How to Plan a Book Club World Premiere

Image by Salvatore Vuono

As I’ve journeyed to the February 2012 publication date of my first novel, Into the Free, I’ve listened carefully to authors who have “been ‘round this track” a few times before me. One such author is bestselling novelist Lisa Wingate.

Just before her sixteenth novel, Dandelion Summer, hit shelves, Lisa shared the book with a lucky group of ladies from the McGregor Tiara Literary Society. Then she shared their reaction to the book with the world via YouTube.

Book Premiere? That’s Genius!

I’ve always been a member of at least one book club, and I am drawn to books that encourage people to discuss the themes of the story. I was intrigued by Lisa’s idea for a premiere. I figured, Hollywood holds premieres for new movies, right? Publishers have started making trailers for books, just as producers do for films…so…why not follow that line of thinking and host a premiere for my novel? I was convinced Lisa Wingate was brilliant. And I was right.

But Lisa is not just brilliant. She is generous and compassionate and eager to share her talents with others. It’s no surprise she provided a step-by-step tutorial on her Southern Belle View blog for others who might want to plan such an event. There you’ll find detailed instructions on planning, organizing, recording, and sharing the big premiere.

Without her directions, I would have overlooked details about release forms and microphones. I would have struggled using Windows Movie Maker to edit the clips, and I would have been clueless about lighting, length, and little tips to make the event fun for all involved.

Roll out the Red Carpet!

Thanks to Lisa Wingate’s fabulous advice, and Terri Blackstock’s kind suggestion to check out Lisa’s idea, I have since held three book premieres across the country for Into the Free. I’m editing them now and will be sharing them with the public in January, 2012. But just for fun, I have posted some of the photos and comments on my website.

If you’re planning to launch a book in the future, I strongly encourage you to consider a book club premiere. Even if the camera malfunctions (as mine did with the third event) or Skype gets moody (as it did with the group in Colorado), it’s still a ton of fun and very interesting to hear reader feedback before the book ever hits shelves.

Big thanks to the Beach Babes of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Porch Pals in Longmont, Colorado; and the University Literary Circle from Oxford, Mississippi for playing along with me.

And…be sure to view  clips from Lisa Wingate’s world premiere for Dandelion Summer.

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25 thoughts on “How to Plan a Book Club World Premiere

  1. Julie, I absolutely LOVE this. Wish I’d thought of it when my book came out in June. Definitely putting it on my marketing list for my next book debut.

    Looking forward to being a part of your book release! Can’t wait.

    • CONGRATS, Cathy….fabulous news about your BIG award today!!! I’m thinking you don’t need to worry one bit about marketing or trailers…that’s for greenies like me :) Kudos! j

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this post. And of course I hope to use it someday. Thanks so much for letting us in on this and for all the awesome links. Best wishes & blessings on your premiere!

    • P.S. Just read your book’s description on Amazon and it sounds knee-buckling-ly beautiful. Cannot WAIT to read it. Sounds like your main character might be someone who’d be good friends with the main character of my manuscript. Precious.

    • Thanks, Keli…it really was a ton of fun and the feedback from early readers was fascinating. Kind of surreal for a first-timer…to send the book out there and hear people’s reactions to it…sure am glad my first experiences with that were in a fun environment like these premieres. Cheers, j

  3. Julie, what a great idea for a book release! I’m so far from that point right now, but I’m keeping this post in mind for that day, Lord willing, when I’m at the stage of publication to need it. :) Thanks for sharing all that you have.

  4. Always looking for new marketing ideas — especially since my book debuts in 2012 too. Love this one — a premier!

  5. Thanks, Julie! doing the book club premier for Dandelion Summer was a blast.

    Into the Free is a great book. I can’t wait to see the book club premier!

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