Launch Party Planning ;-)

lanuch-partyIf you’re kind enough to read this blog regularly, then you’ll know that my next Joel Williams novel, Past Tense, is coming out on 1 November. If you haven’t launched a book before, then you might not know just how much is really involved in a successful launch event. Want to know? If you’ll ask your disbelief to go get a wine and some tapas, I’ll tell you all about it.  😉


Launch Party Planning


Margot is sitting in a white leather easy chair in her private room at Crime Fiction News Break headquarters. A manicurist is working on Margot’s outstretched right hand. Margot glances down at the work.

Margot: No, not crimson! It has to be coral! Coral! My nails absolutely must complement my hair and skin tones! Don’t you know anything?

The manicurist mumbles an apology and starts to re-do the work. Margot shakes her head in exasperation, and then turns towards the door as it opens. A young woman comes about halfway through the door.

Margot: Come in, Lily. Do you have the launch invitations back from the print shop?

Lily: Yes, Ma’am. I brought one in to show you. She holds out one of the invitations, and Margot takes it with her free hand.

Margot: What?!? This isn’t going to work at all! What were they thinking? Look (She holds up the invitation). There’s just a tiny picture of me on it. The whole thing is taken up with the book cover. Can you believe it? Thank God there’s still time to have them re-done.

Lily (hesitantly): But – well – it’s a book launch. Wouldn’t you want the book to be the main focus?

Margot: Of course not! People are coming to see me.

Lily: Well, yes, they are. But –

Margot: Look, Lily. You’ll learn this soon enough. People don’t read. They don’t care about books. What they want is showbiz. Style.

Lily (Opens her mouth slightly as if to say something, then thinks better of it.): Well, Crystal is here from the event planners. Maybe you can talk about it with her.

Margot nods and waves Lily away. The manicurist silently moves from Margot’s right to her left side. A moment later, the door opens again. A middle-aged woman carrying a tote bag enters.

Margot: Crystal! Thanks for coming in. I can’t wait to see what you’ve put together.

Crystal: I think you’ll like it. Now, I reserved the date at that winery you liked.

Margot: It is a beautiful little place isn’t it? But I don’t know if it’ll work.

Crystal: Why not? You loved it when we were there.

Margot: Well, it’s only on one floor. How am I supposed to make my entrance at this party if there’s no staircase?

Crystal (Raises an eyebrow, then reaches into her tote). We can talk about that later. For right now, I want to show you a sample flyer and bookmark. She pulls a bookmark out of the tote and hands it to Margot.

Margot: What’s this for?

Crystal: It’s a giveaway.

Margot: No, I mean what do you do with it?

Crystal: Well, you – never mind. Just trust me, your guests will like it.

Margot (Doubtfully): If you say so. What else do you have?

Crystal (Reaches into the tote again and pulls out a flyer. She hands that to Margot, who puts the bookmark on her lap and takes the flyer): Take a look at this great flyer I put together.

Margot (After turning the flyer over and then back again): This is all wrong!

Crystal (Trying to smother an exasperated sigh): What’s the problem?

Margot: Well, the book cover and the blurb take up one entire side. And there’s stuff about the event and the winery on the other. There’s only one small picture of me, and that’s just in one corner.

Crystal: But that’s the whole point of the event, Margot. The book. You want to let people know about the book, so they’ll come meet you and hopefully buy a copy.

Margot: Who cares about the book? Nobody reads books, and people who do read only do it so they’ll look smart. They won’t care what it’s actually about. Besides, you said they’ll also want to meet me.

Crystal: Well, yes, but mostly, they’ll be interested in the book. So you want to make that the focus. That’s why we’re putting a microphone in, so you can do a couple of readings.

Margot: Readings? You mean read from the book?

Crystal: Of course. We talked about this. Didn’t you pick out some passages you want to read?

Margot: Nah, too much like work. Besides, that would mean I’d have to actually read the thing.

Crystal: But you wrote it, didn’t you?

Margot: Well, yeah, but I didn’t pay any attention to it when I was writing it.  Besides, I thought that microphone was for me to tell people about myself.

