When my writers’ group put together an anthology recently we planned a launch for the beginning of March. We:
- Ordered extra copies
- Booked a table in a local bookshop (who put the date in their Facebook calendar)
- Talked about it on our own blogs, Facebook Twitter etc.
- Mentioned it (more than once) to friends
- Organised a press release
- Had a slot on local radio
- Put the date in our own diaries to make sure we turned up to do our stint on the sales.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, the weather could! On the Friday it snowed. And snowed …
By Saturday morning roads were impassable so the bookshop owner couldn’t get in to open his shop, and most of us couldn’t get there anyway for the same reason. All that could be done was to ask the radio to mention the event was cancelled.
At the next meeting, we decided to hold another launch at the end of May. After all we still had the stock of books, and boxes of sweets, we had ordered for the original date. We dutifully put the date in our personal diaries. Job done.
Except it wasn’t of course – we didn’t double check it was in the bookshop diary until the last minute (it wasn’t, but as the date was free we could still go ahead, minus their advance publicity). No one thought to notify the local press and radio, and I wasn’t the only one who didn’t do any promotion via Twitter, blog and Facebook.
As a result we spent a pleasant hour chatting to each other, eating all the promotional chocolates, and selling one anthology to a friend of mine who’d wandered in for a slice of the truly delicious home-made cake sold at the bookshop, and felt sorry for us.
Maybe we wouldn’t have sold out if the event had gone ahead in March as planned and promoted. But we’ve learnt a few things about the consequences of not doing the preparation properly from our May effort.
However, better late than never. If you’re tempted to buy a copy of this gently humorous anthology, Stories to Make You Smile, here is my link. It is an enjoyable read, ideal for lazy summer days on the garden lounger – and I’m not just saying that because mine is the first story you come to.
PS: If you have any good ideas for making a launch go with a bang (and some good sales), please share.