Friday, May 25, 2012


Myra here. I'm delighted to welcome back my good friend, award-winning author, and all-around wonderful person, Carla Stewart! When I first met Carla, we were both published-novelist wannabes, and we've critiqued, conferenced, commiserated, and celebrated together through the challenges of this crazy writing business. I love her like a sister!

Today, Carla joins us to share insights, ideas, and advice gleaned from her personal experience with highly successful book launches. So sharpen your pencils, turn to a clean page in your notebooks, and get ready to learn from someone who knows whereof she speaks (er, blogs)!

Award-winning author Carla Stewart

If the release of your new book is anything like mine, it’s been at least two years (or much longer) from the time your book was a glint in your eye until you’ve held your baby in your hands. It’s like being “with child” for twenty-four months! Having given birth to four human babies, I was more that ready for a celebration after just nine months. So double that and then some, and that’s what it feels like when you book baby is born. Why not celebrate your new release with abandon? Show it off to the world and let others join in!
First, a word about terminology. A book release party can be called a launch. It can be a traditional book signing. It can be a virtual book launch. For our purposes here today, though, I’m going with the theory that it’s a PHYSICAL, in-person release party. In other words, this is a VERY BIG DEAL, and you might have to get dressed up for this. But, you know, you deserve it, right?
I’ve come up with five keys to making sure your release party is a smash hit.
PLANNING – The five W’s and How Much?
·      Who to invite – Everyone. It always surprises me who turns up at my release parties. So be sure and include neighbors, friends, work colleagues (yours and your spouse’s), church members, hairdressers, people you’ve met casually who know you’re an author. Make a list and add to it as you think of others you want to include.
·      Who will provide books – you or a bookstore? Order well in advance of the event if you will be providing your own books.
·      What type of party – Theme-related parties are fun using elements from your book. Begin jotting down ideas for decorations and if you will have a reading, a skit, music (live or background music). What unique angle does your book have? Play that up. For my debut book, Chasing Lilacs, we had a fifties-themed party that I documented here
·      When – Set a date that is close to your release date and get it on the calendar as early as possible.
·      Where – A church, bookstore, restaurant party room, museum, art gallery, or any place that is unique to your book and would lend atmosphere are all good choices. Bookstores may restrict you on decorating and entertainment, but they offer ease in having books available. Securing a location and coordinating the date go hand in hand and should be one of your first moves. Courtney Walsh held her launch in an art gallery. Read about it here:  And here
·      Why have a release party? – See first paragraph. Chances are you are not the only one invested in your writing venture. This should be a time of celebration for your cheering squad.
·      How Much? Make a budget that’s within your means. Jot down the major costs (food, decorations, publicity, rental of facility if applicable, giveaways). It adds up fast, and chances are you will spend more than you budget, but this gives you a starting place. Save your receipts for tax purposes later!
PUBLICITY - Ways to invite people.
·      Personal invitations (postcards with your book cover work great) – I’ve found these to be most effective since people have a physical reminder they can tape to the fridge or tuck in a purse. There’s just something about a personal invitation that makes people feel welcome.
·      Create events on FB or GoodReads.
·      Newspaper ads and/or press releases. This works especially well in small to mid-sized towns.
·      Newsletters: Your author newsletter or those of your church and writing groups
·      Local radio station. TV if you’re really lucky!
·      E-vites
·      Flyers and posters

ENLIST HELPERS – Friends. Relatives. Your church’s social committee. Children. I always give my grandchildren jobs at my release parties – passing out slips of paper for the drawings, collecting cups and plates from guests, even taking pictures. They love it! Don’t be shy about asking for help. People become invested in your career when asked to help. Some jobs you can delegate:
·      Greeters to welcome guests.
·      Refreshments – Baking cookies, making sandwiches, set up and serving. Catering is great, but not always in the budget. You’ll have a lot more fun if you’re not preparing the food.
·      Set-up and Clean-up – A great job for teens and kiddos. Cash is a nice motivator.
·      Decorating – Do ahead of time if possible. Provide materials and props and let creative friends help. Ask permission if you are in a bookstore.
·      Photography – Have more than one person take pics if possible. Take a lot of random photos and pose with readers.
·      Sales – If you are in charge of selling your own books, enlist help to take money and fill out receipts (important for tax records). If your event is in a book store, they will handle sales.
·      Drawings for giveaways – I have a small form to capture addresses and emails for future mailings and my data base, but letting someone else pass these out and collect them is a huge help! The slips of paper can then used to draw for prizes.
·      Guiding Principle: It’s all about the readers and guests. Provide a festive atmosphere that invites people to mingle. Make sure guests feel welcome from the minute they walk in the door.

