The "to do" list for the Circle of Dishonor launch party is an ever changing document. Each time one item is removed two more pop up to take its place. There are the standard necessities, guest list, location, invitations, and, of course, books. All those friends who have listened to me endlessly talk about the book, particularly those who have read chapters, advised me on plot, edited my not so perfect prose, sweated with me over query letters, and offered their shoulder to cry on after rejections, want to be there when the book is presented for the first time. It is important to have them there to celebrate this success.
The rest of the to do list is more difficult. There are decisions that must be made about refreshments. Sometimes this isn't as important, bookstores often don't allow food. The expense of providing refreshments can be prohibitive if the guest list is too long. Since the last thing an author wants to do is limit their guest list, food can easily become a major issue.
In my opinion, the launch party is a party. It is about saying thank you to the people who have supported me and letting them know that I appreciate their support. I expect that book sales will not cover the cost of the party and set my budget accordingly. There will be refreshments, and a sound system for reading a portion of the book. I am also planning to talk a little about the history behind the story, answer questions and sign copies of the book.
Now for the other problems: What kind of book poster and how large? What sort of goodies do I give out? Oh, what am I going to wear?