Friday, July 13, 2012

Book Launch - #3 with Lee Wardlaw

Here is the last book launch interview - until I happen upon more!   
Lee is always generous with her knowledge and experience and here she 
offers us those gems. I give you the inimitable Lee Wardlaw.

Do you get nervous at all?

Absolutely!  I always worry...will anyone actually show up? :)
Is it easier now? 
Yes, it's much easier now.  I've learned, over the years, that the event will be 
what it will be.  People will come, or they won't. People will buy a book, or they won't.  
I have no control over any of that, so all I can do is relax and enjoy the celebration.  
And that's what a book launch is to me:  celebrating with friends and family the 
publication of my book.
Do you learn from each one about what to do or not do or you just know 
what works for you now? 
I've published close to 30 books, and have had only four official book launches.  
But there are a few things I've learned:
*Sunday afternoons work best!  (People tend to be super busy on Saturdays; 
evenings aren't great, as folks often don't want to go out again after they've come 
home from work or play)
*People are more likely to attend if the launch is NOT held in a bookstore.  
(It seems more like a party of it's off-site.)
*People are more likely to buy multiple copies of your books if you serve good wine.  :)
Do you think different genres require different launches?
I think it's easier to come up with themes for your event if you have a nonfiction book 
or a book that appeals to a wide variety of ages.  Many people will not buy a picture 
book if they don't have picture book-aged children.  But a picture book that appeals 
to adults as well as young readers will sell like crazy. For example, at my book launch 
for Won Ton - A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, I sold over 100 copies of it because it appeals 
to children, cat-lovers, poetry-lovers, animal shelter enthusiasts, etc., etc. 

 Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku    

*Any favorite tips or must-do's?
You will often attract more people to your event if it also serves as a fundraiser.  
Ask your bookseller to donate a portion of the book's proceeds to a 
charity/organization that people care about and that fits with the theme of your book.  
For example, with Won Ton, the bookseller who supplied copies agreed to 
donate 20% of the proceeds to a local cat shelter.

Bio: Lee Wardlaw is the author of more than two dozen award winning books for young readers, including 101 Ways to Bug Your Teachers and 101 Ways to Bug Your Parents.  That’s just a few of the gobs of books she’s published.  Lee lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, teenage son and three cats!


  1. Ahoy Angela,
    You're hitting some of my favorite people up for these interviews. It's good to "hear" from Lee on book launches, & to have you out here in the blogoshpere.

    1. Thanks Charlie - there are so many more fantastic people to interview too! I'm still learning and am technically challenged some days. I love all the helpful info!