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How to Crowd-Source Your Book Launch Party

How to Crowd-Source Your Book Launch PartyShould your book launch party be all about you?

Maybe not.

Author Scott Bartlett took an Open Source approach to his book launch party, welcoming anyone in the community to contribute to or modify his event in some way (musical performances, stand-up, magic tricks, other readings of fiction or poetry, etc.) — and it was a big success.

Scott’s invite read:

In my experience, book launches usually go like this: the author reads from his or her book, and afterward people socialize, eat hors d’oeuvres and (ideally) buy books. Those are all things that will happen at this book launch, too. But I think it would make things more interesting to showcase the talent of others as well.

Harnessing the power of community for a book launch

He then put the word out that he was looking for other people to contribute to the event. The idea was “for everyone to benefit from each other’s respective audiences,” says Bartlett. “My job was to act as MC, give two brief readings, and sign books.”

The local media previewed his open-source book launch party (HERE and HERE), and a number of folks came out to help: a few  musicians (including a Radiohead tribute band), a standup comic, decorators who helped with the venue, someone who provided hors d’oeuvres, and supporters who assisted with the promotion and selling of his books.

“Everyone had a fantastic time,” Bartlett says. “I heard back from several attendees who said our town should have more of such events, and that they would gladly attend another.”

What have you done to crowd-source your book launch party?

How did you involve others in your big event? Did you actually get a higher turnout and more media coverage because you shared some of the spotlight? Let us know the details in the comments section below.

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Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 592 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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