Why have a book launch?

You may ask, why have a book launch?  My main answer is, ‘to celebrate the achievement of writing, finishing and publishing a book.’

There are other reasons too.

  • Being able to celebrate with the friends and family who have supported you through the writing journey.
  • To make a bit of a song and dance about the book – blow your own trumpet for a change.
  • To promote your book introducing it to more people, in an exciting way.

·      Help initiate sales of the book and raise awareness of the book.

4 different styles of book launches

  1. My first was for a business book, ‘Headshot Diva – Why your business profile affects your bottom line’

I organised this launch like a networking event.

Everyone who was invited had the opportunity to gift a raffle prize of either a product or a service.  In return when the winner for that prize was announced, they had their photo taken with the business giving the prize.  This could be used for that businesses marketing, and also to market the book.

Each person paid slightly more than the cost of the book for an entrance ticket to the event. This meant, everyone received a book during the evening. The extra payment went towards the hire of the room and the drinks on arrival.

Also, during the evening, along with their book, each person received an USB stick and a book mark, and any marketing materials prize givers wanted to include.

A professional photographer was there for the event and anyone had access to the photos.

At one point there was a quiz, where the attendees were asked questions. The answers to the quiz were all in the book, so for a short time, everyone was busy browsing through the pages to find the answers. The answers were dropped into a box, and these were drawn for the raffle prize.

  1. The second book launch was for the autobiography I wrote about me and my husband – “Mixed Feelings”

Again, people were charged for ticket entrance, at the cost of a book.  Everyone received a drink and cake when they arrived.  There was time for people to chat for a while, before I introduced the book, and shared a few stories about how I went about writing the story of our two very different lives.

The evening ended with a book signing, and more opportunities for people to chat.

  1. The third book launch took place a few weeks before we went into lockdown in March 2020. I was relieved we managed to get it in, just in time!  This was a poetry book, ‘Blossom Falls’, so I gave a poetry reading.

This was a very different event, where I wanted to make money for a charity – Jessie May, Children’s Hospice at home.

Between us we managed to get some funding from local businesses to support the event. The venue gave us the room for free; a local solicitor’s company funded welcome drinks; local supermarkets gave us raffle prizes, and a local events business provided table decorations. 

It was entrance by paid ticket, the total amount of which went to the charity, and during the night, I gave a percentage of book sales to the charity too, plus raffle tickets added to the amount raised. The event made around £350 in that one night, which I was extremely pleased with.

During the evening I read a number of poems, which seemed to go down well, and in fact along with the charity, we discussed running another similar event in a different area – unfortunately the pandemic put a stop to that.

  1. My most recent book launch was for my first novel, ‘He is Not Worthy’.

This time, ticket entrance was free, and there was a bar in the venue, so people bought their own drinks. However, I still asked people to register for tickets, so I had an idea of the numbers for the night.

After time to chat, the evening started with a friend interviewing me with some questions about writing the book, and then she opened up the questions from the floor.

Following this, I read three short extracts from the book – which everyone said brought the characters to life, and made them want to read the book even more!

The evening ended with a book signing. It was a wonderful night, and people who hadn’t attended a book launch before, were very complimentary about the event.

How did I get people along for these events?

For all of these book launches, I used an online, event booking site (Eventbrite), which meant that I knew how many people were coming. I’ve found that if you put something out on social media alone, people click to say they’re coming, but then don’t, so you don’t have any idea whether anyone is going to turn up.

I emailed lots of friends, personally, who I know don’t ‘do’ social media, but who I know well, and I felt would be happy to support me. You need to personally invite people, and in fact some feel special that they’ve been invited. Don’t just leave it to chance.

I shared the event on all of my different social media platforms several times over.  With this combination of things, more than the number I expected, (particularly at the last launch), turned up.

‘He is Not Worthy’ is available here:  https://tinyurl.com/3cjpbjby