Who’s on YOUR Book Launch Team?by Jennie Jerome
At last week’s Publishing and Book Promotion’s Meetup we discussed the “Anatomy of a Book Launch.” All manner of topics were covered, from budgeting to scheduling to the actual signing, and everything in between. As we authors talked and shared ideas, one thing became abundantly clear: one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of a book launch is the logistics of selling the book itself!
We spend months, if not years, writing our books: painstakingly editing every nuance, refining every character, plotting every twist. We then find the perfect editor, the perfect illustrator, the perfect publisher until we finally have the book in our hands. We then spend days, weeks, months planning our launch: selecting our venue, planning our theme, getting our books reviewed, inviting everyone we know, and asking them to bring along everyone they know.
At last, launch day arrives. The venue is perfect and the food is superb. As you glide through the crowd of early arrivals, noting there are many more than you expected, you are lauded, applauded, and someone asks you about purchasing your book.
Depending on how well you have planned the logistics of selling your book at your launch, you respond in one of two ways:
- You smile a smile of pure joy, turn to this person and… freeze in horror when you realize you have no idea how you are going to sell books and make change, sign books, welcome new guests, and manage the caterer/entertainment/book blogger who’s requesting an interview.
- You smile a smile of pure joy, turn to this person and… warmly inform her that you are making your way to the signing table now, that the MC will be announcing and giving directions shortly, and that anyone in a red shirt can answer her questions.
Phew! I don’t know about you, but the second option is MUCH more appealing to me.
So how do we ensure that the actual launch goes smoothly and that we sell as many books as possible while maintaining a professional and appealing image? We create a Book Launch Team!
A Book Launch Team consists of at least three key players:
- An MC: Someone to greet and/or entertain the crowd, make announcements, and generally keep things organized and flowing. You don’t need to hire a professional MC; just choose one of your friends who is both organized and outgoing, someone who will make an excellent host or hostess and who can take some of the pressure off you.
- A money person: Someone who will deal with the financial end of things while you are busy signing books and chatting with fans. This person should be someone who can make change, keep track of receipts and, if you choose to accept credit cards (and why wouldn’t you?!), has enough technical knowhow to ensure everything works smoothly and efficiently.
- A crowd control person (or two, or three): These are the people who show attendees where to line up to have their books signed and make sure everything is set and ready to go when someone steps in front of you. It is generally a good idea to have at least one crowd control person walking the line to hand out books and place a sticky note on the page you’ll be signing. This will save a lot of fumbling time and generally makes for a clean, professional presentation.
Of course, you may have more people and a larger team, but these three roles are paramount to maximizing the number of books you sell and ensuring a smooth, professional book launch. After all, the whole point of the launch is to sell books, right? So when you are planning your event, be sure to create a team that can help you with the logistics of selling the book itself. Wishing you a most successful book launch!
Jennie Jerome is a marketing consultant and business coach specializing in strategy and negotiations. Her business is focused around determining where you are, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there. She is in the process of launching a new and expanded website, but you can connect with her here, or meet her in person at the Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup, organized by Laura Orsini. Jennie is a reoccurring guest blogger and posts here the 5th of every month. Please feel free to submit questions or blog ideas in the comments sections of her posts. Happy writing!