Book launch party at the South Portland Public Library

A few years ago, I read a blog post by the amazing and lovely Heidi Schulz about the book launch party for her debut novel, Hook’s Revenge (if you haven’t read that book, I insist you run out and buy three copies immediately — it has humor, heart, and swashbuckling adventure), and how she had the party in her library. I feel like I usually read about book launch parties in bookstores, and I really liked the idea of having it in a the library.

Then Jen Malone had a party at her library for her book At Your ServiceI remember reading about how she set up a scavenger hunt in the library, and worked with the librarians to make it a fun party for the kids, not just a book reading. “The other critical component here,” says the very wise Jen Malone, “was that the library stood to gain something here too, and I think that’s very important.”

“Hey,” I thought. “I want to do that.”

And so, now, I have! This past Saturday (March 5) I had the book release party for Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) at the South Portland Public Library. More than 100 people came to hear me read and to get a signed book, and then to play games and have snacks.

(click on any photos to make them bigger)

The library made this ENORMOUS Snappsy banner. My librarian got this photo of me halfway through deciding whether or not to hop up onto this tiny wall (I decided no).

The library made this ENORMOUS Snappsy banner. My librarian got this photo of me halfway through deciding whether or not to hop up onto this tiny wall (I decided no).

 

Kids made chicken masks and alligator masks (these particular children are mine).

Kids made chicken masks and alligator masks (these particular children are mine).

 

Toss a pancake bean bag or popcorn bean bag into Snappsy's mouth! Win a prize! (This is a pajama-ed Ramona showing this off at home before we brought it in.)

Toss a pancake bean bag or popcorn bean bag into Snappsy’s mouth! Win a prize! (This is a pajama-ed Ramona showing this off at home before we brought it in.)

 

Pudding, popcorn, pretzels, and punch waiting in the library's kitchen.

Pudding, popcorn, pretzels, and punch waiting in the library’s kitchen.

 

Party hats!

Party hats!

 

The library raffled off this basket of fun.

The library raffled off this basket of fun.

 

Zuzu dancing in front of the photo booth before everyone arrived.

Zuzu dancing in front of the photo booth before everyone arrived.

 

One thing I was so excited to do since we were at the LIBRARY was to pick out a selection of my favorite books, books that influenced me, and put them on display. I can't quite explain how incredibly relaxing it was to go through the bookstacks and pick out books I love.

One thing I was so excited to do since we were at the LIBRARY was to pick out a selection of my favorite books, books that influenced me, and put them on display. I can’t quite explain how incredibly relaxing it was to go through the bookstacks and pick out books I love.

 

Here are all the Faves & Influencers on display. I'm happy to say that almost all fo them got checked out. Yay, libraries!

Here are all the Faves & Influencers on display. I’m happy to say that almost all of them got checked out. Yay, libraries!

 

Here I am! Reading my book in front of people!

Here I am! Reading my book in front of people!

 

More reading.

More reading.

 

Line for signing.

Line for signing.

 

Signing.

Signing.

 

My mom reading some of the books from my Favorites Table to Ramona.

My mom reading some of the books from my Favorites Table to Ramona.

 

After, with my awesome librarian who willingly agreed to wear this alligator costume.

After, with my awesome librarian who willingly agreed to wear this alligator costume.

 

My librarians are silly (THANK GOODNESS).

My librarians are silly (THANK GOODNESS).

 

So now I’ve had a book launch party at a bookstore, and one at a library. They were both super fun, and also, honestly, incredibly gratifying. I feel like I have so much support. The Books of Wonder party was amazing because so many people who had a direct hand in the making of Snappsy were there to celebrate, and also because of how many amazing and important members of the children’s literature community showed up to cheer us on. The library party was amazing because it was my own neighborhood, and the people I see every day at the grocery store, celebrating with me. Plus we could get messy with crayons and glue sticks.

Thanks for celebrating with me, everyone!

 

 

Comments (1)

  1. Virginia Law Manning April 2, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I LOVE this idea!!! And it looks like you really went all out to make this a great event for everyone! I may copy it myself someday. A bit of a sad story is that my favorite librarian at our local public library had to switch branches a few years ago. For budgetary reasons, she was given the choice to either go to part-time work or move to a different/further branch. I really miss Mrs. Z! But she will always be part of our library memories AND would certainly be a part of a library launch party for my first book : )

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.