We’re all on some sort of journey, aren’t we? Check back here
periodically to find out more about G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s journeys
through the literary world and through life.
It occurred to me just the other day that planning a book launch party is a lot like planning a wedding.
First of course you find your beloved, whether it be a human being or a book. And then…
1. Announce your engagement and set the date
Last spring, after checking with family calendars and local sports and festival event planners (including the Seahawks!), and making sure my publisher could meet this deadline, I came up with Sunday, October 25, 2015 for my next book launch party. Once the date was set, I started spreading the word to save-the-date.
2. Introduce your family and friends to your beloved
By now some of you are sick and tired of hearing about Women on the Brink. Conversations by phone and email. Blogs. Facebook and Twitter discussions. I try to keep it subtle; like many writers I hate having to market my products or my self. But if I don’t, then who will? I also recruited a team of about 20 devoted reader friends to help spread the word.
3. Set your budget
Weddings cost a lot of money, right? While big name authors get an advance and a marketing budget from their publishers, most small writers get only a tiny budget at best. I’m with a hybrid publisher, which means they have staff and independent contractors who do much of the publishing work, but when it comes to marketing, it’s mostly out of my pocket. Yes, must have budget. And then spend more.
4. Compile guest list
That’s easy. Invite everyone I know! And a few people I don’t know, too, like the woman I met on an airplane and the server in a restaurant.
Despite my woes from the last time I used evite.com to manage my invitations, I used them again, only to discover two days ago that half of the invitees hadn’t seen the invitation. What’s that about? So now it’s back to old-fashioned word of mouth to get the word out at the eleventh hour.
The good news is that it’s open to the public and free of admission, so invited guests are welcome (and encouraged) to bring a friend or two. Or eight.
5. Select a venue and caterer
Once again I chose University Book Store in Bellevue. Olivia Ahl is the fantastic bookseller who orchestrated my previous launch party. She rocks.
Caterer? That would be me, for the food and door/raffle prize part. But I am pleased to say that Pearl and Stone Wine Co. will be pouring their new wines at my party.
6. Select members of wedding party
This was the fun part! Each of my short stories is introduced (in the book) by an original poem. So I invited the poets to come and read. Ann Teplick, Lea Galanter, Elaine Nussbaum, Kake Huck, and Abby Murray will be showcasing their awesome poems at this party.
But wait! There’s more! Local actors Willow Abplanalp, Ruchi Loomba, Jess Moss, and Aaron Jin will be kicking off the book by giving dramatic readings of select scenes. I can’t wait to see their performances.
7. Shop for your gown
Last time around, I worried myself sick about what to where at my book launch after a friend said I had to get a nice dress that would complement my book cover. As it turns out, I’m not a fancy dress sort of person. This time, you’ll find me in jeans.
8. What about music?
9. Plan the ceremony
Actor script: check. My notes: check.
Done. (Some things get easier with experience.)
10. Plan honeymoon
Easy peasy: I’ll be crawling under the covers for a long, long nap. And then I will get up and begin working on my next novel. (Think: bears.)
11. Get final headcount
This is when the cold feet set in. Who knew that October 25 would be The Weekend to Travel Out of Seattle? Seriously, it’s amazing how many people have RSVP’d that they’re going somewhere far, far away. This is what I get for planning this on a non-Seahawks weekend.
(And there will be wine.)
In case you didn’t get your evite, here’s the scoop. I’d really love to see you there!
When: Sunday, October 25, 4-6pm
Where: University Bookstore, 990 102nd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
What: A party to celebrate Women on the Brink ~ a new collection of loosely linked short stories about women aged thirteen to ninety who face life’s unwelcome realities and who discover their true paths.
Featuring poetry and dramatic readings by Pacific Northwest poets and actors
Hors d’oeuvres served along with wine from local winery Pearl and Stone Wine Co.
Door and raffle prizes, too!
Open to the public ~ No admission charge ~ No purchase necessary ~ Bring a friend
(If this sounds familiar, this blog is a re-play of one I posted on 7/23/14, with revision.)