I once met up with a friend to visit a store I wanted to describe in the novel I was writing at the time. It was dreadfully hot that day, so after I’d finished my research we b-lined for a quiet (and air conditioned!) pub on a random side street in Manhattan. As soon we’d ordered our drinks I looked around and thought to myself This would be a great spot to have my book launch party. I didn’t even know what the place was called, and it would be months and months before the book came out, but I just had a feeling about it. When I mentioned the idea to my friend, she said that she’d been there a couple times for going-away parties, and that the owners didn’t charge a fee for use of the back area.
I approached the bar and asked for a card. The bartender didn’t have one but handed me a matchbook, which I tucked into my purse for safekeeping.
Many first-time authors think launch parties have to cost a lot of money, but that hasn’t been the case for me. All I do is find a bar like the one above and ask the owner/manager for permission to bring in a bunch of people who will buy drinks while I sign books at a table in a corner. If the answer is yes, I’m good to go! It really is that simple. Of course it takes effort to get people to attend, but that’s my time I’m spending, not my money. (In my experience the most successful book marketing strategies take more time than money.) So keep your eyes open the next time you head out for a drink. You never know when you might stumble across the perfect location for your book launch party!