I highly recommend doing both--community and online. Community gets you face-to-face with your readers and an online presence is at your fingertips and the reach is phenomenal.


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