1. Picking a Venue: Having the signing some place fun with lots to do drew in a bigger crowd for sure. There was an expense involved, but the place I booked gave me a discount since I would be advertising the event locally.
2. Design an eye catching invitation
3. Involve your local bookstore. Having Inkwood sell my books allowed me to focus on signing and having fun. They also helped to advertise the event in their store and through media outlets that they work with.
4. Advertise locally and online as much as you can. I contacted every local newspaper and went in to personally hand out invites to librarians at local libraries (which didn't generate a lot of attendees for the launch, but did garner interest in future visits with the library). I also did a Facebook events page and tweeted about the launch over the month or so before.
5. Cut expenses where you can. I made all the cupcakes we served which took lots of time/labor, but saved me on food expense.
Now that I've told you what I did that I think worked, here's what I'd do differently next time...
1. Send invites to local school teachers and media specialists and tie in their attendance to a giveaway. Next time I plan to get a class set of my book together and give it away to a teacher/media specialist that attends (hold a drawing). I've also thought about giving away a YA library of books from fellow author friends along with mine.
2. Have an agenda. I kept things loose this time, but next I would probably make an agenda at least for me of how the party will go, but probably I might put it on a cute poster board too so people know what to expect from the time.
3. Try to tie in the launch to a community event to draw in more attendees.
Overall the day was wonderful and I was both pleased and touched to have so many fellow writer friends attend as well as readers who were fans of GATED! Here's some extra pics of all the fun: