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!

6 thoughts on “Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: It’s (Almost) Party Time!

  1. Lisa Romeo says:

    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!

    1. jessica says:

      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. Sarah says:

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

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