Last week I put on my first (and maybe only) book party. I couldn’t call it a book release party since my two books actually came out the end of May and first of June. But it was a party, and I did sell books.
The idea of having this party started last summer. I belong to a great organization in South Haven called the Scott Club. The Scott Club of South Haven is a 131-year-old cultural organization that serves to enlighten the membership and community. Scott Club
They have two book clubs and a creative writing group, and they have speakers at their general meetings. They also have a wonderful building with beautiful stained glass windows and downstairs there’s a kitchen, bathroom, and lots of room for tables and chairs. The perfect place for a book party.
Last winter, while in Florida, I was invited to a book party, so I went, not just to support the writer, but also to steal ideas for my book party. One thing she was able to offer that I couldn’t (because of insurance restrictions) was wine. Otherwise, she offered beverages, sweets and nibblies, and, of course, the opportunity to purchase her books. She also gave out tickets and had a drawing for prizes before and after her talk and reading.
I’ll admit it, I more or less copied her. I had cakes (Yes 2. One with a picture of A Killer Past’s cover on the frosting, the other with a picture of Eat Crow and Die’s cover on the frosting), cookies, punch, some sparkling grape juice, and coffee. A half hour into the gathering, I talked about the two books and then read a scene from each. I had 4 helpers (3 friends and my husband) and they had given out tickets, so when I finished my talk, 6 tickets were drawn and prizes were given (each valued at approximately $10).
Two weeks prior to the party, announcements regarding the party were sent to Scott Club members as well as members of another organization I belong to. There was a notice in the local paper’s community calendar, and I personally invited several people.
I used a balloon theme and covered the serving tables and book table with plastic cloths that had a balloon design. I purchased those at the dollar store. We also had signs saying the party was here –> that were placed in front of the building along with two balloons (we had three, but one escaped).
The weather was perfect, but not that many people showed up. (Just under 30). I sold a lot of books, but not enough to cover the cost of the party. This will all be listed under advertising expenses when I file my Schedule C, but I’m not sure that will help all that much.
So was it worth it? Perhaps not financially, but a lot of people have stopped me when I’m out and about and told me they were sorry they couldn’t make it and where can they buy my books. A lot of people simply saw my name in the publicity and paper, and we all need name recognition. I had a good time, and those who attended said they had fun.
So yeah, I think it was worth it. At least once.