What happens at book launches and why you should attend one.

Many people do not know what happens at book launches, or how important it is for not only the author, but also the reading community. Hence I thought I would write about it.

A book launch or a book reading is generally held at a bookstore or a hotel (if the publishers have a lot of money, and want to show off or if they think the author is 'important enough' to splurge on ;-) !). I have had book launches held in hotels as well as in book-stores. I really prefer having my book launches in bookstores, simply because the people who attend can also browse books by other authors---which does not happen if the event is at a hotel.

At a book launch, the author is generally in conversation with another person, who is suited to talk about the book. Sometimes there is a panel consisting of the author and two other people. They have a discussion about the book. In foreign countries, people have to pay to attend such events. They are called 'Book readings.' They are generally ticketed events. This is because there is a cost involved in holding such events. People who are ardent fans of a particular author will not mind paying to attend such events. This way the publisher or the author do not have to bear the cost. Even if the event is held at a bookstore, there is a cost involved for setting up the arrangements. The chairs have to be hired, the backdrop has to be made etc. Many bookstores will charge an amount to the publishers for this.

If it's not the author's home city, then there is the expense of flight, hotels, amount spent on taxis, food etc. All in all, a book launch can cost anywhere between Rs.20,000 up to a few lakhs.

So it is understandable if it is a ticketed event---as the discussion is usually engaging, intellectual and fun. There are a lot of takeaways from such sessions. In UK, I have happily paid to attend such events.

In India, we do not charge anything. This is because the publishers are worried that if it is a ticketed event, people will not turn up. Also, there is a culture of not charging for such events. Hence entry is free to book events in India.

There are several reasons why you SHOULD attend a book launch

1. You establish a personal connect. The joy of seeing an author you like in person, hearing them speak , asking them questions and interacting with them is something unexplained. I have attended sessions of Anupam Kher and also Amy Chua, and I fondly remember their sessions though many years have passed.

2. You learn about new things through the discussions. You are also likely to discover new books.

3. You connect with other like minded people.

4. You can get your books signed!

5. You are spending time at a bookstore, among so many books, with your favourite author! It's much nicer than slumping in front of the television or going out for a meal, which you can do anytime!

6. The author feels encouraged seeing you there! Yes, the nightmare for almost all authors is people NOT turning up at their event. Can you imagine what the author goes through?

7. It's great for book-stores to have people over! So many bookstores are shutting down because of heavy online competition. We do NEED bookstores. They are magical places!

8.You can sit quietly and enjoy it if you do not want to talk! Many people are fearful of book launches thinking 'What will I do there? What if someone stops me? Am I allowed here?'.  Please don't worry! You are most welcome! Authors would be delighted that you are interested in their work. You don't have to do anything! You can just sit there as a part of the audience and then slink away if you are too shy. If the author is friendly, you can ask them to pose for pictures :) (Most authors don't mind this, although I know some authors refuse).

9. It is FUN!

10. It's a cool thing to talk about. 'What did you do over the weekend?' 'I went to this amazing book launch.' :)

I am sharing with you the video of my Bangalore book  launch so you can see for yourself how much fun those who attended had!

The next one is at Coimbatore, this Saturday (11th may 2019) at Odyssey, Brookefield Mall.

Come! I would love to see you <3

If you have any questions about book launches, please ask me in my comment box. (if you are reading this in your inbox, please head over to my blog, and ask me there) If you have attended any memorable book launches, tell me about it in my comment box too :)
Next time there's a book launch in your city, do make it a point to attend.

See you soon Coimbatore :)
(and yes, I will continue my blog marathon from Coimbatore too :) )


Get the book at 120/- : preeti.io/awake


  1. Thank you for an Informative post which gives the insights on how the book launch happens and the merits of attending a book launch.

