Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who Should You Invite To A Book Launch Party?

If your first reaction to this question is, “Huh? I didn’t know you should invite people to the party,” then listen up. If you have planned the party well (see my post dated July 7), then it would really be a shame if no one showed up.

Yesterday an author friend of mine told me that she never sends out actual invitations to her launch parties or bookstore events. She relies on her press releases to do the job. No, no, no. That's not enough.

The goal is to invite, invite, invite.

The first thing to do is create a colorful invitation. The many online printing sites make this easy and affordable. I guarantee that you will have a more positive reaction to professional looking invitations than to boring run-of-the-mill flyers. If you plan ahead, you will be able to take advantage of the promotions and coupons that the online companies always offer.

The number of invitations needed depends on how big you can think. A print run of about 1200 invitations is an impressive, yet reachable, goal if you work at it. Today I invited an entire Brownie troop to my upcoming launch party. That was 30 down and 1170 left to go! Then I visited a day camp at my local community college and handed out 200 more. That brings me to 230 down and only 970 to go. Uh oh, I hope I don’t run out.

Use the internet to your advantage. Today I emailed a copy of my invitation to a teacher friend of mine and asked her to forward it to the other teachers in her school, as well as to her students. She was happy to do so. I will send the same request to a friend who belongs to a large Mom's club and to all of my friends,
both the real life and the online social networking ones.

For a children’s event, think of schools, camps, daycare centers, dance classes, scouts, etc. For other genres, ask yourself exactly who you think will be interested in your book. Then ask yourself where these people shop, eat, have meetings or just hang out? Think of specific places to promote to your particular niche market. Think of shops, organizations, colleges, libraries, book clubs, etc.

And, of course, don’t forget the media. Be sure to send invitations to the newspaper reporters in your area. A great personal touch is to locate the reporters’ names online and hand-deliver the invitations. Even if only one reporter shows up, the result will often be an article with some free publicity.

Remember = You Are Invited To A Party – everyone who reads this blog is invited to my book launch party for The Belly Button Fairy on August 29th at 11 AM – Barnes & Noble – Bel Air, MD – Come for Storytime, Gifts, Prizes and Cake - Meet the author and the illustrator - Fairy costumes are welcome!

Bobbie Hinman

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