5 tips to launch your book

The end road to publication is here, so now it's time to plan a party for your book's first public appearance.
launch your book. Image is a row of six cup cakes with turquoise icing and sprinkles on the top.

OK, so your book has just been published and you’re tasked with trying to figure out how to launch it into the world. There’s a lot to think about, so it’s best to start the party planning early.

Venue and location

Many venues require a long lead time when it comes to booking, so you have to consider the number of people you are planning to invite and whether they will all fit into the space. Many writers go through the default setting and have their launches in bookshops. There are definite advantages – your books are already there, and the staff have a system in place for bumping in guests and dealing with seating.

However, you should also consider choosing a venue other than the traditional bookstore or one that’s more closely aligned to your own work. ArtsHub’s earlier feature ‘Noice, different, unusual’ book launches may give you some ideas of where else to look.

Bear in mind that many launches involve alcohol, so if you want to be a responsible host, consider having a launch near public transport, so guests can have an option of travelling to and from the event without driving.

Interviewer and entertainment possibilities

Sure, you can go with just a straight Q & A style launch, whereby you have someone in the industry interview you. This option still requires planning, of course, because you have to give them enough time beforehand to read your book and come up with questions about it. But some launches also include other welcome add-ons, like a singer, musician or other performer of some kind. So, if you’re thinking about this possibility, it’s worth doing some research on who is available and what kind of act you’d like them to perform.

Book availability and payment

Obviously, you’ll want people to attend your launch and actually buy your book! So if you are not having the launch in a bookstore, ensure that there are enough copies of your book ready for purchase and various payment options available.

Food and drink

Depending on where you decide, the venue can provide some finger food/light refreshments and beverages. Or you could cater the event yourself. Go fancy if you can afford it! Why not try cupcakes with edible images of your cover, extending the range to beyond cheese and crackers? And do remember to have non-alcoholic drinks available.

It’s not often you have reason to have a book launch and this party is the result of years of hard work, so you should set aside some discretionary money to celebrate properly with family, friends and industry guests.

Read: 5 ways to deal with a bad review


No one likes a launch that goes on forever, with multiple speakers programmed, so keep it to about an hour tops – and this should include time set aside for a short reading from you to pique interest. Afterwards, people can still mill about for signing and gossipy chitchat, but the formal proceedings should not outstay their welcome. Leave people wanting to know more about your book; you don’t have to tell them everything about it. They have to buy a copy to find out what happens!

Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy