Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Have a Successful Book Launch Party – Part I

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I am a survivor.

Of a book launch party, that is. My first.

Every author dreams of his or her book release, but for many, the thought of a planning and executing a launch party seems more like a nightmare. Writers are solitary souls who generally prefer to hug the walls of social events. A party where we are the center of attention? Just shoot me now.

But because of God’s mercy and the help of kind friends, I am proof positive that an introverted, inexperienced, and somewhat ignorant author can successfully pull off a book launch party and live to tell (or write) the tale. In the next few segments of The Editor’s Desk, a No-nonsense Approach to Non-Fiction, I’ll share the lessons I learned so you, too, can have a successful event. 

Today we’ll concentrate on how to prepare for your launch party.

How to Have a Successful Book Launch Party

Tip #1: Enlist the help of friends—extroverted and introverted ones.
If you don’t already have an accountability group, a writer’s group, a Sunday school class, or an advisory board, get one now. Long before your book is ready to launch.

Because I speak and write, several years ago I took the advice of Christian Communicators founder Vonda Skelton and invited four wise and godly women to serve on my advisory board. Only one is a writer. Another is a businesswoman. Two are mighty prayer warriors. We meet quarterly, and while I feed them lunch, we talk through the details of my writing and speaking ministry. They offer advice, pray for me, and hold me professionally, personally, and spiritually accountable.

My advisory board helped make my launch party successful. The members networked to find the best venue, planned and arranged decorations, made food, manned the tables, sold books, and helped my supporters feel like honored guests at a fancy reception. They handled all the details of the event so I could concentrate on signing books and talking with readers.

Tip #2: Prepare at least one poster of your book cover.
While an office store can make one for you for 30 to 50 dollars, I took the budget approach. I waited for a special or coupon, then had a 2 ft. x 3 ft. poster made of my cover. It cost me $12.99. Next I bought a coordinating piece of foam board ($2.99) and used double-sided tape to attach the poster to the board.
Be sure to leave a blank margin at the top or bottom of the foam board. In the blank space, attach a square of Velcro. To another sheet of paper, add the details of the launch party. Laminate this and attach the other side of the Velcro piece. Stick your launch detail sheet to the poster, and, for a fraction of the cost, you now have a reusable poster to announce book signings, speaking events, and, of course, your book launch party.

Tip #3: Print invitation post cards.
These can be simple or elaborate. Mine contained a brief description of the event, a picture of my book cover, and the date, time, and location of the party. In hindsight, I wish I had included my website address and/or contact information. Several people had trouble finding us in the mall on the day of the event. Including my web address would have helped those who couldn’t attend the event but still wanted to purchase a copy of my book.

A successful book launch party takes careful planning, but if I can do it, you can, too. Join me next month for two more ideas for a successful book launch party. In the meantime, I invite you to join the conversation. What’s your best tip for a great party?

TWEETABLES
Tips for having a successful book launch party - via @LoriHatcher2 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Practical things to help with a successful book launch party - via @LoriHatcher2 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Lori Hatcher is the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine and the author of two devotional books. Her second, Hungry for God…Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women released December 3. A blogger, writing instructor, and women’s ministry speaker, her goal is to help women connect with God in the craziness of life. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God…Starving for Time. Connect with her on Twitter at @LoriHatcher2 or on Facebook - Hungry for God, Starving for Time.

8 comments:

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    1. You know the old adage, Andy, "See one, do one, teach one." Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Great ideas, Lori. Looking forward to what other advice you have to share. Thanks!

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    1. Sandy, if my learning curve can make someone else's a little less steep, I'm happy! Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Lori, these work! I did the exact 3 things (only my poster was an original painting) and had over 200 people show up at the launch party. It was overwhelming!

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    1. Wow, Ane, that is incredible! I know your heart was full to see such a tremendous show of support. You have devoted readers, for sure. Thanks for chiming in.

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  4. Thank you, Lori for sharing. My Launch party is coming up Jan 29th! I'm excited, but nervous. It's far harder to promote your writings than to write!

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    1. You are absolutely right, Carol, just give us a quiet little corner, not the limelight! I know your launch is going to be fabulous, then you can chime in with tips and tricks you've learned to help us all. Blessings to you as the day nears.

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