Being an indie author doesn’t mean that you should rule out the idea of having a proper book launch event in the real world. After all, CreateSpace and Ingram Spark make it easy for you to have a dozen or so print copies on hand, which you can autograph and sell during the event, often called a ‘book signing.’ Look for a coffee shop or perhaps an art gallery willing to host you and your fans, often for free, for an hour or so. All you need is passion, drive, will, a brilliant idea, and good communication skills (if inexperienced, you can always ask for help).
The time when a writer appeared in front of readers, and mumbled a few words about the book are gone. A book launch event is part of your author brand. Therefore, you need to make it memorable. See yourself as an entertainer, as someone who adds salt and pepper to an otherwise dull day. The book launch event is also the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and explore some other artistic talents you may have. Here are the four ingredients of a memorable book launch event:
- Audience: The first ingredient of a memorable launch event is knowing your audience, also known as your target market. Who are they? What is their primary age group, what are their interests and hobbies? What makes them emotional? Once you know the answers, you can move to step two.
- Design: Design your book launch event and set up a budget. The advertising agencies use the term concept. The concept comprises the location, theme, activities, duration, communication channels. For example, for the launch of my short stories book, I chose to recreate the atmosphere of a summer day on the beach. You can use various elements such as music, visuals, paintings, and other theme related decor. If you have actor friends or you are comfortable with acting, you can recreate a section of your book as a short play.
- Preparations: Make sure you have enough time to prepare and create buzz around your event. Rehearse everything, including your presentation. If necessary, avail yourself of training in public speaking and public appearances. Dress professionally and make sure it is a comfortable fit. If possible, visit the location to become accustomed to it. If you are working with others, actors or musicians, rehearse a couple of times. Make a list of the activities in due order to the event. Being in the spotlight and managing the whole thing alone is nearly impossible, so ask a friend or a professional to help you with the event coordination.
- Communication: You can have a fantastic idea, but it will not serve you if no one shows up. Once you know the date, hour, and location, it’s time to advertise and promote. Update your author platform with information related to the event. Create a Facebook event. Send invitations and a press-release to the local media. Inquiry as to availabilty of appearing on radio, TV, and podcasts to promote the book launch. Ask the location manager to put up flyers and a billboard of the launch at the venue.
The more exciting the book launch event is the greater the benefits. Think viral. As you know, people love to take pictures and make short videos, which they can share with their friends on social media. Why not tap into this opportunity?