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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.