Friday, January 17, 2014

Best Indie Book Store Creates Best Book Launch with Karen White!

Foxtale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia was recently named by Atlanta magazine as the Best Indie Bookstore in the Atlanta area.  That's quite an honor because there are lots and lots of amazing bookstores around.  I love Foxtale for many reasons but probably the main thing I like about them is their book launches.

I recently attended a book launch for Karen White's newest book, Return to Tradd Street.  Some of my friends are avid fans of this series about psychic realtor, Melanie Middleton who solves mysteries and sells houses while nurturing her on and off romance with Jack Trenholm.  I had no trouble enticing them to attend the book launch.  My youngest daughter was in town after the holidays and once she heard cupcakes were also involved she was eager to attend as well.  She took a picture of us after we decorated our cupcakes at the cupcake bar...

Karen White arrived with her dog in tow.  She explained to the crowd that he was not only the inspiration for General Lee, the dog in the book, but he is also her constant writing companion. 

Karen shared lots of information about her inspiration for her books, her writing process  and her plans for upcoming books. Gracious and personal, attendees felt like one of her inner circle.  One of the women present was such a fan she single handedly created an interest in some of Karen's earlier books which have been out of print. There was an opportunity to buy a raffle ticket and win a basket of her books and other goodies. Another giveaway was the chance to have to have your name used as a character in an upcoming book.  Proceeds from the raffle benefitted the Wounded Warrior program which is near to Karen's heart due to a nephew who was injured in Afghanistan.  The event ended with an opportunity to have a book signed and to spend a moment talking personally with Karen.

Although I bought the newest book, I haven't started it yet because Karen's books are so addictive, I know I won't be able to put it down.  I'm waiting for a few days of free time to relax and relish the story.  You know, one of those lazy evenings in front of a fire and no work to report to the next day....

Foxtale and Karen White are experts at putting together a successful book launch.  I've written about it before but here are some of the key components and how they were incorporated into this book launch.

How to Create a Magical Book Launch

Be Remarkable---Most of the book launches have a theme, decorations and refreshments that coordinate with the theme of the book.  Return to Tradd Street, begins with the main character pregnant, so the cupcake bar featured decorations and icing in pink and blue.  There have been book launches that included coffins and book launches that included costumes.  You just never know what new thing will be featured but you can count on it being unique.

Be generous--Karen's use of a raffle to benefit the Wounded Warrior program was a wonderful way to give to a charity.  Once guests understood the reason for the raffle, there was an outpouring of support.

Develop relationships--Karen was as interested in hearing from her readers as she was in sharing herself.  She took time with each to talk and share.  In addition, she gave away two opportunities through the raffle for readers to get their name used as a character in her book.  This was a truly clever way to engage readers! Writers who stay engaged with their readers through Facebook and other social media continue to nurture those relationships.  Currently, Karen is touring various book stores and she keeps readers up-to-date with regular posts and pictures.

Be grateful-No one likes someone who feels the world owes them something.  I haven't met many writers like this but they are out there.  A successful writer (a successful anything) puts others first and is more interested in giving than getting.

Be real-Readers love to know the ins and outs of writers' lives.  Karen shared that she has many qualities in common with the main character in her Tradd Street books including perhaps alphabetizing her spice shelf and being just a teeny bit structured...

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