Author Excursion: Book Launch


So, you’ve written a book. Congratulations! The hardest part is out of the way.

Unfortunately, your work is far from over. It needs to be edited for content, sent to beta readers, and then edited again. I’m sure you didn’t forget to create a cover. Did you do your research on what company you want to print and sell your book?

After all that work is done, then comes that terrible question. Should you do a book launch? There are good indie authors who say this is not completely necessary. Others say you absolutely HAVE to.

Rachel’s answer: Yes. Do a book launch. I’ve had so many friends and family say to me, “I had no idea you even wrote a book!”

The Experience

I have done three book launches—one for each of the books in my series. Two physical launches and one online. I’ll say right off the bat that the physical launches were the most successful, so I wont even discuss the one I held on Facebook, but for the other experiences, I will tell you the who, what, where, when, and whys of hosting a book launch.

Why host a book launch?

So you can get your book out to as many people as possible. You wrote a great story and you need help to get that information out there. How else would you? Slip it into casual conversations?

Who do I invite?

EVERYONE. Family, friends, church members, neighbors, social media contacts. Have your friends share the invite on their social media pages. Tell everyone to invite ANYONE that loves to read. This is what I did wrong the first time.

I was selective with who I invited. If you do this, you’ll be defeating the very purpose of the book launch. Find those readers!

Create an e-invite as well as physical printed invitations. More people than you think avoid or are offended by Facebook events requests. Some don’t participate in social media at all! Make sure you have a card ready to give them.

What do I do at the book launch?

  • First and foremost, sell your book and get ready to sign them all!
  • Feed your guests: anything from finger foods to catered meals.
  • Have giveaways, and that means something else besides your books.
  • Have a sign-in sheet with space for them to put their email addresses so you’ll know who came and can increase your lists for future correspondence of upcoming releases.
  • Create incentives for guest participation.
  • Make announcements and let your guests know why you want them there. Be honest and tell them you NEED their help to get the word about your book out!

Where do I do my book launch?

jill and rachel at book launchFor me I believe the more personal the setting, the better. I had both launches in the beautiful backyards of my friends and it turned out amazing.

If you’re thinking about having the book launch online, I will be honest—this was not very successful for me when I did it for my second book.

When should I do my book launch?

Whenever you think best, but I did mine right around dinnertime so I could entice friends and family with my husband’s well-known cooking.

Lessons Learned:

  1. rachel and friends at book launchMake a plan of everything! Write it all down so that you don’t forget what you’re doing the day of when everything is chaotic!
  2. Don’t forget to make an announcement concerning reviews! Authors live or die by our reviews and we need them!
  3. Have a friend take pictures. This is something I forgot to do for BOTH! I’m not a picture taker, and so this was not something I thought about until it was too late.
  4. Make posters! Posters for book prizes, posters for giveaways… posters for everything!
  5. Hire you best friend’s teenagers to man tables. I had several posts throughout the party where participation was rewarded with an entry to win several giveaways. It was a lot of fun, but you’ll need helpers and preferably not ones that are supposed to be there to buy your books!

For samples of Rachel Collett’s writing, you can start here! There are many to choose from in our Novel Three site, so keep looking if you want more.

Rachel’s Personal Demons trilogy is available on Amazon.

Kate’s Take

Thus far, the closest I’ve come to a book launch has been hitting the Publish button and going to bed. Rachel’s launches have been super fun and inspiring, though. Maybe one of these days I’ll stop being so lazy and give my new releases the party they deserve.

Jill’s Take

Edits, and covers, and launches. Oh my! While I have never had my own book launch, I have participated in Rachel’s. She has done her research. And they’ve been successful!