So right outta the gate I'm makin' the disclaimer that I had no earthly idea how to host a book launch party 'cause this is my first rodeo. What I did know is that I wanted the PAR-TAY to reflect the unique style of my book and I wanted my guests to have fun. So I set about doing research and reading blogs how other people hosted successful book launches. After gathering loads of information and advice this is what worked for me and hopefully will help other new authors on their journey:
1. Preorder plenty of books well in advance of the target date for your launch party. I find myself selling books at the gym, grocery store, and in my neighborhood so I always keep a box in my car. Be sure to have a good supply on hand for the actual party.
2. Choose a venue reflective of your personality or that relates to your book. Since I had already decided to go nontraditional and not hold my launch in a book store (shocking I know), I needed to find a cool restaurant/bar. My friend Beth and I devoted a day to take a "field trip" around town to check out spaces. As soon as I walked in to The Bento Box and saw the modern couches that matched my book cover I was sold. I even bought an animal print throw to put over the couch for the main event.
3. Enlist the help of friends. I delegated various responsibilities to my friends, all of whom were happy to help. This takes some of the stress off you.
4. Figure out a way to accept credit cards. I download the Square App and practiced with the card reader well in advance of the event. However, there were serious glitches at the restaurant. I don't know if it was the wifi or what, but it took a village to figure out all of that mess. Since I'm basically computer illiterate, I left that to the experts while I greeted guests and took a Xanax.
5. Get plenty of change for cash purchases and don't forget to charge tax. Yea, my CPA reminded me of that buzz kill.
6. Depending on your budget, you may want to provide food. Since my event was a drop in from 5:30-7:30 I did provide appetizers, but I think that is personal preference.
7. Bring plenty of pens because you will be signing books all night.
8. Send out your invitation via social media and allow your friends to invite others. I was fortunate to have friends of friends attend my event who actually purchased books. I also sent my invitation to media outlets and it was advertised in several magazines as well as the local newspaper.
9. Have a few door prizes and draw winners every 30 minutes. Again this is optional, but it makes things extra special.