Book Launch Tips – It’s Not Just a Party

Less than four months to go until THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE enters the world and I’m in the midst of planning my launch. And yes, I’m having a great big party (6 to 8 pm on Tuesday, July 21 at the Hartland Public Library if you’re in the area). Like Colleen, I’m planning to combine my launch party with a fundraiser. The local library has graciously offered to host, so any money raised will go towards the Friends of the Library fund. There will be wine and cupcakes and prizes, and hopefully a library full of people.

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But a book launch isn’t just about the party (I know – this is tragic news).

The most important part is spreading the word that your book is coming out. You want people to see it everywhere. There’s all sorts of advice out there on what works and what doesn’t, and here’s my two cents. Like all advice, use what is helpful and ignore the rest.

Do what makes sense to you: If writing fifty guest posts for a blog tour makes sense to you, then line them up. If going on a twenty city book tour feels right, book it. But if talking in front of a room of people (or even two people), makes you nauseous, then your efforts might be better spent elsewhere. Some authors load up on swag to hand out, some do several pre-launch giveaways, some do nothing at all. There is no one right way. For me, I’m trying to start some word of mouth on the Book Club circuit and I’m going to do a pre-order campaign (I’ll send a signed book plate and bookmark if you show my proof of pre-order). These are simple, but make sense to me.

Get help: You can’t do this alone. If you’ve been listening to any of the previous advice on this blog, you’ve created a network of writer friends. This is one of those times when they are invaluable. They will help talk about your book on social media, to book stores, to libraries. I even printed up bookmarks that have my release date, where to buy, and how to contact me for events that I give to people who want to help spread the word. I like book marks – they’re cheap, useful, and provide a lot of space for info. Plus, they are easy to carry around and give away. And remember, if people help you, you should return the favor!

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Have fun: You’re launching your book baby, for crying out loud. This is your dream. If you’re not having fun, then you are doing something wrong. Rethink it and try again! Yes it will be stressful and at times overwhelming, but if you keep thinking you just want a task to be over, then it’s time to cut that task.

Get thee some advanced readers: If you have a publisher, they will probably be sending out oodles of ARCs to trade publications, newspapers (I think it’s kind of hilarious that my book is somewhere in the New York Times Book Review offices, gathering dust on a pile), magazines, and book bloggers. If you don’t, you’re going to need to do this yourself. And get your book onto sites like Edelweiss and NetGalley if your publisher doesn’t. These sites are frequented by avid readers that love to share their opinions (then do your best to not obsess about what they say). Advanced readers are still one of the best ways to start word of mouth.

So, dear reader, do you have any great launch tips? Share them in the comments below!

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Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 21 2015), about food, love, and second chances, and where serendipity comes in the form of a delicious coconut cake. Find out more at amyereichert.com.

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