Friday, March 6, 2009

Real-Life Book Launches

© Marilyn Meredith 2009 all rights reserved

For every new book I’ve planned a book launch of one sort or another, most of which have been in my little home town of Springville. When I say little I mean little. We have a post office, two mini-mart/gas-stations, a dress shop, pizza place, hamburger stand, a new steak place, a coffee and sandwich shop, a café, a Mexican restaurant, two beauty shops, a fancy inn, a Visitor’s Center, and an ATM. Unfortunately stores and restaurants come and go.

I’ve had launches in some of the places that have disappeared. One of my launches was in a holistic medicine and recreation center. Lots of people came, wine was served, a lovely lunch could be purchased, and the entertainment consisted of me talking about my book and belly dancers. (No, I wasn’t one of the dancers.)

For awhile we had a small used book store and I had a launch there. Lots of fun, many visitors and the owner’s mother brought the best cookies to serve to guests.

And then there was the wonderful gift shop that lasted about a year. I launched a book there and the owner served sandwiches, all kinds of yummy desserts and coffee. We had a great crowd.

At Christmas time, I had a launch in the backroom of an antique store.

At the same time, there was a home tour going on and lots of the people on the tour stopped in to look around and purchased books. (I served yummy cookies made by the same lady who made the cookies for the used book store and hot cider that I brought.) Unfortunately, the antique store is going out of business.

Before you come to the conclusion that hosting a book launch for me is a jinx, I’ll tell you about some others I’ve had in places that are still in business. Once during the summer, I had a launch at the coffee/sandwich shop on the patio. Quite a few people came by to talk and purchase books. The owner of the shop is the lady who makes the delicious cookies.

When I was promoting DEADLY TRAIL about the murder of the owner of an inn much like the fancy inn in our town, that’s where I held the book launch. The very much alive owner thought it was a kick to launch the book in her establishment. Great turnout and we served crackers and cheese and coffee and if guests wanted something stronger, there was a bar downstairs.

I’ve had two launches at the Visitor’s Center, served refreshments and had a great time chatting with people who wanted to find out how to get to the giant Sequoias. The center, which was begun by the Springville Chamber of Commerce, has now been taken over by the forestry service and there’s no room for me and my books.

One of the most successful and unusual launches happened last summer and was in a Bed and Breakfast in Crescent City, CA. The reason it was held there was because part of the latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery happens in Crescent City. Tickets were pre-sold for two lunches on the same day, one at 11 and the other at 1, and the price of the ticket included a copy of KINDRED SPIRITS.

The book launch for NO SANCTUARY, the latest in my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series is being held in the fellowship hall of my church. I’m serving finger food and delicious cookies from the coffee place and coffee, tea, etc. I’m transforming the room into a police station and using crime scene tape and yellow and black for table cloths, napkins, etc. It just dawned on me, I ought to serve doughnuts, right? Naw, I’m sticking to the cookies.

NO SANCTUARY by F.M. Meredith (the pseudonym is another story) a.k.a. Marilyn Meredith is now available as a Dark Oak Mystery from , Amazon and autographed copies can be ordered from my website:

About the author
Under the name of F.M. Meredith, Marilyn Meredith writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, the latest is NO SANCTUARY from Oak Tree Press. She is also the author of award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series as well as over twenty published novels. The latest is, KINDRED SPIRITS, from Mundania Press.

Meredith is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, EPIC and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years, served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences. She makes her home in Springville, much like Bear Creek where Deputy Tempe Crabtree lives.


Tracee said...

You sure have had some interesting launches...belly dancers, bet that was something to see!

thewriterslife said...

I loved this post! Interesting to read about the different places you can have signings which goes to prove they don't have to be in a bookstore! WTG, Marilyn...loved your post!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks so much for hosting me! I'm at Epicon in NV and using my new mini-laptop, My latest launch turned out great.

Marilyn aka F.M. Meredith

~Sia McKye~ said...


I applaud you. This is called creative promotion. Looking for opportunities in your general local area.

Many authors think book launches or booksigning events have to be in a "bookstore". Not so. I like how you thought about your book and local tie-ins--Inns and Tea shops. I would never have thought of the Chamber of Commerce or an Antique Shop.
Local library conference rooms,a local college campus in conjunction with the English Department, and I've known some YA authors that have used the annual Book Faire held by Schools and teaching colleges also hold them.It was an opportunity to do a reading or give a talk about writing. I've known a few that have used local street fairs to set up a booth with chairs and free refreshments.

Whether you use a Casino or tea shop, using your imagination to make it special and making sure it's well publicized is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post.
Keep up posting good works..... :)

Sheila Deeth said...

Some fun launches there. Wish I could eat those delicious cookies with you...

Anonymous said...

Great post. You gave me a great idea for antique stores. Thanks!

Cheryl said...

The amount of energy you have is amazing Marilyn. Can I borrow some?


Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I love book launches.

Also, you're getting me hungry reading about the goodies you served.

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Again thanks forn having me. Love this blog. Marilyn

Kim Smith said...

Marilyn will be on the radio show again soon, so you guys keep checking the site!