Anatomy of a Book Launch Party part 1

How to Plan a Book Launch Party: Part 1

Planning a book launch party is exciting!  You are planning a special event, celebrating a special day.  The first book is like celebrating a birthday!

I decided to call it a book birthday party- introducing the newest member to family and friends. So, I followed the same process.

Invitation- choose a venue, date, time and book seller.

I had several family members vacationing south for the winter, so had to choose a date when everyone was back.  Once I picked a date that worked for most, I thought about the place.  Since mine is a military book, I thought of a veterans center of some sort.  Our veteran’s post is kind of tucked away and I was looking for something right in town.  Next to the military, I thought of police, fireman, etc. – those that served- and landed on our Fireman Exempt Hall.  It’s located right on main street, so we checked it out.  The date and time was open, so we “booked it.” Lastly, I wanted to use the same book shop we use for our book festival.  I reached out to Lift Bridge Books in Brockport to see if we could organize the launch with them.  They were very accommodating and set up a book launch page on the website.  People could place an order online with them and Lift Bridge agreed to bring the books to the launch party. I included all these details on the invitation.

Enlist Helpers

I had many friends and family members offer to help.  As I got closer to the date, I met with one friend at Party City and we picked out a color scheme, table coverings, centerpieces, and other decorations.  We looked for cookie bags and oval stickers. It was a lovely afternoon spent with my friend.

I asked my family members to help bake cookies.  On the day of the launch, we packaged individual cookies in small bags (clear plastic ones from Michaels worked best) and folded over the tops and placed a “thank you” sticker on it– closing the top flap. We used the cookies as a Thank you gift for people who came to the book launch.  I planned for 300 cookies and used about 250.  My nieces and granddaughters helped package the cookie bags the night before the launch. (Yes, they washed their hands!)

My mom wanted to hold a family gathering the night before.  We have a special family tradition of toasting with Asbach for particular occasions, so this was one of those nights.   My German-side family members came into town, we snacked, visited, and toasted away!  My daughter wrote a wonderful tribute to the hard work and dedication to the 20 year journey it took to get to a published book. Lots of family pictures were snapped. Everyone attended and left in a reasonable time because we all had jobs to do the next morning to get ready for the party!

It’s a Party!  Set Up to Take Down

I sent out emails asking for a crew to set up tables at 10-10:30am.  We arrived with 2 Native decorated poles, a photo trifold board, small handmade quilts, framed photographs, motivational plaques from fellow writers, table coverings and centerpieces, small bottles of water (3 – 4 cases), 4 bags of chips, plates, napkins, etc.  I remembered almost everything…except the scissors!  Luckily, we have a dollar store nearby, and we sent someone to get scissors, paper towels and a couple bunches of balloons.

We arranged to tables so the flow of traffic came in the door, went to the Lift Bridge Book table first, snaked around past the trifold board, pictures, and quilts, then to the signing table. The food tables were set up past that, and tables to sit and visit were dotting the center of the room.

We mentioned “light refreshments and cake” on the invitation. This is an important part of our Native American heritage.  We feed people.  My mom purchased a couple of small sub trays from her friend’s deli (next to Ricci’s Pizza in Greece), and I ordered a cake from the Cake Co-op in the village of Spencerport. (My husband and I believe in supporting local businesses, since my husband’s family business was in town for over 60 years.) We planned for a “family lunch” first, from noon – 12:45, then the launch party was scheduled to begin at 1pm.

Next: Part II – The Rest of the Party

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