I never had time to talk about how the book release for Hunger went.
It was, I think, a success. These are small starts that I'm doing, with an intense focus, and I'm still figuring out the foundation for advancing the career of a modern writer, trying to figure out how to juggle all the social media networks between real-life meet-and-greets, and actually come to terms with the new reality that social media is part of real-life, it's an extension of it of sorts. What is done well on a small scale can certainly be escalated and go large, but I'm not quite ready for that. Ideally that will be when I've got a lot more time on my hands, back in Tbilisi, after my next book has been written...
The book launch saw at least thirty books sold, and everyone having a good time. We served trays of Georgian food, and I had several musicians playing through the night, keeping people entertained in-between readings and while I was busy selling books and signing them.
The venue was at a place called A Maze In Tchaiovna, which is a fun little underground bar/community center in Prague 6, full of nice and comfortable places to sit, so it was still good in that people were able to relax while they listened to the readings.
Lots of comfy places to sit
Checking out the book
Things that went well:
Musicians. This captivates the audience, keeps them there and interested, and allows you to chat with different people, sign books, and so on. Absolute necessity for any successful launch party. Though it might be more useful if I don't play at my own launch so that I could talk to more people...
Readings. People really, really enjoyed the readings. I've included on at the bottom of this post.
Food. We ordered tons of Georgian food. It was thematic too, since two of the short stories actually take place in Georgia.
food and merchandise
Things I wish I had thought of better:
Book ordering. Because CreateSpace changed their shipper from DHL to UPS iParcel, the packages came a lot later than I expected. Where I had got used to DHL sending things ASAP, I didn't realize iParcel would only send things at the last moment allowed. This ruined my original promotional activities, and many people got confused in this regard about ordering the book too.
Marketing. I had just gone on a week long trip before the event. I should have planned it out so I was here the week before so I could do a lot more blanket marketing, handing out flyers everywhere I went to everyone I talked to. Parties, coffee shops, bars, etc.
Social media marketing. I'm just now getting wind of the entirety of the social media world, so now understand the usefulness of using Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on for promoting events too, and not just Facebook.
Venue. It was perfect this time around, but next time I might think about a place where there's more room to stand up. A standing audience tends to be more engaged, or at least free to roam around and peruse books, meet others, and so on. This was an advantage when we held the How It Ends release at Zizkovsiska.
Raffle. The raffle for promotional items (t-shirts and beer mugs) has been a mixed review and I'm not sure yet if it's worth the trouble. In Georgia it was a hit and we made at least one hundred dollars off of it, well off-setting its cost, but it only garnered a mediocre response here in Prague. We'll see about doing this again next time, especially as I get more merchandise for sale at RedBubble and experiment with various product designs.
reading "Broken Furniture"
I plan on doing a couple of more parties for Hunger. One in Tbilisi in August and one again in Prague in the winter. Stay tuned and order your copy of Hunger today!