·      Have a schedule. Will you sign books the whole time or chat with guests before moving to the author table? When will you hold drawings for the door prizes (People LOVE door prizes!)? Let guests know so they can plan how long they will stay. 

Door Prize Baskets
·      Will you be doing a reading? Will there be entertainment (special music or a skit perhaps)? Decide ahead of time when these will occur and try to honor that.
·      Round tables or groups of chairs will invite guests to stay and visit while having refreshments either before or after you’ve signed a book for them.
·      Author table: Don’t position too close to the entry. You want people to have a chance to enter the room and feel the warm reception.  Bookmarks and a bowl of candy are nice additions on the signing table.
·      Talk to each guest either while circulating or when you sign their book. Ask for proper spelling of their names and how they want book signed.
·      At the end of the day, you’ll want to thank those who’ve helped you. Send notes or provide small “hostess” gifts to your helpers. Inexpensive candles, note cards, sticky notes, bath gel, etc. make nice gifts.
·      Send a thank-you card to the facility that hosted your event. If a bookstore, leave a plate of refreshments for their break room and/or give a small gift to the coordinator.
·      Make a donation to the church if they’ve hosted your event.
·      Pam Meyers made a YouTube video of pictures of the event and sent the link to those who came. She also has a great tip if you have a book trailer.  

HAVE FUN! Releasing a new book is a day to rejoice. Enjoy it. Visit with your guests. Pose for pictures. Laugh. This is a day for you . . . and your readers. Treat them to a wonderful day, and they will be counting the days until your next book releases! 

Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. A child of the fifties and sixties, she recalls it as a glorious time when the summers were lazy, colors were brighter, and music filled her heart. Carla’s desire is to take readers back to the times when they knew they were loved, to that warm, familiar place in their hearts called “home.”
Her award-winning novels include Chasing Lilacs and Broken Wings. Stardust is her newest release. She loves readers and participating in book club discussions. You can learn more about Carla and ways to connect with her at
In the bayou country of East Texas, the neon sign of the STARDUST stands silent, no longer beckoning visitors to its cozy cottages. But two days after Georgia Peyton buries her unfaithful husband, a curious thing happens: the STARDUST sign sputters to life and winks at her. Sustained by a memory from the past and determined to build a new life, Georgia acquires the STARDUST with hopes of breathing new life into it too. 

But the guests who arrive aren't what Georgia expects: her gin-loving mother-in-law; her dead husband's mistress; an attractive drifter who's tired of the endless road; and an aging Vaudeville entertainer with a disturbing link to Georgia's past. Dreams of a new life are crippled amid the havoc. Georgia's only hope is that she can find the courage to forgive those who've betrayed her, the grace to shelter those who need her, and the moxie to face the future. One thing is certain: under the flickering neon of the STARDUST, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for Carla's book along with two authentic Southern pecan pralines from East Texas.

You can find Carla here:
Follow me on Twitter:!/ChasingLilacs
Amazon link to Stardust:


KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

Hi Carla,

Your synopsis sounds AMAZING! What imagination!

Thanks for the great tips here. As Myra said, this is one for the notebook. :0)

May I share good news? My edits came in today! SO EXCITED! So as you can see, your post is timely as I'll be planning the release sometime this fall.


Here's assorted teas and some decaf coffee with yummy creamers for us night owls... just till Helen arrives.

Vince said...

Hi Carla:

It’s great to see another WIN member at Seekerville. Your video is great. Stardust is available as a Kindle right now. So I’ll be able to read it right away.

I’ve never been to a book launch. I didn’t even know they did that outside of NYC. I think they had a book launch on Castle. It would not seem to me that there would be any possibility of a return on investment for the average writer. What do you think?

Had you been to launches by other authors before you had your own? Do you say it is a book launch party on your post cards or do you just call it a book signing?

I hope you can do a show and tell on the party at the next meeting. Oh, maybe that should be just a ‘show’ and no tell.


carla stewart said...

KC - Congrats on getting the edits and good luck on getting them done!

