Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 2714 - Preparing for book launch

How does an author prepare for a book launch?

Signing books at the Gold Coast Convention Centre for the launch of my 8th book

For an author about to launch a book, you probably assume that the star of the show just turns up to the event, chats to the crowd, signs a few books and smiles for the camera.

I don't know what the rock stars of the literary world do, but for this humble self published author I can tell you there is definitely no "just turn up" about it.

There is weeks of planning, preparation and (dare I say it) even stress.

The 9th book in my Cheer Chick Charlie series is being released this weekend and I'm celebrating with a bit of a party at Dymocks.

Social media invitation for the upcoming launch of book 9.

I didn't always celebrate the release of my books.  Most have just been released quietly without fanfare.

Of course the first was a big deal with an "invitation only" launch party in collaboration with the ACT Government. I released the first two books at the same time, had a professional emcee, a cheerleading display, merchandise and my website going live that night at the event.  The celebration was directed at adults. There was wine, party bags and nibbles.

The launch party for the Cheer Chick Charlie brand and first two books

When it came to books 3-6, they were released quietly without fuss.  I was so busy still working on my business model and working out how to be self published that throwing parties was the last thing on my mind. Besides, hardly anyone knew about Cheer Chick Charlie (other than the cheerleading community) so I would just turn up to cheerleading events with the new book and lots of excited young cheerleaders would buy it, and that would be my MO.

Once I started to get a national following I decided that each new book in the series was worthy of celebration. So for the 7th book I had a party in my home where I invited a bunch of my local fans to an Australian bush themed celebration (in line with the story line), to thank them for their support.

Getting my house ready to launch book 7 with a party for my Canberra based fans

For my 8th book I took it to a big cheerleading event on the Gold Coast and had my launch party and author signing at the Gold Coast Convention Centre surrounded by fans from all over Australia.

Children lined up 20 minutes before the official start time for the launch of book 8.
This year I've decided to collaborate with a Dymocks bookshop for the launch on my 9th book to celebrate that the series has gone beyond the sport of cheerleading and is now becoming recognised as a children's book in its own right.

Seeing my books on the shelves in 2013 with Andy Griffiths, Paul Jennings and Wendy Harmer was a thrill

Dymocks Belconnen were the first book shop to ever stock my books so it's with a squeal of delight that I accepted their offer to host this party.

But of course book launches and parties don't happen on their own. Somebody has to put the whole thing together and for a self published author, more often than not, that somebody is the author herself.

So my week is a week of project management that includes putting gift bags together, creating a raffle prize, organising balloons, baking morning tea, organising Cheer Chick Charlie colouring sheets, writing press releases, designing social media advertising, emailing my fan club members, preparing a run sheet, organising the Cheer Chicks to help out, liaising with Dymocks on format, taking in boxes of books, organising in-store promotional posters, sending stock to my distributor, writing my speech, signing pre-orders of the books for my fan club members and (most importantly) buying a new dress.

Then (and only then) do to I get to "just turn up" and BE the author.

I am not complaining.  Being a self published author can be very rewarding and one of these days I will create an entire You Tube series and maybe even write a book about how to be self published and create kick-arse book launch parties.

But for now I'm a bit busy planning for this weekend.

Have you ever been to a book launch party?

What was the format? 

Ever wondered the preparation that goes into these events?

Should I do a "How To" series on being self published?

If you're based in Canberra I'd LOVE to see you at my book launch this weekend.  



  1. It's so exciting to see Cheer Chick Charlie go from strength to strength! I'm in absolute awe that you're such a fabulous writer AND an incredible business woman! And yes, event planning is stressful!

  2. How exciting, Leanne! You've definitely tried it all. I would love to learn more about the process. Have fun at the event. I'm sure it will be a success!

  3. I have been to quite a few launches. It's lovely to see all the hard work pay off. Congratulations. You must be so excited. And good on Dymocks. Books are such a social affair, and people often forget that.

  4. I loved the sneak peek behind the scenes of the book launch. Congratulations on book number nine and for pulling everything together. I hope you get to turn up and everything turns out as you have so carefully planned!

  5. My daughter bought Sally Pearson's book from her at an athletics carnival book launch. Sally was obviously tired, it was towards the end of the day but she barely managed a smile except when the camera was out and there was no small talk whatsoever despite my daughter's obvious delight at meeting one of her all time athletics heroes! Other well known athletes we have met have been a lot friendlier!

  6. Congratulations girl! One of my goals is to write a children's book one day. I can understand how thrilling all of this must be for you! X

  7. What an achievement, so pleased all your hard efforts are paying off. Hope the book launch goes well and there are many more to come.

  8. Wow what a journey you have had with your books. Such a reason for celebration!! Well done... #IBOT

  9. How wonderful to see the stories of the Book Launches Leanne! Wishing you the very best for this coming one. Denyse

  10. Firstly, huge congratulations. Your launches look amazing. I have a few author friends and their launches have always been of the small bookstore chatty kind with cheese and wine. Also fun. But probably not appropriate for kids.

  11. Thanks for sharing your book launch stories. Congrats on your newest book and I hope the launch goes well!

  12. I've thrown a couple of book launches, and shared some of my tips here: http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/tips-for-hosting-book-launch/


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