How I Threw My First Book Launch Party

Get my jumpsuit here! 

Get my jumpsuit here


This past weekend I celebrated the release of my debut novel Dilemmas Of a Damsel (get your copy here), by hosting a Dilemmas, Damsels, and Drinks cocktail party. I'm happy to say that after much planning and preparation, my first book launch party was a success!

Coming into this, I didn't really know what to expect. All I was clear on was that I wanted my party to be reflective of my novel, but also my brand. I spent a lot of time working on this project (and launching this website), so to be able to celebrate with my family and friends felt great. 

Dilemmas Of a Damsel

I'm new to all of this, so it was definitely a learning experience. But being that it was my first event, I think things went very well. Here's how I planned my first book launch party...

1. Set the Budget

Since this is indeed my first release and that I'm self-published, I don't have publishers knocking on my door (yet...). So I knew going in that I would have to fund this party 100% on my own, after all it's an investment and I am confident that it will soon pay off.  I did some research and came up with an amount I was comfortable with spending and started from there.

2. Choose a Venue

Now I'll admit - this part gave me anxiety! I found it a bit challenging to find a venue that would be accommodating, affordable and compliment my novel. Luckily for me - I have an amazing best friend that offered me her place to use. It was perfect! Not only because it was free, the layout and was everything I was looking for. The space intimate, welcoming, stylish, and the location complimented my novel's storyline as well!

3. Pick a Theme

DilemmasDamsels&Drinks

The book's main character Jade is a go-getter, with great style that loves a good cocktail. I wanted to host a party that she herself would enjoy. Also, when I picture my readers, I picture them reading my work while enjoying a drink, and super comfortable in their element. In addition - who doesn't love tasty cocktails and great conversation?!  I settled on a cocktail party theme with just a touch of glam. I truly feel that it captured the essence of my novel. 

4. Set a Menu

Being that this was a cocktail party, I wanted to keep the menu light. I opted to serve easy to eat appetizers and snacks that my guests could eat while socializing. I was able to link up with an amazing caterer (Check out her website here), I've been to plenty of gatherings that had her food and knew that I wouldn't be disappointed. For the bar, once again my AMAZING best friend came through! She's a former bartender and knows her shit when it comes to making drinks. We decided to create cocktails that represented the novel's main characters. It was a fun way to share the book with my guests and allow them to get to know my characters and their personalities a little better. As far as desserts, who doesn't love a dessert table? I tried to keep things cute and in line with my theme. In doing so I was able to save some money with some DIY snacks like Rose' and Moscato gummy bears, and vodka infused chocolate covered strawberries. 

5. Entertainment/Social Media

I kept this pretty basic because I really wanted everyone to be comfortable and have a good time. I opted out of having a DJ/performer and settled on creating a playlist on Tidal. I chose songs that lightened the mood, and would be easy on the ears. As far as photography goes, I was able to hire a local photographer to capture all the highlights. I also ordered a sick backdrop that included my logo and website (can't forget to market myself) and thought it would be fun to take photos with my guests. In addition to that, I wanted to make sure that I was able to market my book with guest participation, so I created a custom Snapchat filter and hashtag (#DilemmasDamselsandDrinks) that I encouraged my guests to use when sharing pictures.

6. Promote My Novel

My novel was the main attraction, so I made sure to have plenty of copies ready for purchase and on display. I thought it would be a nice touch to incorporate excerpts from the book and have them printed and placed on cocktail tables throughout the party. I felt and gave my guests a chance to get to know the characters and their stories. 

All in all, I feel that my party was a great success. I'm so thankful to my sisters and girlfriends because they helped me so much along the way. I learned a lot throughout the process and I already have ideas for my next book launch party! Here are some more pictures from my event, I hope you guys like them! Be sure to grab a copy of my novel, I promise you won't be disappointed!