Monday, July 5, 2010

Ideas for a Book Launch

Whether you’re an author or a reader or both, everyone has those special moments in their lives when they want to celebrate. To that end, I hope my readers will find this blog post helpful. My comments would apply just as easily to any kind of event, not just a book launch.

I think most every author feels like celebrating when a book is published, whether it’s their first or their thirtieth. For the release of The Tapestry Shop, my October book from Five Star, I decided I wanted to share the moment with my friends. When I started thinking of just where to have such an event, and how to plan for it, I ran into problems. Should I have the books available? Would that make my friends feel pressured to buy (although several have asked where/when they could)? How much could I afford to spend? Where could I hold such an event?

My first inclination was to go to the internet and google Book Launch. From this, I got some ideas—and learned that Book Launches run the gamut, from those hosted by book publishers at a pricey New York hotel, to smaller ones in a private home. So I set out to make my own way, because I’d found that anything goes.

My home won’t hold the number of people I wanted to invite, so I made a list of places in town. I soon found that renting most places was pretty pricey, and this is without refreshments or anything else. Most restaurants had a high minimum for their food service, too.

The more I investigated, the more discouraged I became, until I hit upon an idea that came like a bolt from the blue. We have two wineries near where I live. I had never been to either one, so set out to find them and see what they had to offer. To my delight, I discovered a treasure—a winery that I loved the minute I stepped inside. It was cozy, unpretentious, and had racks of wine along the walls, as well as a polished bar with stools and a few tables with chairs. It was the perfect place to launch my book, which is set in France. I knew right away that winery was where I wanted to launch my book.

My only investment is wine-tasting for my guests (after which they can purchase a glass if they like), and some platters of cheese and crackers, all reasonably priced. Even this wasn’t required, but I wanted to do that.

I’ll send out invitations (my web designer is a whiz at designing things like that which match my site design).The event is set for early evening, and I’ll do a brief reading from The Tapestry Shop. After that, the rest is party time. As for book selling, I’ve asked a local bookstore owner to sell my books at the book launch so I can enjoy the party like everyone else. So go to your local winery and see what they have to offer. After all, it’s helping them too, bringing in customers who might never have thought of buying their wine anywhere but in a grocery store!


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Joyce,

What a great idea for a book launch! I know several writers who have done them and enjoyed the event. Have fun!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Jacqueline: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I was pleasantly durprised to discover the wineries (at least the two here) don't want any fee, so that leaves my budget to be spent on my guests, which is where I wanted it!

Terry Odell said...

Sounds like a great idea. I have a book coming out in 2 weeks, but I'm brand new to the area, the book is set where I used to live, not here, and I don't really know anyone to invite. I'm thinking of doing a virtual party instead. Don't think it'll sell many books, but maybe it'll get me a bit of name recognition out here.

Anonymous said...

I love that idea, Joyce, and I'm sure your launch will be wonderful! As for selling the books to friends: For both my launches, I sold over 70 books, all to friends and neighbors who wanted to buy them. (There were some people who didn't buy a book, which was fine, so I don't think people felt like they had to.) Our local bookseller sold the books, I didn't do a reading, and everyone wanted their books signed so that took all of the 2 hours! (Two things I'm glad I had: pens that worked and a manicure!)
Enjoy every moment of your special life event!

Debra St. John said...

Sounds like a perfect idea for a book launch. I did a fairly fancy at home one for my first book. For the second I just got the girls together and we had drinks and snacks.

I agree, it's important to make the most of the celebrations!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Thanks for the ideas. A friend of mine had a signing/launch party at a local pub restaurant. Another did it at one of those food places where you assemble the ingredients. And one launched her book at a chocolate shop. No wineries around here, unfortunately. I'm still debating if I want to do one for my current release once I get the books in hand.

Anonymous said...

I would come to a book launch at a winery - what a hoot! I had a virtual one, but like Terri, I was fairly new where I live. Great ideas, Joyce!

Leigh D'Ansey said...

What a great idea, Joyce! Good luck!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Terry: Hurry and make some friends :-) Virtual parties would work too. Like you said, it'll get your name out, and they can get the books elsewhere. And now you know you have to get busy and meet people. Join a local book group. You'll have another book out again in no time and you'll want those friends!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Rebbie: Thanks for the heads up. If I find books are selling and I have to sign, the reading will fly out the window. Glad you shared your experiences--and thanks for the manicure reminder.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Debra: I guess it's the party that counts--and the drinks, of course. Yeahh for celebrations.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Nancy: Hmm--chocolate shop. All those ideas sound great. I'd say anywhere they don't charge, so you can throw a nice party for your friends without breaking the bank. Thanks for stopping by!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Drue: If you lived closer, I'd sure ask you to come! Actually, I forget where you live. Yes, a winery, I'd go to for sure, and I doubt many of my friends will turn down the invitation.
Thanks for the comment. Always good to hear from you.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Leigh: Thanks. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. Glad you stopped by.

Unknown said...

A winery? What a great idea! I’m sure your guests found the venue quite perfect. The venue is one of the most common problems in planning events. Good thing that there's a great place near you that you were able to use. Anyway, I hope you had a great time in your book launch, and I wish you more events and parties to plan. ;-)

=Garret East=

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