Your book is finally published and printed; it’s time to get the good news out to the rest of the world! Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when setting up your Book Launch.
There are a lot of potential locations to consider renting for your book launch. Conference rooms at hotels or universities are good options. So are auditoriums and ballrooms. If you can hold a wedding or a prom there it may be a good place to consider. The exceptions to this are religious sites and anywhere outdoors because you don’t want to be rained out. You can also contact your local libraries or bookstores and see if they have space for your event (and for your book on their shelves). Also keep in mind how accessible the location is: is there parking nearby, is it reachable by public transportation?
Make sure the space is neither too big nor too small for your event. Make sure there are enough seats for everyone and any gate crashers (or no seats at all). Also keep in mind, you should read excerpts from your book during the event and everyone will need to be able to hear you. So, make sure you check out the acoustics of the venue.
You should book your venue early or you may not be able to find anything on the date you were hoping for.
Send out personalized invitations to important individuals (journalists, bloggers, radio and news hosts, local schools and libraries, celebs, and influencers (and your family!). These can be electronic invites. Make sure to ask guests to RSVP. You could also advertise your launch online, locally, and with the venue. But make sure that you know how many people are going to show up so you know the venue can handle it and be prepared for your numbers to be off so leave wiggle room. Facebook events are a great way to do this because there is a section built-in for RSVP-ing.
Event Theme and Features:
You should decorate the space according to the mood you’d like to set. Try searching Pintrest for party decoration ideas. If you can, decorate themed around something related to the book. Or you could pick a color theme. If it is a children’s book, use bright colors and make sure you have games to entertain children. I recommend an understated color theme of one or two colors and white.
A snack or small plate of food should be served with a vegetarian option available. Again, if you can, try to stay in line with your theme. Maybe there is a food that a character in the book likes or eats a lot? Perhaps there is a food native to the book’s location? Depending on the venue there may be the option for an alcoholic beverage. Keep it appropriate for the time of day, i.e. mimosas earlier in the day. If alcohol is not an option, coffee and tea is a classic. If there are children coming, make sure there is something there for them. Beverages and food should be complementary.
People love handouts! You could give out customized bookmarks that are full of information about you and your book or maybe have a crafting station. You could play an ice breaker game with small prizes for the winners. Or, you could have a raffle for a free copy of your book or small gift themed around your book.
Make sure you have enough copies of your book for everyone there. It is considered polite to sell your books at a discounted price for those who attend the book launch and to sign the copies for the guests.
Don’t forget to thank your guests and to post lots of pictures on social media.
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Kim Batchelor is a recent graduate of University of Michigan and avid consumer of media. She is the Buzz Manager at BookHive and is working on creating her own blog.