How to Host a Successful Launch Party

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Now that I’m a pro and all.

But seriously, I couldn’t have been happier with our launch party. It was well-attended; it was fun; it sold books.

Here are a few things I recommend:

  1. Have good communication with the person in charge at your book store. Schedule the party, let her know what you’re needing (big space or small space, table with books or not, cookies, etc.) Let her know how many people you expect, so that she can order the appropriate number of books. Note: Do not do this three days before your event.
  2. Follow up with the book store. About a week and a half before the event, call or email to make sure you’ve got the space, they’ve got your books ordered, and all the ducks are lined up.
  3. Invite people to come. Don’t be shy, and don’t just expect them to show up. A few will, but many won’t. I sent out Facebook invitations (you do this by creating an event and then making invitations). And then I posted about it a couple times that week in my feed. This gets the word out, but also gives you a very vague idea of how many people might be attending. Now Facebook is nice and all, but you may also want to invite people personally, especially if you know they’re not on Facebook a lot. In fact, you might even want to draft a few friends to show up just to create the start of a little crowd.
  4. Props/Table decor. You don’t have to go all out and spend $300 bucks, but some props for the table are nice. I got a faux wolf pelt from Joanne Fabrics, and a big sturdy poster. I also got balloons, but that was a waste of money and a pain in the butt–don’t do it.
  5. Food. I don’t think food is necessary, but it is fun, and it can help to keep younger people happy while older people wait to get their books signed. We did ours at Barnes and Noble and had to use their cookies, but they gave us a reasonable price. Again, do this or not, but it was fun.
  6. Drawings. Again, not necessary, but fun. And you can use them in your advertising of the event–> We’ll be giving away a free book and a t-shirt.
  7. Have a decent pen. Something acid-free is best, but just be sure you didn’t show up with nothing good to write with.
  8. Have fun!¬†And come prepared to have fun. Take pictures or ask a friend to be there taking pictures. You might also want to ask someone to tweet from your phone about the event. I didn’t do this, thinking I would have time to do it myself, but I didn’t have time. Don’t be afraid to draft a husband, child, or friend to be your personal assistant during the event.
  9. Thank you’s. When you’re done, thank people for coming. And thank the bookstore for letting you sign there.
  10. Post about it afterwards. Because it was fun. And because you have awesome friends. And because some people came who weren’t your friends and you were glad to have them.

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