Your Local Book Launch Party, Part 2: Example of a Successful Event

“A launch party gives an author the chance to be surrounded by her village as a book makes its debut.” —Holly Robinson

Volunteers. By Lahtis
Volunteers. By Lahtis

Recently I posted Part 1 with a checklist of tasks to consider for a local book launch party. For an example, here’s mine with some tips.

 Local Book Launch Party for Calculated Risk

My Purposes: Celebrate with my community, get the word out about Calculated Risk, and sell enough books to defray the cost of the party.

Book Selling and Signing by Lahtis
Book Selling and Signing by Lahtis

I expected between 25 and 50 people. Forty attended. My husband sold 42 copies of Calculated Risk. And orders are beginning to come in from those who didn’t attend. We celebrated. All my purposes were met.

♦♦♦

 

Budget and Expenses:                                                

Budget = $300;  Expenses = $245

Expenses:

•  Rescue Squad Bldg.
•  Food & Paper Products
•  Prizes
•  Newspaper ad
•  Gifts for helpers 

Three truck bays in the Rescue Squad Building by Lahtis
Celebrating people warmed the rescue squad building. By Lahtis.

Date, Time, and Place:

Saturday in the Christmas-shopping season from 2PM to 4PM at the community’s place for events, the rescue squad building. The marquee featured the party.                                                

 

My Planners: the two Nancys. By Lathis.
My Planners: the two Nancys by Lathis

Planners. Two women volunteers did 80% of the tasks, including suggesting what worked best in the area, phone calls, and distribution. Perfect for this new-to-the-community introvert.

 

 

Promotion. The best promotion was getting the invitations to the immediate community. In the future, I won’t do the ad in the newspaper of a nearby town.

 

Cake 1

No worse for having a bear in her kitchen. By Lahtis.
No worse for having a bear in her kitchen. By Lahtis.

Refreshments. A book cake made by a local woman. (This’s the woman whose home a black bear entered through the kitchen window while she was sleeping. The bear carried off one of her icing funnels and a casserole dish.)

 

Extra sheet cakes. By Lahtis.
Extra sheet cakes. By Lahtis.

My planners made 4 extra sheet cakes so I could use the book cake for a family visit. They served dips and chips and punch.

 

John hung my banner behind the signing table. By Lahtis.
By Lahtis.

 

Balloons. By Lahtis.
Balloons. By Lahtis.

Decorations. Planners supplied silk and fresh flowers. All tables received tablecloths. My husband hung my banner. We displayed posters in the welcome room and in the bay. Helpers added festive balloons. I made signs for tables.

Table signs and teens. By Lahtis.
Table signs and teens. By Lahtis.

 

Welcome Table. By Lahtis
Welcome Table. By Lahtis

Events. 

The Welcoming Team greeted guests at the door, had them sign the guest book, and gave out tickets to win prizes.

 

My friend and neighbor provide lovely music. By Lahtis.
My friend and neighbor provide lovely music. By Lahtis.

 

 

My neighbor played background 70s music on her keyboard. We paused in conversations while she played and sang “If” by Bread. Hero Nick in Calculated Risk listens to 70’s music.

 

 

 

Zoe talking with guests
By Lahtis

 

A five-minute talk about the story behind Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.
A five-minute talk about the story behind Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.

I gave three 5-minutes talks:

•  A welcome and how John and I came to the community.

•  The story behind Calculated Risk.

•  How items in my giveaway basket related to the story.

 

 

Drawing of a copy of Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.
Drawing of a copy of Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.

We interspersed five drawings during the party.

•  Christmas ornaments for the two who’d driven the farthest

•  Two copies of Calculated Risk

•  One Basket of book-related goodies, including a book

 

Napkin Folding
Napkin folding. By Lahtis

 

Folding a bird-of-paradise napkin. By Lahtis.
Folding a bird-of-paradise napkin. By Lahtis.

Teens gave lessons in folding book-related birds-of-paradise napkins and gift-wrapped books.

 

My husband sold and I signed copies of Calculated Risk.

 

Sisters. By Scott Lahti.
Sisters. By Scott Lahti.

My sister and brother-in-law took lots of photos.

 

Freebees. By Lahtis.
Freebees. By Lahtis.

 

 

 

From the freebee table, guests took home Calculated Risk bookmarks and adhesive note pads, and bookmarks and pens of fellow authors.

 

Gift bags for helpers. By Lahtis.
Gift bags for helpers. By Lahtis.

 

 

I thanked each helper with a small gift bag.

 

A live example and tips for your local book launch party. Click to tweet.

 

by Scott Lahti
by Scott Lahti

 

By Lahtis.
By Lahtis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lahtis.
By Lahtis.

What other things did, or would you plan to do, at your book launch party?