This is going to be a quick post because after having my first book launch this past weekend, I think I figured out the secret to having a good one and selling a lot of books.
Don’t have your book launch at a bookstore. Sure this seems counterintuitive, but have you ever walked into a book store and saw an author doing a book signing? Unless the author is already a well established name, chances are there will not be many people waiting to talk to the author, let alone buy the book. In a bookstore, you are also expected to talk quietly and it creates a less festive environment.
Have your first book launch event at a brewery or bar. Trust me on this. Work out a deal before hand with the venue for drink specials and if you don’t mind taking a cut into your book sales offer everyone who buys a book a free drink. If you’re really lucky, as I was, your friends own the brewery and pick up the tab of the free drinks as a gift.
That’s it. We also baked cupcakes, but it really was the free drinks that brought the people out. And not only did I sell books to my family and friends, but instead sold quite a few to people I didn’t know. After a few beers though, we became friends and it was nearly impossible for my new friends not to buy a book from me.
So you may not make as much per book if you have to write a check out to the bartender at the end of the event, but the goal really isn’t to make a lot of money. The goal is to get as many books in as many people’s hands and hope they read it. And really hope they like it enough to tell their friends.
Overall, having it a bar allows you to hang out in a less formal manner and get some face to face time with your future readers. They get a chance to get to know you and have a more personal connection with your work.
What if you don’t drink alcohol? Well, you don’t have to drink, but drunk people buy things a little more freely. It’s worth a shot. Or two.
Native Moments is currently available in paperback, ebook and audio format on Amazon.