Throwing yourself a launch party when your book is published may seem like too much tooting of your own horn. While writing is a solitary practice, a party is a way to launch an author into the limelight while shining a spotlight on the new book. One way to avoid the brag syndrome is to let your friends throw the party for you.
When my young adult novel, Rainbeau Harley, was about to be published friends offered to throw a party to celebrate. They had heard me talk about my character for years and this was a way to support me in my effort to bring her into the world.
So we planned a party that would emphasize parts of the book. Fourteen-year-old Rainbeau Harley wants to be a tattoo artist. Forced to leave her home in Oregon she travels across country munching on protein bars when the allergen-free food she needs to stay safe is unavailable. She arrives at her grandmother’s horse farm and must learn to improvise, adapt, and overcome all things hairy with giant teeth.
My friends own a riding stable and folks volunteered to show off their horses by riding to music. I contacted a gluten-free caterer who was able to provide appetizers and desserts made from ingredients that Rainbeau could eat.
What would a launch party be without swag? I ordered temporary tattoos from StrayTats of my Pigs Fly Press flying pig logo. Made-to-order protein bars by You Bars have “Rainbeau Harley bars” printed on them. T-shirts from CustomInk are printed with the cover and the tag line: Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
In order to fairly distribute swag, I created a chart with numbers 1-75. By each number I placed either a t-shirt, temporary tattoo, protein bar, or signed book. Party-goers were encouraged to pick a number from a hat and their names were written by the swag they won.
A week before the party I contacted the local media – television station and newspapers, with a David versus Goliath angle about creating my own publishing house. After the party, a brief article with photos was sent to the local online Patch and to Publisher’s Weekly. Good friends. Good food. Good time. And good advertising, too.
About Cerredwyn: Grew up in the horse and art worlds. In college, she studied psychology, English, biology, anthropology, and theatre and almost didn’t get her degree when she angered the administration. She managed to graduate and continued her studies in Eastern religions, advanced mathematics, textiles, and psychopharmacology. Her current life consists of spending time with her beloved husband and awesome daughter. She can be found leading a Girl Scout troop, substitute teaching, and occasionally bellydancing. She also trains her dressage horse, sings in a choir, and reads avidly. As an entrepreneur, she edits numerous books, meets with designers, chooses marketing plans, signs contracts, does school visits and book signings, and of course, writes. She has written numerous picture books, a middle-grade novel, and is currently working on the second Rainbeau Harley book. Only in hindsight have the disparate elements of her life begun to make sense.