And I guess I'm a night owl since I decided to click here before turning out the lights. Thanks for the treats.

And good luck with your launch!

carla stewart said...

Hey there, Vince! Wow, you're full of questions. Thanks for the good words about the video!

Actually my big book launch each year is in a town of less than 10,000. It draws from several communities that we call "home" and people love to come to a party. The sales at these events are usually good, and the church bookstore owner loves it because it brings business into the book shop. In terms of dollars, yes, I probably spend too much (for example, I just got 100 pecan pralines in the mail today from a shop in E. Texas, but I can't wait for friends and family to bite into these yummy treats), but these are the folks spreading the word about my books and writing reviews. I can't put a dollar amt. on that.

I had been to author events (not sure they were called a launch) and took notes. Also have watched on the loops what others are doing. On my invitations, it says, "You're Invited to a Southern Porch Party to launch Carla's new book Stardust." Then the deets.

I'm out of breath! Thanks, Vince, for your terrific questions!

Melissa Jagears said...

Vince, you go to WIN? I could now go again, but the drive....I just googled and saw the new website, wonder what Lacy is speaking on, though I probably wouldn't get down there enough to be worth the yearly dues...sigh, why isn't there an middle of nowhere ACFW chapter? :)

My pastor's wife can't wait for me to get published, she loves hosting theme parties. I'll send her the link to this! I dislike parties, so I'm so glad she wants to do this. Though the middle of nowhere doesn't seem too promising a venue....

Virginia said...

Melissa, if there was such a ACFW chapter, I'd bein it, too!

Okay, this is a great post, but the whole thought of it makes me blood pressure skyrocket.

So, if my debut comes out in Nov 2012, I should plan the party for Nov? or Septemeber? Is it considered bad form to hire a gorgeous super model to stand in for me? Sorry, super model/ public speaker.

I thought authors got to live in caves. *rethinks this gig*

Ausjenny said...

Thanks Carla for the info am going to pass this on to a friend.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, Carla, you are always such a ray of God-given sunshine! Bless you for being here!

Hey, I'm doing breakfast from Panera today... got caught up working and DIDN'T MAKE A THING so I called my friends at Panera and they're hooking us up with Sweet and Savory.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, KC, how exciting! Yay for you! And thanks for the Tea and Coffee... umm... the decaf????

I'm bringing a fresh pot of Ruthy-coffee and donating the Keurig for the day!

What on Earth did I do before I owned this machine????

Rose said...


Your book blurb is very intriguing! Just the kind of blurb that makes me buy the book I pick up.

Tina Radcliffe said...

CARLA!!!! I cannot tell you how jazzed I have been for the release of this book. Downloading it to Kindle today. The first time I tried it wasn't available yet.

This story sounds totally delightful.


Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Woo hoo, just the thought of a launch party gets me excited and planning!

I love your ideas, Carla, to incorporate themes from your book into the party. I'm thinking that part of mine takes place at an old house/book shop/cafe, where the scones are to die for, so I better have those on the list of goodies!

Stardust sounds just like a book I'd pick up so please include me in the drawing!

Connie Queen said...

I went over to your website. It's soooo cute.

Can I ask, where you live? I'm assuming the panhandle of Texas.

This is one of those blogs that I will have tuck away for when I finally get "the call."


Julie Lessman said...

CARLA!! I TOTALLY agree with KC and TINA ... this book sounds "AMAZING" and "DELIGHTFUL"!!! As my mama would always say, you have "an imagination like a runaway train"!! And I LOVE the cover and title, girl -- WOW all around!!!

And DOUBLE WOW on the release-party ideas!! Holy cow, I'm with Virginia, my blood pressure just shot through the roof at the thought of planning one of these babies, but I did when I was your age and had all the energy to do it. :| Mine was at my workplace, Maritz Travel and Maritz Motivation, a campus with almost 3,000 people. They allowed me to post a table in their biannual book fair, held in the courtyard outside of the cafeteria, and like you, I pulled out the stops. My artist hubby made posters to hang on bulletin boards and a beautiful, glossy free-standing poster for my table. I draped the table in lace and a crystal vase of roses with a basket of Boston Baked Beans candy. My sister handled all the sales while I chatted FOR HOURS with the various people who came by. Exhausting and wonderful and a memory I will never forget. BUT ... don't ask me to do it again!! ;) You're a better woman than me, Carla Stewart!!


