12 Steps for a successful Live Book Launch Party

 

Book launch party are a great way to grow your platform and meet new fans. It’s a fun way to get the word out about your latest release and of course sell books. Last Friday I had a great time with my latest launch party. So, I thought I’d share some tips for those getting ready to do their first one.

Swag giveaways at live book launches are so much fun. Aspiring writer Isabelle LaPapa won this plague.

 

  • Set the book launch date far enough from the actual release to ensure your book order arrives in plenty of time. Preordering allows them to be mailed immediately on release day. No need to fret about shipping problems.

 

  • Choose a setting that is conducive for book sales. If you choose a restaurant, try to arrange for a private space. The same with the library. If your church supports the arts that’s a great space to use. Some authors have the event at their homes. Decorate your book table to theme that is eye-catching.

 

  • Create invitation cards to pass out to friends and co-workers before the event. Preferably professional made glossy cards. This is not a baby shower. Personal invitations are great not only for those not on social media, but it gives the event some class. Print shops can create what you envision given enough advance notice.

Be sure to create a virtual flyer to circulate on your social media. Build the hype at least a week ahead. If you aren’t tech savvy and artsy find friends or family member to help you. If you’ve hired a marketing person they will do this for you.

 

  • Gather any street team members who are local to lean a hand. It’s less stressful if others are helping with refreshments, decorating and book sales. For those unfamiliar with the term street team, these are fans who support your work through reviews, and talking about your books to others. They come alongside and help promote on social media. And if they live nearby they are often willing to lend a hand for local events.

 

  • Be sure you have bookmarks, postcards and other materials available. There will be those few who come out of curiosity and may buy your book later. Plus adding a bookmark to a book purchase keeps your name before the reader.

 

 

  • Have swag for giveaways. Swag should match the theme, unless it’s a gift card. When I had my historical romance, Secrets & Charades, book launch I gave away handcrafted lavender soap, tea, and a journal, among other things my heroine used during the story. My contemporary romance New Duet had different giveaways such as plaques with verses representing the story and gift cards. My latest release Healing Hearts part of the Smitten Historical Romance Collection: The Cowboys I found a few plaques, a cup and a paperweight with cowboy themes on them. Have a basket to toss the entries in and plenty of pens available.

 

  • Have a signup sheet available for your e-newsletter. While they are filling out their entry they can sign up. Having the two next to each other makes it easy.

 

  • Have a nice pen for autographs. Thin tipped sharpies work well. Decide ahead of time what your signature line will be. Best wishes, a verse or saying, the tagline from your book, your brand tagline. Knowing ahead what you are going to write saves times and less chances for errors. Always ask how people spell their name. Kathy isn’t Cathy and some might prefer a nickname or autographed to someone else.
  • Take lots of pictures of the event to post on social media before, during and after the event. People seeing photos the event on social media may be inspired to purchase a copy online.

 

  • Have a designated time where everyone gathers to hear you tell the what if moment and backstory things, research etc. about your book. Read from your book. Yes, people love it. If you are a poor reader, practice reading the passage in advance so you can do it smoothly. Then have a time of Q&A. This is where your street team comes in handy. They can start the questions. Once someone begins others will follow. Q & A is my favorite part of the evening.

    Debbie is one of my biggest fans. She won a plague and asks wonderful questions during the Q & A time.

  • Have a Square to take debit cards and plenty of change for cash customers. Be sure the locations Wi-Fi or your phones hotspot is working correctly before the event, so sales go smoothly.

 

  • Have fun, interact with your guest, and thank them all for coming.

 

The Cowboys now available click here to order.

Do you have other tips you’d like to add?

 

 

 

 

What I Learned From My Live Book Launch

DSC_1202Last night was my live book launch. Not all authors do them. But for me, it was an opportunity to celebrate with friends, family, and co-workers. I wanted to share with you what I did. There are some basics everyone follows. The biggest of course, selling autograph copies. I’d read that book launches are more successful if they are not in a bookstore. So, I chose the fireplace room at my church. It had more of a living room feel.

S&C - invite postcard for social media(1)I post an invitation on FB multiple times. And passed out invitations to friends and co-workers. My hubby placed them on various bulletin boards in restaurants so perspective readers would be aware.

For the event, I decorated with a few flowers, table cloths that match my book cover. I served cookies and other finger foods along with coffee, lemonade, and water. I kept it simple and avoided crumblier fare like cupcakes.DSC_1208

My hubby set my book trailer to play on a loop. It showed on the big screen in the room during the whole event. That garnered more interest in the story.

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I share a few minute about my writing journey. Had a drawing for items that represented my story. I talked about the significance of each one in relationship to the story. (Each entry provided an email which gave me new names for my mailing list.) I read the first two pages of my book to the attendees.  Then we had a Q & A. The questions were interesting and a few silly. (My grandson who is 18 asked when his name was going to be in my book.)DSC_1196

Then I sat at a table and autographed books. My son took care of the money. I used a square so as not to miss any sales.

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Now I feel more confident about doing signings and other events in the future.

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What I could I have done better?

Advertised sooner and in more places. Mailed out some invitations.

Double check each item before I left. My husband had to run back for a few things before we started. Know the internet password. Fortunately, my son has a phone he can create an internet hotspot so we were saved when it came to square sales. It probably would be wise to look for that option for my phone when I’m out and about selling my paperback copies.

Less is more. I had way to many cookies and brought too many books. But both were an act of faith. Not a bad reason. I’d rather have too much than not enough. 😊

The event was encouraging and the comments from attendees were precious. This is what a real author does. YAY! I am a real author.

Link to my trailer and on the last frame is the link to order on Amazon

Love to hear from you in the comment section about your own book launches. Or any questions you might have.