How to Plan a Successful Book Launch Party

Book launch parties, in coordination with Bestseller campaigns, are a great “coming out” event for your book, giving you the opportunity to increase exposure, boost sales, and celebrate all your hard work.

Since 2007, I have helped strategize about a dozen book launch parties for clients. Additionally, I’ve attended a fair share, including Tim Ferriss’ book launch party for The 4-Hour Workweek and the Ramit Sethi’s book launch party for I Will Teach You to Be Rich. From this experience, I would like to offer a checklist of book launch party best practices.
(Please note, I’m not a party planner, but a marketer. Napkin selection and color coordination are not my forte.)
Do these to have a successful book launch party:
1)   Ensure you have a sign-in sheet to capture everyone’s name and email address of those who attended the party. Email them ONCE to thank them for their attendance. (Attendees must opt-in to your website to receive more emails about your products and services)
2)   If you goal of the day is to be an bestseller, encourage people to purchase book upon arrival. Of course, with this strategy you will need to provide WIFI-enabled laptops.
3)   After purchasing the book, show them the bonus web page to retrieve bonus offers. This will require an opt-in.
4)   The aforementioned activities require 2-3 hosts or hostesses to assist.
5)   Hire a photographer to take pictures and upload on your Fan page, blog, etc.
6)   Tag people immediately to show how popular you are. Don’t tag people with dragon faces or red eyes. They will hate you later.
7)   Feed people with fresh, yummy food. Partner with a restaurant, orcelebrity chef who wants the exposure. Win-win.
8)   Provide alcohol and drinks. It’s a party for gawd’s sake. Partner with promo companies that rep alcohol and drink companies.
9)   Half-way into the event, a host should introduce you to the crowd and you can give a 4-8 minute “Thank you for everything. Sniff. Sniff.” speech.
10)  Have a videographer record this speech. Share on YouTube.
11)   Event should be no longer than 3 hours. 90 minutes to 2 hours is perfect. In-and-out, with book in hand.
12)   Prizes (iPods, Kindle, Flip), give-aways , and swag bags are good, especially if books are being purchased online. This way people have something physical to leave with. Hosts should hand gift bags to each attendee.
13)   Promote event on Eventbrite, Plancast, Twitter, and Facebook.
14)   Event should be free with purchase of book.
15)   Offer discounts to workshops, seminars, webinar for those who buy the book in bulk.
16)   Invite the media.
17)   If you are a soft speaker and presenting, please have a microphone.
Those are my 2-cents. Do you have anything to add?

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