Blogger: Rachel Kent
You have a new book coming out! Hooray! You want to celebrate with friends, family, and fellow book lovers, but you don’t have the money to throw a big party. What can you do?
Some of the best launch parties I have been to are done with little or no cost to the author. Typically, a local bookstore is happy to host a book launch event–especially for traditionally published books. All you need to do is call them and talk through the details. They will order your books ahead of time and will even advertise your appearance so that some of their customers might become your new readers. Many bookstores have a snack bar or coffee shop, so food and drinks can be purchased if the attendees are hungry, but you could provide some cookies and lemonade or some other small, free snack to offer during the event. All you would need to do is mix and mingle with your friends and fans, sign books, and offer up a few behind-the-scenes stories from writing or researching the book. You might want to put together a CD of music that relates to your book in some way and ask the bookstore to play it during the party to set the mood. If you have a little bit to spend, you could do a door prize drawing.
If a local bookstore isn’t an option or if they won’t host you, you can always try an independent coffee shop for a meet & greet party. If you are bringing them business, they are likely to say “yes” to hosting you in a corner of their shop. You can let friends, family and fans know that you will be at the shop with books for sale for a couple hours on a specific day and have them come by to see you and celebrate. You could have a bowl of candy or something on the table and some free bookmarks. Just be sure you aren’t offering anything that would compete with what the coffee shop has for sale. The goal is to create a win-win situation for you and your host.
During your party, be sure to collect names and email addresses, too. Maybe for the door prize drawing, you could have your attendees drop in a form that asks for name, email address, and permission to add them to your e-newsletter list. This will help you grow your list and let your attendees know about future books and events.
Have you ever been to/hosted a book launch party? What was it like?
Do you think launch parties are beneficial?