Jeanne T said...

Carla, you know how to throw a book launch. :) Sounds so fun. A friend of mine, whose debut novel came out this month did a book launch, and it was great fun. According to what you shared, she did it all right! :)

How did you decide which aspects of your book to highlight during your launch party?

Loved this post--so upbeat and you make it sound do-able. :) Thanks for sharing how you put one of these on. :) Tucking away for a someday dream.

Emily C. Reynolds said...

So excited to see Carla here! *waving*

Congratulations on your latest release, and as I've said before I LOVE the cover! Thanks for sharing these awesome tips for a book launch party---your energy and enthusiasm radiate!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Carla!! Thanks for the terrific tips on hosting a book release party. I have very fond memories of the fabulous and successful signing event with my debut. I was amazed how many friends and acquaintances were almost as excited as I was. Almost!

Your book trailer is such fun! I love a southern accent. I must read this book! You know that old chair with the pink background in the trailer reminds me of one of my Thorndike covers.


Bridgett Henson said...

Pardon my ignorance. I thought book signings were boring, silent affairs at book stores and libraries.

Carla, thanks for the post. You've given me one more reason to kept traveling on this roller coaster road to publication.

Melissa, I'm with you. My pastor's wife is great at themes. I'm gonna let her handle the decorating.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Carla and Welcome to Seekerville.

Your list of things to do is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas in a concise list of things to do.

I agree with the others. Your book sounds delightful.

Best wishes and have a fun day here in Seekerville.

carla stewart said...

Hi Melissa! We've missed you at WIN and would love for you to come back. I understand being in the middle of nowhere. Been there!

And yes, turning over the details to someone who likes to plan parties would be perfect! Praying for a contract for you soon!

carla stewart said...

Virginia, this just cracked me up. I love living in a cave, but I try to think of a book release party as something for the peeps who've cheered you on - the ones who keep asking, Now when is your book coming out?

The party should be after your book is available - within the first few weeks if possible. If you got it in before Thanksgiving, you might be able to enjoy the holidays. And a release party may not be for everyone. Lots of good books are out there that didn't have a party.

carla stewart said...

Ausjenny - good to see you! I hope this is the kind of information your friend needs. I bet she appreciates you and your support.

carla stewart said...

Ruthie! Coming here is such fun - and I appreciate the hospitality. And Panera - yes! Some of each of the sweet and savory, please.

Glad to hear that you're busy working - on a book, I hope.

Hugs, sweet Ruthie!

carla stewart said...

Rose, thank you! I'd love for you to read Stardust. The characters sort of took up permanent residence with me, too. I keep asking, "what would Georgia do?" Let me know what you think of it!

carla stewart said...

Tina, you make my heart happy! Thanks for getting Stardust. Let me know how you like it!

carla stewart said...

Stephanie! I'm glad to hear that you like party planning. I do, too, which may be why I enjoy going a little overboard. The scones sound perfect. You should definitely have them. If you look on Courtney's links, she has quotes from the book in little frames scattered around. I love that! I hope you have a great release party.

And thanks for getting excited about Stardust. Good luck in the drawing.

carla stewart said...

Hi Connie! Thanks for visiting my website. I grew up in the Texas Panhandle and my husband and I lived for a number of years in the OK Panhandle (where he was from). People there are your family for life so when we go back it's like a giant family reunion!

Keep writing - you'll get the call one day!

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks for being on.
The book launch advice is priceless.
Although it does make me want to crawl under my porch and hide....just a little.

Love you, girl. How's Denise? I miss her.

carla stewart said...

Julie! You're so sweet, thinking I'm younger - haha! Your party sounds wonderful, and I can actually picture you visiting and having a fabulous time! When you hit the NYT list, you should probably try it again! Or at some milestone - like Book #10 or something.

Thanks for the compliments about Stardust! Hugs back, Julie!

Myra Johnson said...

KC, you win the prize for first to arrive in Seekerville today! Have fun with those edits!

VINCE, I am so jealous you still get to see Carla regularly. I miss her so much!

Myra Johnson said...

CARLA!!!!! Cyberhugs to my dear friend!!!! I read over 60 pp. of STARDUST just yesterday, and it is wonderful!

I got a few sneak peaks early on while Carla and I were doing some critiques together, and I could already see this was going to be a fabulous story! Love seeing how it turned out in published form!

