Okay, not quite. I don’t have a best friend who is a publicist, but I can assure you, THIS book launch will fit your itsy-bitsy writer’s budget. And let’s face it; it all comes down to you, the author, unless your name is Rankin, Rushdie, or Rowling.
For the last year, I have had the pleasure of writing a book within the realm of my ‘day’ job. The book was published in May and just this week was the book launch bash. It’s a book for children, and clearly, whenever you involve kids in an event like this, you can’t lose. The launch included everything from a media release to fancy cupcakes (with feathers on top), an animated book reading, buttons, stickers, photos, free gifts, book signings, and interviews with the press. OMG—the local media showed up, notebooks and cameras in hand. And I did my very first book interview, ever. The inner workings of my mind now exist in the public domain, for all to praise and scrutinize. Umm, bring it on.
I couldn’t have asked for a more successful book launch. The kids had a blast and the media had all but good things to say. It was blogged, facebooked, and tweeted—a perfect day, that made for a great week of coverage. Now just emerging from this super satisfying experience, I thought it might be nice to share some of the gems that made it great. When it’s your turn for a little exposure, try these book launch ideas. They worked for me.
5 Tips for a successful book launch:
Be realistic. Plan a launch within your means and splurge on the right things. Since my target group was kids age 4 – 8, I splurged on “themed” cupcakes, because they are 1) pretty, 2) kids like them, and 3) so do I.
Location, location, location. A childcare centre was the perfect place to launch a picture book. Staff loved the exposure and there were no rental fees. Be warned however, there are REALLY small chairs at such places.
Cultivate relationships. With the popularity of social networking, I secured a handful of sites to blog about the event and link back to the book site.
Get your ‘press hook’ on. Inform the media. Promotional interviews score some big bang and large readership—at no cost to you. Sending personal invitations with a media kit to these folks is a super duper idea.
Be prepared to chat. You will need to speak at your book launch. It’s a given. Be ready to talk about the book and where the inspiration came from. This was the #1 question to me at the launch.
Offer incentives. This includes everything from signed copies of the book to cool prizes (free books/DVDs) for doing an online review. These reviews are promo pieces you can use and quote later.
With some creativity and a modest budget, you can make a nice splash. Sure, a book launch may not make or break your book, but it can certainly help, so do whatever it takes to make it memorable. And above all, treat yourself—to a cupcake or a swig of champagne, YOU TOTALLY DESERVE IT. Cheers!