Wednesday, March 11, 2009

but who would come to the party?

As Anna has posted an impressive number of events for her new book, I've been wondering how much I should do for my upcoming book without looking like a slacker. Yes, I have already planned a book launch (virtual and at a bookstore) that enough? Just right? Or rather wimpy?

The truth is I am rather torn about what is the right attitude to take for book events. Is it better to just have one book event, put all your energy in that--and make all your friends, family and fans (hopefully) come to it--making it more likely it will be a successful event?

Or is it better to have lots of events, a cluster of events to build "buzz" (at least 15, as I recently read at BubbleStampede) to reach as many people as possible? Even if it "waters down" the crowd?

Is it better to have one large-ish, successful event or many smaller, not as successful events?

I have a feeling the latter might be the winner, in terms of eventual sales and the book's long term success. However, for the ego (reading to an empty room is no fun!) and for personal energy preservation (just reading some of the event schedules of my fellow authors make me tired) I am tempted to go with the former. But I don't want to be lazy. This book means a great deal to me and I really do want to follow through to even the promotion without excuses.

What do you guys think?


Anna Alter said...

I know what you mean, I had the same debate about whether I had planned too much this spring! But then I thought if each event were in a different town it might spread things out and draw local folks in each place. 15 events sounds like a LOT though! I don't know if I could swing that.

Lynn said...

Sorry I don't know enough to offer any advice, but happy to host you on our blog anytime :)

Anonymous said...

Just curious as a new author ... if we consider that your time is worth a certain dollar amount per hour, do you end up making money on the sale of your books at these events? How many books sold make it worth it? Or is it more just getting your name out and hoping that will later translate to sales?

I'm hearing of people spending hundreds of dollars, even over a thousand, on launch parties and related events, and as someone on a super-tight budget these days, I am trying to figure out which events are worth it.

Thanks for any light you can shed!

Anna Alter said...

Those are great questions, and ones a lot of us struggle with. From what I understand, it is pretty impossible even for professional publicists to tell if one event or one attempt at getting publicity for your books is worth it alone.

I think the idea, at least for the type of books I do, is more about building a readership over time. That is a hard thing to define, and a harder thing to achieve, but I think the idea behind launch parties and events is to connect with people and get them excited about your body of work.

laurasalas said...

Grace, these are interesting questions. Since Stampede! is my first trade book, I have no advice, and I know you've done tons over the years to promote yourself, your books, and good causes. What more could an author do?

And I think a key thing is doing what YOU can do. For me, for instance, a huge launch party is mind-numbingly terrifying. My launch will be online. But I'm doing a lot of other (lower pressure, in my opinion) events. For me, it's about what's realistic in my life.

And I have to say--dang. I was hoping by the time someone had as many great books out as you, they'd have this all figured out! :>)