Myra Johnson said...

MELISSA! I forgot you had been to WIN meetings! That is such a good group. My new chapter here in NC is pretty spread out, too, so somebody always has a long drive. But it's worth it for the writer-to-writer camaraderie.

VIRGINIA, I wish I could just hire Carla to plan my future author events! And standing in for me, too, would be a real plus! She is such a "people person."

Myra Johnson said...

ROSE & TINA, I can assure you Carla's book lives up to the promise of the blurb. So sweetly engaging, charming characters, description that carries you back to bygone days. Lovin' it!

Myra Johnson said...

"When I was your age"????

What's THAT all about, JULIE???

carla stewart said...

Hi Jeanne! Congrats to your friend and the successful launch of her book.

About deciding what to highlight - usually it's more of giving the atmosphere of the book. Chasing Lilacs was the 50s. We had taped music through the speaker system and served bottled pop and retro candy (BlackJack and Clove gum - anyone remember those).

One friend who writes historicals told me she would dress in the costume of the period for her launch, but I didn't wear a poodle skirt - haha.

For Stardust, it's a porch party (inside) but we're hanging vintage aprons on a clothesline and serving finger sandwiches and pecan pralines. It doesn't take a lot to convey "mood" but it makes each book launch a little different and keeps people interested.

I appreciate the question.

Lyndee said...

HI Carla,
What a tutorial! Thanks for all the details. Great video, too. Looking forward to reading your book.

Blessings all for a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

carla stewart said...

Waving to you, Emily! Thanks - I was tickled pink about the cover too.


carla stewart said...

Good morning, Janet! I'm glad you like the trailer AND the accent. I'll have to go back and look at the section you're talking about. Fun!

You brought up something I should've mentioned. A party for the release of a DEBUT book is a celebration on many levels and just makes a great memory. You only have one debut - it should be a glorious time!

carla stewart said...

Bridgett - this made me smile. Yep, I've had some of those boring signings where people won't make eye contact and I've only sold one or two books.

And you're fortunate if you have someone who can handle all the details. Everyone should use their own gifts, right?

carla stewart said...

Thanks for the welcome, Sandra, and your sweet words. It's always such a pleasure to visit Seekerville!

carla stewart said...

Mary! Glad to see you! You're marvelous with people so no fair hiding under the porch.

Great news - Denice is coming to ACFW conference this year! She's so excited and will want to see you first, Mary!

carla stewart said...

Lyndee - great to see you! I'm glad this was helpful. You're welcome, of course, to pick and choose the parts that fit you!


Pam Hillman said...

Stardust sounds like a great read, Carla. I love the idea of the sign sputtering to life. Really cool twist!

Question for veteran book launch partiers. How long is good for these events? I know two hours is kind of standard with people coming and going.

But then if the party is 2 hours, and people come in and out all the time, the author probably feels like she needs to sit at the table in case someone wants a book signed. Hmmm, I suppose it's one of those things you just play by ear, right?

Mingle. Sign. Mingle. Munch on goodies. Have a drawing. Mingle some more. Sign.

carla stewart said...

MYRA!!! I do miss you, and Vince has started coming to WIN now. He always has the best questions!

And just for the record, I want all of you in Seekerville to know that I didn't pay Myra one penny to say what she did!!! And I'm thrilled, Myra, that you are enjoying Georgia's story. Hugs, my friend.

My coffee cup is empty. Be back later.

Myra Johnson said...

Denice is coming to ACFW this year? Terrific! I'll be looking forward to seeing her again!

carla stewart said...

Hi Pam! The sign sputtering to life was fun to write about. And sort of metaphorical, but not in a deep way.

We set the party for two hours, but it always goes a little over. I do like to draw for the prizes while people are all still there. And they usually come and stay for a while. My hubby says people crave spending time together in our busy world, and since most of the guests know a lot of the others, it's a time to catch up on their lives. You just play the whole thing by ear and see what happens.

Great to see you here, pam!

Pam Hillman said...

Launch parties are kinda like baby and bridal showers, imo. Like Carla said, it's the chance for all your family, friends, and co-workers to come out and congratulate you and support you. If they buy a book, great. (REALLY GREAT! lol) But they don't have to. It's about celebrating this important milestone in your writing career.

