Laura is blue. Fiona is green.
As many authors do, I collected tips and information about book launches long before my book was due to be released.
Me too! I never looked at bridal magazines as a kid or daydreamed about my wedding, but I have files full of marketing articles related to "the big day" (in my case, when I have my own book out!).
Hee hee...that's too funny, but that's it, exactly!
When it came time to plan my own launch, I went through the file of assorted notes as a first step. With so much information from so many different launches all in one place, patterns appeared.
One pattern of note was the choice between doing it yourself or doing it in conjunction with another organization. As it happens, for my two launches, I'm doing one of each. I've learned a lot from the double experience.
Whew--two launches! I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. You go, girl!
Well, it just sort of happened that way. I really wanted to have a launch at the aquarium, but it's more than an hour away from where I live. I knew if I had only the aquarium launch, then many of my family, friends, and community members wouldn't be able to join me in the celebration. The solution was to have another party closer to home. It's actually working out quite well...mostly because one of them is taking almost no effort on my part. I can't imagine doing two launches where both required a lot of organization and time.
Gotcha. Back to the wedding analogy, it's kind of like getting married in the Bahamas and then having a fabulous party when you get back home, too!
Hee hee, yes, the wedding planner makes all the difference!
Working with the aquarium has had many advantages:
- a free facility complete with ambience that matches the book,
- help brainstorming and organizing the event,
- access to the aquarium's five-figure contact list for publicity,
- the gift shop taking care of ordering and sales of books,
- aquarium staff to design and supervise activities and crafts,
- guaranteed traffic on launch day.
Ooh, this sounds wonderful! Why consider anything else?
Funny you should ask. The negatives: little say in activity choices (some things I wanted to do weren't possible due to the venue) and scheduling, those attending the launch have to pay regular aquarium entrance fees, limited options for date and time, and food had to be catered (expensive).
Oh. That's why:>)
There's always a catch, isn't there? :^)
For a do-it-yourself launch, the advantage and disadvantage lists are almost flipped. I had complete freedom in choosing the venue, date, time, refreshments, scheduling, and activities. My guests don't have to pay an entrance fee, and because I'm taking care of book sales, I could choose whether to keep the profits or offer a larger discount (I opted for the discount), so the cost to attend is much less. However, I'm totally responsible for designing and paying for everything, including publicity, books, craft supplies, and arranging enough bodies to help supervise refreshments, sales, and activities (I've bribed a gaggle of teens with pizza).
Yeah, I guess the old Spiderman saying (who stole it from I think Eleanor Roosevelt) is true: With great power comes great responsibility. We pay for freedom and power in everything, book launches included. Getting to choose and create everything costs in time and money.
You got it. One thing I was lucky about that may not always work out for future launches, was that the DIY launch venue was both free and had an atmosphere appropriate to the book, which I understand is a challenge for private launches.
That is SO cool that the aquarium worked out and matches your book so wonderfully.
Yes, I'm really pleased about that. And the exposure at the aquarium is amazing--the traffic and that contact list! But I would have liked to have a little more say in things. I think the do-it-yourself launch will be the most fun because I've had the freedom to put more of myself into it, but it'll also be the more expensive and time-intensive of the two. But, it's all about tradeoffs, isn't it? For this book, I'm willing to devote the time and $$ to a celebration (woohoo! I've worked long and hard to get here.) I'm not sure I'll always be in a position to spend time and/or money for future book launches—time will probably be the bigger factor—so it's nice to know there are options that are easier on the pocketbook and calendar.
I can't wait to hear how both launches go. And I know you have it on your site/blog, but could you post the details here? I'd love to see how differently the two events are being pitched.
Sure. The details publicized by the aquarium are located here. And here's a mini version of the 11X17" poster I created for the DIY Launch.
Oh, cool! So your aquarium launch is being rolled into a pre-existing Super Saturday event?
Yes. The Super Saturday events that day will be about the animals in my book. As part of it, kids will be able to make masks and hats from pen & ink outline drawings Carolyn (my illustrator) created.
That's fabulous. What a great built-in audience for you. Yay! And I love the poster. Those iridescent bubbles are beautiful.
Thanks! Can you tell they're all the same bubble? ;^)
Have you tried different kinds of book launches? What would you sefinitely or definitely not do next time? Are launches even worth it? We'd love to hear from you. Leave us a comment.