I have taken the last month or so off from blogging and tweeting and Facebooking in an effort to remain sane while I finished Book 2 of the No Safety in Numbers trilogy. I am so excited about Book 2! It’s called No Easy Way Out. I hope you like it.

I am about to embark on the last round of revisions for the book, and so before I do that, I wanted to get in a blog or two. And I thought that I would blog about something practical and writer-y: the book launch party.

I did not quite understand when I started this whole writing adventure that there would be all this marketing stuff to do on the other side of finishing the book, but I’ve found that I actually like doing it. And I think my most favorite thing I’ve done is my book launch party for No Safety in Numbers.

I like throwing parties. I like planning food, I like themes, I like decorations and favors. A book launch party combines all of these things. I hunted around on the internet for ideas of what to do for a launch event and found that most people did the same things: a snack item, preferably one that related in some way to the book; a give-away item, again, one that related to the book; and a short talk or reading for the event itself.

I was lucky enough to have a local bookstore offer to host a launch event for No Safety in Numbers. This simplified all of the practical parts of the launch: books being there, being able to sell them, a place for the launch to happen that wasn’t my house. The Flying Pig Bookstore has an awesome loft space for book events, complete with seating and signing space. I was able to have a table for all my goodies plus copies of both No Safety and the Dogs of the Drowned City books. It was pretty much the perfect place to have a launch!

So what did I bring to the table? Well, first, I’ll talk about the snacks. I love cupcakes, as one might be able to tell from the fact that I have a whole page of this site devoted to the proper way of eating them 🙂 So I knew that my snack would be cupcakes. In terms of what cupcakes to make, I took my cue from the cover of No Safety. I chose dark chocolate cake and white icing that I dyed yelled with food coloring. I found black cupcake papers! For the biohazard symbol, I discovered the most amazing development in cake decorating since the squeeze-thing you make roses with: edible spray paint. I cut a rudimentary biohazard symbol out of cardboard and then spray painted it onto each cupcake. It was a bit time consuming–the biohazard symbol is not an easy one to cut out with scissors (if only I owned an exact-o knife! If only I knew how to use an exact-o knife!) and the spray paint pooled on the cardboard so I had to keep wiping it off so it wouldn’t drip–but I was super happy with the results. And they were yummy.

In terms of a give-away, I made up bookmarks for No Safety and the Dogs series. I used printrunner.com. They had a great online design platform that I found super easy to use and were pretty cheap. And I think the bookmarks came out pretty cool. I left them on the table at the event, and also left some at the Flying Pig, which they have graciously kept by their registers.

I also made some fun hand-outs. Penguin’s marketing department had come up with the most awesome promotional idea to send out with the galleys for No Safety. They stuck labels with the book’s cover on bottles of hand sanitizer and sent those plus a face mask to certain accounts. I decided not to mess with genius and copied them.

I bought bottles of hand sanitizer and a package of face masks at the dollar store. I took a jpeg of the cover image and printed it onto mailing labels, which a friend and I cut out and stuck on the bottles. At the event, I arranged them on the table in a biohazard symbol formation. Awesomeness!

For the event program itself, I made a short Keynote presentation about how I came up with the idea for the book and showed the book trailer. Alas, there were some technical difficulties, so I ended up just speaking a little about the book and jumping into a reading of the first chapter. I chose the first chapter in part because it’s the first thing, but also because it is short and action-packed and serves as a good introduction to the work. After that, I opened the floor to questions. Luckily, people had questions and I got to talk about all sorts of things like my process and some of the research I did for the series and what it’s like working with editors.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support me! Super-duper thanks to the Flying Pig for hosting! And thank you to Josie Leavitt for taking pictures of the event, as I completely spaced and took none! If you want signed copies of any of my books, just order them from the Flying Pig!

What I’m reading: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (It’s LOOOOOOOONG, but worth it)

What I’m watching: Frasier (Don’t judge, people. The show is awesome.)

What I’m listening to: “Just Say Yes,” by Snow Patrol. (I’m open to new music suggestions, if you’re offering:)

6 Responses to “My Book Launch Party: A How-to”

  1. Eric

    Wow… I just finished “No Safety in Numbers” and let me tell you how great of a book it was! I devoured it in two days. I work at a bookstore and will DEFINITELY be recommending this one. The writing style I think really appealed to the YA audience, while the deep plot kept me on my toes. I’m really looking forward to book two and reading some of your other titles. Bravo Dayna!!!

  2. emma neary

    Hey do have any ideas for party favors or giveaways for a book launch party?? And where did you get the hand sanitizer??


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