This is one of the most important events in the journey of getting your book into print.
A book launch signifies to the Trade that it is now available for them to purchase and is a great way to promote you and your book and where you will get your first sales! It can be a very modest affair or as grand as your purse will allow.
1) Decide on a date when you know the books will definitely be with you.
2) You will need a venue (a room in a hotel, church hall, your home).
3) Check out availability for this and how many it can hold (hotel’s often have different sized rooms to cope with a few or many guests).
4) Start to draw up a list of guests (if you know roughly how many, it could have an impact of where you book a room and how large it is). This is where you need to pull in all your favours from people you know who have any influence at all and from all aspects of your working/social life.
Local book shop managers, local newspapers, local radio station presenters, friends, family, clients, acquaintances who are involved or loosely connected with anywhere where they might sell your book (eg nurse/doctor for selling in a hospital shop). However many you invite, 50% won’t be able to make it or won’t come and you can’t be sure of the other 50%!
5) Arrange tea & biscuits, finger food, wine or wine & cheese (supermarkets will usually let you have free hire of glasses if you buy the wine from them). If it’s in a hotel they will be able to provide what you require. You can either get in caterers to provide nibbles or do it yourselves. Decide on your budget and stick to it.
6) Invitations: local printers or something less informal that could be run off on a computer by yourself. Thin card looks more professional.
7) Send invitations out at least a week before the launch with an RSVP.
8) Try to arrange local newspaper and radio interviews on this date if possible so that they come to the launch, if not, ensure the interview goes into the paper before the launch date for added press coverage. Also contact your local radio stations, they may be willing to advertise the launch or have you in for an interview.
9) On the day of the book launch, ensure you are there in plenty of time and that everything is as arranged. Ensure a suitable table is set up for the signing and any display.
10) When you sign the books also date them. This is the only time you should date a book then people can say they bought a copy on the launch day, the first available day. (You should not sell any copies before the book launch.)
11) If you have had bookmarks printed, ensure these are handy to give out.
12) Record the event with photographs. These can be put on your website or sent in with articles.
13) Prepare a few words to say yourself and enjoy the moment!