    1. Hope to see you at a book launch :)

  2. Hello Preeti,
    I am settling down into the habit of waiting for your blog post, reading it and then by default filling up the empty comment box with my thoughts to reach you. It was very informative as I have never attended any Book Readings or Book Launch events. But now I think I should...After literally virtually attending your book launch event through this attached video. Here I will have to pay for a session...so I will wait for an interesting opportunity with an author I connect with. At least, after reading your blog I am thinking and talking about attending such event. And I am sure this opportunity will come soon as the city where I am is home to many world famous Artists, Musicians, Litterateur, Authors etc. It's a city embedded with arts, culture, fun, food and frolic.
    Thanks a lot for opening up a new window in my out and about life.
    Love, Alka.

    1. Your comments make a delightful read, Alka! I can see you are a writer! I really enjoy reading your comments.
      Where are you based?
      Lots of love

    2. OMG! This is one in a million compliment I have ever received. Yes, I have been writing since I was a school girl but it's just recent that I have gathered courage to shed my qualms about laying bare my soul in front of all. Your acknowledging statement means everything to me as I connect with your writing as if it's mine.
      I am at present in New orleans but soon to move again next month. We have been living like gypsies hopping countries since many years now. I think this migratory lifestyle fed my neglected passion of writing and I started exploring the contemporary Literature. That's how I found you. And I thank God for that. Do visit my blog sometime if you care. It would be the best gift for me from you. Waiting for your next blog post.
      Love, Alka

  3. Hi maa'm,
    Thanks for the information. Though I have never attended any book launch, I always wanted to meet my favorite authors. Waiting for such an event in Mumbai where I can meet you. BTW I read about how you were rejected by innumerable publishers for your first book. Just out of curiosity want to know, do you have any such experience at book launches, where visitors did not turn up and how you handled the situation?

    1. Do fill up preeti.io/form and you will get notified of all my events. I just finished the cover launch in Mumbai.
      I have had events where over 1500 people showed up, and I have had an event where only 9 showed up :)
      I haven't had anything where zero people showed up :)

  4. It was so awesome to look at the video and thanks for putting this article up. Now I am motivated enough to attend a book launch.
    Only query I have is how do you get to know about a book launch event. I mostly get to know after its over.

    1. Please fill preeti.io/form and you will be notified in your inbox! (Type preeti.io/form in your browser.)
      Most authors announce their events on their web page or social media.

  5. Hey Preeti! Is there a book launch at Pune too? and if yes when? I Would love to meet you!

    1. Please fill preeti.io/form and you will get an invite in your inbox!

  6. Hi Preeti, I love receiving your newsletter in my inbox. Yes, I have attended book launches and book discussions - Here are a few snippets from one of my blogs on some of my interactions with authors -
    1. https://aishwariya.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/getting-into-the-writerly-groove-with-yasmeen-premji/
    2. https://aishwariya.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/tick-tock-were-thirty-by-milan-vohra/
    4. https://aishwariya.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/who-is-akira-yamashita/

    Not sure if I've left out any links...:)

    1. Will definitely check out a few :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Preeti,

    I have never attended a book launch and now I am inspired to attend one. And yes, like you said over here they are high profile, ticket only events which get sold out much in advance. Have been planning to join a book club for a while. Now I am inspired to move that also to the top of my To-Dos List :) ~ Indu.

    1. Where are you based Indu? <3

    2. Hi Preeti,

      I am based out of US, Philadelphia suburbs to be specific! I am excited to get a question from you :)

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Hi mam,
    I'm from Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu I like to attend book launch but everything is in Chennai and Bangalore so in future I will try to attend it but I'm eagerly waiting for Apte situation for me to do my interest in attending this event and buy more and more books in that book shop I'm sure my dream come true one day as soon as possible 😉

  10. I came to see you at the new mathrubhumi book store launch in kochi.. One thing I will cherish..

  11. Thank you for the informative post about Book Launches, Preeti. I am yet to attend one of yours - or for that matter - any author's! I do watch the video LIVE on Insta or Facebook, but eagerly waiting for the day to meet my favorite, have your books which are not signed (As some of them have been since I had pre-ordered) and also take photos with you. It is really nice to see the interaction between you and your readers. You have so many fans, as you are down to earth and write about those topics which we all are doing through/have been through. All the best for the Book Launch in Coimbatore!


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)