What better day than National Book Lover’s Day to announce the scheduled launch party of my debut novel, Father of Contention. For all of you bibliophiles out there, do I have the book for you! Chock full of suspense, romance, intrigue and loads of sciency stuff, Father of Contention will satisfy all of your literary cravings.
Planning my book launch is less of a breeze than I predicted. In fact, it feels a little like I’m planning a wedding, with guest lists, newspaper announcements, refreshments and take-home gifts. Invitations, music playlists, seating arrangements, planned speeches…and the welling anticipation mixed with anxiety that exactly mimics the pre-wedding jitters.
It’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying every minute of it. Even researching different ideas on Pinterest, author blogs, and Instagram has been a blast, and I thought I would share a bit of my experience with you here just in case you are planning a book launch in your immediate future.
Tips On Throwing a Book Launch
- Date and Venue – probably the first step you will want to complete is picking a date and venue for the event. The date can be significant (i.e., National Book Lover’s Day), and a venue can be chosen that compliments the theme of your book. My book centers around science and takes place in a university, so I briefly considered our local university for my venue. In the end, I chose the library since it was the proper size, was the most economical choice and people who love to read will be present, which is obviously a bonus.
- Advertising – the next step involves getting the word out so that people actually attend your soiree. Placing an ad in the paper, making sure all of your social media sites are up to date and spreading the word, and placing posters up around town where people who love to read will see them is a must. It is also important to make a guest list, and give out invitations/postcards to your family and friends to ensure they attend.
- Stock and Float – pre-order enough stock to supply your readers with books. A book launch isn’t usually successful without any books to sell. A cash float is important to make change for anyone purchasing your book with cash. A portable debit/credit machine is handy to take all the other payments.
- Take-home Gifts – it is nice to hand out something at the party that your guests can take home with them, and that also doubles as advertising for your book. For example, bookmarks are handy and easy to supply. I printed out bookmarks with my book cover on one side and a synopsis of the book on the opposite side. And don’t forget to include website and social media addresses so that your guests can follow you on-line.
- Refreshments and Entertainment – draw more people to your event by offering refreshments and some sort of entertainment (a well-known guest speaker, music in the background, media presentation). I am supplying Chromosome cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, coffee and tea, along with DNA napkins since they perpetuate the theme of my book. I will put ’70’s music on in the background during the book signing since Father of Contention takes place during that era. I will also have a comical, yet brief, media presentation to get the ball rolling.
- Seating and Book Display – set up before the event, trying to anticipate the number of people who may attend. You probably need a few tables, as well: one for your book sales, a separate one for the book signing, and one for all of your refreshments.
- Pen and Ideas – it is helpful to think of what dedications you will write while doing your book signing. Personal, thoughtful sayings are best for those you know, but also put a little thought into the books you sign for strangers. Ask them their names, and a few questions if you have the time, and base your dedication on what you learn. And, of course, you need a few pens on hand.
There you have it. Some tips on throwing a book launch based on my present experience. I hope they help anyone who finds themselves in the same predicament, and if you have any of your own tips or experiences that you would like to share, we would love to hear them.
As the day for my own launch draws nearer, I continue to burst with anticipation, and most importantly look forward to seeing you all there! Check out the News and Events page for more information about the launch.
💋 Lanie Mores