July 23, 2018

10 tips for hosting a successful book launch

By Madeleine Dodge

 You’ve written your book and completed the hard work of producing it. Finally, it’s time to release it into the world. In other words, it’s time for a book launch.

 Hosting your book launch party is arguably the best part of publishing a book. You finally get to share the work you’ve been toiling over for years and bask in the glory of your friends and family. But don’t let the word “party” fool you; it takes planning to make it a success.  Before you host your book launch party, read these 10 tips to ensure you make the most of the event: 

Find the right venue. Consider the ideal location, number of guests, and atmosphere you want to create. Some authors like the intimacy and accessibility that their own home provides.  Others prefer more space and host their launches at bookstores, schools, or rented spaces. Look online for places that have already hosted book launches if you need inspiration.

Invite anyone and everyone you know. A book launch is a unique opportunity to market, sell, and promote your book to a large audience. Even the people you barely know may show up, buy a book, then tell all their friends about it. Comb your email lists, Facebook friends, and social circles for people to invite. (See the following tip for more.)

Use social media to your advantage. Make a Facebook event for your book launch and add all your friends. Tweet the time and location of your launch with a picture of the venue and your book. Make an eye-catching video promoting your book and post it on YouTube to draw attention to your launch. Try to post every day for the two weeks before the event to remind your followers.

Provide refreshment. If your venue doesn’t have a food or drink service, provide your own.  Refreshments help keep the audience around longer, which may lead to them to buying more books.

Actively market your book at the venue. Print posters with your book cover and an image of you to display by the front door. Hang decorations that pertain to the theme of your book or the color scheme of your cover. Anything that helps your guests remember your book after they leave is a plus.

Bring enough books. One of the biggest mistakes authors make is to bring too few books. It’s better to overestimate the size of the audience and have books leftover than to run out of books on the biggest sales event you may ever have.

Decide how you will sign the books. It’s a good idea to come up with both a generic and a personalized inscription for each book prior to the event. (At a signing for my children’s book, titled Does a Giraffe Ever Feel Small?  I decided to write “Stand tall,” in each book along with any personal dedication.) Also, remember to ask for the spelling of each name before you write it.

Prepare something to say. You don’t need to give a long speech, but your guests will want to hear from you during the event. If it’s a large venue, make sure you have a microphone available.  When you speak, address those who have come to support you and briefly describe what this book means to you. Your audience will appreciate a funny anecdote about the process or a sweet dedication to someone who contributed to your journey. Keep it light but make it memorable.

Mingle. You may not get to speak directly to every person that attends your launch, but you should at least try.  Whenever you’re not signing books, mingle with your guests. Thank them for coming and ask them what they think of the book. This is a great way to connect with your audience and make them feel acknowledged.

Don’t forget your thank you’s. After your launch is over, send thank you notes to all the people who contributed to your success and played crucial roles during the publishing process. Building good relationships with your networks will make future marketing ventures easier. If you take the time to thank people now, it will pay off down the line.

Madeleine Dodge, a BlueInk Review Summer 2018 intern, is a Rhetoric and Media Studies Major at Lewis & Clark College and author of the children’s book, Does A Giraffe Ever Feel Small? BlueInk Review is a fee-based book review service devoted to self-published titles exclusively. For more news and writing and marketing tips, sign up for our mailing list. And be sure and visit us at https://www.blueinkreview.com./

 

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