Our KnowHow series on publicity with Children's and YA author, Gill Stewart, continues. This week, it's all about meeting your reader at book launches.  

Publicising your book is all about connecting with readers. Readers really find value in hearing an author talk about their work.

Your book launch is likely to be your first opportunity to do this. It’s a great event to organise because it’s always fun. You can even do a joint launch, which I definitely recommend!

There are some key things to think about:

It needs to be somewhere central and accessible for your target audience. Book shops are ideal, but somewhere with a bit of pizzazz can also be great.

Date and timing
Think of what will maximise possible attendance. For a YA audience an evening may work well, but for younger children weekends might be better when parents are free to accompany them.

People love a good party, so make your launch into one. Invite as many people as possible. Don’t forget key influencers (librarians, teachers) and the local press. If members of the local press can’t attend make sure you supply them with a press release and a photo so you can still get coverage.

Make people feel welcome
Depending on your budget, this may include welcoming people at the door; or you could provide snacks (juice and themed cupcakes? fruit?); or you might leave a small gift such as a bookmark on each seat.

Timetable of events
Everyone who attends the launch will be interested in you and your book, and want to hear you speak. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to mix things up a little – how about being interviewed by someone else? Or being part of a panel? Or having a Q&A session?

And remember this is about connecting with readers, increasing your visibility – and selling your book. Make sure you have lots of books on hand!

featured image: Claire Watts, Pia Fenton and Gill Stewart at their joint book launchGill Stewart

Gill Stewart’s coming of age YA novel, Lily's Just Fine is published by Sweet Cherry in July 2019. Born in England, Gill has lived in South Africa, France and Zimbabwe and now lives in Scotland. You can follow her on Twitter.


Eleanor Pender is Knowhow Editor. If there's something you'd like to know how to do, send your suggestions to

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