I just returned from a trip to NY for the book launch party of The Creativity Cure by my clients Drs. Carrie and Alton Barron. The party had all the right ingredients:
– Free copies of a most fresh and fabulous book (more about why “free” is so important in a minute)
– Friends, colleagues, supporters of the authors from all walks of life–from their patients to old and dear friends and colleagues
– Friends of friends–people who don’t know the authors but can help create buzz and spread the word
– The most creative space I have ever been in!
Before I share some of the insider secrets to a successful book launch, I have to describe the 34th Street west side artist’s loft of Hunt Slonem, because it truly is perhaps the most imaginative and playful space I’ve ever encountered.
The studio itself is about 20,000-25,000 square feet, with rooms upon open rooms filled with playful paintings, antiques and even antiquities, I believe.
I ran into my agent–and the Barrons’ as well–Jeanne Fredericks, as I came in the door. Well, not exactly a door. One of those industrial freight elevators that opens from the top and bottom at the same time.
We made our way over to the bar to rehydrate after travelling–literally, I drank about 3 glasses of water in under a minute. The bar at the East end of the studio was filled with cages upon stacked cages of parrots–I learned from the Internet, about 100 of them.
Here are five book launch party tips from Literary Agent Jeanne Fredericks:
1) Setting–Best if it can be well suited to the book as this one was since guests were surrounded by the colorful creations of a noted artist and some of the parrots and objects that inspire his creativity. The entree via freight elevator also built anticipation for something different and adventurous, and the spaciousness of the gallery made it comfortable to move and mingle in a way that would have been difficult in a crowded, noisy restaurant space.
3) Make it personal–Being warmly greeted by the authors’ daughter, Chloe, grounded the event in a warm, familial atmosphere. Alton and Carrie graciously greeted guests with warm hugs and gladly introduced guests to each other then later addressed the group in their own impromptu style that genuinely reflected their joy in having everyone come and their appreciation for so many who helped them on their way to publication. By encouraging those thanked to make themselves known by raising their hand, the authors made a list of names become real people whom guests could later approach, knowing who they were.
4) Generously offering books free to guests. Though some participants claimed that they would have been happy to pay for them, this tangible way of thanking each guest was likely appreciated by all. From a marketing point of view, this seeding of the market, could probably lead to greater sales in the long run.
Margaret Welty says
Hi LISA! THIS blog post inspired me to go look up your literary agent who sold this wonderful book on Creativity!!!!
Then in my “along these lines” travels around the web that followed . . . I found this link:
? SHOWS HOW A BOOK IS BORN — FUN STUFF! ???
Lisa Tener says
Thanks, Margaret, I love this info-graphic you found–great humor and actually does give you a sense of how a book is born!
I am writing an inspirational and motivational book. How many chapters do you recommend?
Lisa Tener says
Ahmad, every book is different so it is hard to say specifics and I would say allow yourself to be guided by the material. However, to give you a ballpark, I would say an inspirational book can usually be anywhere from 100-250 pages. Your chapters could be anywhere from 1-15 or more pages, but for this type of book I’d try to aim for 12-15 max. Fewer is fine. So divide target number of pages by chapter length to get number of chapters. However, more important is what works organically for your material. Also, do try to have chapters be a similar length. If they vary too much it’s harder on your readers.
Keith Miller says
Lisa I love these tips. It’s so comforting to read them as my book launch party approaches for Love Under Repair on Feb 13. I especially like your idea of free books. I had thought of giving out free t-shirts and mugs with my blog logo on it for those that are willing to review the book on Amazon. But I think I’ll give out the t-shirts and mugs for all comers and make the book free for anyone that will review it. Then I’ll make a sticker to give them to wear at the party that says something like, “I’m writing a review on Amazon.” My hope is to get as many people as possible to write a review in the critical “first 48 hrs.”