Here is a guest post with more good tips for a great book launch, by author Hilda Demuth-Lutze. Hilda shares details of a successful event (in Valparaiso, Indiana) earlier this spring to launch her historical novel Kingdom of the Birds. Subtitled: Seppel and the Secret of the Wartburg Castle, the book is published by Kirk House of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s a wonderful read, ideal especially for young teen boys, with a castle, swordfighting, a mystery, and more . . . all with insight into the early work and writings of Martin Luther.
For good book promotion, note how well Hilda involved a number of local groups: Society for Creative Anachronism, Northwest Indiana Fencing Club, high school musicians, and the Women’s Co-operative of the Immanuel Lutheran church. Remember: it’s not always how big these groups are, but how well connected they are and how you can feature them at your event. If you can get groups like this enthusiastic about your book and the launch, they likely will promote it to their own networks.
A Book Launch for a Historical Novel
by Hilda Demuth-Lutze
author of Kingdom of the Birds:
Seppel and the Secret of the Wartburg Castle
When I first envisioned the launch party for my historical novel Kingdom of the Birds, which is set in 16th-century Germany, I pictured a Renaissance fair with wandering minstrels, swordsmen, and perhaps even caparisoned horses near a pavilion.
My budget and the vagaries of March weather in Northwest Indiana required me to scale back those plans. However, I found knights and fair ladies and horses and even a castle on the wall of the Immanuel Lutheran School lunchroom in Valparaiso. That storybook mural became a beautiful backdrop for my book-signing table on a Saturday afternoon.
As a member of Immanuel, I was able to reserve the lunchroom at no cost. Because I chose to donate my profits for the event to our church-run food pantry, the Immanuel Women’s Co-operative provided all the refreshments. The Co-op members were thrilled to be involved in a book-signing – and eager to buy books for their grandchildren.
I did not give up the dream of Renaissance entertainment. With the help of the music department at the high school where I teach, I hired student musicians. Wearing costumes borrowed from the Chesterton High School madrigal dinner collection, my recorder consort was a feast for the eyes and ears.
A few telephone calls landed a plethora of swordsmen – and a swordswoman. Costumed members of the Northwest Indiana Fencing Club and several reenactors from the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) Shire of Greyhope were pleased to demonstrate fighting moves and chat with guests about the history of their weaponry.
When the hired swordsmen were not staging combat with their steel weapons, children of all ages were thrusting and parrying with foam swords borrowed from the Shakespeare stash at CHS. The five-and-under crowd were among the most enthusiastic swordfighters, much to one mother’s chagrin. “Years of careful parenting undone,” my sister Gretchen told me. My nieces and nephews can’t wait for the next launch party – and neither can I.
Hilda Demuth-Lutze is a high school English teacher in Chesterton, Indiana. She earned her B.A. from Valparaiso University and M.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University. Hilda lives in a farmhouse near Valparaiso, Indiana, with her husband Mark and their three children. Hilda’s first novel, Plank Road Summer, (Crickhollow Books, 2009) was co-authored with her sister Emily Demuth Ishida.
About Kingdom of the Birds: “Germany 1521: Fourteen year-old Seppel, an unskilled village boy, cannot imagine why his uncle Spalatin, chaplain to the Duke of Saxony, would summon him to faraway Thuringia. A knight and squire escort Seppel to the Wartburg Castle, where Captain von Berlepsch disguises him as a page and instructs him in swordsmanship and horsemanship. In a locked room Seppel meets Sir Georg, the mysterious knight. When Seppel learns the true identity of the prisoner, he realizes that he must keep the secret of the Wartburg Castle or put the entire household at great risk. Knight and page learn much about bravery, truth, and the power of the Word during their time together in the Kingdom of the Birds.”
For more, including photos, of the book launch event for this historical novel, visit the Kingdom of the Birds blog site.