Tips for Planning a Successful Book Launch Party

Jun 26, 2015
We love Vancouver bookshop The Paper Hound for intimate launches. Photo by Chloe Filson



In today’s publishing world – where so much happens digitally and virtually – a book launch party might seem like a quaint and outdated idea. Why go to the trouble of hosting an event when you can promote the book online? The answer to that question lies in your publishing strategy. If you have a book that could be energetically promoted by a loyal group of local supporters, a launch party can be a great way to begin the first part of your campaign. Besides, you’ve worked hard to publish your book and you might want the chance to celebrate its release into the world with friends, family and colleagues. They key is to host a launch celebration that will have lasting benefits. Here are some ways of doing that:

Make it memorable

Many people associate book launch events with readings, but is it really necessary to read from your book at the event? Not everyone can do this in a dynamic way and the result can be underwhelming. Consider instead giving an engaging speech – not just to thank people, but also to tell the crowd something interesting about your book or the process of writing it. Consider arranging a Q&A with another author or expert in your field. Present a slideshow or video, or use any other ancillary material you have that would supplement your speech.  Whatever you do, plan something that will spark conversations and that people will remember.

Make it easy for people to buy books

A book launch is a perfect opportunity to generate sales because you’ve got a captive audience. You don’t want to let anyone head home without having purchased a book (or ideally several). Make sure you have books for sale in a prominent place and enlist the help of a friend or colleague to sell them for you so you don’t get stuck behind a table when you should be working the room. Offer volume discounts for your book and have a credit card reader handy (perhaps something small and low-maintenance like the Square Reader so that people who forgot to bring cash can still buy copies.

Issue a marketing call to action

Your launch party guests are among your biggest fans and supporters. Help them help you by giving them clear guidance about how to support your book. Many people want to help and don’t know how, or they will forget when they head home after the party. Make it clear in your thank-you speech that you’d appreciate their promotional support and give them some postcards, bookmarks or flyers that list several key ways in which they can help – for example, by posting reviews on the book’s Amazon page or by tweeting about it to their own networks.

This kind of strategic thinking will help turn a fun celebration into an excellent sales and marketing opportunity for your book. Seeking more insight into successfully launching your book? Contact us at