Having said that, I didn't have a real launch party with Stealing Jake since it's ebook only. The party would have been stupendous, but without a physical book, a little awkward. Instead, I had a jam-up, all-day, action packed sale party here in Seekerville that was amazing and SO much fun.

When I have a print book come out, I hope to have a launch party. I'm 20 miles from a bookstore though. We've got a cute little coffee shop in town, but it really IS tiny.

The library might be a good location, or the fellowship hall at church.

Or the Wal Mart parking lot.... hmmm

Janet Kerr said...

Carla, you sure did give a great blueprint. Thanks for putting this information together.


Janet Dean said...

Carla, I'm loving your idea of using vintage aprons on a clothesline for your Stardust porch party. Where are you finding them? Are you a collector? I love bib aprons, not that they're old, but I have several. I always feel tiny when I wear them and domestic. See how easily I can kid myself? LOL


Digging for Pearls said...

Great ideas Carla. I printed this one our for the future....when I have a book release party. :)

Jodie Wolfe

Melanie Dickerson said...

This is great, Carla!!! I really need to do this for my next book. I've never actually had a launch party or book release party. The closest I came to this was my very first book signing where I brought cookies and some other food to the book store to give away. It really was a party atmosphere, and all my church friends and RWA chapter friends came.

The problem with my next book was that it release around Christmas time, and everybody is so distracted with Christmas in December that no book stores wanted to host a signing. And guess when my next book comes out? Right. December. I might have to have my book launch party in January. My daughter's birthday is three days after Christmas and that is always a problem too, when to have the party. Oh well. Maybe I can do a launch party with my fourth book! LOL!

But thanks for this information! It looks awesome! I do want to figure out how to do this. Maybe I'll get my church friends to help me.

carla stewart said...

Pam - they are very much like a baby or bridal shower, only I do get a few guys that come to mine. And I think you should go for the Wal-Mart parking lot - haha! Or the rodeo arena - I can see you having a Western themed party, and it would be fabulous!

Janet - I love the aprons, too. I didn't realize they were so popular until I started seeing them everywhere, and I've had a lot of interest on my Pinterest board that with vintage aprons. Yes, most of them are new, but it's a vintage idea. I ordered a bunch from Etsy. I'll give away a couple as door prizes. I have an old one, but I can't remember which one of our grandmothers it came from (terrible, I know) and a really cute one I bought in Colorado that I'm hanging onto. I can hardly wait!

carla stewart said...

Thanks, Jodie, for coming by! And hang onto your dreams - hoping for a contract for you soon!

Melanie - A signing at a book store can have a party atmosphere, and it's always great because you don't have to worry about the book sales. I just had one at B&N for Stardust. It was fairly low key, but I applied some of the same things - postcard invites, a plate of cookies, a giveaway. We had around 25 people come and we took pictures, etc. Some of the ones who came were 1st timers for my book, so I consider it a success even though it was smaller scale.

A December release date would be tough, but you might have a New Year's party - New Book, New Year! Or something in early Dec so people would buy the book for Christmas gifts.

I'm so stinkin' proud of you, Melanie!!!

Vince said...

Hi Melissa:

There are two big advantages of being in the middle of nowhere.

1. You are centrally located.
2. There is nothing going on to compete with your event.


Vince said...

Hi Carla:

Do you consider it historical fiction if you lived it?
I must say, your description of a 1950’s living room was just like a time machine. For a few moments, I was a kid again.


Vince said...


I can see why you’d be jealous. A WIN meeting is like a Who’s Who of romance. I sat at a table last time with authors who had over 100 books published between them. And then they bring in Martha Rogers from Houston to speak about Deep POV. What a deal! Sometimes I wonder: “What am I even doing here?”

I hope you have a local ACFW chapter near you.

BTW: When will your books be out on Kindle? They will go right to the top of my TBR list.


Jan Drexler said...

This sounds like so much fun! But I would have to go the pastor's wife route, too.

What is it about pastor's wives that make them so creative? My mom was one, too, and somehow I just didn't inherit those genes. Maybe because I didn't marry a pastor...

Back to the subject - -

I love the way you are able to meld together the small town feel of your books and the small town feel of your party. You have a great cheering section rooting for you all the way. What great friends to have!

Pam's idea of having a party in the Walmart parking lot is great - it's the busiest place in town :)

Vince said...


