Book Release Party: Let’s start worrying about it now

In my eternal quest not to work on writing in any way, shape, or form for the duration of the month of November, I found myself thinking about my book release party for Anything You Ask of Me, which will one day happen.  It’s not scheduled to happen anytime soon.  But, you know.  No time like the present.

It’s probably good to start debating these things now because, look, I have no idea what goes into a book release party.  To date, I’ve planned one major party (a surprise 30th wedding anniversary party for my parents) and two minor parties (first birthday parties for The Rowdy Boys).  I’m fairly sure planning a book release party is not going to be like this.  Well, unless it is.  I may not have planned many parties, but I’ve been to a couple (such as my sweet sixteen party, my graduation party, and my wedding reception).

So, I turned to the knower of all things, Google, for help figuring out what goes into a book release party.  Here’s what my rapid fire search/clicking on the first respectable looking link determined goes into a book release party:


Obviously.  It has to take place somewhere.  If I stick with the suggested “hold it in a place that has to do with the content of your book” theme, it would be in:

  • The funeral home I designed the main character’s house after (I’m sorry, but that would be awesome)
  • Gettysburg (aaahhh, the potential)
  • Antietam (how do you all feel about standing in a cornfield?)
  • A Civil War reenactment/Baltimore Light Artillery demonstration (this would require a book release during the reenacting season…..and since we don’t reenact infantry anymore, it’s going to be tricky to just show up at a mainstream event just to party.  But we’d be popular)
  • A bookstore (“here’s a copy of the book I’ve written”)
  • A museum (a museum bookstore?)

So, basically, we’re looking at a round of drinks in a field outside of Gettysburg.  That sounds completely legit.


The article encourages the launcher to play up the theme of the book.  Guys.  I’m not dressing up in my reenacting dress (unless it’s at a reenactment!) and chasing after a guy dressed like Jeb Stuart (although…..).

I will say, however, that at our wedding reception, instead of giving the tables names like “Table One” or “Table Two,” we named them after Civil War battles, wrote out Civil War trivia for each table, and had blue and gray army figures on the tables for guests to enjoy.  “Why, yes, Grandma Betty, you’re at Table Gettysburg.  You may commence the assault of Little Round Top.”

We can completely disregard theme if location is awesome enough.  Otherwise, we’re still standing in a field somewhere doing shots.  This isn’t boding well.

Speech!  Speech!

People didn’t just show up for free drinks and witty repartee.  In theory, they came because the author is awesome.  Though, honestly, I’ll probably be showing up for free drinks and witty repartee.  That’s basically why I showed up to my college graduation, right?  Because, look, I couldn’t tell you who spoke to our graduating class.  He had something to do with education?  Maybe?

Anyway, so, I’m not really sure what kind of speech I’d give.  Here’s what I won’t do: I’m not going to read out loud.  I am a terrible “reader out-louder.”  I read fast.  I stumble.  I forget to enunciate well.  So, no, no that just spells out awkwardness and embarrassment.  Let’s learn to dance the Virginia Reel and talk about how much we don’t like General Custer.  I’ll sign your book.


Welcome to The Rambling Jour.

Okay, so, a release party in Gettysburg would be fantastic.  The reality of the matter looks less like Gettysburg and more like the McDonald’s in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where I had my fifth birthday party.  But we’ve got time.  At least now I have specific things to worry about, instead of blanket terror.  This is progress.

Speaking of progress, I submitted my recently written short story to a writing contest over the weekend.  Yeah!  This brings my tally of writing contests I’ve entered to the staggering total of two.  Yes.  Results will be out on December 7, so I’ll keep you guys posted.  If I win (the thought!), it will be available to read online.  And, frankly, I think it’s probably some of my best writing.

Shameless self promotion over.

So, yeah, there’s a lot to do with book publishing.  Parties to plan, peer reviews to try to secure without sounding a) desperate or b) psychotic, and maybe, just maybe, write something new.  Ha!  I haven’t worked on Random Contemporary since Friday.  Take that National Novel Writing Month.  Take.  That.



  1. Wherever you decide to hold your book release party, I’m sure it will be a great success! Have you had any luck finding someone who will do a peer review? I know another approachable historical author…

    1. I chickened out this weekend and haven’t contacted anyone yet. I read an article on a good way to approach authors about it…but that’s as far as I got. The thought of it petrifies me, which is random, and I probably need to learn to get over that–fast.

      What kind of book release parties did you do? Honestly, I should have written my book a few years ago and had my party during the Gettysburg 150th. That was my moment in media spotlight!

      1. The only book release thing I did was go on a blog tour. That’s all though because I’m the reclusive type.

        My co-workers threw a surprise congratulatory party for me in which we had a blue frosted cake with my book cover image on it. It was great fun because we all looked like we’d just eaten a smurf!

      2. I’m prepared to eat mass quantities of cake throughout this process. Actually…I have!

        I figure, for my release “whatever” I can at least lure some friends to my house with the promise of food. Raise a cupcake in my honor!

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