In one week, I’ll be overseeing my fifth book launch. Obviously, this isn’t a new thing for me, but oh how it feels like a nail-biter! With the wisdom of hindsight and the fear of foresight, I thought I’d throw out some (tongue-in-cheek) tips on making your book launch a success.
- Throw a party. The bigger the better. Invite everyone you know in town: your dentist, your dog-groomer, your auto mechanic. Approach strangers on the sidewalk with invitations. They aren’t middle grade age? That doesn’t matter – they probably know someone who is middle grade age. Or you could flatter them: “Gosh, you don’t look a day over thirteen!”
- Serve lots of food. Lots and lots of food. Cakes, cupcakes and cookies are best. Those sweet carbs will lull your audience into a soporific haze of
willingness to buy, buy, buy.
- Hire a band. I’m thinking that, for my novel set in Scotland, I’ll find someone to play bagpipes.
- Read a ton from your book. By the seventh ten-page scene, your audience will be begging to buy your book and head home so they can immerse themselves in their new purchase.
- Give away cool swag. Think outside the box: bookmarks are so last century. What about puppies? Everyone wants a puppy! Or a kitten!
- Advertise. Remember the good old days, when guys wore sandwich boards? Why not try it? Wear a costume underneath the board to get people excited. Chickens are all the rage in costume-wear. Gosh, wear that get-up at the party and you’re sure to engage your audience.
- Blast social media. More Facebook posts, more tweets, more Instagram photos about your book will catch more readers! Experts say you need to tweet about your book every two minutes to grab that new, refreshing audience. Be sure to stop and tweet your book during your book launch party – pausing in the middle of those ten-page scenes – for that “Live From Your Bookstore” experience.
That’s it – the sum total of my wisdom. I really hope not to follow my own advice.
Janet Fox is the author of 5 books for young readers. Her newest, THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE, is out next week from Viking. She’s never dressed in a chicken costume and has no intention of doing so now. You can, however, find her at http://www.janetsfox.com.