Dear Amazing People,
In the previous two articles of the series “How to Publish a Book in the Digital Age” I have described how to attract people to your dream of writing and publishing a book and how to involve them into supporting its realization through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding campaign. This should help you get the support you need to finally see your masterpiece in the form of a shiny new book. I still remember that wonderful feeling when the first copies of my book “The Monster: Blade of Darkness” had arrived.
But who knows that you are going to publish or have already published a book? In order to inform people about it and attract the first amazing readers you might want to organize a book launch / presentation event. In this short article I will try to give you some useful tips on how to do it in an effective and cost-efficient way. However, I should mention here that my presentation of the book “The Monster: Blade of Darkness” was pretty much a failure… at least this is how it looked from the external perspective. I did not have any tables full of sandwiches and cakes, waiters carrying trays with wine and champagne, well-known literary critics singing serenades about the book, mass-media doing interviews with the author, etc. No, my book launch event was a small gathering of my best friends in the park among tall trees, singing birds, and warm sunrays. This was done due to such an environment being the most representative for my novel “The Monster: Blade of Darkness”, where the action takes place in a tropical forest among the nature. In addition, the moderation of my book launch event was practically nonexistent. The reason was that I generally do not like when too much attention is dedicated to me, so at the event I got lost from too much “spotlight” focused on my persona. Still, all those mistakes and experience as a whole made me learn some good lessons, which I would like to share with you now.
Lesson #3: Organize a Book Launch Event that will reflect the Character of Your Book!
In my view the book launch event is a way to show the environment of the book and communicate its message to the potential readers, who see it for the first time. Of course, it is also the marketing approach to promote your creation and attract these potential readers. That is why I find it important that the whole atmosphere and flow of the event reflects the idea, mood, and environment present in your book. For example, if your book is a collection of poems, you can do its launch event in a library or museum of some well-known poet and have in its agenda a contest of reading selected poems from your book. If your masterpiece is written in a fantasy style, like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, you can organize the event in some old-looking house or museum decorated with magic-style things featured in your book. You can also include some magic tricks performance in its agenda. In my case, the book “The Monster: Blade of Darkness” was presented to the readers in a park among the nature – the setting that, in my opinion, communicated its idea and environment the best.
It is a very good idea to have a moderator during the whole book launch event. He/she will be able to lead the participants through the event in a logical flow and at the same time take off the moderation load from your shoulders. You can also invite someone to read certain poems / episodes from your book out loud. Both the moderator and the reader(-s) can be your friends willing to help you in such an important and memorable day.
Some authors like to invite some well-known literary critics and professors and to pay them for reading their creations and then speaking about them at the presentation event. I think it gives the event quite an artificial look, so I do not advise you to do it. The best thing is if you have a good specialist in literature among your friends, and he/she is genuinely interested to read your book and then come up with his/her opinion and constructive feedback about it.
The presentation and speeches are, of course, good, but they should not take too much time. The central point of the book launch event is the signing of the book by its author. You should allocate sufficient time for it and be available for readers willing to get your autograph in their new book. I remember visiting one book presentation event, where the author was so proud of herself that she was mostly posing for the camera instead of focusing her attention on the guests. As a result many attendees left the event disappointed.
Finally, while you are busy giving out copies of your books and signing them for potential readers, other guests should be entertained somehow. For this you can put a light buffet and networking time in the agenda, as well as have some music and performance in the style of your book organized in the background. Whatever you choose to do, it should be aligned to the atmosphere and flow of the whole event, as well as to the environment and mood of your book.
So, these are some basic tips and tricks on how to organize a good book launch event that I have learnt from my own experience of presenting the novel “The Monster: Blade of Darkness”, as well as from attending the events held by other authors. If you want to know more about this topic, you can always reach me through the Contact section of this website. In the next and final part of this series of articles I will write about the post-launch-event activities for promoting your masterpiece, following up with your community of readers, and making it grow exponentially.
I wish you all the best in presenting your dream to potential readers!
With great respect and gratitude,