The launching of a self-published book without the infrastructure of a publishing company and the publicity machine behind it can be daunting for an independent author. I recently attended a very successful book launch event that used all the necessary components to reach the intended audience. First of all, this event was a celebration of the author’s commitment to the book and  its message. How did this play out?

An email invitation was created and sent out to all the author’s contacts. It’s a good idea to establish an active contact list well in advance of your launch. This colour email invitation was a very small file-size, so it didn’t clog anyone’s mailbox.

The event itself was a celebration, party and sale. Book tables were set up in a few areas, with volunteers to help attendees buy the books. The author was more than happy to sign the books with personal greetings and thanks. Wine was generously offered to all guests, and the catered finger food on the table was an appealing display of cheeses, fruits, kabobs and the like. On the food table was a large standing display card of the cover of the book, featuring a photo of the author. At every turn there were reminders that this was not just a normal house party, but a book launch event.

This event was held in  a large home that had been generously offered to the author for the launch. Being in the home gave an intimacy that would not have been present in a public place, but the home was large enough to ensure the quality of the event wasn’t compromised by crowding.

On 2 video screens in different rooms, a video of the author answering interview questions about the book was playing non-stop. Guests could drop in and out of this aspect of the presentation. After a toast to the author, there was also a formal live presentation, during which the author gave a short talk, and thanked publicly all those who had helped in the development of the book. This was followed by live music – two songs that had special meaning in relation to both the book and the author’s life.

After the formal presentation, guests mingled as at a party, more wine was poured and  some new guests arrived as other guests departed. The entire event was recorded for use on the website, both as video and in still images.


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