So you’re a published author? Congratulations! Your book is available for sale, now what are you going to do to get people to buy it? You might think a launch is only for famous authors, but you’re missing out on a huge opportunity by not having one. Celebrating the release of your book with a launch event is important for many reasons.
- It offers great publicity opportunities with local press, bookshops and your local community.
- It can be a very enjoyable, positive event and a great way to kick off your book’s release.
- By engaging with your local bookshops you help to encourage them to stock your book.
- Photos from your event can be used in a variety of ways to publicise the book.
- It helps encourage your local community to support you by engaging with them.
A launch can either be a) a private party for your friends and family or b) a public event. They are usually held at a bookshop, although can also be at a library, local shop or other business depending on the content of your book – for example if your book was about gardening, holding it at a garden centre would likely be more effective than holding it in a bookshop! A public launch is always the best option, since this allows the public to meet you, get a signed copy of your book and hear you say something about the book.
How to go about it: simply contact your preferred location, but be prepared first. Have a few dates in mind and consider how the event will be run – will you give a talk or reading, will you provide refreshments, how will copies be sold etc. When the date is confirmed, invite local press, journalists, bloggers, dignitaries, book groups and anyone else you think might be interested. Is your book about knitting? Invite local knitting groups! Publicise it on social media, your website and to your local community by putting up posters and distributing leaflets. Ask the venue what they will do to help promote it too.
Signings and readings after the book is released are also a great way to reach new customers, communicate with the book-reading public, gain additional publicity, and be seen as proactive, engaging and interested in meeting your public. Many authors do this multiple times in different locations. Written a children’s book? Contact local schools and libraries about giving readings. Written a history book? Contact your local history group about giving a talk. There are always options!
Key Tip: Remember to get as many photographs taken as possible and encourage guests to share them on social media and to leave reviews on Amazon. Consider hiring a professional photographer if you don’t have any talented guests who can take good enough photos. If no press come on the night, as soon as possible afterwards send them your content – description of the evening and photographs. They may use this.
Remember: As a self-publishing author, you are your own publicist, marketer and sales manager. The more proactive and willing to get out there and engage with the public you are the more likely your book will do well.