Friday, January 29, 2010

On Launch Parties

No Malice Palace
RO: I know, I know...lots of people say they're pointless and a waste of money, but dang it, I finished another book, it's coming out and I want to celebrate! Perhaps it's because my first two parties went so well. When Pushing Up Daisies was released people from every stage of my stage came to the launch party. Old bosses and colleagues showed up. Old boyfriends. Relatives I hadn't seen in years. It was wonderful. I felt like a bride. The party was at Partners & Crime in Greenwich Village and they sold so many books they had to run to B&N five blocks away to buy more. (I enjoy repeating that.) It was a fabulous experience. The next day I flew to Phoenix for an event at Poisoned Pen and signed hundreds of books. I thought..I could get to like this.

Needless to say that never happened again. You can only be a virgin once. I knew I had to do something different for The Big Dirt Nap - which is kind of funny - so I had a party at The Friars Club. I thought if nothing else people will come to see the landmark, members only club. And they did. It went well, I sold books, a good time was had by all.

So now we're up to book three, Dead Head. CBGB's is no more. The Fillmore is long gone, but given the title and the subject matter, I was hellbent on having a party in the village and I think I found the perfect spot - No Malice Palace. First off I love the name. And the place is as cool as it gets, a lounge-y, low key bar with a garden in the back. In fact the website says Bar, Parties, had my name all over it.

So on April 15 everyone I know - and that includes all of you - is invited to help me celebrate the release of Dead Head, at No Malice Palace, 197 east 3rd Street, bet. A & B, look for the green lantern (I love this part of the actually says this on their website.)

There is no way I'll sell enough books to justify the cost of the party, but I need that good sendoff
and I like to let my publisher see me selling books and chatting people up. I also like inviting other people from the house to acknowledge their work on the work. (BTW don't forget to stop back tomorrow for our chat with St. Martin's art director, David Rotstein.)

How do you all feel about book parties? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Awkward? Awesome?


  1. Holey Moley -- I'm actually scheduled to be IN New York that day for a book thingie myself.

    If our schedules don't conflict and I can get the search dog established with her doggysitter, I'd love to come and celebrate your book!

  2. I LOVE launch parties -- it's so important to celebrate (AND TAKE PICTURES) whenever you can. If I'm in NY I'll definitely be there, Ro.And even more, I'm looking forward to reading the book.

    My first launch party was at Kate's Mystery Books (boo hoo) with a line of people (friends and family) snaking out the door (in the rain) and ice cream for all from Toscanini's. Yes, you're only a virgin in this business once.

    My last launch party was hosted by a wonderful friend (won't say who unless she wants to chime in) and I was floating on cloud 9. I'll be throwing a launch party for Susannah C and Puzzle for "Scent of the Missing" on 5/8 because what goes around comes around.

    Hey, Ro, what are you doing here in Boston?

  3. I think parties in general are great--we don't have enough of them any more.

    You give me courage to contemplate a restaurant party for my next book--which features the opening of a restaurant!

  4. Just had my party (just posted about it--It's My Book Launch Party,and if I Cry, My Mascara will Run)

    Worth every minute of planning, every fear-filled nightmare (no people!) and every dime.

  5. I'm gearing up for my (debut) book launch party and just found out that the town is celebrating it's "birthday" with a huge event, in the same plaza as my party, on the same day. I foresee a gigantic parking problem!!!

    I'm hoping for awesome, but planning for awkward.

  6. The party sounds wonderful, Ro. Since my books are set in that very part of the city, I rather wish I could throw a party there. But alas, I'm stuck on the West Coast this year.

    I always launch a new book at Book Passage in Corte Madera and I send out at elast 100 inviations to friends. And now I'm up to book number 23, I feel embarrassed about doing it. How can I expect them to show up every time--even if it is for champagne and strawberries--and buy the book? But they do and they seem to be pleased that they were asked.
    So I keep on doing it.

  7. Oh Susannah..that would be so fun! Festivities start at 6:30.

    Twenty-three books..good grief! At this point your friends would probably be crushed if they weren't invited.

    Alan, congrats, and Sheila..go for it! In addition to the NY party, I'm doing an afternoon coffee and donuts party at the diner that was the inspiration for the diner in all of the books. Had a book talk there a few months back and it was a lot of fun. Nothing planned for Boston, any ideas?

  8. Hey Ro,

    I always spend too much on parties -- so why should a book launch make sense economically?? Hallie and you are both right. It's important to celebrate.

    The party sounds awesome. I'm putting down the date and hoping I can get to NYC that day!

  9. Boston...surely we can come up with something fun and festive.

  10. Oh, how wonderful! My first book party was at Ralph Lauren on Newbury was completely fabulous, I mean, completely fabulous.

    Except for the photographer, who stunk. So there's hardly a photo. But it was fantastic.

    DRIVE TIME comes out Tuesday. I'm so thrilled! But I'm not having a party..could you all just help me celebrate by buying a book?

    Just think, no parking problems! (Alan, good luck!)

  11. We need some JR in Boston and one in NYC!

  12. Ro, with NYC so close, you have a "target rich environment" for totally cool party settings. :)

    Deep down, I bet every aspiring writer dreams about having The Perfect Launch Party, like a lot of young girls dream about their weddings.

    A book is a lot of work. I agree that celebrating is in order.

  13. I've never been able to attend an actual launch party...not too many take place in the vicinity of Cleveland. But I love the concept and it sounds like yours is going to be magnificent, Ro. I hope you take some pictures to share with us! Have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  14. I just had my first launch party, and it was THE BEST! The bookstore was filled with friends and family, and I collected hugs, and everybody ate chocolate and cupcakes. YES-a books is for celebrating. :)