How to host a book launch
Hi there, today’s article is all about how to host your own book launch. I’ve had two and, while that doesn’t make me an expert, I’ve certainly got some experience to draw on which should be helpful.
Here are my tips and tricks on how to host a successful (and enjoyable) book launch:
- Hire a community centre or hall (via your local council)
- Check out the space beforehand to pre-plan layout of room (chairs, tables, speakers, microphone, displays, etc.)
- Hire caterers (cold food is cheaper) / do it yourself (the day before)
- Get a copy of your caterer’s Public liability insurance (Australia) to give to your local council
- Create fliers (hand out at work/school/community notice boards, etc.)
- Make personalised invitations for friends and family (or flier with their name on it)
- Hire a microphone/stand or lectern/speakers (shop around for audio hire companies who will give you advice)
- Delegate someone to help you sell your books (you focus on signing and saying hi)
- Keep all your admin in a folder (including your speech and centre keys)
- Write your speech a month or so beforehand (use dot points and rehearse)
- Bring comfortable chairs for yourself and book seller if centre chairs are plastic
- Get flowers from a florist (pre-book and plan) or buy your own from a supermarket the day before (put in buckets and buy cheap vases from a discount store)
- Make some posters with photos of things that inspired you (optional)
- Display artefacts that inspired you (e.g. the pointe shoes I wore when I was fourteen)
- Bring fabric or throws (with push pins) to cover ugly areas or notice boards
- Organise music for when people arrive (your own playlist)
- Make hand-outs in envelopes or scrolls as a take-home souvenir (delegate someone to hand these out for you)
The order of proceedings:
- Start with food and drink (finger-food is best) with music (good for late-comers)
- Announce that you’ll be starting in five minutes
- Deliver your speech
- Questions and answers
- Sell books (a friend sells, you sign)
- Mingle (if you can)!!
- Welcome everyone (tell them where exits are/toilets, etc.)
- Give a background to your creative process/inspiration
- Do some readings (e.g. chapter excerpts or poetry readings)
- Questions and answers
- Thank everybody for coming
Note: The basic tenets of ethos, pathos and logos should inform your speech, making it more accessible and compelling. Ethos stands for ethics (make it ethical), pathos stands for eliciting compassion and sympathy in your audience (be emotionally honest) and logos stands for logic, so make it easy to understand and logical.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and good luck with your planning!
Sophie Chenoweth Thanks, Jin!
Sophie Chenoweth Yes, that's true. :)