Authors often tie themselves in knots trying to decide how to launch their book. I’m here to solve this for you in one easy blog. Read on!
I hear this question all the time: ‘What do I do for a book launch?’ The answer is simple: anything you want! My father was a writer so I’ve been around books my whole life, and I’ve seen it all when it comes to launches. When I was kid we had a book launch in our lounge room. I’ve been to intimate book launches in restaurants and launches with 400 people in conference centres. I’ve been to book launches at bookshops, libraries, conferences, universities, photography studios, art galleries, pubs – you get the idea.
The launch marks the release of your book into the world. Usually you’ll have a guest say a few words about how awesome you are and how hard you’ve worked on the book, and then you can say a few words. There is really no official way to ‘launch’ a book. Just do whatever works for you.
Planning your launch
It’s vital to plan your launch well and think carefully about why you are having it. If it’s a party for friends and family, make it that; if it’s a business event, run it accordingly and have a goal for how it will benefit your business. Either is fine – just don’t confuse the two.
This is one of the main reasons to have a launch – because it’s fun! Put the business side of things away for a little while and enjoy the event. It’s a great achievement to have written and published a book, so invite your friends and family and pop a bottle of champagne. You’ve earned it.
As well as being a celebration, a launch is a great way to generate interest in your book. You can send out a media release promoting your launch. You can even turn it into an event: if you’ve written a cookbook, do a cooking demonstration. If you’ve written a book about architecture, hold the launch in a heritage building and give people a tour.
Selling your book
The launch is also a great chance to sell books. You can invite a bookshop to the launch to handle this side of things if you like, but keep in mind that you will be giving up a large percentage of your profit on each sale if you do this.
You will most likely be tempted to give copies to your close family and friends, and this is fine, but in publishing it’s a bit of a tradition that friends and family buy copies from you to help support your writing and publishing venture.
When should I launch my book?
Giving some thought to the publication date of your book is also important. Is it possible for you to find a date that will be relevant to your book that could help you gain publicity? For example:
- If your book is a guide to building a shed that might make a great father’s day gift, release it a few weeks before father’s day.
- If your book is full of holiday activities for kids, release it just before the school holidays start.
- If your book covers learning to surf, release it at the start of summer; if it’s about learning to ski, release it at the start of winter.
Keep in mind that you need to give people time to buy the book, so if it’s a good father’s day book, don’t release it on father’s day but a few weeks before.