How to Plan and Execute a Successful Book Launch—Part 3
Express Your Theme
Once you've got the structure of the book launch party down, you can have fun thinking up of creative ways to inject your theme into the entire event. I'll be providing examples of how I did so for each following area: music, food, decorations, photo booth, and silent auction.
You want ambience music that's going to enhance the feel of your book (also applies to nonfiction). For example, my book is set during WWI 1917. I used Emmy Rossum's Sentimental Journey album as my background music. She covers a variety of classics ranging from the 20s to the 60s. Every song had a vintage sound, tying into my story nicely.
You might ask, "What if I wrote a fantasy book?" Mm, there is a slew of epic movie scores you could use. What if you wrote a cookbook? Is it a country cookbook? French cuisine? Go with the feeling your recipes give off.
I delivered a spread of food that was quite popular during war times. I made butter tarts, had platters of grapes and cheese, and made Canadian war cakes. This is the site where I got my recipe: https://goo.gl/5jXMYp
If you've written a travel book, serve food from the country you wrote about. If you've written a romance novel set on the Eastern coast, have some seafood appetizers available. Feel free to pull from the specifics of your book to enhance the presentation of your launch.
The decorations I used were pretty low-key. They had rustic, vintage accents. You can go as big or as small as you want. Pinterest!
I brought along some masks, a parasol, a fascinator, and fans for the women. As for men, I borrowed some hats reminiscent of the swing era (the 30s) from my brother.
This snazzy extra would be good for detective novels, travel books, historical fiction, and maybe fantasy.
My brother, who is a talented artist, painted a painting based on a still photo taken of the mushroom cloud hovering over the collided ships before the explosion happened. I propped it up and had a sheet of paper on which people could bid for the painting. My sister-in-law also painted a melted clock, due to the explosion.
If you have a sibling or friend who's art you want to help support, give them the opportunity to provide some art based on your book for your silent auction.
I had three different contests people could enter. One was to write their name on a slip of paper and put it in the bowl. The reward was a free book. Another was the same, to write their name on a slip of paper. The reward was a gift basket containing cheeses, tea, and various other delicacies.
The last one was my favourite! I set up four tables. Each table had items which spoke of a different character in my novel. The first was Evelyn Richardson, my protagonist. There were a woman's shawl and hat, and a peacock feather. The second was Carl Richardson, her husband. His table had a typewriter, a man's vest, and a soldier's steam trunk. The third was Gerald MacCrae. His table had leather books and a doctor's coat. The fourth was Clyde Richardson. His table had a wooden train set, an antique bike, and a newsboy cap.
People had to guess which table items belonged to each character. The prize was to provide a character name for one of my future books.
Book Signing and Speech
The first time I signed a book was surreal. Make sure you get in a time when people can buy your books and get them signed by you! Also, you're going to want to prepare a speech and a reading. My speech included how I started writing, how I came up with the idea for my novel, the history behind my novel, a little synopsis, and the reason why I write. Then I sprinkled three small readings throughout my talk. I also included a Q & A period, about 10 min.
Below is the timeline I used for my book launch.
7:00 pm - People start arriving, mingle and sign books
7:25 pm- Get ready for your speech and reading
7:30 pm- Start!
7:50 pm - Q & A
8:00 pm - Time to have fun with the photo booth, sign books, and announce the winners.
Below is a montage of my book launch party.
I hope this has helped you jot down ideas for your own book launch party:) Are there some aspects that I didn't cover that you would like share?