Book Launch Party: What if you suck at event planning?

pZsck6party-meeting-food-admin-pros-day-ecards-someecardsOnce upon a time there was a girl named Karma who said, “Yes!” when her boyfriend proposed marriage. Giddy with her sparkling diamond ring and breathless in love, she and her beloved agreed they would marry in 12 months.

But then the questions came. What is your color scheme? Where are you getting married? Will you wear a veil? What style of dress do you want? Strapless? Sweetheart neckline (what?)? Mermaid style (again, what?)? How many people are you inviting? WHAT IS YOUR COLOR SCHEME? It was shortly after this last question that Karma told her beloved she wanted nothing to do with planning a wedding. She couldn’t wait to be married, but planning an event for it? Forget it. Elopement wasn’t an option (her mother and sister would never speak to her again, and she wanted them to), so they found another solution. Three months after saying, “Yes!” to her beloved and his ring, she said, “I do!” and they lived happily ever after.

(Her colors ended up being white, silver, and robin’s egg blue, because that’s what the internet suggested for a winter wedding…)

So what’s the moral of this (quite lame) story?

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My daughter’s Elsa cake. It took 2 attempts.

I am not an event planner. I’d even say I loathe it. I signed up on Pinterest and never went back. I have planned a number of birthday parties for my daughter – which have included elaborate Tinkerbell and Elsa cake designs and epsom salt snowflake crafts – and did manage to get through my wedding in one piece. But surviving is not the same thing as thriving.

Now I’m faced with planning a book launch party. And as excited as I am about my book launching out into the world, me planning a party for it is … concerning. Venue. Food. Drinks. Signing. Do I read a passage? (No, I’m not going to read). What kind of pen should I use to sign? What should I wear? What themes could I use to tie it into the book? *insert silent scream* While others might see this as fun, I see it as … hard, frustrating, anxiety-inducing work. Much harder than writing the book, actually.

So here’s what I need from you, dear readers. ADVICE. What have you loved about book launches you’ve attended? What’s the most important thing to you as a guest? What do you think is a tired trend? What should I wear? (I can probably handle this last one, but figured I might as well ask).

Help. Me.

(Thank you)

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Karma Brown is the author of COME AWAY WITH ME (MIRA/Harlequin, September 2015), an emotional story of one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned. Karma is also a National Magazine award-winning journalist, and lives outside Toronto, Canada, with her family and their mischievous labradoodle puppy, Fred.

This article has 5 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry that I will not be able to help you. I’ve never been to a book launch party and party planning is not my forte but I wish you all the luck in the world and somehow, someway, I know you’ll pull this off.

  2. Such an exciting time! This reminds me of the many author visits I planned as a Library Director. The most important tip I can share is to be authentic! Folks will be there for a variety of reasons, but the one reason they will share is to support you! So be YOU! I’d recommend a library venue, of course! They will be grateful and excited to have an author visiting and they have a built in audience – book lovers! A cute theme may be to take a cue from your story… decorate with mason jars representing the “jar of spontaneity” from your characters. Ask attendees to share their favorite dream destination in the largest jar and use them to choose raffle winners. I picture mason jars filled with cut flowers, and perhaps your own home baked banana muffins! As for your book talk… my favorite and most well received author talks always included sharing the writing process with readers as well as how your characters came to be. Good luck, relax and take it all in! Wish I could be there!

    1. Wish you could be there as well, Dianne! Amazing advice–especially part about being authentic–thank you. Now off to ignore the planning for a little bit longer 😉

  3. Okay, I’ve never planned a book launch, but I think like all parties, if you pick a theme and stick to it, you will find it easier to focus your planning. It’s people who try to be all things to everyone that get stuck in the mire. If I think of anything else, I’ll say so, but in the meantime, I am sending good luck and great organizing vibes your way. 🙂

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