Moonlight and Oranges Launch Party!

Me with the gorgeous book poster

Moonlight and Oranges has successfully left the harbor!  For those of you interested in seeing what a book launch party can look like, please enjoy the pictures that I’m sprinkling liberally through this post.

We rented the lower banquet room at Razzi’s Pizzeria in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.  (It’s free of charge to rent the room, which is amazing for writers on a budget like me.)

We had a beautiful spread of Mediterranean appetizers set out for the guests which included pita, hummus, spanakopita, meatballs, salad and baklava.  Go ahead and salivate.

I wore the special red dress that I’d purchased two years ago and promised myself (true story) before any publisher was on the horizon:

I‘ll wear this to my book signing

Friends from my writers' group came to support me

I made it my goal, after a excellent bit of advice to have unhurried conversations with everyone that evening.  There was no need to be flustered, just to be welcoming and enjoy being the center of attention.

With my publisher, Katherine

We’d reserved the room till 10pm, but the party didn’t get done till 11pm (thank you, Razzi’s, for letting us party late!) and I wasn’t walking out of the restaurant till 11:30. 


To be honest, this was a personally challenging event to prepare myself for.  I never throw my own birthday parties for the same reason.  It’s a very real question in my mind–why would you want to all come out just to celebrate me and something I’ve done?  And then I just don’t know what to do when people started filling the room with eager, excited love for me.

Kestrin's journal, from the novel

This was my very first self-hosted Elise-centered event (aside from my wedding) and it came off with a healthy dose or worry on my part, and a smashing success in the end.

My friends in earnest discussion

With this extra dose of momentum, my novel has been launched into the great blue yonder, and I’m watching with a full heart to see how she’ll stretch her new wings.

Are you thinking of planning your own celebratory event?  Do you have questions or concerns about how you’ll pull it off?  I’m an open book.  Ask away!



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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. So glad to hear that it went well! Wish I could have attended.

    I can’t tell you how thrilled I am, to have witnessed your journey. We only had a few meetings on how to prepare your marketing strategy for success. Had I known about the red dress, I would have used that analogy; plan today for your success tomorrow. The dress rehearsal (pre-marketing) is a point that is hard to drive home to authors but you did it!

    Please let me know how I can get my signed copy.

    Wishing you many more ‘red dresses’,
    Rebekah Gregory

    1. Thank you, Becky! I agree–those dress rehearsals are the moments when I begin taking myself seriously, and the world almost always follows suit soon after!

  2. Congrats on your book launch! Your book looks amazing and I can’t wait to read it. 🙂 My debut YA novel is coming out in 2012 so I have been starting to think about my launch. One question: Since you did it outside of a bookstore, did you have a bookseller come in to do your event to sell books or did you get copies from the publisher in advance to sell yourself? Wasn’t sure how that worked. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Tara! Good question! I was able to get copies from my publisher in advance to sell at the book launch, which meant that I didn’t have to sell the books to a bookseller for a discount. It eliminated the middle man and let me keep more of the profits for myself, which helped to fund the party. 🙂

      1. Awesome! Thanks for the reply! 🙂

        1. You’re welcome! Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  3. Elise,
    Who did you invite to your party? How many attended? Did you have any media types there?


    1. Hi Penn,
      I had between 50 and 60 folks attend (there were some last minute folks who showed up), and I kept it mostly to friends, family, and those who’ve been working with me in the writing community. The purpose of this party was to give a hearty “thank you” to those who’d supported me for so long on the quest, which made it less “promotional” and a heck of a lot more fun than a traditional launch party might have looked. Let me know if you have any more questions! We’re getting close to your launch, too, aren’t we?

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