Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

Masthead header

Should I have a party?

Do Virgil and Amanda deserve a party?

Do Virgil and Amanda deserve a party?

In this time of great change in the book publishing business, it is often hard to know what to do. Especially if you are self-published.  I just read on a agent blog that authors (and as an agent he is dealing with traditionally published authors) should have a realistic expectation of what to do from a marketing standpoint.  So the question that I have is this…

Is a book party a legitimate way to market a book anymore?

I didn’t have one after the release of  The Lawyer’s Luck because it was a novella.  Not that the short length means much, but in some quarters ( like the Golden Heart) a short novella means that you are still not published.

Kristy Cambron threw a book party, in person, with all of the works after the release of her stellar novel The Butterfly and the Violin.

It looked like a fabulous time and she wore a fabulous dress too!  I loved it. And the food was not virtual–I’m sure.

At a panel at RWA about promotions with Jennifer Probst and Catherine Bybee, they cited the Facebook party as one of the best ways to promo a book.

I’m not so sure.  I’ve been to some FB book parties and they were sad little affairs.  Some were robust–with people commenting and it became hard to keep up–but some were not well attended.

So have you had a book party?  In person or on Facebook?  What were the factors that helped you to decide?


The Lawyer’s Luck is now available in  Kindle e-bookNookKobo and iTunes. Print copies are available on Amazon. The Preacher’s Promise is now available on Amazon.  It will soon be available on Nook, Kobo, iTunes and in print.


headshot bwBook one in Piper Huguley’s new 19th century historical series, The Preacher’s Promise, in the “Home to Milford College” series was a semi-finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest and will be self-published in July 2014. She is also the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a five-book series of inspirational historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters. Book one in the series, A Virtuous Ruby won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance in 2013 and is a Golden Heart finalist in 2014. Book four in the series, A Champion’s Heart, was a Golden Heart finalist in 2013.

She blogs about the history behind her novels at She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.


Twitter: @writerpiper

Facebook: Piper Huguley



Pam Asberry - July 29, 2014 - 1:09 am

ANY excused for a party!

Carol Burnside - July 29, 2014 - 3:48 am

I think FB parties are great if done right. And by that I mean one virtually unknown author (like myself) is unlikely to have much traffic. Invite other authors to participate – especially if they have new releases, then everyone celebrates and promotes and gives prizes. Win/win for everyone. :-D

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 5:31 am

Ha! I like the way you think, Pam!

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 5:32 am

Sounds like a good idea, banding together with other authors. Thanks for the idea!

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 5:34 am

That was Carol’s great idea. So good to see you at RWA!

Marilyn Baron - July 29, 2014 - 8:08 am

I think you should do whatever you want to celebrate this exciting occasion. The best virtual Facebook Party I ever attended was Barbara Vey’s, which lasted for six days and I made so many FB friends that I still have today. I’ve participated in FB parties, some very well attended, some not for other authors. But I’ve never had my own FB party. As a matter of fact,I’ve been invited to participate in one next month for a good friend and fellow author and I’m very excited about it. It’s going to be exactly what Carol describes, each author has 30 minutes and you celebrate the author hosting the party and also talk about your new releases, give away prizes and it should be a lot of fun.

sandra Elzie - July 29, 2014 - 8:19 am

Hi Piper,
I’ve been to a couple of them, but like you said, they were sad little affairs.

Now, like Carol said, if you had 4 or 5 authors it would draw more people AND if you stayed within general perameters–like Inspirational, Family Friendly & maybe mystery or suspense (depending on the detail of any deaths or the heat level of the romance in that suspense) then you get a varity of people who might cross over and read a good suspense, even when they usually only read family friendly…or vice versa.

Everyone donates prizes (books or ???) or contributes toward a couple of nice give away items besides their books and it’s easier than one person trying to do it all

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 8:20 am

Thank you Marilyn! And the more I think of Carol’s idea, the more I like the idea of joining forces. I don’t have any real comparable people, but if I combine forces with people with the same kind of intentions…it might work. Thanks for commenting Marilyn!

Krystal Grant - July 29, 2014 - 8:35 am

I had a big party at a hotel for the release of my first book. Then, when my second book came out a year later I decided nt not have a party ( they can be a little expensive). But when my third comes out at the beginning of next year I will certainly have another book release party.

Denny S. Bryce - July 29, 2014 - 8:36 am

I like a well planned FB author event , and yes, you should have one — and invite other authors to be specials guests. It’s a classic cross promotion which introduces your “customers/fans” to other authors’ fans, and vice versa. And it’s a good way to introduce your new book and educate prospective readers about your genre. Plus, I haven’t seen too many historical launches…and I think there should be more of them:)

Monica - July 29, 2014 - 8:58 am

I enjoy FB book release parties, especially when they are very interactive and include multiple authors. Interactive meaning that there are quizzes and trivia questions with a chance to win something, and/or just encouraging participants to post favorite songs, cast the book, or anything that ties into the storyline. With regards to the multiple authors, not every party needs them, but I’ve been introduced to new (to me) authors that way.

