At the Writers’ Coffeehouse in November, we had an interesting discussion about book launches. Do authors expect attendees to buy the book at the launch? Are attendees in any way obligated to buy the book?
The published authors in our group all said that while they would certainly like everyone there to buy the book, they did not expect it. That expectation was unrealistic, they said, and turned the launch into a pressure-sell situation, which detracted from the enjoyment of the event and from genuine personal engagement with the attendees.
I was happy to hear that consensus because I have been to a bunch of launches—and I don’t always buy the book.
I feel guilty when I don’t.
The truth is, I can’t afford to buy all the books of all the authors I know. So I have to pick and choose—and I hate it. I would love to buy all my author friends’ books.
But for those of us on a tight budget who can’t buy the book that day, there are still many ways to support your author friends:
1) Attend the launch. The better turnout the author has, the more likely the bookstore will want them to come back and do another event sometime, since they have proven they can draw a crowd.
2) Social media the launch. I always post the launch of the book prior to the launch, to try and spread buzz beyond our group. I want everyone to know about my friends’ books.
3) Do a nice write-up after the launch. I will often write a blog post about the launch, or at the very least post on social media that I attended the launch of so-and-so’s book. Keep the buzz going.
4) Ask your library to purchase the book, if they haven’t already.
5) Recommend the book to any readers you know that might like it.
6) Put it on your “Want To Read” list on Goodreads. The more lists the book is on, the more visibility it has.
7) Ask friends or family to buy it for you as a present.
8) When you do finally read the book, review it on Goodreads and Amazon.
9) Attend other, non-launch, events the author does in your area. Again, the venue will be looking at turnout.
10) Tout those non-launch events on your social media platforms, to help spread the word.
Those are some ways I can help support my author friends when I can’t buy the book.
How about you? Do you expect attendees to buy your book at the launch? Do you have other suggestions for supporting your author friends even when you can’t buy the book?