Considering throwing a book launch party? It can be a huge undertaking! I've been at a few parties - online, real world, and virtual.
My friend R. H. Burkett, award-winning author of several books including Daughter of the Howling Moon, which I reviewed here, threw a hum-dinger of a bash! And she was kind enough to write this guest blog post to go along with my series of articles on throwing a book launch party.
Top Ten Tips for Throwing a Successful Book Launch Party by R. H. Burkett
Here are my top ten tips for successful launch parties. These are my ideas. I’m sure others will have just as good of ones. Use what resonates with you.
Feel free to put your magic touch on any of this.
Get an event planner: Find someone who is willing to help you with the event, a person who shares your vision. This person should be forceful without being a bitch, have connections, be a great organizer, and have the time to devote to the event. (My event planner brokered a deal with the venue and came up with great ideas to enhance the whole party.)
Make it all about you and your book: From birth to death it’s beaten into our heads that tooting our own horn is selfish and egotistical. A book launch is all about one thing: YOUR book. Your accomplishment. So brag about it. Make the launch your own. (Personal note here: Don’t share the launch with a new band that is seeking recognition or any other group as it takes away from YOUR time. If you share a launch party with other authors be sure that when your turn comes, you make it all about you.)
Swag and door prizes are good: Think of items related to your book that you can give-away. People love free stuff. (I made gris-gris bags) Think outside the box. (I put a miniature tarot card with a one word explanation in each bag. It’s fun and it did relate to the story) Also, add a picture of your book or your brand on the items. Door prizes are also a great idea.
Keep it simple: Don’t overdue the refreshments. (At first I was going to have gumbo and all the fixins. This ran into problems: who was going to make it, how to keep it warm, what about the people who don’t like this type of food, what are we going to do for them etc,, etc..) My event planner finally said that the launch is about the book, not food. People come to hear about the book, not to eat. Light refreshments are the best and a lot less work.
Decorate and display: Think of how you can decorate your venue in keeping with the book. This enhances the launch and gets the people attending both interested, curious, and in the mood of the story. Ya can’t go wrong with twinkle lights especially if you have your launch outside at night. Think of unique way to display your refreshments (we make cupcakes in the shape of an alligator. Pinterest has excellent ideas) Again, think outside the box. If your story is about a dragon, get a dragon! Paper Mache. Toy dragons, etc. etc. **** Oriental Trading, and Bits and Pieces have wonderful ideas**** Music is a great enhancement, keep it loud enough to hear but low enough to be heard.
Give your books their own special place. And get a third person who can be trusted to stand by the books and take the money. This leaves the author free to sign and to work the room. One less thing to worry about.
Send out invitations: People love to get an invitation in the mail. It makes them feel special, that YOU like them and sincerely want them there. (FaceBook is good but not that personal touch that is so special, use FB in tandem with the invitations.)
Give people that something extra: Think, “what can I offer at my launch that would entice people to come and just not order the book online?” (I introduced my characters)
Be creative in the presentation: I acted out my characters, however most writers are not so inclined. But they can dress in costume even if they read from the book. It doesn’t have to be much. A western-wear a cowboy hat, etc. etc.. Use your imagination and come up with ideas that are different and not boring.
Be classy and humble. Yes, make the launch all about you and the book but never forget to be humble and grateful. At all times, be a class act.
About R. H. Burkett
RH Burkett was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and was famous from birth because she and her brother were the first set of boy/girl twins born at the local hospital. She studied drama at the University of Arkansas and joined Rogers Little Theatre acting in many musicals and productions. She married a United States Air Force Sergeant and moved to Salem, Massachusetts, to work for Parker Brothers Games as a sales analyst. From there she moved to Galveston, Texas to work in banking. A hurricane brought her back to Fayetteville.
Burkett is a professional Tarot card reader who discovered her gift for writing when she penned her first novel, Soldiers from the Mist, which broke open the dam for many more novels to follow.
She has won many writing awards, including the Ozarks Writer's League 2010 Book of the Year for Soldiers from the Mist; Storyteller Magazine People's Choice Award; The Clouse Literary Arts Award; and the 2010 Hightower Award.
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Thank you, R. H. Those are great tips. Your party was out of this world - a HOWLING good time!!
Dearest author/reader - Take these tips to heart!
Follow your BLISS,