For your next book launch, World Premier, play this video:

Allegany Moon

I’m not sure attendees will be able to get this tune out of their heads! I’ve been hearing it ever since this song occurred to me.


P.S. No one will notice the spelling.

Courtney said...

Well, I'm not a writer, but I love to read so a book launch sounds fun:) enter me for your book please! Clp1777(at)aol(dot)com

Julie Hilton Steele said...

What a marvelous post to go along with a beautiful book cover and exciting story!

Put me in!

And, Virginia, if you weren't on the other coast, I would be there to help you plan the party. Love to party, sell books, and drag introverts out of their shells.

Peace, Julie

Jamie Adams said...

Thanks for sharing ... great information! I hope to be using it one day. Love your book cover and it sounds like a great book to read.

carla stewart said...

Vince - Our WIN group is definitely prolific in writing romance - you should be thrilled to sit among all that talent! They've taught me a LOT, and I'm not even a romance writer.

I say if I lived during the time period I'm writing about, it's NOT historical. My young readers would disagree, and that's all right. Never. Argue. With. A. Reader. Where would we be without them???

I'm glad my writing transported you back to your childhood. My hope is to take readers back to that place in their hearts called home.

carla stewart said...

Hi Jan! Pastor's wives are great, aren't they? And it doesn't matter who does the party and the planning. Having someone else is fabulous. All you have to do is supply the guest lists and be a consultant - ha!

I like being FROM a small town, but I love living in a mid-sized city now. And maybe that's what makes going home special.

Great thoughts, Jan!

Myra Johnson said...

Vince said: "When will your books be out on Kindle? They will go right to the top of my TBR list."

Aw, Vince, you are such a sweetheart! Right now I know of only two of my titles in a Kindle version: One Imperfect Christmas and Romance by the Book. Maybe the others will follow soon.

carla stewart said...

Courtney, you are my favorite kind of person - a reader. And your writing friends appreciate you, I know!

Julie - Yay! Another extrovert! I adore being home alone most of the time, but when I'm with people (and especially if we're talking books!), I'm a mingler. This made me smile!

Jamie - thanks so much! And I hope it's information you can use sooner rather than later. Happy writing!

Clari Dees said...

What a fun, slightly overwhelming topic today. Thank you for sharing with us, Carla.

I'm with Virginia, Mary, and Julie Lessman. I'll be in my cave under the porch trying to keep my blood pressure in check while thinking about planning a party. (gulp!)

My mom and sis like to plan parties, though, and they've already hinted around at this topic. I might have to use the Walmart parking lot like Pam Hillman, since that's the only store in town that will have my book.

Hmmm... a western-themed book launch in front of Walmart. Then again, my book opens with a bank robbery, so maybe I should recreate that at the pretty, historical bank in town. (Just look for my mugshot in the local police reports the next day :-)

My mom's a pastor's wife, too, and she is very creative. In my opinion, it's because she had to learn how to live on a little bit of nothing and necessity IS the mother of invention/creativity!

I'm excited with you KC! My line edits came in yesterday afternoon, and I can't wait to tackle them. I've got a two week deadline. How 'bout you? Have fun!

Carol Moncado said...

Wish I had time to read everything [and I may later] but we didn't get home from St. Louis until about 230 this morning - with two doc appts starting at 840 so... [And a 4yo who wakes up Julie-chipper at the crack of dawn...]

Anyway - what great ideas!!! I've started thinking about this already though I've not made any decisions yet [obviously!]. Definitely things to think about!

I've also heard really good things about this book and would love to get my hands on it!

Thank you!

Miriam said...

Hello, Carla! It is a good thing I try to keep my pencils sharp (*see Myra, I was paying attention) to take notes. What great info! This will be for future time. I'm still wading between drafts.

Pecan pralines! My mom would make these for her parties and she would give us kids a few to sample. She doesn't cook much anymore, but hey she did plenty of it and the sweetest hostess that ever met!
"Stardust" will be a delight to read and so excited about it! Do you ever mosey up to the TX Book Expo for a book launch?

Ruthy, Panera and the use of your Keurig! Wow! (*whispering...) You're a sweety! ;-)

Have a safe weekend everyone!Hugs.

Pam Hillman said...

Clari said: Hmmm... a western-themed book launch in front of Walmart. Then again, my book opens with a bank robbery, so maybe I should recreate that at the pretty, historical bank in town. (Just look for my mugshot in the local police reports the next day :-)

Oops! We'll bail you out, Clari. Go for it! lol

Clari Dees said...

