Is A Book Launch Party The Right Thing For You?

book launch party

After all the hard work you’ve put into completing your book, a book launch party might be what you need to make a splash. Think big, find sponsors, get the word out, and give yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare.

When your book is finished, you need to celebrate! For many authors, that means hosting a book launch party, and I mean a party – a major event with over 100 guests, media attendance, and a lot of hoopla. Yes, a book launch party can be a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work, and it’s not for everybody.

When is a live event feasible?

Not every book warrants a live launch event, and not every author is ready to engage in the process of hosting a successful affair. Before you plan a book launch party, be sure you meet these critical success factors.

1. You have produced an excellent product
There can be no shortcuts in producing an excellent product, so be sure that you devoted the necessary time and attention to your completed work. Is your writing compelling? Did you employ a professional editor? Was your work proofread, and is it mistake-free? Did you invest in a professional cover and interior designer?

Here’s a rule of thumb: If it was cheap to produce your book, you produced a cheap book!

2. Your book has received favorable reviews
Book reviews are important, and you won’t get them overnight. You have to work for them. You must coordinate with reviewers and respect their time. Be sure to allow four to six months to request and receive reviews!

A great way to solicit book reviews is to produce and distribute ARCs – Advance Reader Copies. ARCs are not only useful because they allow others to critique your book before it’s on the market, but if there are any errors you didn’t catch, those readers certainly will. You can make corrections as needed.

3. You have credible endorsements
You’ve seen those back cover and inside-the-front-flap endorsements. Are they important? You bet your boots they are! Endorsements are like a trusted friend’s advice, and the bigger the name, the more powerful the recommendation.

Who might write an endorsement for your book? I suggest you go to your target market and solicit experts in the field of your writing, other authors, organization or associations that are affiliated with your subject matter, and those who will be impacted by your book.

4. You are connected to your target market
Just as the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location, the three most important things an author can do to promote her book is to connect, connect, connect. Be connected with your target market through all the available social media channels.

When should I start planning?

Planning a book launch party takes time, and you should begin when you have identified your primary audience and you know your book’s release date.

Allow six months
A book launch event is similar to any other major event, such as a wedding or a bar mitzvah, and it requires the same attention to detail. It’s wise to work with professionals to get the job done right!

A good event planner can take care of all the details for you, which allows you to focus on your guests and your presentation at the event. Here’s a look at what an event planner can do for you:

Planner graph

What if I don’t have any money?

If you don’t have a budget, you can still have a party! You just have to get creative. An event planner can help you to seek donors, barter for services, and create a community for mutual benefit.

Event sponsors may contribute funds that offset the costs of your party, such as venue rental, food and beverage costs, and audio equipment rental. Sponsors are your angels, and they come in a few flavors.

Corporate sponsors. You’ll be quite fortunate if you can get one or two corporate sponsors to contribute cash ($500 to $1,000) for your event. For their high dollar contribution, you can offer the opportunity to speak at the event, feature them on your invitations and signage, and promote them in press releases.

Table sponsors. Another way to receive a big boost is to find 10 to 15 table sponsors who might pay $100 each to be part of your event. You can provide them a six-foot table to display their products or services and promote their business to your guests.

Volunteers. When hosting a major event, volunteers are invaluable! You’re the host of this party, so you need to be available to your guests. But there’s a lot of coordinating to do if the event is going to flow well! Volunteers can help check in your guests, sell books, and direct the flow for your book signing, which will allow you to mingle, promote, and celebrate your great accomplishment.

Sponsoring organizations. Sponsoring organizations can give you a big publicity boost if they are well-known and are connected to the material in your book. What charity can you invite and designate as a beneficiary of book sales? If your book is about surviving cancer, you might invite the local chapter of the American Cancer Society to attend and receive 10% of that evening’s book sales. For lending their name to the event, give them a table so they can connect with your audience, promote their organization and services, and benefit from book sales.

In-kind donors. Some people will want to support your event by donating their services. These in-kind donors can be invaluable. For contributing their products or services, you can offer to introduce them at the event and feature them on your invitations and signage.

This post originally appeared on The Book Professor. Reposted with permission.


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  3. Very valuable information.I am currently working on my book and raising funds on to finish and print and distribute. Didn’t put party costs in…luckily a friend with many resources offered to do the launch party for me…this information helps with the timeline. My project can be found on the website or by googling my full name Andrea E. Bachrach PhD. …if anybody wants to contribute or write a rave review..

  4. I recently held what I called a “book launch celebration,” in my hometown for my debut novel, “Castle Danger.” I had an energetic friend who specializes in putting on charity events, and she knows “everyone” in town. She arranged for an online TV interview, a newspaper feature article a few days prior to the event, and even had the local radio station do a live remote the entire 2 hours of the event. The local charity to whom I’m donating $1 per copy sold was there to help promote their charity as well.

    I held it at one of my favorite local coffee/tea/pastry shops in town. They decorated the place with balloons and streamers and provided free mini-cupcakes, lemonade, and ice tea.

    The event took place only about 6 weeks after my book became available, and I’d only sold or given away a handful of copies. I had no reviews available other than verbal anecdotal comments.

    So I did some things wrong, had my friends do a few things right, and in the end, sold 32 copies of my book. I thought it was a big success compared to what I’d expected/hoped. I guess if I’d waited a few months and done everything on the checklist, I probably would have sold more copies, but the cost was minimal to me, so maybe that would have been a wash.

    My point is, it was better to do something to generate interest than do nothing and wonder why no one is buying my book. A good learning experience no matter what. Marketing is tough, and must be done consistently in order to keep sales going.


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