Thursday, September 4, 2008

Keep the Party Rockin'

By Malena Lott
Do you feel like a little bubbly? I know. Stuff goes straight to my head, too. What about a nice Merlot? You needn’t feel guilty. They say it’s even good for you – one or two glasses a day, so we’ll keep track. Anyway, I’ll drink to good health, and to good books, like our own Marie Force's debut this week, Line of Scrimmage. Let's swing by her pad when we're done here, shall we?

Now that we’re settled in (I’ll take my leather black recliner and you can stretch out like a cat on the red sofa with fluffy pillows), let’s do a toast. “To the start of autumn, the silliness of politics, the kids back in school, and to our much-needed escape into the pages of a great novel.”

“Cheers,” you say.

We clink, and I’m so glad my hubby took the kids out for ice cream so we could gab about the craziness of publishing and the half-life of stars. Authors only wear the Author Hat when our book launches. Otherwise we’re just another chick in line at Target, don’t you agree?

Long day? Try long week. I need to unwind a bit about the already harried preparations for my Dating da Vinci launch on November 1st. Da Vinci has already been courting bloggers and media and, (he’s blushing – how cute is that?) he likes what you’ve been saying about him. Creative types are always uncomfortable with attention (or at least they pretend to be!) You can read what reviewers have been saying at

Sure, getting the word out (to a few million readers would be nice) is hard work, but I’d never complain about the marketing and endless to-do list that goes with promoting. It all comes with the territory.

But my very favorite part is –drumroll, please – the parties. I don’t just do one launch party – I do several. For me, it’s all about celebration and convenience (for the reader, not me.) And really, I just like the sound of “launch party” better than book signing, don’t you? Everybody wants to be invited to a party. I have my after-work party and then my evening La Dolce Vita party at Bravo Cucina where I’ll have a life coach do a 15- minute presentation to 50 women about how to get the sweet life.

Then there’s the weekend parties – in my suburb as well as my hometown in Western Oklahoma, where they sadly don’t even have a book store. (My husband’s main reason for never wanting to move there.) They do, however, have a wonderful library, and that’s all that’s needed. I’ll bring the books and the goodies and they can provide the people. It’s great fun to meet readers, librarians and booksellers.

My in-laws are even throwing a house party to celebrate the book and hand sell them (that they’ll buy en masse from a local bookseller.) Am I feelin’ the love? You bet.

Which is also why I love to give back. I’ll be running lots of great contests, and I hope you’ll win one of the many wonderful prizes I’ll be giving away in November and December all tied around Italy and, yes, Scrabble.

So this is just the first Merlot we’ll share as we gab about the festivities. And, most importantly, what the heck am I going to wear?

Have you ever attended a launch party? What's the most creative thing you (or the author) did at the party? What would you love to see at a launch party (besides free books!)?


  1. Hey Malena,
    We hear all kinds of stuff about "voice" in fiction writing. Let me tell you, sister of mine, your voice shines through loud and clear in this posting. I could HEAR you. Wonderful! Thank you (and our other sisters) for the shout outs for the ongoing LOS party!

    Launch party! My guest list is up to 125 (and growing thanks to my dad who continues to invite people) for my shindig next week. I am so looking forward to it. I'd love to hear everyone's clever ideas since I've only ever been to one other launch party. I'll be sending my shiny new corporate jet to pick up all my Casa sisters around the country so make sure to be ready by 6 next Friday with your cowboy boots and hats and football jerseys! (Patriots preferred, but any team will do).

    Can't wait to read your book, Malena!

  2. Thanks, Marie, for those sweet words. Take lots of pics of your launch party and I'll post a link again on A/B. I love "themes" so since you have football you could do lots of watch party recipes to leave in bookstores and women's retail stores (locally owned are great about this.)

  3. YAY! I love a launch party, Malena! And merlot is the only red wine I like.

    I went to a launch party last year for Brenda Novak at a local tea shop. It was so much fun I plan to have my launch party there. ONE of my launch parties... like you I plan to have more than one! A really nice thing Brenda did at her party was have a "goodie" bag for everyone that included one of her previous books. SOMEDAY I hope to do that.


  4. Hey Malena!
    Great post! Just wish I could be as effervescent! Now, me, I've never been to a launch party, much less thrown one. I'm having our annual cookout on the 11th, and I'll have some copies of Slave if anyone wants one, but that's about it. I still can't believe I have a book published, and if I threw a party just for the event, I'd be afraid no one would show up!

  5. Hey Malena!

    Your parties sound like so much fun--I wish I could convince Sourcebooks to send me to everyone's parties :) Be sure to take tons of pictures and let us all know how it goes.


  6. Malena, Chardonay for me please. lol Your parties sound like fun. I have yet to host or attend one, though if I could afford it, I have found a location.

    I do like booksignings, lots of chocolate, and lots of people to talk to. Am busy lining up a whole bunch of those starting in October, including one in Australia. I always needed an excuse to go to Oz.

    I'm taking notes on everyone else's ideas for sure. Great post.

  7. Launch parties are always fun. It's not easy to set up signings in Southern CA unless you're a truly big name or it's a group signing. Bookstores just don't do them that much out here, but I'm looking into some alternate options.


  8. Thatta girl, Malena. I think you deserve every party you can throw! Launch party, pre-launch party, post-launch party, pre-post-launch party, post-pre-launch party, after-launch party, the possibilities are endless. Malena's here, get the party started! I've never been to a launch party but hope to attend many, maybe even a couple of my own someday!

  9. I have never been to a Launch Party, and did not know such a thing existed until I met up with you gals! I am not so sure if I will do anything next March. I asked my hubby if he would throw me a party - hint, hint - so we shall see. Book signing, maybe. I think it would be fun, but I am not really the salesman or overly chatty type. Plus, like Cheryl, I have this fear that I would be sitting at the table all by myself!

  10. I'm with Cheryl and Sharon...fear of becoming the embodiment of Nigella No-Friends:-) I didn't have a launch party, but we did go out to a nice dinner, and that worked for me! The booksignings around here don't draw many people unless you're a "name" anyway, but I'd love to have a real launch party when I get situated in one place. You all have some great ideas!

  11. I LOVE parties! And ones centered around my book? Kinda like my wedding: everyone does what I say, they give me gifts (in this case, cash for a book) AND they take my picture. What could be better than that? LOL.

    I'm glomming on to my neighborhood's weekly (in the summer) "Family Hours" where one family hosts the libations and everyone else brings the food. And I'll add everyone I've ever met ot the guest list (LOL).

    We're going to have a "tropic" theme since In Over Her Head takes place at various locations in the North Atlantic and Caribbean, including Ocean City, NJ, Bermuda and off the coast of Puerto Rico.

    I'll have the (virgin and otherwise) pina coladas and daiquiris and Coronas with lime, plus Hawaiian punch and some soda mixers for the kids, my brother in law's band that plays great Buffet, and maybe splurge for a roast pig. Friends have already said they're doing coconut shrimp, jerk chicken and other themed noshes.

    And, of course, little umbrellas for the drinks.