Okay, I know that there are many millions of trillions of authors who say book launches aren’t worth doing and to focus on the long-term stuff. I agree with the second part of that statement, but I AM having a book launch and I believe it will pay off.
I’m a new author. Thus, my primary aim is publicity and branding: to build an audience and to build recognition as a children’s author. A book launch is PERFECT for this aim, because it gets my name out there in an official sort of way, and means I’m inviting people to an event – not just asking people to buy my book. I guess I feel a bit better about the whole marketing thing if I’m offering something in return.
Sponsorship is one way that I am building the publicity factor. While researching ideas, I decided that I would have goodie bags at my launch. I also know that one sure-fire way to attract people is to offer free stuff, so I wanted to have giveaways available for my readers.
The problem? There’s no way I could afford something decent for 50 odd people. Nor could I afford to spend much money on giveaways. To solve this, I approached people with a win-win offer: if you donate a product, I’ll get it in front of a shared audience AND give you advertising.
Once I had a couple of people on board, I realised that a) I can do this, and b) ‘this’ is sponsorship.
I’ve now approached a few more indie children’s authors – and a few companies who share my target audience – with a more formal sponsorship proposal. I’ve had a no from two authors (due to time restraints), a maybe from another, a definitely yes from one company, and am waiting on a response from a few more.
Unsurprisingly, the most enthusiastic responses came from people who knew me, or people with mutual contacts. I guess it shows that the adage, “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” has some truth to it.
There’s still a lot more to contact on the list I drew up, and after a few keen people I’m feeling confident about getting something good together for my book launch attendees.
My next step is to create the aforementioned ‘more formal’ proposal, put together a marketing & target audience summary. I’ll put that info in next Friday’s indie author post.
In the meantime, I’m keen to hear your ideas about book launches, and emerging author publicity strategies. Comment below 🙂