The Author Launch Party Plan – Part 2 of 4

I continue my series of the Launch Party Plan for my new book, this time talking about the Budget and Materials you’ll need to have a spectacular event. I talked about basics and getting started here in Part 1 of the Author Launch Party Plan.

So, I have a disclaimer – I hate numbers, I HATE NUMBERS, (and I am to be forgiven because I’m a writer, your brain can’t usually handle both J), BUT I still wanted to strive to a real estimate of what to consider. I will also tell you candidly what I could do with out (or suggest an alternative) and I may (looking back later) be a little remorseful over a particular item so YOU can fare better in those areas than I did.

So here we go.


Item Costs Cheaper Alternatives / Comments
Venue – Hotel

Includes – space/room (tables & linens), all food/drinks and generic centerpieces

$ 1,000 .00- 2500.00 Your house or a friend that has a nice house would be cheaper – You can also do the community center (some nicer ones) a restaurant’s private room or section of the restaurant. You could do a library or other government center, like a senior center but remember these have fees and usually require you to pay for the security personnel you have to hire on site as well.

Event Signage

T-Shirts for helpers to wear

Flowers from Etsy Shop

David Tutera Lamp Shades:


$ 200.00 Don’t have to do and can do cheaper.

Flowers Etsy Shop-

Lamp Shades (crafting with a friend but based on the ones I found from David Tutera)

A Tip – find something in the store too price? Don’t be afraid to try you own version – my lamp shades are from David Tutera’s (whom I love) wedding products saw them in the store and left them and looked on line and decided I could make my own.

You DO NOT need t-shirts for your helpers, it was just a fun addition (you could even just have them wear a certain color of something they ALREADY own-its like letting everyone know they’re your crew)

The Etsy find (the paper flowers) was an awesome thing and just a fun addition

I was also was annoyed that the lamp shade kit from DT didn’t’ come with the fake bling rhinestones to put on them, so that was another added expense.


   Props for the play – sent out my list of needs that I would ask to borrow from friends/family and even some things I was able to get from the hotel

   Stage lighting – borrowed from small, local theatre company

$ 150.00-300.00 I’m counting my Booktrailer and the Live Stage Play adaptation as part of my entertainment. A friend that I set up a bartering arrangement with put the trailer together. The stage play to bring a portion of my book to live was written (script) and conceptualized by me. I found my own actors/actress (3) for the play and gave three friends that starred in the play a Visa Gift or monetary gift $50.00 – $ 100.00 dollars.

Event Host /Event Planning Support


$ 300.00 – 500.00 When I first started planning, I got a little ahead of myself and wanted to call in support. I’ve done an event or two or 10 before so you forget that you are pretty good and you don’t want to miss  something and get overwhelmed. You can do this if its an event for 20 or 100 (as long as you’re organized). As such, this unfortunately was an expense I would CANCEL in a heartbeat in the future. Save yourself some money, get a BFF, your mother, your sister, your brother, get a fake e-mail address for the RSVP’s like Title and that’s really all you need.



$ 300.00


– 100 cupcakes

– 6 large bags of popcorn

– 11 packs of popcorn bags (found 5 Below)

I admit that BOTH of these items are NOT necessary. I had heavy Horderves. Cake was just on me. You decide. But in Part 1 of the Launch Party Plan, I talked about going for a LUXE feeling. These two things (for me) were the things that would take my event over the top and did exactly what I wanted it to. I ended up scratching the popcorn due to the mess that it posed for the hotel staff and the added expense. Next time! Do what you can afford/what makes you happy and let that be enough.


While I didn’t total anything if you do the bare minimum, you can have a great party for upwards of $ 500 – 1000 bucks. You can have a luxe one for a little more and remember you are selling books. You should expect to recoup all if not most of the money spent. It takes money to make money.


  • Event Signage (2 to point people in the right direction, one for my table) – Vista Print
  • T-Shirts – Designed myself from Vista Print
  • Favors boxes/giveaways – Oriental Trading
  • Small lampshades – Google David Tutera Lampshades or Google “Paper Lampshade Template” for the one you can print out: (I used vellum paper (from the craft store) and just printed the image onto the vellum paper, cut out the template, used glue and placed it atop a regular wine glass) – this was nixed in the end as I actually used the flowers instead of these for the centerpiece
  • Table décor – Dollar Tree – (blue marbles)

Finally, my last five tips:

Whatever your budget, decisions, details and small cuts and alterations are so important. You can’t make any decisions however without throwing everything in. That’s how the budget works. Throw in everything you want (use a lis and pictures/Make use of your Pinterest account) then I go through the list and start cutting/narrowing things down. It’s a method that works for me.

Research, Research, Research – The stuff you want and need is out there, but you have to be willing to dig for it and ask.

Substitute – See something you want and can’t afford it, find a substitution.

Barter – I hope to do a bartering post. It’s a rather lost art but it works. Something you have or give in exchange for something you want (that someone else has). What I OFTEN barter is my writing, either to help people improve their resumes, writing the narrative portion of grants (notice I didn’t say budget portion) or other kinds of professional business materials.

Consult a Conscious (Friend) – this person happened to be a relative. I should be more specific: consult a friend that’s good with money. They will be your realist and tell you: “That’s ridiculous. You don’t need that. Get over yourself!”

Strengthen Your Haggle Backbone – This is by far the number one lost things that people do. No one thinks to ask for a lower amount. How will you know if you don’t ask? And NO ONE, no company, person or business is beyond the haggle, this includes hotels and even online retailers.


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