Author Name: Christopher J. Holcroft
Marketing Subject: Launching your book publicly
Hopefully when you completed your book and sent it to Infinity Publishing you then had a short breather before organising how you will launch your tome. Do not leave it until you have the book in your hands - be prepared for when the book arrives.
My fourth book, Finding Thomas was launched in Sydney, Australia on 5th May 2011. More than 50 people attended with some travelling around 100kms to the launch. It was a night of immense joy as a diverse audience of friends, family and community members attended.
The hard work in bringing Finding Thomas to life had been completed but I knew I had to prepare for its launch. I have access to Boy Scout, Girl Guide and church halls if required because of my ongoing association with all three organisations. However, I had to research what would be the best hall, with the better parking access and have the top facilities for food preparation and serving. I went with a church hall as the carpark could hold more than 60 cars and there was an access ramp for our senior people to use. The carpark is actually the local primary school's playground and had sail cloth shades across the top and was well lit.
I checked out the hall before I booked in for the launch to ensure it had the other things I needed like trestle tables; seats, a lectern, projector screen, kitchen with a couple of stoves and instant boiling water. Everything was there, except a lectern which I ended up borrowing from an Army Reserve Unit where I serve. I mainly use it as a prop with a large A3 poster of the book's cover attached to the front so when photos are taken of me the connection is instant. The lectern is also good to place your notes on and also a copy of your book and your electronic reading device like a kindle so you can refer to them and do any readings.
I rang my local church office and booked in the hall, a month before my launch date. This allowed me time to go to the community events section of my local paper and place a free advertisment in the 'What's On' section. I wrote my Media Release and started sending it out to to as many outlets as I could. Once the release was sent to my local newspaper I rang the Chief of Staff to ensure they had a copy of it and was then able to further explain the book's background. Within a short time a reporter rang me to make a time and place to meet the photographer and for me to tell my story. See http://www.theleader.com.au/news/local/news/general/book-shines-light-on-death/2151183.aspx for the results.
My preparation paid off because I thought of the launch like planning a wedding. Do the same and you will do well. Book where you will launch your book early and check out the facilities. Prepare your Media kit and speech in advance and rehearse what you are going to say. After sending your Media Releases to the Media, ring the Chief Of Staff and confirm they have it. Have a lucky door prize or two with the prizes being characters in your next book - this a nice freebie.