I pulled this from the comments trail of the previous post because it applies to a rapidly growing group of authors–those living outside Utah.
What would you suggest for LDS authors who don’t live in Utah? I could easily arrange such an event here in my hometown for friends and family, but seeing as how Utah is about 1700 miles away, it would be much more difficult.
It still works. How far away is your nearest LDS bookstore? If there’s one within a few hours drive it’s still considered local. If there are no LDS bookstores nearby, or if the one nearest you can’t or won’t do a launch party, have your publisher contact a small local mom & pop bookstore and see if they will host one. (Smaller stores are often more willing to do this than the bigger chains.)
If that doesn’t work, consider hosting a launch party at your home. It will be smaller scale, but I know a musician who did a launch party at their home and sold 100 CDs on one night.
Another idea is to do a one-day online launch sale. Using your website, your publisher’s website or another online LDS bookstore website who agrees to “host” the launch, schedule a party. Send out postcards with a code that gives customers a percentage off your book or free shipping if they order that day. If you can work it out with the publisher, have them send the books to you to sign before shipping. Then enter all those who place an order for your book using the code on your postcard in a drawing and draw out for a couple of prizes.
It can be done. It just takes creativity and flexibility–and if you’re an author, you’ve got plenty of both.