Monday, January 2, 2012

Anatomy of a Book Launch - Part 2

I haven’t been around much over Christmas vacation. My back decided to not work the day before Christmas. I’ve been to a variety of medical facilities to have a variety of medical tests run. From Christmas on has been a blur of pain, crying and lots and lots of coughing. Oh yeah, I was diagnosed with bronchitis a few days after Christmas—every cough was like a knife stab to my back. Good times.

But the bronchitis is under control. Small victory. I’m still working on getting the back 100%.

Last Tuesday, I missed posting my second installment of this series. Sorry about that. Here goes:

Welcome to part two of my series, in which I’ll share even more anatomy of my book launch—the gory details—all in the spirit of paying it forward. Anyone out there who’s either launching in the near future or will launch one day, could use this as a reference*.

November & December (or 2 months before launch day)
  • Ordered as many swag materials as I could (magnets, posters, t-shirts, book marks, stickers, pens, book plates, tote bags, mouse pads, window decals, bumper stickers, calendars) through Vistaprint.com – I paid very close attention to their promotional emails that came to me and only ordered free items. All in all I spent $175 on Cracked items and most of that money was for shipping. 

  • Reached out to five local publications to see if there was any interest in running an article or adding my launch to their calendar of events.
  • Created a spreadsheet for review and ARC requests.
  • Using Microsoft Word, I created launch event flyers, to be both emailed out and hung around my home town.

  • Mailed my launch event invitations out six weeks before the event.

  • To keep Cracked buzz solid and strong, I developed my book trailer contest. After pitching it, I got approval to move forward from my agent and the S & S people and launched it back in mid-November. Click HERE for complete details.
  • Ordered custom made, hand stamped items from the lovely and talented Christina Lee. I wanted special things to hand out over the course of my launch week.
  • Ordered the food for my launch event.
  • I designed something special—that coincides with my book—to hand out at my launch as a thank you to those who come. I can’t say what it is yet, but let’s just say it’s pretty cool and I have 300 of them!
  • Assembled the door prize baskets. I created slips of paper where people will put their name and email and then toss it into a basket. In an effort to “keep the party moving along” as I’m signing, the bookstore people will be pulling/announcing names and handing out the prize baskets. This is where all of that Vistaprint stuff comes in. 

  • Since this is going to be a large event, I created “Priority Seating” signs for my family so that my loved ones have the best seats in the house. They sort of earned the privilege ; )

  • Compose what it is I want to say at the event. I am keeping the whole thing under ten minutes—again, since this will be a large event I want to get to the signing part and keep it all moving along.
  • Create mini posters in Word and then have them made into stiff, standup posters at Staples. I made four. Each one encourages people to visit my website for details on how to upload their photos of “tonight’s event” and WIN A PRIZE! I thought it would be a fun way to get people to share their photos. I opened up a flikr account and have it all set up for people to share.

  • I also bought eight clipboards and eight pens with attachable carabineers to hold my Street Team signup sheets. I plan to have these located around the event so readers can sign up to become official K. M. Walton Street Teamers. A Street Teamer will be called into duty from time to time, to help spread the word, either online or by mouth, of upcoming events and signings. Street Team membership has its benefits – exclusive content, knowing dates/details before the general public, exclusive contests and giveaways, etc….

  • And lastly, I met with the manager of my launch venue to work out the logistics of the event. This baby is a go and I can’t wait to see it all come together!!!
 In light of tomorrow being launch day I think I will push my final post in this series to the following week. Check back for part 3.

Tomorrow, to help make the day even more special, I plan to start a giveaway event. All details and prizes to be revealed tomorrow. I hope you'll stop by for the fun.

*By “reference” I mean just that—something to refer to. I am in no way suggesting this is a list of musts. Do what you’re comfortable with and what fits into your budget.