Organising a book launch: tips for making it awesome

Snapshots I launch party

If you read this site often, you will know that it is ‘book launch’ time. Snapshots III, BookMachine on Publishing is a compilation of the best of the BookMachine blog. It requires a big bash to announce its arrival. And, as any event organiser will know, the success is in the detail.

Snapshots I was a hoot, down in the basement room at Adam Street Club. Snapshots II was a North London affair, with crowds and contributors congregating upstairs at the Island Queen in Angel. All very London-centric we know; so for Snapshots III’s launch you can find us in London, Oxford, Cambridge or Brighton – take your pick!

So after organising quite a number of book launches, here are our top tips:

1) Remove chairs from the room

People want to move around and meet each other. They don’t want to be stuck sitting next to the person they sit next to all day at work. We recommend only having enough seating for 10% of your guests. It’s polite to let them know beforehand so that everyone is wearing comfortable shoes and can move around the room and sit through a presentation hobble-free.

2) Send timely reminders

Most event ticketing software does this for you, but lacks detailed information. If you are using Eventbrite, for example, it is worth customising the automated emails so that guests are reminded about catering (will you be serving food?), exact location (should they head to the 3rd floor?) and timings of the evening (can they arrive 20 minutes late and still catch the presentation?). This encourages people to show up, as they are clearer about what to expect – and also means you get less last-minute emails asking about the launch detail.

3) Ask people to help you promote the launch

You also want to remind those who didn’t attend the launch that they can buy your book. How do you do this? Encourage guests to tweet. Post the hashtag around the room, email it to everyone before the launch and remind them on the night too. It’s a great way for them to keep in touch with everyone they have met at the event, too. We often see #BookMachine #hashtag being used in dialogues days after a launch. It’s great for guests and a brilliant marketing tool.

Whilst we are here, talking about book launches – please do join us in June for the launch of Snapshots III, BookMachine on Publishing, in London, Oxford, Cambridge or Brighton.


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