Friday, 17 July 2015

10 Essential Steps in the Lead up to a Physical Book Launch

Excitement levels are high in the Bookaholic Camp this week. It is just 3 days until the launch of Killer's Craft, the second book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. This means I have been busy getting ready for the event. This got me thinking about everything an author to do on the lead up to the launch of a book. 

1. My first point, and probably the most crucial is to start planning your launch early. If you plan on holding your launch in a bookshop approach them as soon as you have a date for publication. Bookshops hold a lot of events and you may find that the day or week you want is not available for your date. If you are not going to be using a bookshop then decide which venue you would like to use and book it. 

2. Create a buzz about the event a few weeks in advance. This can be done in many ways:
  • Tell your friends and family
  • Use social media wisely. It is important not to spam the heck out of every group on Facebook or any other social media site. This is not a formal invite but teasers about the event
3. Use teasers to let the excitement build. These can include cover reveal, blurb reveal, photos of the books arriving, letting people know that your event calendar is filling up. I am sure there are many more. If you have any innovative ideas then please let me knowing the comments. 

4. Create flyers for the event, and leave them in the bookshop, libraries, or anywhere else you think may be appropriate. For example, a local Cafe which I use asked me when the book launch was and asked me if I had any flyers they could display.

5. This one may be out of your control as it is up to the bookstore. Waterstones added to the general buzz by creating an event on Facebook. 

6. Invite people and create a list of names. This is so you can get an idea of numbers. Your venue will need to know so they have enough chairs etc. Remember if you re inviting people through social media not everyone on your friends list lives close enough to come to a launch. Invite only the relevant people before you start to annoy everyone in far flung lands. 

7. If you are published through your own imprint then make sure that the books are uploaded to the relevant sites, such as Amazon and SmashWords, in time for the publication date. This may take a few days after upload so do not leave it until the last minute.

8. This is also crucial. Make sure you order books to a arrive in plenty of time. This needs to include time for the bookstore to get them into their system ready for the day. 

9. This one is down to personal preference. I have food and drink at my launch. I provide the food and Waterstones provides wine and soft drinks. It gives a real party atmosphere and also means that guests have something to do if there is a large queue for book signing. It also allows for people to chat in general, and your books specifically.

10. The most important one of all. Have fun. Book launches are a blast and it is your chance to show yourself off as an author and a person. Enjoy every minute of your hour in the spotlight.

So there we have it my Bookaholic friends. If you think of anything else that should be done on the lead up to a launch then please let me know in the comments. I am always open to new ideas and suggestions.

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