Last fall a writer friend asked me, "Is it worthwhile having a book launch?"
I immediately answered, "Yes." I'd hosted launches for my first two novels and planned to have one for my third release, To Catch a Fox. But my friend's question prompted me to ask myself: what is the value of a bookstore launch in this age of e-books and online sales?
So here are my Top Five reasons for hosting a book launch.
1. It is a gracious way to tell people about my new novel. Instead of a Facebook or email notice with a link to a sales site, I am inviting them to a launch party. Some will feel pleased that I included them in my special event. Most won't come to the launch, but they'll have enough details to buy the book online or at their favourite book store if they want, without my asking them to do it.
I'd recommend inviting everyone you come in contact with to your launch. I've given invitations to people in my gym class I'd barely spoken to before.
"You're a writer?" some asked, intrigued.
It started conversations and led to closer connections because I'd shared something personal about myself.
|For my last book launch I designed an invitation postcard, but economized by printing invitations at my library|
2. If you invite them, many will come. My first book launch drew close to 100 people, my second about 85. A fair number bought copies of the book. Admittedly my novels were both long awaited releases. I'd worked on the first book for years before finishing it and finding a publisher; the second wasn't published until 6 years later. Now with only a two year gap between my second and third launches, I don't expect friends and relatives to be as strongly supportive. But I'm hoping that newer friends and--dare I say it--fans will make up for some attrition and pack the room.
|Don't forget the food and drink for your guests|
The crowd gathers for my first book launch
|Owl's Nest Bookstore window in early March, 2017|
|Calgary Herald Bestsellers' List two weeks after my last launch & profile the weekend before the launch|