At this year’s AWP Conference in Boston, BookBaby president Brian Felsen and I were having a conversation with Richard Nash (of Soft Skull Press, Red Lemonade, Cursor, and Small Demons fame). Nash told us about a party Small Demons (a book-discovery engine) would be co-hosting later that night with Grub Street, a Boston-based center for creative writing.
Two cool lit-related groups teaming up to throw a party at a club within walking distance of our hotel? Yes, we were probably going to go anyways — but what really sold us on the event was that the venue would be serving two custom drinks that night: the “Grub Street” and the “Small Demon.”
I don’t even remember what the ingredients were, but they were tasty, and fun, and limited-edition, and the first 100 served were free.
So here’s a quick thought: at your next book launch event, name some of the food or drink items after characters, settings, or chapters in your book.
If you’ve written a historical novel, maybe you’ll want to serve period-appropriate confections or spirits. If you’ve written a vampire story, well… something red will do the trick! If it’s a romance book, how about an aphrodisiac?
Not only will these customized food and drink items be fun for attendees in the moment, creating a more memorable experience that brings them one step closer to your novel — but it’s something they can look forward to, helping you hype the event in advance.
Make sure whatever you’re serving tastes good, of course. Then mention it on all your PR materials for the event: your book-launch press release, your Facebook event, your invitations to friends, etc.
Maybe I’m marketing to myself here — (it worked on me, after all!) — but I’ll bet the extra promotional angle will help bring out some folks who might’ve been on the fence about attending your book launch event.
Have you promoted your book launch party using some quirky or sideways method? Let us know about it in the comments section below.
[Drink picture from Shutterstock.]