What to expect when you’re expecting a book: #2 The launch

Annabel Smith and I are writing a series on what to expect when your first book comes out – all those questions you’re too embarrassed to ask your publisher, answered here!

Part 2 is about the launch. Will your publisher throw you one? Do you even need one? What’s it going to cost and will you ever make it back in royalties?


Fabulous launch parties for which publishers foot the bill seem to be less and less common nowadays. When faced with covering the cost themselves, writers often ask ‘do I need to have a launch party?’ If your aim is to sell books, don’t bother with a launch: most of the people who come will probably buy your book anyway, and any money you make from sales will be eaten up by the costs of buying food and wine.

However, if you yearn for a book launch to celebrate your achievement, you should have one. For most writers, a book launch is the culmination of many years work. Some days, weeks or even months might have been uphill all the way. You may have collected a string of rejections along the road to publication. But here at last is the book! No longer a file on your computer but an actual object, made out of paper with words printed on it, for others to touch and maybe even read! Isn’t that worth celebrating?

In this post, Jane Rawson and I share our own launch experiences as part of our series on what we’ve learned about the period just before and after your book hits the shelves..

Read the rest of the guide to your launch on Annabel Smith’s blog 

And if you’d like to go back a step, read up on how to get blurbs.


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