How to Organise a Book Launch
Your book is finally done, phew! After so much work, a pat on the back is well deserved. But after a book has been published, other great tasks are on the horizon; those of marketing, distribution and generating good PR for the book. Some publishers offer to give their writers free marketing and PR, while others don’t. Writers who are lucky enough to have their publishers organise marketing for them have a little less to worry about. If you are one of those writers who have to market their book themselves, then you better get your working boots on again, as the road ahead will not be easy.
A book launch has a big influence on how well your book is received. A book launch requires time to organise, but if done right can impact the sales of your book. Book launches are harder to organise for first time writers who may not be familiar with some big industry names. The launch does not have to be big, but it does have to leave a lasting impact on those attending, such that they continue following your work even after you have released other material.
Here are four tips on how to organise a book launch.
The venue of the launch is very important, as it will reflect the type of book you have written and the type of audience you are hoping to pull. Generally, book launches are done in book shops but looking for somewhere different is OK. Approach different venues and compare prices and test the atmosphere. If you have been arranging venues over the phone and have not visited them yet, try to be there at least three or four hours before the launch. This will ease your nerves and allow you to get comfortable for the night.
2) The guest list
First time book publishers may not know a lot of people in the industry, so they should contact local radio stations, journalists, and photographers to advertise and report on the event. The media will play a vital role in making sure that the event is a success. Invite friends and family, colleagues and mentors, but keep in mind the number of people you want present.
If the launch is in a book shop, then they will probably lend a hand by making sure that their customers know about the event. Regardless, create flyers and posters to distribute and to stick up at the venue before the launch.
3) Promote it
Use social media, your website, newspapers, radio stations and word-of-mouth to generate buzz around the event. Use Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Pinterest, etc., to post pictures, posters and to communicate with people about the event. These forums need to be updated regularly so that when people have inquiries, they can get a hold of you easily. Try arranging an interview on your local radio station and send out a press release package. Marketing the event will definitely take up a lot of your time but it should be done nonetheless.
4) At the show
Make refreshments available on the night; nothing heavy, just some drinks and finger snacks for people to nibble on. Dress comfortably in clothes that best describe your personality. Prepare an excerpt of the book that you want to share with the public. Choose a part that will resonate with your crowd and make them want to get their hands on the book.
The venue should reflect the theme of the book. If your book is a children’s book, try and make the venue as child-friendly as possible, and if the book is about a spicy romance, try and incorporate that into the venue. Get someone whom you respect to speak about you and to introduce you to the crowd.
Mingle with the guests and, most importantly, have fun.
Written by Zimasa Mpemnyama
Image credit: Daniel X. O’Neil, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr