A Virtual Book Launch Party Check List

Hot air balloons-I have come to realize that writing a book is the easy part now that I am in the promotion phase. I’ve learned there is a lot an upcoming author can do to promote their books (guest blog posts, giveaways, paid advertising, etc), but I am learning the most effective methods are the ones that instill a sense of excitement among readers and involve them in sharing the buzz. The best way to do this? Throw a freaking party! Of course, it’s not always easy to throw one in person. When your friends, family, and reader networks are scattered all over the world, it’s impossible to physically get everyone together in one location, and why should so many people get to miss out on the fun? Enter the Internet. Namely,  Facebook, Twitter #overitrn and forums like Google+ Hangouts.
Here is my check list as I get ready to throw my virtual book launch party.
1. Set the date. Give yourself plenty of time. We started the planning back in February (6 months ago).

2. Find a good event planner. Having someone else host is critical. I didn’t understand how essential this was until I started preparing for my own party. There are a lot of details to attend to when it comes to virtual events (if you’re doing it right). As the author I want to spend time interacting with guests while my hosts take care of the social media activities and help keep track of who is winning what. I am so lucky to have the two lovely ladies from Ballyhoos to help me. I discovered the perfect fit when I hired The Ballyhoos.

3. Build Buzz Early. We set up a summer book review tour and visited the sites of creative bloggers from the east to the west coast, the UK and Canada. We then hosted a book blog hop And now the finale Virtual Book Launch.

4. Set a Firm Start and End Time. It might be the internet, but this is not supposed to be a 24 hour, all-day event. Guests like firm schedules so they can plan to attend accordingly. We have decided on September 12th from 10 am to 5 pm. Since there are a lot of activities going on (I’ll get to those in a second), Ballyhoos has helped me to set an itinerary and schedule to keep things on track, which brings me to my next tip.

5. Make a Budget. Yes, it’s on the internet, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be spending money. Think of the amount you would spend on an in-person gathering paying for food and drinks and other party favors and apply that to your virtual gathering. I spent a couple hundred for my book signing event here in Charlotte. You don’t have to go crazy, but it’s important to plan on spending a little. I’ve been able to recruit sponsors and giveaways for my big day.

6. Invite others to join you – Don’t Make it All About You. I’ve learned If you turn an event into a platform for self-worship, people are not going to want to come. It may be my party, but like any celebration be it a wedding or a baby shower or a book party, this is not about me. It is about my guests. A virtual launch party is my chance to give back to my readers and community of fellow creatives. I tapped into my network of fellow writers. I will be joined by Laurie Dupar, Carla Wynn-Hall, Cindy Falteich, Sarah Wilson, Susanne Hemet, Odette Laurie, Julie Flippin, Phillip Hatfield, Terry Whitaker, Carol Cassara, Suzanne Letourneau, Susan Tolles, Chloe Jeffreys and The Ballyhoos We were able to find some great sponsors who are providing $1000 worth of bonuses and giveaways.

7. Connect to a Charity that you care about. Several of my family members, friends and patients have suffered with cancer. I took care of children on the oncology unit when I worked as a Pediatric nurse and ran a cancer wellness group for Carolinas Health Care. Finding a cure for cancer is near and dear to my heart. I have decided to support Stand up 2 Cancer.

8. Don’t forget the bubbly! Remember it’s a Freakin’ Vitual Book Launch so register, bring your own beverage and celebrate! Click here to register!

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