Launch PartAY!/Some things I've learned...

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Launch PartAY!/Some things I've learned...

Postby Ryan » 30 Oct 2011, 14:05

Anyone here ever organize a launch party? Any advice? My wife and I are beginning to organize for a December 3rd party.
Last edited by Ryan on 30 Nov 2011, 10:56, edited 1 time in total.
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/
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Re: Launch PartAY! Advice?/Press Releases?

Postby Ryan » 03 Nov 2011, 08:49

FYI
Writing a Press Release isn't as bad as a Query or Proposal but it still fits firmly in the This Sucks category.

Exciting to be at this point but it's a whole different kind of writing that I'm not used.
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/
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Re: Launch PartAY! Advice?/Press Releases?

Postby cheekychook » 03 Nov 2011, 13:52

I have no advice to offer you about a launch party---never had to organize one and never attended one. I'd love to hear updates as you plan yours, though, so keep us posted. Best of luck with the planning!
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Re: Launch PartAY! Advice?/Press Releases?

Postby Susan Quinn » 04 Nov 2011, 16:07

Hi!

I just launched my latest novel Open Minds, and threw a launch party to celebrate and spread the word. Not only was the party very successful, I've gotten positive feedback from people who participated about how it was set up. I'd be happy to answer questions, but you can see here basically what I did:

Announce the Party 4 wks out: sign up people to participate by 1) writing a #keepingOpenMinds post, 2) getting an e-ARC for review, and 3) having me guest post
Announce a giveaway of paper ARCS 2 wks out
The Virtual Party Itself: over 40 blogs participating; fun had by all; prizes handed out for participation

Best of luck with your launch!
Sue
p.s. I also signed up a bunch of book bloggers for reviews, but that's a separate deal.
Susan Kaye Quinn (young adult and middle grade author)
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Re: Launch PartAY! Advice?/Press Releases?

Postby Ryan » 05 Nov 2011, 07:26

Thanks Susan. All kinds of great info and energy on your site.
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/
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Re: Launch PartAY! Advice?/Press Releases?

Postby Mira » 06 Nov 2011, 10:06

I also don't have any advice, but I wanted to weigh in and say congratulations and good luck! Pretty excting! :D
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Re: Launch PartAY!

Postby Ryan » 10 Nov 2011, 12:09

Thanks Mira. Things are moving along. Just sent a few press releases and pitches out to newspapers and am drumming up names of friends of friends of friends....

My old locker partner from 8th grade moved out this way and found me on Facebook. Turns out he used to help produce This American Life so hopefully he has in with OPB here in Portland. Facebook can be useful!

I'm also designing some promo postcards and will be utilizing the latest and greatest with the QR Codes. QR codes are those little square boxes that you scan with a smartphone that will take you directly to website. You can get one free here-- http://delivr.com/. I didn't think of it until after I submitted the latest proof to the printer otherwise I would have put the code on the back of the book too. Sort of cool because if the user has their "location" activated on their phones then you can see where you are getting the hits from.

I like the idea of throwing a virtual launch party too. Susan (from above) had some great stuff on her site. I might do that in the New Year in between diaper changes.

Anyways...yeah...it's cool...but it doesn't seem like I have time to be excited with work-work, my own basement remodel, a very pregnant wife, and a 19 month old Boss calling the shots.

If any of you are in Portland, OR drop in and say hello on December 3rd!
Launch party info: http://www.withoutrain.com/blog/launch-party/
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/
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Re: Launch PartAY! Advice?/Press Releases?

Postby Nicole R » 10 Nov 2011, 20:41

Ryan,

First of all, congrats! That's awesome, man!

I also do PR for my day job, so I write press releases all the time. The key is to put the most important info up front, make it relevant to the media (ie: local ties or events, review opportunities, etc.) and try to keep it to about a page. You'll also want to make sure you have a really good media list and that you're targeting the right folks. I'm not sure what type of media you're sending to, but if you can't find a specific Book Review Editor, you usually want the managing editor for the art/lifestyle section. Keep in mind that public radio and TV are also great media opportunities, as well as your college alumni magazine (seriously, they are ALWAYS hungry to hear about an alumni doing something cool).

You might want to see if you can connect with a freelance PR person locally to get a bit of specific advice for your area. There's a very awesome software program called Cision that lets you search contact info for all reporters in the US. It's pretty expensive, but you might get lucky and be able to mooch off a local freelancer or agency who already subscribes.

Good luck!
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Re: Launch PartAY!/Some things I've learned...

Postby Ryan » 01 Dec 2011, 14:00

Just a few days until the Launch Party. Here are a few things I've learned over the past few weeks.

People are stoked that the party is at a bar and on the weekend. Bourbon and a fireplace makes everything better.
Writing Press Releases sucks.
Sending out Press Releases sucks even more because it brings back the ol' Query roller coaster of emotions.
Press Releases are sort of old school. If you can get a hold of direct emails then writing a call to action or a direct pitch to someone is better. Basically you need to tell them exactly why they should care, why would it make good "news?" I pitched the multimedia angle heavily as well as the Do It Yourself factor and the fact that Be the Match (National Marrow Registry) gave me authorization to use their logos as needed.
When using a QR code make sure you don't scale them down too much to scan. And make sure to choose the setting "Keep hard edges" in Photoshop so they keep the detail needed for phones to read them.
If using a QR code, make sure to create a specific destination page. Keep it simple. Most homepages have too much info for a QR code destination.

I got one bite from the media and it's a good one. KATU (ABC here in Portland) said they'd love to have me on the A:M Northwest Morning Show in January. They were all booked up for December. Squuueee! :)

If any of you are in Portland then drop on by on Saturday night. The whole team that helped me will be there. Editor, book designer, ebook designer, website designer, etc.

Thanks for the kind words and advice. I've barely had to time to be excited but it's creeping in...

Details -- http://www.withoutrain.com/blog/launch-party/
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/
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