Sunday, August 24, 2008

Book Launches -- Up, Up, and Away!

We wrap up this educational week on the Buzz Blog with the “Building Buzz in YA” workshop’s section on Book Launches. Next week we'll be back to our usual melange of fun, mayhem, and, ahem... boys.
To launch my post on launching your book -- above is a picture of our own Buzz Girl Dona Sarkar signing copies of How to Salsa in a Sari at her launch back in January! Isn't she looking gorgeous as always and hey -- notice the sari?

So, I’m planning my debut novel's launch for this April, so this is a pretty timely topic for me. So far, the tips I’ve gathered are:

Start Early – You need time to get the word out, so plan ahead. Make sure you have a good website/web presence (Myspace, Facebook) so you can publicize the event. Speak with your publisher’s publicity department to see what role they will have (if any) in setting up the event. Some publicists will want to arrange the kick-off signing with the bookstore for you, while others will leave you to organize it all yourself. Also, venues for an after-party or reception (if not at the bookstore) will book months in advance, so line that up early.

Pick a Theme -- What is your book about? In my case, it’s a werewolf book where the hero is the son of a rockstar, so my plan is to partner with a local all-ages music foundation and hire bands/do some kind of a benefit for them in conjunction with the book. That also will put me on their publicity calendar – so it may draw more attendees than if I went it alone.
Use the characters , title, or setting of your book to think of a way to tie it in to the event. At Dona Sarkar’s launch party for How to Salsa in a Sari – she had yummy salsas and chips – along with a fortune teller and acoustic band. Tina Ferraro had girls in prom dresses handing out cupcakes at her launch for Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. Marley Gibson plans to have a ghost hunt for her Ghost Huntress series launch. See? Find the connection and make a big, unforgettable splash.
The other Bees -- Simone, Tera, and Steph have all done fantastic launches as well, so maybe they will post some deets in the comments? (hint, hint.)

Invite – You should invite everyone you know (obviously) but don’t forget associations to which you belong, alumni groups, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, schools you’ve visited as an author, etc. Make postcards with the info on it and keep them in your purse. You may meet someone randomly who would come to the launch and buy books for their daughter, niece, or themselves!

So that’s what I’ve learned so far. I’m sure the other Buzz Girls have a ton to add on this topic. And remember – if you have a question, please post it in comments and we will respond.
Also, I would love to have you post about a cool book launch you went to! What did they do that really made it fun??


Heather Davis is the author of Never Cry Werewolf.
*Launching* in April from Harperteen.


TinaFerraro said...

Great post, Heather, and yes, I'm all about book launch themes. For HOW TO HOOK A HOTTIE, we did fishing poles and tackle in the store window, and my next book, THE ABC's OF KISSING BOYS...gee, how about giant lips and a couple hot guys???

stephhale said...

My booksigning for Revenge of the Homecoming Queen had lots of feather boas, tiaras, and lots of pink! :)