How to Host an Alaskan Style Book Launch: A guest post by Don Rearden

So the moment you’ve waited for your entire life as a writer has passed, and once again you didn’t win a Pulitzer, despite your best intentions and also not actually having anything published at the time and/or anything worthy of such an award. So you’ll settle for a party to drown your sorrows and launch your recently published or, in my case, debut novel.

Now of course you could have the party at some swanky place near the center of some shining metropolis say New York City or Detroit, or perhaps you could go for somewhere exotic. Somewhere slightly quaint, but still with a population of folks that actually read real books. (As far as I know they haven’t designed the technology for authors to sign eBooks. Yet…shoot, I better copyright and patent that idea!)

I’ve chosen to launch my new novel in the exotic sub-subartic destination of Anchorage, Alaska. I could have selected my hometown of Bethel, Alaska, often called the Flower of the Tundra, but for reasons of expense (in today’s publishing world you will most likely be paying for your own party, too) I’ve decided to host the party in a place where a bag of Doritos doesn’t cost $8.99 and a gallon of orange juice $17.99 a gallon.

So I’ve crafted a quick list of things you need to do in order to host a killer launch party. Seriously, I need you to do some of these things for me…

1. Pick a Date and Time that you think is cool but will work for only a fraction of the people you know. (Trust me, this will save you some money in the long run.) I chose Wednesday, February 16th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This way your friends who watch the Biggest Loser or Minute-to-Win-it will stay home. It’s not like you have anything against them, but you don’t like how everyone cries on those shows and you suspect your friends cry while watching and you don’t want them crying at your party. This is, after all, your party and you’re the only one who gets to cry (if you want to).

2. Select a cool venue. This should be easy in Alaska, as we have many cool places. Or if the room is too hot, you can just open the door. I decided on Anchorage’s Snow Goose Theatre for a couple reasons other than the beer flowing right into the room. The place has ambiance. Which is a fancy word for the kind of cool for which you don’t need to open the outside doors. My logic here is that if folks don’t like your book or the costume you’ve worn, they’ll at least say, “This place has nice ambiance.”

3. Don’t wear a costume. Unless you’ve written a children’s book, I suggest leaving the costume at home.

4. Invite Morgan Freeman or Kiefer Sutherland to do a dramatic reading from your work. (How cool would that be?)

5. Invite some other cool people. Again, this should be easy in Alaska. We’ve got tons of cool people. Some of them might even be your friends, or maybe some are just nice and pretend they are your friends, so as not to hurt your feelings. I won’t name drop, but I’ve invited some cool people. Heck, you might even be one of those people. If you’ve read this far, then you too are cool, and you should consider yourself invited to the party.

49 Writers and other cool people who read and write are invited to celebrate the launch of Don Rearden’s novel The Raven’s Gift.

Cool Time: 2/16/11 7-9 pm

Cool Place: Snow Goose

Cool People: Poets Joan Kane & Jeremy Pataky, Music by Bethel guitar virtuoso Kevin Morgan, members of Pamyua, and host with the Eski-most Eskimo Bob

4 thoughts on “How to Host an Alaskan Style Book Launch: A guest post by Don Rearden”

  1. Congrats, Don! What a great show you have planned. After reading the first chapter of The Raven's Gift, I knew you had accomplished something important, something authentic. On Wed. a few of your friends are committed to reading at Poetry Parley (Out North) but, when we are done, I will see you at Snow Goose.

  2. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Very cool, Don — we'll be there!

    And a nice element of the Feb 16 timing: For those of us who didn't get it together to do anything nice, fun or romantic for anyone on Feb 14, we can always say, 'Just saving it for Wed, when there is a REAL party to attend, which is a lot more fun than exchanging roses.'

    I'm not suggesting the I PERSONALLY have used your party as such an excuse…

  3. Congrats Don on behalf of all your old MFA-years gang (if I may be so bold.)I'm not in Anchorage but will toast you from further north!

  4. Thanks Sandra, Andromeda, and Christine! I can't begin to tell you all how much the support means to me…

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