T-Minus 2 Days to (a Book) Launch: Rent-a-Crowd

I’d decided to have a book launch. (Check!) I’d secured a book shop in which to have it. (Check!) I’d order a couple of boxes of books (check!) and after a sleepless night of No Book Nightmares, they arrived. (Check!)

Now I had to try and persuade people to attend.


I used Vistaprint to design and print invitations, ordering what they call ‘rack cards’ which are just slightly smaller than a DL or letter envelope. As per usual, I went about their creation in a very roundabout way: I designed the invite using a Microsoft Word template, saved it as a PDF, cropped it and saved it again but as a JPEG. On the back, I used an American flag stock image as a background and included a blurb about the book, so the invites could pull double duty as advertising. They also make a fetching bookmark. When all was said and done, 250 of these babies cost approximately 0.04 Euro cent each. I gave half of them to the bookstore to keep on their counter and/or give away with the sales of other books in the run up to the launch, stuck a few up on library and supermarket notice-boards and dispersed the rest to The Great Invited.


Advertising the launch online would only have limited success, seeing as the vast majority of my Facebook friends, Mousetrapped’s Facebook fans and Twitter followers don’t live anywhere near here. Still, it couldn’t hurt and of course, every time someone found out about the launch, they were also finding out about the book. So I set up a Facebook event, blogged about it (hey! I’m doing that now!) and tweeted about it approximately 900 times over a two week period. And when I did, I was able to use a JPEG of my launch invite design. Woo-hoo!


Needless to say I invited everyone I was in any way related to. This is just a given.


I ordered what were basically bigger versions of the invites as ‘posters’ even though when they arrived they weren’t quite poster-size. Think half way between an A4 and an A3 sheet of paper. (In the photo above, John Mayer is for scale and – as per usual – oogling.) These were for the bookshop to use as they saw fit. Again, I used Vistaprint and got five of them for about €20.

Alert the Press

The best way to get some strangers to attend is to advertise in the local press. I prepared a little information document thingy: about two pages of info, under the following headings:

  • Book launch (info, i.e. date, location, time)
  • Synopsis
  • The Mousetrapped Story (i.e. how I went from working in Disney to self-publishing a travel memoir about it)
  • About the Author
  • Contact information.

I also attached three JPEG files: a book cover, an invite and a photo of little old me (looking nothing like I do now, as an added bonus) in Disney World, and then I sent it to every e-mail address associated with a local newspaper I could find. As it stands, two days before the launch, the social diarist of our local paper here in Cork is scheduled to attend, as is a photographer from a free newsletter that gets dispersed throughout our enclave of suburbia. There was also a great write up in Cork’s Evening Echo a few nights back (see pic).

So that was it or rather, that’s it. Tomorrow morning I drop the stock down to shop, and then all there’ll be left to do is enjoy a sleepless night tomorrow and then prepare myself for some high resolution photos in natural light. Yikes!

If you’d like to attend the book launch, you can find all the info here. If you’d like to read more about the book, visit the Mousetrapped site. (I am also happy to say that broadband has been restored to the Howard Household, and all of us are once again attached to our laptops. Happy time has returned.)

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