Monday, December 27, 2010

How to Prepare for a Book Launch

There are *gulp* just a little over two weeks before ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is out. I mean...really out. Some of you have read ARCs, and your reviews have bolstered me and filled me with joy (many times as I'm reading them I'm thinking yesssssss, they get that point! Yay, they liked that twist!). But there's something oddly terrifying about the idea that soon it will be really out there. As in, people who have never heard of me at all might pick it up off the shelf...and might put it back there. People who I hated in high school might recognize my name and roll their eyes that the nerdy girl wrote a nerdy book (that one doesn't bother me that much, actually). People who I really like and admire might read it...and hate it. My friends might read it and hate it. My family might read it and hate it.

This is why I panic so much.

Backstory!

When I was 16 years old, I had a sweet sixteen party. Now, it was nothing elaborate. I wasn't in the "cool kid crowd" (shocker!) But I did invite about five or six of my closest friends, and we were going to do the exciting thing of eat pizza and watch movies.

And....no one came.

Dude, I was crushed. I mean, my friends all had good excuses. One got called in to work unexpectedly. One locked herself out of her house. One's car broke down. But fate or whatever made it so that on my sixteenth birthday, no one came to my party.

Which has totally given me a complex about parties ever since then.

I have never had a party since. Not really, unless you count my wedding (and one of my showers was crushingly short of attendees). Dude. I invited my parents to eat Christmas Eve supper at my house last week, and called them three times to make sure they were coming. My parents. I usually have tons and tons and tons of confidence, but when it comes to me + a party, all I get is self-doubt.

Here's where the relevance comes in!

...I have a book launch party in about two weeks.

*dies*dies*dies*

I'm not telling you all this because I'm fishing for compliments and reassurances. I tell you all this so that you know why I'm going crazy right now.

So, to make sure that someone actually comes to my party this time (because really? how could it be much worse than a zero-attendance rate on a Sweet Sixteen?) I've been wracking my mind for ways to promo the book launch party, beg family and friends to come, and berate strangers into accepting invites.

First: design things!

I made a poster to print and hang around town:

This took me a ridiculously long time to make.

And I also made invites to send to family and friends and people I was vaguely connected with and random strangers I'd berated into giving me their address and people who lived at least 100 miles within range of the book store. It was basically the same poster, but without a background, much smaller, and with specific directions of how to get to the bookstore. (PS: if you live near Forest City, NC, and/or are willing to go there, pop me an email and I'll send you an invite, too!)

Then I made up a gift basket:

Clicky to embiggen!
Contents of the gift basket:

  • Star mints, suckers, and gummies
  • Pin buttons 
  • A metal bookmark that has moons and stars
  • A bright pinkish-purplish booklight
  • A "Reach for the Stars" Keepsake Box
  • THE AUDIO BOOK OF ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!!!!
Oh, did I forget to mention that I have the audio book of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE now?! BECAUSE I DO AND IT IS AWESOME AND I LOVE IT SOOOOOO MUCH. More on that later.

So: preparation for book launch. Posters? Check. Invites? Check. Gift basket? Check. I'm also going to work on refreshments...and, of course, Fireside Bookstore (which I adore and LOVE) are also doing the same things and making it even more awesome. And I'm working on the program: a short speech, a reading, and a Q&A session.

What do you guys think? Any ideas I should be incorporating into the book launch? What would you, personally, like to see at a book launch?
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