“Picking up the Pieces” is a novel about friendship, cake and the mutual support that only lifelong friends can provide. What could be better than to launch it with a tea party inviting friends old and new to celebrate my new book.
For those friends that lived some distance away, I sent emails, for those close by I printed out invitations which I attached to promotional postcards I’d had printed.
Handing these to old friends was easy, what was more difficult was knocking on my neighbours, doors to ask them if they’d like to come to the launch. To my delight they all accepted. The offer of coffee, cake and wine may have had something to do with it, but I did make it clear that books would be on sale. Buying one, however, was not compulsory.
As it turned out, everyone did go home with a copy.
So ten books were sold and I had a great time doing it.It was good to see friends I’d not been in touch with for a while, but what was even better was the way they all got on together. I even managed to introduce people who had lived in the same street for years but had never met each other!
What did I learn?
First, target your readers. “Picking up the Pieces” is about three women of a certain age and more likely to appeal to a female readership, so all my guests were women friends, though I did allow cakes to be taken home for the men in their lives.
Secondly, bake. Cake is always good, but if you can’t bake then buy.
Thirdly, wine. Helps to break the ice and is good for the toast.
Fourthly, treat the launch as a social occasion, rather than a selling opportunity.
And last of all, enjoy. If you have a good time, your guests will too.