How to Set Up a Book Launch Signing

book launchSelf-publishing a book is a great journey, and part of this journey includes hosting a book launch signing. Publication is a monumental event, no matter if you’ve written one book or ten books. Your dreams of being an author has finally been realized. Take this moment to enjoy it—but, be ready to get back to work. With the release of a new book comes the responsibility to tell people about it.

What happens at a book launch signing?

Basically, this is your time to debut your new book. It’s a time to show everyone what you’ve worked so hard for. If you’ve already self-published books before, perhaps you’ve done this. If this is your first book, we think it prudent to set up a book launch signing. It’s the perfect time to establish a relationship with your local bookstore, that way you can work with them more in the future to sell your book. It will also give you a good practice in marketing, as you’ll need to tell people about your signing in order to get them there. But, most importantly, a book launch signing is just fun! It’s part of the life of a writer, so work hard and enjoy it.

Setting up the event

First and foremost, you need to have a book: so you’re off to a good start. Beyond that, once your books are printed, you need to start contacting bookstores. Local, small bookstores often have fiction and poetry readings. These are the bookstores you’ll want to go to first, because independent business are easier and quicker to work with. Plus, indie bookstores love helping and promoting local authors. This isn’t to say everyone is going to say yes; you’ll need to “pitch” your book to the event coordinator. Give them a reason why this would be beneficial to them!

Once you have your books and a bookstore, you’ll need to get to work marketing the event. Social media is a great place to do this, and the bookstore will help you. They’ll promote the event on their end (of course they want people to come to their store!). Make sure you’re posting about it on your social pages, in a newsletter, or even go traditional and post an ad in the local newspaper! These posts and ads will serve as your book launch party invitation. Give people an incentive; maybe the first ten people in the door receive free books. Readers love going to author events, so this part isn’t actually all that hard, but you can’t skip it.

How to prepare for the event

Picking what sections of the book you’ll be reading can be tricky. What you choose to read will lead to a successful launch. If you’re going to be reading in a series of other authors, keep it short; ten to fifteen minutes should do. If you’re up there all alone, you can pick a longer section, but be sure it doesn’t go too long. You want people’s interest to be piqued by your reading, not extinguished. Pick a section that is captivating but doesn’t give too much away. Whet their appetite, basically.

After the reading, the book signing will take place, and this is where you’ll sell books. Those who’ve just listened to you read will want to buy your book – they have to find out what happens, don’t they? How you sell your book will vary bookstore to bookstore. This will all be figured out when you initially contact the store: some stores will offer a consignment deal, in which you only get paid if the book sells, others have reading fees, or some will pay you a percentage of the sales.

All in all, author readings are a fun and profitable part of the gig. It allows a space for the art you’ve created to be appreciated, and it introduces readers to your words. Book launch signings aren’t mandatory, but they do help with sales and outreach. All real authors have them, so get planning.

If you have other book launch party ideas, share them in the comments!