Aww, thanks Pam! You're a real pal. But maybe I shouldn't bring your name up until after I've left the interrogation room.?.

Nancy C said...

Carla, the watercolor of the lilacs (at your website) is beautiful!

I haven't read Chasing Lilacs yet, so I checked iBooks and it's available (rubbing hands together). The blurb for Stardust is great, very intriguing, and what a combination of characters :-) Looking forward to reading it.

Thanks for all the launch ideas. Your enthusiasm shines through. Any ideas for ebook launches?

Nancy C

Mary Connealy said...

YAY! DENICE...I spelled her name wrong before. I'm looking forward to it.

Jennifer Thompson said...

Carla, I can't wait to get my hands on your book! It sounds amazing.

Being a Texan, I love reading books based there.

Also, your ideas for a book launch are genius. I will definitely take note of them for the day I launch.


Myra Johnson said...

Miriam, I'm with you on the pralines! Love 'em! Problem is I can't eat just one!

Myra Johnson said...

Pam the bank robber. Yep, I can see the headlines already.


(The robbery hoax, not the book--LOL!)

CatMom said...

Welcome Carla! LOVED your post---another one for my "Keeper files". Although I'm unpubbed as yet, I'll know exactly how to host a book release party when the time comes! (yes, I'm being positive here*grin*). ~ STARDUST sounds wonderful--please enter me in the drawing. Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo
p.s. For those of you needing an afternoon snack (it's afternoon here in Georgia) I've brought my Georgia Peach muffins and some Peach punch---Enjoy!! :)

carla stewart said...

Clari - If your mom and sis are excited about throwing you a launch, just let them read this and get their creativity going. It's great to have a support system.

And wonderful that you're on line edits - Secretly, I love that part of writing, so hope yours are a breeze!

carla stewart said...

Good to see you, Carol. And I understand - sometimes information comes at me when I'm tired or busy with something else. Hope it's useful when you're ready for it.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

carla stewart said...

Miriam - I'm impressed that your mom made pecan pralines. When someone told me I should make them for the party, I laughed. But I did order them from the Jefferson General Store and they are yummy. Now to hide them from my hubby!

What and where is the TX Book Expo? I'm always looking for new places to meet readers so would love to know more.

I hope you enjoy Stardust and let me know your thoughts.

carla stewart said...

Nancy - glad you can get Chasing Lilacs on iBooks (something I didn't know), but I'm confused about the lilacs watercolor. I have one my sister had done for me, but it's not on my website. That's actually a great idea, though!!!

No help with e-book launches. Pam here is the expert at that, and I'm astounded at her savvy in that.


carla stewart said...

Thanks CatMom from Georgia! Did you know STARDUST is Georgia's story? I think you'll love her.

And peach muffins sound so yummy right now!

carla stewart said...

Mary, Denice would let you spell her name anyway you wanted :-)

Pam - I can see the wheels turning and with Myra's help on the Press Release, we've got a party in the making. Maybe a gunfight over by the lawnmowers and petunias! Just don't forget to send me an invite!!

Love you all at Seekerville. I'm shutting down for the day. Will try to check in before bedtime.

You're a swell bunch!

Anonymous said...

Carla, (from Miriam)I wish I had some of those pralines now.
I said it was called the TX Book Expo, but it is actually called the TX Book Festival. It was begun by Former First Lady Laur* Bush.
Here is a video about it--

Cara Lynn James said...

Great information, Carla! I love your picture!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

You're so sweet, Carla! I'm so happy for you and all your success! Your books have really made a splash!!!

Lindi said...

Carla--great advice!! I'm about to host a book launch in July and these tips were much needed. Thank you!

Debby Giusti said...

Carla, great post that's packed with wonderful information!!! Love the cover and blurb of Stardust. Congrats on your success!

carla stewart said...

Miriam, thank you for the TX Book Festival information!

And to all of you . . . thanks for having me. May all your launches be the greatest!

marybelle said...

Excellent thank you.

I would love a book & pralines. It ALL sounds delicious.


Shelia Hall said...

Would love to win your book and the pecan pralines is just a sweet bonus!!!!

Rachelle Rea said...

What great helpful tips and tricks! Thank you! :)

I'd love to be entered in the giveaway, too.

biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com