Launch parties are fun! But you don’t have to stress about them. My top tips below:
- Choose an independent bookstore to host your party. They are the best allies for writers, and your success depends on them. Bring them gifts and say thank you. Return often to sign stock. Bring them more gifts. Buy books.
- Let all your friends and family know about your launch party. But count on about 5% of the people you’re sure will show up not showing up. However… 5% of the people you think will never show up will. It all evens out.
- If you can afford it, cater it. But if you can’t, that’s okay too. People are there to see you. You can all go out to dinner afterward. Unless you go to bed ridiculously early like me. In which case you will probably be in bed no later than 9:30 PM!
- Wear something comfortable. Especially comfortable shoes.
- If you forget your signing pen, that’s okay. They’ll have one for you.
- If your publisher has printed bookmarks, you should probably remember to bring them. But if you don’t, that’s okay. Forgive yourself and move on.
- This will be the friendliest crowd you will face. Enjoy it and don’t be afraid.
- You don’t have to have your launch party on your release day. Mine was a week later and I was glad to have had the time and space to enjoy my launch day without stressing about an event that night.
- The structure of my reading was as follows: Talk a little bit (thank the caterer and book store first so you don’t have to remember to do it later), read a little bit, talk a little bit, read a little bit more, then answer questions. Trust me, people will have questions so don’t worry. But if you are worried, have a few close friends prepared to ask some, just to get the ball rolling.
- Drink a lot of water. Sign a lot of books. You will probably sell out the bookstore stock. Enjoy that feeling.
- Go home and get back to work. Remember, the best way to sell books is to keep writing them.
The Ones We Choose is available now!
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Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Julie Clark grew up reading books on the beach while everyone else surfed. After attending college at University of the Pacific, and a brief stint working in the athletic department at University of California, Berkeley, she returned home to Santa Monica to teach. She now lives there with her two young sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control. Her debut, THE ONES WE CHOOSE, will be published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in May 2018.
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