how to host a book launch in ten easy steps

Well friends, today is a big big day in my world. Firstly, 29th June would have been my Mum’s birthday. So it’s always a special day when my sisters and brother think about Mum a lot. This year she’s on my mind even more than usual because it’s also the official launch date of my book of her recipes.

Yeah, I know. I can hardly believe it – but as of today I am officially a published author.  Wow.

Leading up to today, I wasn’t really sure just how it would feel. Excited – definitely. A little nervous for sure. But today I’m on even more of a buzz than I thought I would be. You see, over the weekend I had my first ever book launch. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like the well wishes of family and friends, especially friends of my Mum’s to get a book launch off to a good start. A big big THANKYOU to everyone who came along made it such a brilliant event.

Now I know I’m making is sound like I throw book launches all the time, but this was in fact not only the first book launch I have hosted. It was also the first I had ever been to. So I thought this week I’d share my learnings so if you ever are lucky enough to be launching a book you’ll be all over it.

how to host a book launch in 10 easy steps.

i. Decide on a theme
It’s really about letting the style of your book dictate the vibe of your launch. Given that my book is a collection of my Mum’s recipes, a cosy afternoon tea that would enable me to showcase a few of her treasures seemed like an easy choice.

ii. Choose a date & time
Pretty self explanatory.

iii. Find a venue
You’ll need to take into consideration your theme and the approximate number of guests for this one. The local cafe in the town where I grew up was first choice for my afternoon tea. The fact that it is owned by my brother’s girlfriend was an added bonus.  For the city crowd, however I thought a casual drink on a Sunday afternoon would be more in order.

iv. Design & send out invitations to everyone you know
Another no brainer but don’t underestimate the power of an individual invitation rather than a notice in the local paper. From experience over 80% of the people who attended my launch were from a direct invitation from me or a forwarded one from people I had targeted.

v. Put an ad in the local newsletter / paper
Local media can be such a great way to target people whose contact details you may not have.

vi. Write a media release & send to the local press
This may or may not get you some publicity but the bonus I found was that there were many requests for a short article and some photos to publish after the event.

vii. Bribe your boyfriend and family to help
I feel very blessed to have a large family of willing helpers. From my sisters Naomi and Kate who did a splendid job of looking after sales, in spite of reception issues with our mobile electronic banking facilities. To my sister Sas who brought plenty of moral support and my adorable nephew Jack. To Naomi’s fiance Joel who proved himself to be a very adept events photographer. To my Irishman who took care of many behind the scenes details, while still finding time to share some of his gaelic charm.

viii. Pickup your books
I like to work on ‘just in time’ for most things in life and I thought I was being incredibly organised asking for my books to be delivered the Monday before the event. If only the printer had understood my request life would have been much calmer and saved me a friday afternoon trip to Wetherill Park to pick up the books en route. Next time I’ll allow some more fat.

ix. Bake some scones & caramel slice
Lucky for me, Rea the owner of the Merino Cafe was cool for me to bring my own food to showcase some recipes. There’s nothing like delicious edible samples to bring a recipe to life.

x. Greet your guests and have some fun
To be honest I had a ball. It was great fun catching up with family and friends and family friends. Any excuse to get together should be made the most of. And don’t forget to get out your best book signing pen.
The stonesoup word and pictures online bookshop is now open and ready for your order. Alternatively you could swing by the Merino Cafe in Gunning or the Gunning Newsagent to pick up your copy of ‘and the love is free’ – the story of an amazing Mum told through her family recipes.

For Sydneysiders I’d like to extend an invitation to join me for my Sydney launch. Would love to see you and your friends there.


Pick up a copy of my new cookbook ‘and the love is free’ by clicking HERE.

The perfect gift for beginner cooks looking to master the basics.
A lovely way to celebrate the mums who bring so much joy to our lives.

available exclusively through stonesoup

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