1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 — Book Parties Made Easy

December 12th, 2006 · 1 Comment
by Kassia Krozser

Dr. Sketchy's Cover About a month or so ago, we told a charming little story involving a bar, a girl, and a guest post. What you didn’t know (couldn’t know) was there was more to the story. It was through the girl (also known as Carolyn Turgeon) that we found the incredible artist and author, Molly Crabapple. That Molly also eats fire is just, in our rarely humble opinion, an added bonus.

Naturally, one thing lead to another, and while we’re busily engaged with Molly on a Top Secret Project (a full-time, if not more, proposition), we thought nothing of inviting her to write a guest essay on her tricks for book parties that are remembered long after the fizz is gone from the champagne. Molly’s new book (with John Leavitt), Dr. Sketchy’s Official Rainy Day Colouring Book, is creating quite the buzz in Circles of Influence. How could it not? At least one impartial source describes it as “…twice as good as James Joyce’s Ulysses — and three times as sexy.”

Thus with much less ado than normal, we bring you Molly’s timeless advice for the perfect book party. It’s written in helpful step-by-step mode, because, well, we think you’re supposed to be sipping a martini while doing the initial planning.

How to Have a Slamming Book Release Party

By Molly Crabapple

I love books. I love parties. But say “book release party” to most New Yorkers, and watch their eyes glaze opalescent as they plead other engagements.

So, how can your book party beat the odds — and not only make you money, but transform you into the glittering literary lion that Hollywood assures you you’ll be?

Add a pinch of media, a dollop of networking, and blend well with the power of the unexpected. And, if you don’t believe me, check out my own book launch, as covered by Fleshbot and GalleyCat.

Remember, I’m a broke college dropout. Think of how much better you can do.

  1. Impose upon your friends. As an author, you’re used to bugging your friends to edit your chapters and buy your book. One more obligation isn’t going to hurt. Get your friends to blog, talk, and write about your party as much as humanely possible. But don’t stop there! Mine your acquaintances, your friends’ acquaintances, and that drunk you met at the party last week. Think of what they can do for you, and what they have in terms of influence and connections. Then, offer them a free dinner if you can pick their brain (and their Blackberry.)

    Sepuculture Books Bonus Tip! Trade favors (sexual, if need be).

  2. Understand that, like entropy, all book parties tend toward failure. Work hard to make this otherwise. No one cares about your book unless you make them care. If you do not put all your will and time behind making your party a success, it will flop. So, start planning 3 months in advance, and leave nothing to chance.

  3. Use the power of the unexpected. I made my party a burlesque book release party, since my book, Dr. Sketchy’s Rainy Day Colouring Bookis filled with paper dolls inspired by burlesque girls. Now, in NYC, a burlesque show is nothing to write Gawker about. We’ve got 3 every night. But tassels seldom get twirled at book launches. My free girly show got my book launch in the media. So, use unexpected entertainment at your launch party — as long as it goes along with your book. Did you write The Gynecologist’s Third Opinion? Consider an onsite exam. Think outside the box!

    (Scott, the big cheese at Sepulculture Books, adds: “Don’t call it a book launch party. Call it Gyno-Show! A party for The Gynecologist’s Third Opinion!”)

  4. Pester every media outlet you can think of. Go to your local corporate chain bookstore. Plant yourself in front of the magazine rack and write down the address and editors of every magazine that might cover you. Now, Google the names of your bitter rivals. Where have they been reviewed, blogged, or feted? Those people should cover you. Take note of the event rags in your neighborhood. Send your event details to them three weeks in advance. However, working hard to promote does not mean annoying the media you hope to help you promote it — use your contacts, but don’t irritate them with multiple, long emails.

  5. Get celebrities (or at least scene celebrities) to participate in your event. If you are not good friends with them, you can accomplish this by paying them. They have bills just like anyone else. So find their websites and drop them emails. Nothing adds sparkle to your events like being able to say Dita Von Teese climbed out of a champagne glass for you.

  6. Be social, attend other related functions and network. Have snazzy postcards ready to hand out to everyone you meet. Solitude worked for the Unabomber, but he’s the exception. Get over your misanthropy, Salinger.

With these tips in mind, you should avoid the dismal wine and cheese purgatory that is a traditional book party. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Well, we certainly can’t add much more to that. Oh, except to note that Scott is not a female. You should know that before taking his advice. Otherwise, he’s a perfectly rational human being. And Molly’s work is just genius. We’re not just saying that because she’s a genius. It’s true.

[tags]Molly Crabapple, Dr. Sketchy’s Rainy Day Colouring Book, Dita Von Teese, publishing, Carolyn Turgeon, marketing, promotion, Sepulculture[/tags]

File Under: Marketing For Introverts

1 response so far ↓

  • nick // Dec 17, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    I’m always interested in these pages. I became interested in Molly and John’s book since “Molly’s new book (with John Leavitt), Dr. Sketchy’s Official Rainy Day Colouring Book, is creating quite the buzz in Circles of Influence.” So I tried to buy it on Amazon. It’s not there. I thought I’d check ipage or bookscan. Not there either. Might Molly and John require some way of getting their important book to market?