aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Do you think all the stories about book launch parties were just that? Stories?

I got my first contract in 1997. In those 10 years I’ve heard a lot about how authors didn’t used to have to do anything for their books but write them. Part of that story was about how there used to be these great book launch parties.

But why would a publisher pony up for a book launch party?

Now that I think about it, a book launch party that wasn’t designed to sell books to the attendees doesn’t make much sense. Unless maybe you could get a ton of media attention. I remember hearing about local lady Jean Auel’s book launch party for Clan of the Cave Bear – they served caveman-inspired foods.

In a bit of marketing genius, someone pitched NPR the idea of covering the demise of the book launch party as counterprogramming to the Harry Potter hoopla. And so some guy got his first novel mentioned, and its book launch party covered, on NPR's Marketplace segment. His cousin spent $2,000 on it.

Do you think it’s true that every book used to get a book launch party? And more importantly, what good did they do? Two grand worth of good?

Read more here.

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