More on marketing

I’m afraid that even before I left Mirrorstone, I wasn’t reading my friends page daily, because there are just so many things to keep track of, and if even half of my 73 friends were to post daily, that’d be a lot of reading. But I really want to know what everyone is up to, so I’ve been going back into the archives to play a little catch-up.
Almost a good week ago now, Agent Kristin posted about the book launch party of a client of hers, who happens to also be a TV producer in New York City. Marianne Mancusi then lists several really great tips for authors for their own book launch parties. Remember our discussion about marketing your book? She has some great tips for announcing your launch with an email blast inviting pretty much everyone you know, whether they’d be able to make it or not, to your book launch. Not to mention a
whole pageful of other great tips. Here’s a small taste:

Consider co-hosting the party with another author. One, it’s more fun to plan a party with a partner and two it takes off some of the hosting pressure the night of. You can also potentially double the guest list, increase networking opportunities, and introduce a whole new audience for your books and theirs.

Follow up. Over the next week, email your guests and thank them for coming. Especially the new people you met at the party. If you have a photo with them in it, send it with the email. And speaking of photos – upload them right away and put them on your blog, MySpace, Facebook, whatever. People who attended want to see themselves and people who didn’t get to go want to live vicariously. But you lose your momentum if you wait a few days.

Her tips on venues, invitations, gift bags, working the room, and so on are spot on, and she’s got some really creative suggestions that could bring the price of a launch party down for authors, who usually don’t have piles of cash sitting around.
I would also add that if you’re publishing a book for teens or kids, to think about adapting her tips to a kid-friendly environment and to invite readers in your target age group–even if it’s just all the kids you know. Or perhaps to do an adult-centric launch plus a teen-friendly launch. The goodie bag idea could be targeted for teens with just a little tweaking: items like free introductory yoga classes and self-tanning lotion would transfer well. You could probably get local sports and recreation outlets to include a coupon, not to mention local teen-centric outlets at the mall. You could also think about offering up a gift card to a local shop for a nominal amount as a drawing for those who attend (and might be able to get that local shop to sponsor it). By focusing on teen readers, getting teens (or kids) to read, and combining that with any local appeal your book might have, or topical interest, you’ll be able to create a fun, unique event with some media appeal. I’m thinking particularly of the Percy Jackson parties that were thrown at local bookstores before the Percy Jackson books were really big–I saw news reports of the author getting kids involved because of their interest in Greek myths.
So go check out her post, and see if you can find ways to adapt her tips to your own book!