The Final Countdown: On the Launch Pad, Engines Lit

159687main_launch-l&l-lgWe’re sorry to report that we don’t have a book launch for you this week. I know. You were becoming accustomed to the buzz you were getting from our unique brand of energy drink. But we’re not done launching books. In June, we’ll let Natalia’s book into the world, and in July, it’s my turn to sail.

But we needed to wean you off the excitement of back-to-back launch weeks for Lisa and Susan, or you’d get the shakes. So: book launches.

Here’s the problem. Two of us haven’t had one yet.

Not that we aren’t in the throes of planning them. Just this week I nailed down the date of the launch party I’m throwing myself in my hometown, and started working with the formidable team of my in-house publicist and my hired-gun publicist to figure out where else I should show up during the launch season. It’s exciting to think about all the people I might get to check in with. But it’s also anxiety producing. How do people who do months-long tours do it? How, I ask you.

In fact, other than a couple of dates and a few locations staked out, that’s what I have: questions.

What should I do on my publication day? Anything? Nothing? Champagne, obviously, but what else?

I’m going to Thrillerfest the week of my launch. Am I crazy?

Should I have any events before my launch parties? (I set up a couple. I hope that’s allowed.)


How many events is too many? Too many for my introvert tendencies but also too many for the audience I can bring in, being a debut author?

When people say “Come to my town, I can fill a room for you” should I try to go? Even if it’s Texas? (Texas is pretty far.) (And hot, in July.)

I don’t have bookmarks. Do I need bookmarks?

Is all of this worth it?

This is not a good post, is it? But before the countdown begins, I’m taking all comers on the questions above and anything else you have to share about a successful launch. What worked for you? What have you seen done well?


Author: Lori Rader-Day

Lori Rader-Day is the author of the mystery THE BLACK HOUR (Seventh Street Books, July 2014). She grew up in central Indiana, but now lives in Chicago with her husband and very spoiled dog.

12 Replies to “The Final Countdown: On the Launch Pad, Engines Lit”

  1. Lori, I can’t imagine doing a conference during launch week, but I know Lisa rocked one as well. I was NUTS because I had two blog tours going at once and a few dozen interviews to deal with on top of regular social media activity. But, hey, maybe it will be a good way to channel all of that energy! I’m very excited to read your book!

    1. It may be a mistake, right? But that’s just the timing of things. I don’t want to NOT go. Jenny Milchman assures me Thrillerfest is a great experience, so I’ll make the supreme sacrifice to go to New York during my launch week. *grin*

  2. On your launch day, I highly recommend going to your favorite bookstores and taking as many shelfie selfies as possible. Other than that, just resign yourself to the fact that you’ll probably be on social media all day long. And enjoy!

  3. Bookmarks, yes, especially if you’re going to be at Thrillerfest. Easy and good exposure for people who might otherwise miss out.

    The last collaboaration with Collins came out the week of Bouchercon. Personally, I think I would like every one of our new books to come out while I’m at Bouchercon. A good portion of the target audience was within handshake distance. There are lots worse things. Most important, don’t forget to have fun.

  4. I wish I had answers to ANY of these questions, but I’m with you, kinda staring blankly into the distance and hoping I’m doing this right.

    But I’ll echo Matthew and say that bookmarks are a yes. I have them and people are always so excited to get one, because it’s useful.

  5. You’re going to be great, Lori! Doing a conference during launch week was nuts–but it was so fun too. I enjoyed the extra buzz. One thing I’d do, which I didn’t do as you know, is get your blog posts written beforehand! God. That added some stress to my LCC experience. 🙂

    Make sure you have your special signing pen with you at all times. 🙂 Hook it onto your conference name tag.

    Take launch day Tuesday off work. Like Susan said, you’ll definitely be online all day. Have some nice snacks on hand. Cheez-Its!

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