How to Throw a Book Launch Party: Choosing the Venue

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Recently, I attended a couple of book launch parties and learned a lot. In a previous article, I shared insights on inviting guests to a book launch celebration. This article is all about selecting a venue.

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Where to host your launch party?

First of all,  consider your budget. Most people will want to have a free space, but that doesn't mean you have to use your local free meeting hall. Here are some ideas:

  • Coffee shop
  • Restaurant
  • Park pavilion
  • Themed entertainment

You want to consider a place that is:

  • Near you
  • Easy for others to find
  • Willing to play along as you set up and publicize the event

If  your book is about an archeological dig, maybe there's a nearby museum that would let you do something near a display. Or perhaps they'll let you post flyers.

If your book involves a dinner party, perhaps a winery or restaurant will be happy to host you.

My upcoming anthology, Hillbilly Daze, has stories that happen at several local places, and I'm going to see about having readings/launch parties at some of those.

My friend and mentor Velda Brotherton has a new book that involves painting. She considered having her launch at an art gallery, however, the nearest place to her was far off the beaten trail, and thus not a good option.

Remember - the point is to sell books!

The point of your celebration is to sell books while having a good time. Let that stay in your mind.

So pick the right place for your party, one where the owners are happy you'll be there.

Want help being a more profitable author?

Get your book marketing help and your free Author Profit Pack which includes the special report "7 Ways to Earn Money from Your Book While Writing It" at

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Follow your BLISS

Ronda Del Boccio

best selling author and speaker



Book Review: Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda Brotherton

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Once There Were Sad Songs is a romance between two people fleeing their pasts. Author Velda Brotherton, a full time writer, created the story.  Wild Rose Press published it in December of 2013.

I have to be honest. I'm not usually a romance reader, unless there's suspense, mystery, or the romance is just part of life and not the focal point. Thee are certain conventions in the romance genre that drive me crazy.

I read Once There Were Sad Songs because of the skill of the author, Velda Brotherton. She  has now successfully written and published 25 books, I believe, and is a superb writer, a helpful mentor, and a terrific person.

Her writing is so strong and compelling. I'm glad I read this book.

When a writer is so gifted you'll gladly read a genre you don't normally enjoy, that's quality wordcraft.

SEXY, DARK AND GRITTY TALES Tough gutsy heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for.

The Romance Reviews

Here is the description from

COver of Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda BrothertonIn the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence.

Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever. Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again.

But once he's cofound her and realized the way he must go, it's impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?

Read my 5-Star Review here

5 Star Review Graphic


Details that Reveal Character

I love how Brotherton reveals character and physical description at the same time. Here is an example from when Mary Elizabeth first get a look at the man who had pulled her out of the river yesterday:

Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn't help but smile back.

That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That's the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.

Power of the Past

I have come to feel that the character's past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.

People--real people, not just characters in books--react based upon the past That's why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.

Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character's now:

With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa's coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in 'Nam, like he should have ben.

A terrifying darkness swallowed him up.

This is how memory works. I'm not talking about the kind of memory where you try to recall where you left your keys. The brain spits up other times,barging into our present with images, smells, recollections. It's messy and mostly unconscious.

The above passage is also an excellent example of deep POV, coming up next.

Deep POV (point of view)

I've brought up deep point of view more than once. It's currently the "in fashion" way to write, letting the reader deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the character. Brotherton is a master of deep POV.

Here is an excellent example from a passage in which we're inside the head of  Steven, an embattled Vietnam vet living the life of a wanderer with two of his buddies:

No tears. too late to cry. Much too late. His ruined life twisted behind him in long, ugly spirals. Like he'd snatched at it, squeezed it dry, then tossed it away. Never once looking back.

This pulls the reader into Steven's perception of his life and his sense of unworthiness.

Deep POV is something that you don't get as an author until you do. It may feel as if you're deep when you're not. Practice and read great examples.

Twisting the Romance Mold

Every genre has its conventions. Romance has a certain formula, dictating that the two who will pair off meet, have a ight (or several), make up, come closer together, fight again, and so forth. And just when things seem blackest and bleakest, they come together.

Once There Were Sad Songs is not your grandma's formulaic romance. While ere are the expected fights and make-ups (and some sex scenes), the plot is not predictable.

I love how the resolution happens. Naturally, I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's not typical.

A Reading Tip for Authors

Writers must read. Reading good books helps you improve writing skills.

Get a highlighter. If you're an author wishing to improve your skills, read books with a highlighter in hand.

I highlight passages on my Kindle all the time when I come across something juicy. Yes, it helps me write these reviews, but most importantly, doing this makes it easy to go back and review passages from which I as an author can learn.

Maybe it is a bit of character development, the cadence of dialogue, or a loaded description. Later I can easily see those highlighted bits.

Order your copy of Once There Were Sad Songs

Order from Amazon

Connect with Velda Brotherton

Like her Facebook page.

Visit her website.

Velda Brotherton book table including Once There Were Sad Songs, Beyond the Moon, Rowena's Hellion, Wolf Song and others

Similar Books by Velda Brotherton

Brotherton has published several books in which one of the main characters is a wounded warrior (veteran) with PTSD.

Beyond the Moon is a darker tale of a hospitalized veteran with raging PTSD and the artist dragged into his life. This is an intense tale published by Foyle Press, an Oghma Creative Media imprint.

Rowena's Hellion is the second in the Victorians series, also published by Wild Rose Press..

See all her many books on Amazon.

Book Reviews

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at

Each Tuesday, read  a book review on I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains  hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Book Review Requests

If you are an author desiring a book review, go to my Review Request Page at and complete the form. You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio
#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer


What Chocolate Goes with My Favorite Books? The Books and Chocolate Blog Hop

The Chocolate Book Tour

Have you ever participated in a blog hop before? This is my first time like THIS. Each participant shares our favorite books and what chocolates would go with them. It's usually chocolate and wine, but I just drink wine from a box and am both clueless about wines and not a big fan of them, so I'm sticking to chocolates for the most part. The Chocolate Blog Hop It all started with Greta Boris.Greta tagged Rossandra White.

Picture 4 (2)-2Greta Boris is the author of The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Eat, Drink, and Lose Weight as well as forging the path for a new fiction genre, cozy horror. Go to for a free copy of her latest short story:  FAT – A Ghost Story. and sinfully great tips for living happy and healthy. (Available on Amazon.)

I hope you enjoy my additions to the tour!

Ronda's Book + Chocolate Picks

This reminds me of shopping on Amazon. Here are some of my favorite books and their "people who like this book would enjoy..." treats. Continue reading "What Chocolate Goes with My Favorite Books? The Books and Chocolate Blog Hop"