Have you thought about holding a launch party for your new book?
I freely admit I squirmed at the idea, deciding I would just publish quietly and get on with finding reviewers, along with a bit of on-going marketing.
Then I noticed I’d received an invite to a launch party from a fellow Goodreads author. The date had already passed, but I snuck along to his facebook page for a quick look after the event, and decided – hey, that looked like fun!
- Create an event. I decided for simplicity to hold my party on my facebook author page, so I created an event, set a date, and announced it to the world on my page, my blog, and on Twitter.
- Invites. I have a pretty large group of friends on facebook already, though most of those are through my day job and I wasn’t sure how many horsey people would be interested in a fantasy novel. But hey, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, so I put out a general invite on facebook and on my blog (which also posts on facebook and Twitter automatically). I’ve set about building my writing/reader connections on facebook via several groups on Goodreads, so they saw the invite too. Then I tackled Goodreads. I’ve added all my friends from Twitter, and all those facebook friends who are on Goodreads, so I have over 800 friends. Then I ran into a teensy problem: Goodreads will only allow you to invite 180 friends per day. That meant doing a new batch each day, and the last invites went out only a couple of days before the event. Thank goodness I started early enough! I kept tweeting general invites for about a week prior, and also personal tweets to my close friends.
- Preparations. A party host needs to keep her visitors amused, so I started a party file on my laptop, adding funny photos (who can resist puppies and kittens?) and videos, and came up with a novel-related quiz question for each hour of the party, with a prize for each of a free copy of THE PRINCE’S MAN.
- Pre-party jitters. So then I sat back and wondered if anybody would come! I scheduled the party for 6 hours, starting late afternoon in the UK, so covering early/mid morning in the US and Aus/NZ, and replies started to arrive! Seemed like quite a few people intended to turn up.
- The Party! And yes, they did! It started slowly, but don’t all parties? I pinned a quiz question to the top of the page – a quiz that would last the whole evening – and then set about entertaining my guests. To give you an idea, here are a few of the pics and videos from that evening:
You get the idea? A bit of something for everyone. And I ended up using only a fraction of what I’d put together, so plenty left over for the next party!
Quiz questions included such things as getting people to guess the name of the next book in the series, and coming up with a tagline for my writing – very useful! And several very happy people are now reading their prizes.
Boy, did we have fun! Wrap up time was scheduled for 11pm BST, but ended up being 1am!
The party didn’t result in a bump in sales that night – in fact sales were low, but they’ve been good and consistent since, and I think I’ve made quite a few new fans (and new friends), and I will certainly do it again, come next release.
If you fancy seeing what it looked like, visit my author page at: www.facebook.com/DeborahJay and scroll down to the July 29th entries – there’s lots of them – and if you like what you see, click on ‘like’ 😉
How about you? Have you considered holding a party, and if so where?
If you’re still hesitating, I’ll happily answer any questions I can 🙂