Say Goodbye to Boring Book Events: Have a Book Festival

Thursday, May 05, 2016
It's Cinco de Mayo! It's a fun holiday--if you like Mexican food and drinks. A little chips and salsa and some mariachi music. The Mexican restaurants in St. Louis have all kinds of specials and bands playing today, and I think it's probably similar in many cities.

Why not create that fun around your book (or even your editing or writing coach business)? You don't have to have a regular book signing, do you? You don't have to do what everyone else is doing with an online Facebook party, right? Why not have a book festival?

Take on the spirit of Cinco de Mayo and try some of these ideas:

1. Have a book launch party where you serve some fun food that goes with your book. I realize that not all books lend themselves to this idea. But what if your book is set in Chicago? Could you serve Chicago style pizza or have a hot dog bar at your book signing or launch party? Think outside the box and think fun. People will travel for fun food!

2. Music speaks to our souls--what is some music that goes with your book? Can you have a dance party? Do you know a musician you could invite to play for a while at your event? Is there a theme song you could adopt that goes with your book? You could even provide free downloads as prizes.

3. Give the people something to do! Maybe you won't have a conga line or maracas for people to play, but what game or activity could readers do to go with your book? One time I had a trivia contest at my book launch for Caught Between Two Curses. It is set in Chicago and has the Chicago Cubs in it, so I made up a trivia game for people to test their baseball and Chicago knowledge. People were talking to each other to figure out the answers.

4. Use decorations and bright colors. Make your book launch or book signing appealing to the eye. If possible, set it up so people can stay awhile and be comfortable. sitting down with chairs and tables, candy and maybe some art activity to engage in. The art they create could become more decorations for your book event.

As I said earlier, think fun! Think about other festive days and festivals you've been to and incorporate some of these ideas into your book event! After all, you should have fun too, after all that hard work it took to get this book into the world.

Balloon photo by alibree on

Margo L. Dill is a writer and editor in St. Louis, MO. She also teaches classes for WOW! Women on Writing. 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Wonderful suggestions. If I ever have need to plan a book launch, I will do some of these things.

Margo Dill said...

I know your book launch will be fantastic because you are! :) Happy weekend.

Jodi Webb said...

I once had a Jeopardy style game for my trivia book. People loved it! I was so nervous but they were jumping out of their seats to answer questions. I was amazed.

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