Before we get too far into this post, I want to take a second to thank you for your patience. I postponed this Q&A as a result of scheduling and other factors, but we’re here now and I am excited.
It’s also worth noting that this coincides with the blog crossing fifty followers here on WordPress. I am so grateful for everyone who has checked out my posts, especially those who come back for more.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff!
This question was sent in via Facebook:
“Describe your ultimate launch party for your debut book.” — Ally
For this one, I’m focusing on my ultimate launch party for Bound to the Heart, since I’m planning to publish that one first (I would also want to throw a launch party to commemorate the release of Guises to Keep since I have been working on it since I was about fourteen and finally publishing it would be most certainly warrant its own celebration).
When I think about what my ultimate release party would entail, my first thought is the guest list. Being able to celebrate with family and friends is essential to me. They’ve been my support for so long already it wouldn’t feel right to celebrate without them by my side. The perfect conditions would be include friends coming from out of state crashing at my place just to make sure they can attend without worry and really enjoy themselves.
I would also extend the invitation to those who played a role in Bound to the Heart’s publication, like my agent and editor. It’s a journey that would not have been possible without them.
I see there being some dancing at this event. I was member of my college’s radio station all four years I was a student and DJed a couple of gigs in my day, but I wouldn’t put myself in the position of manning the equipment this time around. I would, however, likely put a playlist together well in advance.
If you know anything about me, you know this playlist would include selections from 5 Seconds of Summer, Sheppard, Jesse McCartney, Avril Lavigne, and pretty much every 90s boy band you can think of, as well as general crowd favorites and celebratory tracks (“Just Getting Started” by Hawk Nelson comes to mind). I would also make a point to add group dances like the Cha-Cha Slide or the Macarena for folks like me who can’t dance.
Additionally, I’d include some tracks that act as inside jokes with guests.
Part of me wants to walk into the room to something like Panic! at the Disco’s “High Hopes,” but I don’t know if that would be a step too far. It’s not the WWE.
If I were to assign a color scheme to this party the way I would a wedding, I would try to coordinate it with the book cover because I would want to have a poster on display somewhere. I would probably look to rent a hall or ballroom for the evening so I would want to make sure the decorations are easy enough to put up and take down (so probably no confetti or glitter because I don’t want to worry about cleaning that up).
If possible, I would want to go with a semi-formal dress for this occasion. Something like this doesn’t feel like a time to wear jeans and a T-shirt. Bonus points if my outfit also shares the color scheme of my book cover. This also feels like an event I would want to have my makeup and hair done professionally for, just because.
Another essential part of any party is the food. H’orderves would definitely include stuffed mushrooms, and I would hope to convince my cousin to make a few batches of bacon-wrapped stuffing.
I think the best arrangement for dinner would be a buffet. Pasta is a must, and I would want to have a few dishes available in terms of the main course including chicken and beef and a vegetarian option.
I like the idea of creating cocktails honoring my protagonists. Zach’s would have a brandy base while Eve’s would be a little on the sweet and fruity side, perhaps a variation on a Cosmopolitan or Sex on the Beach.
For dessert, I would love to follow the trend of having my book cover printed onto a cake/tray of cupcakes, or better yet get a cake made to look like a book. I’m personally a fan of red velvet or chocolate.
I am also a cheesecake fanatic, so that could be an option as well.
Another thing I would want to have would be a couple of games. First would be one where people could write in their answers, like a fill-in-the-blank trivia game. Eg:
What college did Avril attend?
In Bound to the Heart, what is Zach’s last name?
How many times has Avril seen 5 Seconds of Summer in concert?
Eve’s favorite book is titled The Cahow. What is a cahow?
And then whoever has the most correct answers wins a prize (a tie could result in a lightning round with increasingly challenging questions).
I would also want to do a game like those that get played at bridal showers where a gift basket gets passed around for a bit (pass the basket to someone wearing blue/the person whose birthday is closest to Bound to the Heart’s release day/someone whose name starts with a vowel/someone who has a brother).
And lastly, I would absolutely want to play at least one round of musical chairs, at which point I would want to get behind the DJ table with a trigger-finger on the play/pause button. I just love musical chairs and haven’t played since field day in high school.
For prizes, I would consider a small gift basket featuring a signed copy of Bound to the Heart, tea and cocoa mix of interesting varieties, a mug with my book cover printed on it, some nice cookies, and a gift card to a local independent bookshop. Everything you need for a cozy night of reading!
While these would be specifically for the winners, I wouldn’t want anyone to leave empty-handed. I would be sure to have party favors at the ready. These would be smaller than the prize baskets and contain things like Bound to the Heart bookmarks, goodie bags of customized M&Ms or jellybeans with flavors that tie into the book, and maybe a pen or something. I want to make sure these favors are things people will use and enjoy.
Weirdly enough, thinking about hosting a release party is a great source of motivation. You can’t host a release party for a book that isn’t ready for the world to read!
I’m sure these plans will change in the future, so it will be interesting to look back on this post and compare it to what happens down the road (I’m sure I’ll post about the occasion).
Because I am absolutely throwing myself a release party when the day comes.
Thank you to everyone who sent in a question and participated in this post!