Book Launches

Launch - Table

The launch table for Triad Blood (with the official signing pen of awesome.)

I have a question for my author peeps (especially those of you with an ever-growing publishing tail). I’d like to ask about launch parties (or, specifically, the fading returns thereof).

 
My experience has been that book one, everyone I knew in the area was super-happy, many RSVP’d (and only about 10% or so of the people who said ‘yes’ ended up not showing). It was a great evening, the whole of which was a delight to experience, and—most importantly to me—the hosting bookstore had a successful return on their investment.
 
So, when it came time for book two, I imagined there’d be a drop-off, so I reached a bit wider with my original invitations and was surprised to end up with almost as many RSVP’s. But where typical RSVP’s for events at the store seem to see about a 20% no-show, this time it was closer to half. And while those who did show made it a great time and the venue got enough out of it that it was a success, I’m looking at book three and thinking… Maybe not?
So, what say you, author friends? (And reader friends, too, for that matter, if you’re the sort who attend book launches and readings?) Is a book launch something that has a one-time-charm to it? I feel like I don’t have an unbiased opinion, as I really like book launches and do attend them when I can.
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4 thoughts on “Book Launches

  1. Honestly, most book events by authors in niche fields are poorly attended. First-time authors having an event in their territory/home-turf can pull in sympathetic friends and family, but that good will often fails to manifest for second or third books. It’s always better to do events with other writers–you theoretically double or triple attendance and may introduce devoted readers (of your genre) to your work.

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  2. I think multiple authors might be a good way to go. One, you pull in your colleague’s readers who might not have known about your work and vice versa. Two, it’s just plain more fun.

    I had a big dropoff with the release of my second book too, although to be fair, the second book reading was at an actual bookstore and not a brewpub where I bought the first round. 🙂 That said, about 50 came to my first one and two dozen or so to my second, and not all of them were people I even knew, so I counted that as a bonus.

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