It's fun to learn from what others do and use that information to help me improve my own results, so I am doing a series of articles about hosting a book launch party. Recently, I've attended my first book launch celebrations, and I saw some things that worked well and some that didn't. So today is all about spreading the word. Questions I think about include:
- How far ahead to tell people?
- How best to invite them?
- What sort of follow-up?
Offline Book Launch Party Promotion
Save the Date Postcard One author sent out 2 cards, the first of which was a "save the date" postcard. I thought this was a good idea, but I'm not sure it increased attendance. It came a couple months ahead of the celebration.
- The good: Advance notice
- The bad: No author website on the card! UGH!
Invitation Card This card cae out about a moth ahead, including all the details on where and when.
- The good: Details were there about where/when
- The Bad: The author put the ENTIRE CARD in black. I can't think of anything harder to read against than black, unless there's big white type. Bad move!
- Better: For her theme, the black made sense, but do that for the front where there are few words. Make the inside with the details white with black or blue lettering. And for goodness sake, don't use a swoopy font! Make it easy for the guest to read all the details. and put the author website there, preferably with a link to where they can get directions.
Final SNail Mail Reminder The author did NOT do a final postcard, and I think this would have helped. Have you ever lost a card that you got several weeks ago? Sure you have. People were scrambling around Facebook looking for where the event was posted, and that was all rather hodge-podge trying to locate the pertinent details.
Online Book Launch Party Promotion
Facebook Event Since a lot of people use Facebook, an Event page is advisable, so nobody will think it's just to much work to figure out where to go no matter how they found out about the festivities. Setting up the event is super easy. Go to your Facebook author page and click on events, then add event. Put all the details there and build up excitement as the event approaches. And of course, invite your local contacts. Please don't bother inviting people who don't live in your area to an in-person event. I get irritated when someone thinks I'm going to show up in Alaska or California for a launch party when I live in rural Missouri.
Website/Blog Promotion Every author needs a website, and this is a great place to pump your party. Write a post with all the fun and be sure to spread that link a lot. Ask folks to RSVP.
Google Plus Event If for no other reason than Google Juice, create an Google Plus event and invite your relevant contacts.
Amazon Author Central Page Event You need a robust Amazon Author profile anyway, and did you know you can post your events there? Talk about WOW, because anything on their site gets all kinds of search engine love. Sign up/login at AuthorCentral.com using your Amazon credentials.
Tips for online event listings:
- Make a header banner using something like Canva.
- Get the name and address of the venue right.
- Put the date and time.
- Mention other things such as what type of snacks you'll serve, or any special events (like giveaways, readings, etc).
- Post a picture of your book cover plus full description and order link. Remember, this is all for selling books!
- Post a photo of the venue and a link to their Facebook page/website, etc. They'll appreciate it.
- Make your description EXCITING so people want to come. IF it sounds boring, they probably won't unless they really love you.
- Invite your local/regional contacts only. Don't bug the folks overseas or in other parts of the country.
- Don't just put up the announcement and abandon it. Ask questions, build excitement, and welcome those who say they're coming. Think buzz.