9 October 2009

How to launch a book on a shoestring budget

I was a complete novice when I launched my first book 'A Girlfriend in Every City' in November 2005. Except from sending a press release to the couple of journalists I knew, I didn't do much to launch the book.

With my first box of 50 books, I went to an Ecademy networking event in Mechelen and sold them to the attendees.

A nice side-effect of launching a book is that people are starting to see you as someone who knows what he's talking about. Almost immediately I was asked to attend events, congresses and seminars and get up on stage to talk about the topic of my book, Social Networking. Speaking in public and sharing my story became a passion and even today, 4 yours later, I still love to do it.

In just 6 weeks, on Saturday evening 21 November, I will launch my new book 'Friends with Benefits', focusing on networking in the new and changed economy in which we live and work today. By that time the book will already be available on Amazon and other webshops.
This time I planned from the start to have a 'real' launch event, but it wasn't going to be easy ...
My professional activities have been hit very hard by the recession and I don't exactly have a mega-budget available to promote my new book. So I had to organize a launch event on a shoestring budget. In an earlier blogpost I already explained why I worked with Ecademy Press, a cooperative publisher based in Cornwall, UK. Working with them had the advantage that I could buy a 'pack' of services for a very interesting price. This initial cost, together with my first order of books would be more or less the unavoidable cost to start this adventure.
If I want to organize a booklaunch event, I need a venue. And if I want journalists to show up at the event I don't want a backroom of a sleazy pub or a very remote location. No, I need a top-class location which is easy to reach from the center of the city. I decided to go for the 'Cultural Center' in my hometown, located in one of the nicest parts of the city : The medieval beguinage of Diest, registered as a Unesco protected site.
Before I contacted them I learned through their website that they have reduced rates for 'Cultural organisations' who are officially registered at the town hall. I decided to organize my booklaunch together with one of these clubs, Curieus Diest, which enabled me to book the rooms at the lowest price. After setting this up, I contacted the manager of the Cultural Center and agreed on renting the auditorium and a large room for the networking-reception. A few weeks later we visited the venue to discuss details on sound and light for the official part in the auditorium.
The next thing to do is invite people to show up ...

[to be continued]

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