Julie - July 29, 2014 - 9:09 am

Ditto what everyone has said. And you have another excuse for me to find you a stellar virtual dress. :-)

Maxine Davis - July 29, 2014 - 9:38 am

Piper, Have your in-person party! The only thing I’ve got published (so far) is a short story in Seasons and Seashells. The local library wanted all local authors to meet there for a book signing. I sold 2 books, knew no one, not many attended, and I had an absolute ball. Of course if it is where family and friends can attend, your one-man affair would be attended, but maybe have 3 or 4 get together somewhere for a book signing. Good luck. If I can attend, I will.

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 9:52 am

Thanks for weighing in Denny! (Will you be part of the party??? :) ) I have a few people in mind to join up with–if they will do it. Thank you for stopping by!

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 9:53 am

Oh Julie, if there’s another fantasy dress contest, will more people be devastated if I show up in another Macy’s clearance item??? The things to think about for a party….:) Thanks for stopping by!

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 9:55 am


It seems clear I will have to an in-person party at some point. And I would love it if you attended! You have a good idea–I should get together with my local library. They would love to do it, I think! Thanks for the insightful comment

Piper Huguley - July 29, 2014 - 9:58 am

Yes, Krystal. The expense is a factor. I would rather spend the money on getting a new book out there…but I will do the in-person party at some point. Maybe more as a thank you. Thank you for stopping by!

Piper Huguley - July 29, 2014 - 10:00 am

Thanks for your perspective Monica. Yes, it is best not to go it alone. And thanks for giving me some ideas about what to do and for stopping by!

Sonali Dev - July 29, 2014 - 10:13 am

Hey Piper,

In my family we celebrate everything with a big ol shindig! So I have friends and family flying in for my book release party. But it’s not a marketing thing, more a ‘celebrate life and every milestone with lots of food’ thing. And releasing your first book is as milestone as it gets, in my opinion.
On the marketing side of things, I’m also doing a launch at our local bookstore which has been generous enough to participate. As for a Facebook party, I’ve been racking my brain to decide what to do. I think if you can get authors who are very active on Facebook then you have a good chance of bringing in their fans. If nothing else it gets your name and your book out there. And they are fun, and on release day, it might be a good way to keep yourself busy. :)
Okay, I think you just helped me decide. I think I’ll have one. October 28th. You can be the first author I ask. Wanna participate?

Hugs and I can’t wait to dig into PP.


Piper Huguley - July 29, 2014 - 10:24 am

Of course Sonali!! I am thrilled to be asked. It will be fun! Thank you for stopping by! :)

Elaine Manders - July 29, 2014 - 10:35 am

I’ve participated in a few FB launches, mainly big-name authors, that were a lot of fun. Here are a couple of things I learned.

1. When you have trivia, make sure the questions tantalize, not give away the plot.

2. Notify those who’ve signed up on the day of the event and the hour before. That’s for people like me who are forgetful and aren’t on FB a lot.

I think it would be great to team up with other authors.

Piper Huguley - July 29, 2014 - 10:52 am

Awesome, cp! Thank you for your great ideas! So helpful. Thank you for stopping by!

Connie Gillam - July 29, 2014 - 11:26 am


I’ve attended one FB party. It was a little chaotic but once it found its legs was a lot of fun.

And I agree with what others have said: join forces with other authors to bring in more people. You gain new friends and everyone wins.

I’m game to do one with you.

Walt Mussell - July 29, 2014 - 1:31 pm


I’ve been to some sad parties on FB as well. It’s hard to tell if one will work or not.

I also downloaded your book yesterday, so that’s at least a reason for me to party. :-)

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 5:16 pm


I like the sound of that! Thanks for thinking of it!

Piper - July 29, 2014 - 5:17 pm


I agree. You never know. Thanks for the download, though and I hope you can party with Virgil and Amanda! Lol!

Laura Trentham - July 30, 2014 - 3:24 pm

I went to an Entangled FB party to celebrate the release of a friend’s book. She and another author were the “main” authors, but they had other Entangled authors stopping by for hour slots. It seemed to be hopping and my friend said they all saw a sales bump from it. But, I think it is key to spread the pressure of hostessing around. And, it would be great to get a couple of established authors to ‘anchor’ you. That’s my two cents…

Piper Huguley - July 30, 2014 - 4:34 pm

Excellent idea, Laura! I know I can’t do this alone. Thank you for stopping by and for leaving such a great idea!

F O L L O W   U S
R E C E N T   T W E E T S