Hi, I’m Aleesah Darlison. I’m an author and the owner of Greenleaf Press.
Last week I shared with you the concepts behind the launch of Tropical Trouble, the third book in my Totally Twins Series.
Following on from that I thought it might be a good time to offer some tips on book launches.
The birth of your new book baby is always a special event. Especially if it’s your first book – or possibly one of your first five books - you should celebrate it. Not only for your own sake and to be able to enjoy that sense of achievement, but as a way to tell people that you’ve arrived on the scene.
Book launches are also a fabulous way to make relationships with booksellers and buyers of your current/new book and future titles.
You can’t sell a secret.
If nobody knows that your book has been released, how do you expect them to know where to find it and how to purchase it? The answer is that you have to tell them. Creating a super special and super spectacular launch party to spread the word is a wonderful idea.
So, here are my 10 Tips to help you create a Totally Terrific Book Launch
1. Aim to Draw a Crowd
This is probably the most crucial aspect of your book launch. You want as many people as possible at your launch for a number of reasons: to let everyone know about your success, to impress the bookstore/venue and to sell lots of books.
2. Make Each Launch Different
Come up with something fun, fresh, original and new for your book launch. Make it interesting to draw in that crowd.
3. Always Ask Your Publisher to Contribute
Book launches can be expensive and there are lots of items you’ll need to buy. Always ask the publisher if they’re willing and able to contribute funds to the launch.
4. Do You Have a Drawcard?
It’s always a good idea to have someone introduce you and launch you. Especially if they’re a celebrity, a well-known author, or a respected or senior member of your community because they will attract their own audience. Get on the phone to David Beckham right now!
5. Thank Everyone
I’ve made this mistake before. I was so nervous, like terrifyingly leg-shaking, cotton-mouthed nervous during my acceptance speech that I forgot to thank my publisher. Agh! Make a list if helps.
6. Themes and Linkages
If you’re launching a picture book that features Australian animals why not have a real live animal come along? I’ve had possums, bats, echidnas, snakes, koalas and frogs at my book launches at talks before. Children and adults really loved this. If your book features red balloons, then have plenty of red balloons at your launch. Always look for linkages.
7. Have You Got the Right Venue?
If you hold your launch at your local library, they might only have certain hours that their space is available. They might not allow food and drinks because they can create a mess. A launch at a library, however, means you can sell author copies of your book at a full price without the need for a bookseller. If you hold your launch at a bookstore the shop owner obviously wants and deserves their ‘commission’ so any sales made will usually only equate to your royalty percentage. Always ask up front what the conditions are.
8. You don’t only need to have one ‘launch’.
You can have multiple launches in multiple locations and states. Many authors do this.
9. Be prepared and practice your speech.
Keep it short and sweet and preferably have a running sheet for the night so you and everyone else know what you should be doing at any particular point in time.
10. Promote across various media.
Get newspaper adverts or free notices if you can, have flyers to hand out around the local area and of course use social media to its utmost to generate interest and get people in the door.
These are just ten brief and simple tips for holding your next (first!) book launch. A more comprehensive e-book guide to holding book launches, which will include two case studies as templates for you to use, will be available on the Greenleaf Press website soon. Visit www.greenleafpress.net/resources for more information.