Crystal: Um…no, it’s really not.

Margot (Beginning to look bored and fidget a bit). This doesn’t sound like nearly as much fun as I thought it was going to be. There is going to be food, right?

Crystal: Of course. I’ve got some ideas about that. I’m thinking a launch cake, some small appetizers, and of course, it’s a winery, so that’s covered. We’ll have coffee and tea, too.

Margot: Wait, what? No caviar? No white truffles? No lobster? I thought this was going to be catered.

Crystal (With a determined look on her face): You’re talking about things that are served at state dinners and other events like that. This is a book launch party.

Margot: You know, you’re right. Why don’t we toss the whole book concept completely and just make it a party? I don’t even remember anything about the stupid book, anyway. Instead of worrying about books, let’s have a real party – the exclusive event of the year. She gets a dreamy look on her face as she imagines the event.

Crystal shakes her head slightly and catches the manicurist looking at her sympathetically. She returns the glance and gathers her materials. She says a quick ‘good bye’ to Margot. As she leaves, she just catches Margot murmuring, ‘But what am I going to do about my hair?’


Filed under Uncategorized

47 responses to “Launch Party Planning ;-)

  1. Ha! I wish I’d read this before I organised my launch last week, Margot. I’d have changed my approach *completely*… 😛

  2. Ha ha ha ha! Excellent Margot. Glad I’m not the only one that goes about organising a book launch in this fashion! A winnery sounds gabby too. Wish I lived in California :-/ I shall have to raise a glass from my sofa for you 🙂

  3. Love the winery locale, LOL! If I were reading from my book, I’d wait for them to down a couple of glasses. *wink* Congrats on your new release, Margot! If you need another host stop (if you’re doing a blog tour to get the word out), just let me know!

    • Aww….thanks, K.B. 🙂 – And I love your idea of doing a reading after everyone’s had a couple of glasses. Smart strategy, sez I. The winery is one of the few ‘real’ things about this story, and I’m really looking forward to working with those folks. It’s a great place.

  4. But doesn’t everyone who is anyone organise their launch party this way? I would have expected nothing but the very best for our Margot!
    Sounds like fun – I really am looking forward to this!

  5. Reblogged this on e. michael helms and commented:
    Mystery writer/blogger “hoots” about her upcoming “book” launch!

  6. This is a hoot–thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. Wine and books, sounds lovely.

  8. Ring
    Hoff: Margot, its David Hasselhoff. You may know me better as “the Hoff”. I was calling as I heard you were concerned about your hair for a book launch party. Being as we are in the television business together I wanted to give you the benefit of my “hair” experience.
    Margot: Mr. Hasselhoff … er…. David …I .
    Hoff: The Hoff will be fine Margot.
    Margot: Okay, the Hoff …. er …. Hoff, thanks for the call.
    Hoff: Margot you are right to be concerned about your hair at any public event. When you are a star, as we are, there are certain standards expected of us.
    Margot: A star? Me?
    Hoff: Absolutely Margot. Now I expect you have noticed that I have spent a lot of time on hair issues and, dare I say it, acquired significant knowledge on hair for the stars.
    Margot: I have noticed your hair Hoff. It has always been striking.
    Hoff: Thank you Margot. When I was running across the sand in Baywatch I spent hours experimenting to get the right curl and the right length and just the right bounce.
    Margot: I can see you running Hoff.
    Hoff: Now I also had to deal with getting the chest hair right but you will only need my advice on head hair.
    Margot: You’re correct Hoff.
    Hoff: We are mature in age so we need to start with the right color. I have come to love the L’Oréal Superior Preference Medium Ash Brown. I believe it would be perfect for you as well.
    Margot: Whatever you say Hoff.
    Hoff: Now each of us has curls and I say flaunt them!
    Margot: I’m right with you Hoff!
    Hoff: I would say no tints or highlights. The color will produce a natural sheen.
    Margot: Yes Hoff. Yes.
    Hoff: Best of all I learned after my recent unfortunate financial issues that L’Oréal can be done at home.
    Margot: Even better Hoff.
    Hoff: And Margot, don’t ever let them consign your photo to a corner of the back cover. I just got a copy of Louise Penny’s new book and a photo of her is the whole back cover. You stand firm girl.
    Margot: I will Hoff. All the back cover is mine – mine –mine!
    Hoff: That’s the spirit. Good night Margot.
    Margot: Good night Hoff.

