A great reason to celebrate the launch of your new book, which might have taken months or years to write, is a book launch party, actual or maybe even virtual. You will want to thank everyone who helped with the creation of your book and introduce your latest work to your adoring readers. With today’s digital printing techniques it is possible to have a couple of print books to sign at your event – even if your book is officially offered only as an e-book.
Plan Your Event at Least Two Months Ahead
The date can be well after the book hit the shelves or the Amazon sales pages. Important is that you invite as much people as possible (they won’t all come! Don’t worry) and that you get as much buzz as possible from book bloggers, from your Social Media followers, local book clubs and hopefully the local press. To use this article as a check list, it is set in chronological order.
TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE BOOK LAUNCH
1. Order your books
either as Print-on-Demand from CreateSpace or LightningSource or from an Espresso Book Machine or a local digital printer. If you go with a trade publisher, make sure you plan your event for at least two or three weeks after the first editions date.
2. Rent a place for your book launch
Invite for coffee or wine and cheese:
- at the Starbucks Coffee Shop in Barnes&Noble or Chapters
- at your local library, if you expect a crowd, rent a board room there
- or rent a side room in a restaurant, hotel or in a museum,
- maybe even the foyer of a company (after working hours)
Best days are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 4pm and 8pm
3. Invite Social Media “Spreaders”
Create a “Spread the Word” page. Set up a special page on your web site called “Spread the Word”, in order to make it easy for people to spread via Social Media.
Create a short story, asking for people’s help. Include some prefabricated tweets that people can share with the click of a button, as well as instructions on how to share the book on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn. Add several images of your books cover, so that people can use your images via copy / past to their sites.
4. Organize a Bloggers promotion
Create a blog posts why bloggers should do book reviews and included tips on how to write a professional book review. Engage them: “Want a chance to review a new book?” “I am inviting up to 30 bloggers to review my new book on their blog and receive an extra copy that you can give away to your readers. On top of that there is a draw: one lucky person could win a Kindle Paperwhite / iPad.”
It should create a lot of exposure if done right. Bloggers are like the new press. Also ask people from your email list (you hopefully have one): “I would love to get your help spreading the word about this book launch! See how you can help.
5. Invite the local Press
A book launch is not necessarily a news-worthy event, as millions of books are hitting the shelves every year. So you have to find an angle for the press to write about it and the benefit for readers to learn about your book. Get lots of tips in this short book: Media Training and Presentation Skills.
Write an igniting press release and a separate article about your book, along with images of its cover. Start with a press page on your website, see our blog on how to do this.
Find out the names of editors / journalists from the department that covers literature or local events, and send your invitation and information about your book to the right person. And mark your calender to follow up after a week.
6. Retweet button in free ebook
Give away the first chapter of your book as an immediately accessible PDF on your page or on Amazon. Include a re-tweet button in several strategic locations in the chapter. This allows people who love what they read to easily share with friends on Twitter. When someone clicks on the re-tweet button, it shows a pre-crafted tweet that says: “I’m reading @……. new book: … Get the first chapter free here too: http://………” You get the idea?
7. Ask for book endorsements from influential people
Want to know how you get famous people to support your Book, eBook, or blog? Well, you ask them! Some will, of course, say no. But some will tell you yes. And you never know until you ask, right?
THREE WEEKS BEFORE
8. Use Event Pages
Announce the event on Google+ and on Goodreads at least three weeks before the date. They both offer a free event function. A site that is very easy and fast to set up. Promote this event (can be real life or virtual) heavily on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, your blog and to your email list.
If your local newspaper, neighborhood paper etc. has an event page, or if they have an online version, get your event in! Search the internet for events/websites in your area and announce it there too.
9. Print invitations
Use your own home computer / printer to write the invitation and include a picture of your books’ cover, the location, address, maybe even a map and the time of the event. Send them out by mail or hand-deliver to those in your area. Print business cards or bookmarks as well.
10. Verify delivery
Verify that your books delivery is ordered, with plenty of time to arrive. Nothing worse than having a date picked for your Book Release Party, and then having no books to sell! Reserve some copies for gifts to volunteers or the host.
11. Get help for the party
Get a friend or family member to assist with selling your books. You, the author, need to be free to meet and great, talk, mingle, market and sign your books. Ask several people to bring their cameras and take pictures. Check your own camera and video for new batteries and memory card.
Have business cards or bookmarks to hand out as you talk with your potential.
12. Order “Catering”
Organize your coffee orders, wine and cheese purchases and water/juice. Don’t forget to prepare a couple of folding chairs, table cloth, napkins, pen and paper for notes or if someone doesn’t have a card, to write down their name, email etc.
13. Order big posters of your book cover
As bigger as better! Get some inexpensive frames to makes them look like a valuable painting. Avoid to tape them to the wall of your book launch party room, it would look cheap.
14. Create a photo contest
It can be a fun and friendly competition to get people excited about your book. And there’s no better platform than Social Media sites to do just that. You can call it the “Know my Book?” or “Help Me Launch” photo contest. All participants need to do was take a creative photo with the words “Know my Book?” or “Help Me Launch.” The three best images might receive the book or you can offer an additional first prize for a Kindle or a digital camera.
15. Prepare an Event Website
To upload images and videos from your book launch and to introduce your book via a short video (don’t forget to add purchase links!) set up an extra page on your website or even an extra blog. This URL can later be used to blog / post about the event. Don’t stop to promote your book launch several times a day on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Pinterest, your blog and to your email list.
16. Broadcast live videos
To promote the event party, talk about subjects related to the book, but do not overtly pitch the book. Organize and let someone connect with Google+ Hangouts to show the event in real time. Double check that the person can do both professional: Taking several short videos from an event like your upcoming book launch and knowledgeable with computers to set up the Hangout. Make sure you have WiFi at this location.
DAY OF THE EVENT
17. Set up early enough
Check once more a day before or in the morning your equipment and the internet connection. Set up tables and chairs if possible and hang up your books’ images. On the big day: come at least an hour or longer before you expect your first guests to place your books, decoration and catering.
18. Gather addresses
You want to stay in touch with people you spend time with at your launch party. Make sure you have a way to capture each attendee’s email address, whether it’s a sign-up sheet, a bowl for business cards, or a laptop or tablet where people can opt into your mailing list on the spot.
These email addresses come handy when you thank every person a day later for coming to your book launch. And don’t forget those who helped you in any way. Write also those that did not make it, kindly tell them they were missed and where your books can be purchased, whether online or in a store. Post your photos and video immediately after the event. Add more images over the period of a week or so, to spread out the fun and reminders.
Enjoy to meet the people who are interested in your book! Have fun at the party! Writing and author-publishing a book, is a great accomplishment and reason to celebrate. Last but not least: Kate Raphael http://www.kateraphael.com/ “We’re not only launching our books, we’re launching ourselves as authors.”
She gives this advice for your book launch talk:
“An engaging talk can get you invited to be on panels or radio shows. Yet too few are spending enough time planning the book launch talk. People don’t go out to an author event for the reading. They are attending for the value added, which is not the wine or coffee. Write out what you’re going to say. Write about 10 minutes of talk, 5 minutes of reading, 5 to 10 more minutes of talking and another 5 minutes of reading. Time it. Humor is wonderful, but if it’s not your style, don’t use it. Heartfelt is just as good or better.”
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To advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/.
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