I've been futzing with my camera, trying to get the video onto my computer. Since I don't have a video link here, obviously I've been unsuccessful. I fear I may have to actually read the directions. I know. Horrible.
In the meantime though, I've been thinking of some general advice when planning a release party. Here's what I've come up with:
Hold your event at your home, a bookstore, a church, or some place similar.
Hold your party at a conference center, a park, a bowling alley, or a convention center.
When you have your party, you want you and your book to be center stage. Holding your party at a very public place like a bowling alley or park can be distracting. On the other hand, if you pick a really large venue, then your party is going to look small no matter how many people come. Even with a couple hundred people at a party, it'll look tiny if the place seats thousands.
Have party favors for everyone who comes. People like to get free stuff.
Give away your book to everyone there.
It's one thing to give a copy or two as a door prize, but resist the urge to hand a free copy of your book to everyone you meet. The whole point of a release party is to give everyone you know the opportunity to purchase your book and get it signed. Besides, if you give everyone a free book, the expense is going to add up fast. And as you all know, here at Buried in the Slush Pile, we are all about doing stuff as frugally as possible. Having bookmarks, backpack tags, small posters, reading guides, etc. are great freebies. Your book or even readers of your book are not so good.