It’s no secret that the Covid pandemic has forced all of us to change the way we do so many things—and book launches are no exception. In the midst of lockdowns and shuttered businesses, authors and publishers were forced to step back from “normal” book event ideas and get a bit creative. While things are starting to open back up again, there aren’t many booksellers who are yet hosting in-person book events. So here are some strategies for thinking outside the box and holding an innovative event to engage your readers.
Get Creative with Event Location
Bookstores are always the first place that people think of when it comes to book events—but there’s a whole world of event venues out there to host a launch. Better still, many of these venues offer outdoor options and reduced pricing during weeknights. Have a fun children’s novel? Maybe consider hosting at a playground at a local park. What about a historical location for your Victorian novel or a tea parlor for your cozy mystery? The possibilities are endless.
Get on that AV Bandwagon
Audio and videos are hot right now and this is a great time to tap into that. So what does this mean for a book launch? Live podcasts and live streams! Advertise your book launch to a whole audience that can attend virtually but also can watch and listen later if they want. Make sure to build up the live streams on social networks and through email, so that attendees can prepare.
Host a Webinar or Zoom Book Club Event
Once readers have had the opportunity to read your book, one of the best ways things to do is to engage them. A book club event is a great opportunity for readers to hear from you in a more personal manner about your inspiration for writing and for you to answer questions they may have. But more importantly, book club events are also amazing opportunities for you AND your readers to share things you love about the book. Ask your readers to share their favorite part of the story and maybe give them a behind-the-scenes view of how you wrote that. Share your favorite scenes, too.
Work with a Charity
Want to use your book launch as an opportunity to show support for a charity you love? Connect with someone on their team and ask about hosting an event where you can donate some of your proceeds of book to the charity. This can be especially useful with a book that touches on a social justice, cultural, or advocacy theme.
Offer Something Fun or Useful
Depending on what your book is about, your launch event could offer something to your readers that they might find useful. For example, if your book is heavy on food or drink themes, offer cooking lessons or how to make a cocktail. Or for a book that has magical or musical elements, hire a magician to do some interesting tricks or a musican to play a song similar to something in the book.
The most important thing? Get creative! The possibilities for your book event are endless. Just focus on engaging your readers in the best way possible for your book…and don’t forget to have fun.