The Launch Party Plan Part 3 of 4

The Author Launch Party for Anchored Hearts – Part 3 of 4


My Book Launch Party was going to be from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday. Guess what, Sundays and weeknights are cheaper for most venues (hope I mentioned that in the Budget and Materials post)?

I had to decide what I was going to do? Not me even really, I can sign books and chat and mingle forever, it’s fun, I do enjoy it, BUT, I needed the offerings, the goodies, the meat! The real question was WHAT ARE MY GUESTS GOING TO DO FOR THREE FREAKING HOURS?

The pressure built and I visited several different ideas from and all of them sounded great. I (YOU) could:

  • Read a passage or two from the book (solo)
  • Read the book with a very good looking man-friend, him as the hero (or villain) reading his part (but… because I write romance, I couldn’t get past the thought of me giggling and making googly eyes so I nixed that one quick!)
  • A poetry performance like a word slam about romance (or insert whatever your book is about here ______…)
  • A funny rendition about love – I have seen this done by another author friend, it was a haphazard comical love song that he sung and he had a keyboardist play a simple tune live. I LOVED the idea and he executed it perfectly. Thank you Bob Rudney -what’s more he sounded just like Kermit the Frog. I= – love this song, sorry you’re missing out if you’ve never heard it.

I, (YOU) could also have:

  • A solo musical act
  • A live band
  • A live violinist or other live entertainment OR
  • It could be just a simple mingling affair with food and showing the Anchored Hearts Book Trailer, signing the books and going home to every kind of crazy thing you could dream up but those ideas were great, but they just weren’t jelling with me.

So at first the reading (with said, good-looking man-friend) appealed to me. I’d even crafted a great e-mail to a male friend who is simply super good looking, (and single like me; hee, hee) and I was going to ask him to read with me for the party. But I never sent that e-mail because a bigger, more grandiose (read lunacy) idea came to me.

This idea I had ONLY read about and thought, wow. I didn’t actually personally know anyone that had done it and I wondered if I could pull something like that off. It would be awesome and that CRAY-CRAY idea was: to turn a scene from my book into a LIVE stage play production!

I giggled, I fretted and then I just pushed full steam ahead to making that wackadoo (initially), idea happen.

I needed a script. Never wrote a script, crazy Tracee, way to go! But I had the book and wasn’t the script nothing but dialogue and some stage direction details and props? Come on I told myself, make all that time spent at live theatrical demonstrations (other plays) and salivating over Tyler Perry’s creative superhuman-ness pay off, why don’t you!

And then, my mind went berserk because I was going to write a script then I also needed, some ACTORS, to host a PRACTICE or two or five, to get some background PROPS, and maybe some MUSIC to help everything come together and on and on and on and LIGTHING. So here’s a short note about each aspect of the play, below. If you’d like to see the script, please just e-mail me at I would be happy and honored to send it to you! Remember it’s a short partial and NOT A Streetcar Named Desired, okay? I’d be happy to share!

ACTORS – a cousin, a friend and a stranger that’s pursuing acting for real. I needed three actors and the part of Allontis, the heroine in my book, took forever to find. My friend jumped at the chance to star in the production and my cousin also suggested he could help with whatever I need. I started looking in November for the third person that would make everything complete and I did not find her until the end of January but it was worth the wait. She looked exactly like the Allontis (main heroine) I had created, and once I took to social media, posting a short description of what I needed, she responded within five minutes of that post. I couldn’t believe it. I had been asking people in the grocery store, who I thought were “cute” fitting the description only to be returned weird looks. I could see their dialogue bubble from the top of their head, “Um hmm, a play alright, wink, wink.”

They were strangers but I asked anyway. I also asked at church, work, and then sent a note to a friend that had a local theatre group.

PROPS – I listed my props and first I worked with the hotel to see what they had already that they could “loan me”. This was better because it wouldn’t be leaving the venue, and I wouldn’t have to carry/lug/transport it which would have been a headache. The scene would happen in one place (Kelly Shaw’s {the antagonist’s) office), this was a tiny piece of the launch remember, not a full-blown stage play with intermission (or concession stand). So everything would just be minimal but it would still give the impression of being at the theatre.

MUSIC – I actually used music to convey and help with the emotion that I couldn’t get across in the span of a short play. YouTube and other online free music sites helped. I list ALL resources below.

The rest of my party, beyond the play was simply designed to:

  • Tell people that don’t know me about the book, my writing process, the journey from concept to actual writing – silly stuff to you as an author, but people really do want to know!
  • Food – leave some time for people to get their food/eat, talk with people they haven’t ever met before and likely might not see again (networking!)
  • Leave at least an hour (maybe more) for book-signing (be mindful of the time you have your venue for and plan accordingly).

LIGHTING (and other official “theatre” stuff I didn’t know the proper name for), you can’t begin to believe how many YouTube videos there are about play productions, lighting, even set/stage design and direction. It’s awesome!

Looking at how to use the light properly that I borrowed from the theatre company, sites started popping up. This one looked GREAT

Borrow Lenses –

A local theatre company loaned me their floor spot light. They actually practiced in the building where I work and I asked them if they had one I could borrow. I was in awe when the owner of the company said yes. I had no idea how to use it. The person that put it in my car, said some gibberish about how the light worked, I watched her lips moved but was so happy that they were giving me the light I didn’t pay attention. I drove away like a bank robber happy to have the light and then a few days later took to my favorite second place: YouTube to find out how to use it (and pay more attention this time).

With a little planning, you can completely WOW your audience. Be different, be/have fun, and be MEMORABLE. It’s not as hard as you think!

Quick Run-Down on RESOURCES

ACTORS – church, local/small theatre groups, drama teachers/high school, acting/thespian type groups on line especially Facebook, newspaper/local media

PROPS – beg, borrow, steal – costume stores, builder friends, find help in the same place as ACTORS above.

MUSIC –,; even iTunes has free music or some music you can use for longer periods of time for as little 99 cents and YouTube (remember you can likely use it IF you’re not filming the production and planning on selling it. If you’re just using it at a FREE event, you should be fine). If you’re not sure, ask a lawyer or READ the copyright usage terms CAREFULLY.

LIGHTING – I actually, even though I borrowed the light from the theatre company, didn’t use it. The lighting in the hotel worked out better, I was able to turn down the lights in the room, and leave the lighting at the front to illuminate the area. You can also rent lighting from the same resources listed in the ACTORS/PROPS category.

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