J. L. Willow

Author ~ Blogger ~ Storyteller

So, your book is getting published! Those hundreds, thousands even, of hours spent slaving over your manuscript are about to pay off. It’s an utterly overwhelming feeling; a confusing mixture of fear, excitement and nerves. What’s the best way to celebrate your book-child’s birth into this world? A launch party!

Launch parties are an author’s way of recognizing their accomplishments as well as having a chance at getting their book out into the open public for the first time. There’s no set rules for throwing a book launch party, but I’ve come up with a few tips that I recommend following if you ever find yourself in need of a starting point.

  1. Plan far in advance. As soon as you learn the date that your book is launching, start inquiring about possible locations for your book launch party. Common locations include coffeehouses, bookstores or libraries. Look around your area and see if there are any locations that would be interested in hosting you. Never be afraid to ask. Get yourself out there! You may be surprised by how many people are willing (and even excited) to support a new author.
  2. Make sure you can have copies of your book. When people arrive at your launch party, it’s pretty much expected that you’ll have plenty of copies of your books for purchase. Depending on when and how you’re planning on purchasing your books, make sure you leave plenty of time for them to come in the mail. I made that mistake and spent a very stressful week waiting for them to come via the postal service. Be sure you take this into consideration when you’re planning your launch party date.
  3. Invite, invite, invite! It might feel awkward and uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but it has to be done! If you want to be a successful author, you need to be willing to talk to new people and promote yourself to get your book into the hands of a willing audience. Design and print some fancy invitations (I recommend Vistaprint, they were extremely timely and the invitations came out beautiful), then give them out to as many people as possible. It’s also a great way to get word out about your book if you haven’t really started marketing yet.
  4. Order refreshments. Nothing attracts people like food. Although it seems like a minor thing, having some things for people to snack on while they’re looking around can really make a difference in the overall feel of your party. If you’re not the baking type, look into getting it catered. You don’t need anything too fancy — just something for your adoring fans to snack on.
  5. Look professional. For many people, this is their first impression of you and your book. Prom-style isn’t necessary, but a nice dress or collared shirt can really make a difference in how people perceive you. A little makeup can go a long way. There will undoubtedly be pictures taken, so make sure you look stunning in every one! And speaking of pictures, that leads to the next point . . .
  6. Hire a photographer. Make sure you have someone capturing the awesome memories you’ll be making. It’ll be nice to look back at them later, relieving one of the most exciting moments of your life. If you don’t have the money on hand to hire a professional, ask around your friend group if anyone would be willing. Chances are, someone will be willing to lend a hand. I had a friend help me out and the pictures turned out great!
  7. Above all, have fun! This is the day you’ve been working toward for months on end. Enjoy yourself! The hard work (for the moment) is behind you. Take a moment to look back on how far you’ve come and celebrate your accomplishments. You deserve it.

Planning a launch party can be a lot of work, but in the end, it’s absolutely worth it. It’s a great way to celebrate your accomplishments and continue to get the word out about your work.

Are you planning a launch party any time soon? Or have you already had yours? Leave some comments!

Below are some pictures from my own launch party! Thank you, Kiera, for a job well done 🙂

— J. L. Willow

3 thoughts on “How to Throw an Unforgettable Launch Party

  1. Laura Wierzbicki says:

    Such an exciting event! Really a celebration of new work- the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Enjoy!


  2. jon287 says:

    Such an awesome event! Really the end of one journey and the beginning of another- Congrats!!


  3. LEW says:

    Great tips, and I’d like to add a suggestion about having the books mailed in time–don’t forget to check the calendar for any upcoming holidays that might affect mail delivery. Even if the mail is only down for one day, it might affect delivery for up to 5!


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