Creating a Successful Book Launch
Teamwork is the Key!

Shannon, Marie and Judie – an outstanding planning committee 

The mission of my book launch for Cane Confessions was a little different from what I’ve seen other authors focus on. I didn’t just want to sell books.  I wanted to educate the public about the resources available to those coping with ongoing vision loss. 

I wondered how I could best achieve this goal. Finally, I decided a team approach would achieve what I couldn’t do by simply telling others resources were available. Perhaps I could bring those resources to my launch and have them explain in person how they contribute to helping a vision-impaired person move forward if they weren’t already. I decided to start with The Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania since they dealt with people living with low or no vision on a daily basis.

The Sight Center of NW PA’s mission is to prevent blindness and promote independent for those with vision loss.

I sent a letter to the CEO of the Center and followed up with a visit. Shannon, the rep I spoke with, met with her supervisor to discuss my proposal. To my delight, they liked the idea and agreed to work with me to put on my launch!  In Shannon Wohlford’s words, “We are excited to support Amy Bovaird’s efforts to educate our community about the day-to-day challenges experienced by those living with an eye disorder.” 

I wrote Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side to Mobility because writers write what they know about. My goal was to convey three essential elements:  educate,  entertain and emotion. I wanted sighted readers to understand my life as someone who coped with sight loss daily–without pity or, on the other hand, without having them disregard the challenges and, of course, I wanted to write something others facing Retinitis Pigmentosa, or RP for short, could relate  to. 

Shannon summed up my purpose well in these words: 

“Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 28, Amy used her love of writing to explore her own feelings about vision loss and connect with others in similar situations. Using humor and personal stories, Amy’s tales hope to inspire others to live an abundant, positive life!”

Working with the Sight Center opened up several avenues to make my launch goals a reality. Shannon, who works in marketing and communications, was a pleasant, easy-to-work-with organized multi-tasker Judie, the other member of my launch team, had those same qualities except she worked on my end to ensure I got where I needed to go. She drove me to various outlets and helped me purchase the food, drinks and anything else needed for the launch. I had an awesome team! 

Shannon networked and landed a venue for the launch at LECOM, a prominent health care facilitator who worked with several several senior centers in Erie, PA.  The launch would be held at their newest center in the heart of the city.  That’s where Marie, the event coordinator at the center,  joined our team. 

“Don’t worry about a thing. Let me work my magic. The band will go here,” she said walking to one of the corners of the room. “We’ll put the cake table here. I have a nice table skirt. We’ll put the food next to the kitchen.” She continued to gesture. “Chairs will go here for audience….”

As I followed her around the room, seeing the sunlight stream through the windows and in my mind’s eye, how it would all appear the night of the launch, I remember feeling so grateful to God for bringing her to my team.  Though I wasn’t paying Maria, it never dampened her enthusiasm for my event. She advised me to hire security–parking attendants who would ensure my guests would have somewhere to park. I could count on her. 

In early afternoon, we picked up the cake and headed over to the senior center to set up. “It’s best to pick it up the day of the event,” Judie advised. “That way, it’s fresh. It also lessens the chances of anything happening to it.” 


Then we set up what we had to at the venue, finishing up with the table with the raffle baskets. I thought they looked really nice. The license plate holder in the Lions Club basket served almost as a ribbon. I was surprised at the amount of work that went into this table: the jars for the tickets, the contents of the baskets typed out, and the placards that needed to b e made identifying each basket. Judie thought of everything. 


And we put the book table together.  The bundles were my idea and I bought the ribbon. It was Judie that made them look so festive. She has so much talent! 


I have never felt more confident. With a team of knowledgeable planners behind the launch, I had no qualms. We were ready to start the launch. 

I was fortunate to be surrounded by people who knew what they were doing and who could help me plan the kind of unique book launch I wanted to throw. What kind of parties have you thrown? Did you plan them alone or with someone else? 

You have just read, “Putting Together a Launch” by Amy L. Bovaird. © Copyright November 26, 2016. Please take a moment out to leave a comment and let me know what you think. 

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