Celebration of your accomplishments as a writer is reason enough to have a party at the launch of your publication, but there are other great reasons as well. Here are my top 5:
#1) To Generate Buzz
Getting people excited about your book will make them want to read it probably as much as any other form of promotion. Your passion and belief in your project is contagious and will motivate others to want to see what all the hubbub is about. Sometimes, reporters, bloggers, and other media will attend these events to generate copy, so you can get free publicity out of it.
#2) To Sell Books
Seems obvious, but you can sell lots of books at public events. First, people will hear first hand the quality of your writing and the relatability of your characters when you read aloud. Second, you are right there, essentially asking for the sale, and thus much more likely to close the deal. At my event this week, my goal is to sell 10 copies – I’ll let you know how it goes.
#3) To Collect Media
Ask someone you know or hire a photographer to take photos and video at your event so you can build your media library of you in action. People want to interact with authors, and photos of you doing just that will show your appeal. Video of you reading, answering questions, or signing books make an active addition to your web page or social media campaign.
#4) To Know your Audience
You can learn a lot about who your audience by who shows up in person to your events. Note their age, gender, socio-economic status. Their questions and comments will tell you why they read and what they will look for in a book. You can use this data now to target any future advertisements or event venues. Or, you can use that information later as you plan and draft your next novel.
#5) Kick Off a Book Tour
I’ll talk more about book tours, but using a launch event is a great way to start a multi-city tour where you can read from your new book, sell and sign copies, and get local media coverage. Tours take planning, so start thinking about them well in advance of your release date.
Honorable Mention: Enjoyment
Last but not least, a kick-off event allows your to sit back on your laurels, if just for a moment, to savor the glory of being an author. That feeling can go a long way to keeping you motivated and committed when things aren’t going your way. Enjoy the moments while you can!
Photo: me and Written Quincy at an event at Magic City Books in Tulsa.