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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Ricki June 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! How exciting for you–and what a wonderful feeling to have your book published! It looks beautiful. And I bet your mum would be incredibly proud! :)

LaPerle June 30, 2009 at 8:56 am

Hello Jules,
I would like to send my warmest congratulations to you on this very exciting day! I am a big fan of yours- I love your site, the recipes you share with us and the way you write.
I hope that your book will be available in Canada soon!
Continue doing what you do best!

jules June 30, 2009 at 9:28 am

thanks ricci

la perle
thanks so much for your wishes. If you’d like to pick up a copy just go to the online bookstore link in the side bar – I can ship to Canada.

Millie June 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm

A really momentous occasion Jules! Congratulations on achieving your dream & honouring your Mum in such a wonderful way. I’m so looking forward to seeing the book sitting in my letter box here in the Adelaide Hills soon.
Millie ^_^

Zoe July 1, 2009 at 12:26 am

I’m so glad you had a succesful day. I’d have come up from Canberra but it was my birthday and I was sick as a dog.

And judging from your photo, there’s a point number 11 – take a Sharpie for autographs.

kathryn July 1, 2009 at 11:52 am

Well done Jules, must be incredibly satisfying. Now your Sydney shin-dig, are you after RSVPs or no?

jules July 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm

hi millie
it’s in the mail! very exciting

bummer you were sick on your bday – hope you’re feeling better.
good point about the sharpie – don’t know what i’d do with out it ;)

thanks kathryn
it is it is. but a little scary as well
no need to rsvp but really hope to see you there!

FreshInk July 1, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Been following ur blog for quite awhile. Love ur site. Congrats on the book launch!!

Trisha July 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Congratulations Jules and will definitely see you on the Kampai stall this Sunday!

Patricia Scarpin July 2, 2009 at 12:16 am

Congratulations, Jules! You deserve all the success.
I don’t have my mom around either and I kind of know how you feel. I’m sure she is proud of you.

Em July 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm

When I read this, I shed a tear, and offered a quite prayer for your mum Clance, she must have been so proud up there! Big hugs from all of us here in Orange.

Em July 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm

ps just got my book, love, love, love it!

jules July 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

thanks freshink – and big thankyou for commenting -really love to hear from my readers

yay trisha – really looking forward to it.

thanks patricia
It’s lovely to know that other people know how it feels

you are a star! so glad the book arrived safely.

julia July 3, 2009 at 10:04 am

Incrredible! Massive conhratulations! What a beautiful. Present to your mum.

When the London publishers come calling, I’ll help you with the London launch. Good on you!

Chris Widmer July 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Dear Jules,

Congratulation to the launch of your fantastic CookBook! I know it means a lot to you. I need to get one copy and informed my boss who is currently on a vacation Down Under to fetch one or two. I really love your stories and images; unfortunately your Blog is half way blocked here in the UAE, meaning we can’t view the images unless we hide the IP address.

Well done and my Best Regards from Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Nika January 17, 2010 at 5:17 am

Hello Jules, congratulations on your book launch.

I am writing because I really appreciate your 10 steps on hosting a book launch.
I have never been to a book launch either and it will be our first time hosting a book launch. My brother is a chef and I think he would really like your cookbook so I’ll go ahead and purchase one for him. My husband Robert Chambers is a musician and teacher his website is included feel free to check him out. I hope to have him play to entertain our guests.

Well, take care and all the best to you for 2010.

All the best for 2010.

Nika January 17, 2010 at 5:22 am

Hello Jules, congratulations on your book launch.

I am writing because I really appreciate your 10 steps on hosting a book launch.
I have never been to a book launch either and it will be our first time hosting one. My brother is a chef and I think he would really like your cookbook so I’ll go ahead and purchase one for him but I have to set up a paypal account first since I do not have one. My husband Robert Chambers is a musician and teacher his website is included feel free to check him out. I hope to have him play to entertain our guests.

Well, take care and all the best to you for 2010.

jules January 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Thanks Nika
Good luck with your book launch. Am sure it will go really well. I ended up having a heap of fun with mine.
All the best for 2010 for you too

Rebecca Bloomer August 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Thanks for this. I’m about to host my first solo book launch and want to be sure I have at least half a clue about what I’m doing. It looks like I’ve got nearly everything covered!

samuel nana bempong January 13, 2011 at 7:33 am

am very to read ur tips for launching a book.i have picked something from it which i believe it will help also launching a book in 2 months time in Ghana.more grease to ur elbow. Regards

nana bempong January 13, 2011 at 7:38 am

am very to read your tips for launching a book.i have picked something a lot which i believe will help me in my book launch which comes off in two months time in Ghana.more grease to your elbow. Regards

John P. Matthew December 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Nice to read about how to organise a book launch :)

Jeff January 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm


My book on Food Safety was published in the US in Nov. 2010. I would like to lauch it in Ontario Canada. Can you give me ideas on how to go about it with a limited expense?



jules January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hi Jeff
Congrats on your book!
I’m afraid I don’t have much to add from the steps above.. that’s all you need really.
All the best

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