How important is a convention book launch? I have no idea at all.
Certainly, a party is great idea. It is a celebration of a legitimate milestone. You wrote the book. The book got published. That’s a big deal. Let’s have some beer-cake and love that you wrote a book. You’re going to be at a convention? Great! Let’s have that beer-cake party in public and ask people to join us. Maybe you’ll sell a few more books.
A celebration is important but, I suspect that the majority of convention book launches are secretly just parties for everyone that helped (put up with) the writer/publisher.
A launch, it seems to me, marks the transition between creation and sales push. The book is done. Here it is. Now we sell it. And that’s cool, too. Presumably, the book is good. People are out there interested in reading it that don’t even know they are interested. A big launch party is a fine way to make a blip on the radar. And sell a few more books.
But let’s say you launch your book at an awesome party at AwesomeCon in April. You sell some books. Everyone eats tasty beer-cake. Come June, you go to SuperCon in a different state. Does the AwesomeCon book launch provide momentum for SuperCon? Or for CoolCon the month after that? I’m not sure.
It seems like there is something else that can be done. Some way to continue and build upon the momentum for those of us who go from con to con. Marketing, publicity, passionate advocates, sure. But having attended book readings, panels, launches, and parties, I have a vague sense that we haven’t happened upon the ideal way to use conventions.
What do you think? Am I off? Am I asking the wrong questions?