    • It’s so nice of the Hoff to give me a call! And his advice is absolutely stellar! One must always take one’s hair extremely seriously. He’s completely right about that. Look at how good his hair looked in Baywatch; you can’t get better than that. And it’s good to know that L’Oreal can work well at home (although I do usually insist on a personal stylist). And you know, he nailed it on that Louise Penny cover, too. I mean, really! If she can have a full-on ‘photo like that, I can. I really do appreciate his concern for something as important as hair. And I’d better do exactly what he says; you don’t hassle the Hoff!

      [Bill, this is spectacular! I laughed the whole way through, and you absolutely nailed the TV-star thing. Thank you for making my post better!]

  9. Col

    Margot – you’re such a diva! 🙂 You forgot to have someone strewing rose petals as you make your entrance, maybe it’s not too late?

  10. Very funny, Margot. I’d better not let Andrew see this as he’s launching Gunshine State next week and I don’t want him getting ideas 🙂

    I look forward to getting more details about the book and how your Oz fans can get hold of a copy.

    • Thanks, Angela 🙂 – And you know, if white truffles and rose petals help Andrew to spread the word about Gunshine State, I say go for it. 😉 – I hope he has a very successful launch. It’s a great read!

  11. Claire

    Hahaha this is brilliant! Best of luck with the launch – and I ‘m looking forward to having a read!

  12. That was a riot, Margot. I could see that making a reality show or being used in a soap opera with Susan Lucci. 🙂 A winery would be a great place to hold a book launch. Congratulations, on the new release. Wishing much success, my friend.

    Thoughts in Progress
    MC Book Tours

    • Thanks, Mason 🙂 – I’m so glad you enjoyed this. And you know, I can see what you mean about Susan Lucci. As for the winery, I’m actually really fortunate there. Our local winery is absolutely great, and they’re very nice people. I think it’s going to be a terrific choice of venue.

  13. Hahaha! That was hilarious! 🙂 Best of luck, Margot! 🙂

  14. Hahahahaha! I like the real Margot better. 😉 Good luck with your launch!

  15. Haha I like how you’ve set your standards at the right level Margot – only the very best 😊

  16. Keishon

    Haha that was good. Good luck with your launch!

  17. Nicely done, Margot! Good luck with your new Joel Williams novel. I hope you have a real blast launching the book.

  18. Margot to her Personal Stylist: ‘WHAT! You didn’t consult Clothes in Books about my launch gown? Surely you know she is the expert on the right frock for a book occasion. Now there won’t be enough time for the gold thread embroidery and sewing the sequins. [deep sigh]’

    Don’t worry Margot, I’ve got your back. The lace is being hand-made, the silk specially-spun, the hem measured just right for your hand-made Manolos when you make your entrance.

    Good luck with outfit, party, speech, gracious hostessing. Oh and of course with the – book was it? Something like that I believe…

    • Oh, thank you, Moira! It’s so wonderful that I can count on you. Can you believe that my stylist didn’t consult you sooner!? The utter incompetence of some people. Yikes! The dress sounds perfect, so thank you for that, too. So nice to know that I’ll have your expertise to help me look my absolute best. And how did you know I’d selected Manolos??

      Thanks for your good wishes, too. And yes, I think there’s something about a book in there. At least that’s what I heard. But I can’t be sure; I was trying out makeup shades at the time…

  19. kathyd

    Good wishes for the book launch and the success of Joel’s new case.
    From having been to a few book launches, I’d say a lot of wine or champagne and cheese and crackers should do it. But I’d also think chocolate almonds are a must!
    Can’t wait to read this book when it comes out in paperback.

What's your view? I'd love to hear it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s