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Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: It’s (Almost) Party Time!

Minor annoyances aside (for example, the arrival of my annual November cold meant that for several days I could not breathe through my nose), this past week was pretty great. Highlights included a weekend visit to an old friend I hadn’t seen in years (I brought along a review copy of my forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans, as a housegift), and the discovery, thanks to Tania Hershman/Twitter, that “For Services Rendered,” the story that opens Quiet Americans, has received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention.

As if that weren’t enough, this week has included a number of e-mail exchanges and phone calls to formalize not one, not two, but THREE book parties that are being planned to celebrate the publication of Quiet Americans (do I have amazing family and friends, or what?). Events will take place during the winter in New York and Washington, and in Boston in the spring.

So now, as I immerse myself in a new set of to-do items connected with party planning, I have some questions for all of you. In your view, what makes a book party successful? Care to comment with any brief descriptions of parties you’ve hosted and/or attended, and what made them memorable (hopefully, in a positive sense!)? Any tips for an author embarking on this for the first time? No advice is too “insignificant”: I welcome comments on Evite “vs.” Paperless Post as much as I crave suggestions on how to handle book promotion/sales. Thank you in advance for sharing!

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6 Responses »

  1. Yippee for you!
    I like postal invites, to tack on the fridge or bulletin board (yeah, I’m old). I just love having something tangible, especially when it’s a book by a friend. Food is always good, especially recreations of any foods in the book. A very short reading. Q/A could work, but that really depends on nature of crowd. Something small as a take-away – bookmark, etc. Music, a place to sit. Champagne – it’s a celebration!
    I find the most tiresome book parties to be those that are highly organized & structured, adhering to an obvious schedule (long reading, buy/signing line, etc), that makes me feel as if I’m being led through a carefully calibrated marketing maze. Keep the “party” in it!

    • Mazl tov! (Sing along with me now!)

      I agree – Paper. Stick ’em on the fridge. People print out evites anyway.

      Non-structured parties are the most fun, with a good mix of people. Some kind of giveaway (not necessarily the book, or maybe one copy in a raffle or something.)

      Can’t wait to host you on my blog!

  2. Congratulations, Erika! Use Facebook to help promote your book – and stir interest would be my recommendation! If you haven’t already, create a fan page on Facebook – and get the word out.

    It’s a great way to let others know you’re doing a reading in your neck of the woods, and of course, you’re first playing to a very responsive audience – your already current Facebook friends.

    Best of luck! And of course let this Boston-area resident know about your Beantown party – and readings?

    Best, Linda

  3. Thank you all so much!

    Lisa & Jessica: So you vote for paper, eh? You and my mom! Guess it’s time to start exploring some of the stationery companies online. And I love the suggestions of Champagne & giveaways.

    Linda, thanks for your thoughts, too. There is indeed a Facebook fan page (and a widget/icon for it on the home page of this site). Please join us!

  4. Congratulations on the Pushcart Prize mention, Erika! You’ll have to let us know how your parties go.

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