September 8, 2014

Book Launch Recap

This past weekend we celebrated ASTRAY's release with a launch event. I wanted to do something a little outside the box this time and so we held it at a bowling alley as a nod to one of my favorite scenes in the book. Instead of doing a reading and holding a discussion about ASTRAY I decided to basically have a party. I did have books for sale, but we also had bowling, pool tables, shuffle board and such which made the whole event feel very relaxed and low key. By far it was my favorite event that I've planned for one of my books. I loved that I got to chat with everyone, that they could bring their families, and that we could all enjoy food, fun, and time spent together without things getting too formal. For any fellow authors here's what I did to plan for the event:

1. Picking a Venue: Having the signing some place fun with lots to do drew in a bigger crowd for sure. There was an expense involved, but the place I booked gave me a discount since I would be advertising the event locally. 
2. Design an eye catching invitation
3. Involve your local bookstore. Having Inkwood sell my books allowed me to focus on signing and having fun. They also helped to advertise the event in their store and through media outlets that they work with.
4. Advertise locally and online as much as you can. I contacted every local newspaper and went in to personally hand out invites to librarians at local libraries (which didn't generate a lot of attendees for the launch, but did garner interest in future visits with the library). I also did a Facebook events page and tweeted about the launch over the month or so before.
5. Cut expenses where you can. I made all the cupcakes we served which took lots of time/labor, but saved me on food expense.

Now that I've told you what I did that I think worked, here's what I'd do differently next time...

1. Send invites to local school teachers and media specialists and tie in their attendance to a giveaway. Next time I plan to get a class set of my book together and give it away to a teacher/media specialist that attends (hold a drawing). I've also thought about giving away a YA library of books from fellow author friends along with mine.

2. Have an agenda. I kept things loose this time, but next I would probably make an agenda at least for me of how the party will go, but probably I might put it on a cute poster board too so people know what to expect from the time.

3. Try to tie in the launch to a community event to draw in more attendees.

Overall the day was wonderful and I was both pleased and touched to have so many fellow writer friends attend as well as readers who were fans of GATED! Here's some extra pics of all the fun:

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