Launch Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget) - Part 1 - Finding Your Venue

Karen McTackettStarred Page By Karen McTackett, 12th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Finding a venue for your book launch can be daunting! Firstly, where do you even start looking? How do you know what you need? What questions should you ask? This first installment of the "Launching Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget)" series will answer these questions. Come on a journey as I tell you about my experience and what I learned.

Finding a Venue

This is Part 1 of a series: "Launching Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget)"

Read the Introduction HERE

In the introduction, I gave you the background of my launch experience and why I decided to write this series of articles. Part 1 will deal with the Book Launch venue. I will tell you the story of how I found my ideal venue and give you some tips on what to look for, how to find venues, and questions to ask. I hope you find it informative and helpful.

Finding MY Venue

I am a horror writer and I knew immediately that I wanted to theme my book launch. I wanted to find a venue that had a rich ambiance or a texture to the environment that was conducive to a horror novel. “Awakening” is written as a first person narrative from the point of view of a newly awakened vampire who is hungry and has no memory of her past. So I wanted a lot of red in the decorations but more importantly, I wanted the venue itself to have contrast with light and dark. I made appointments at several sports clubs, nightclubs, hotels, and function centres to have a look at their function rooms.

I found one venue that I fell instantly in love with. It was dark and lit by candles, the floor was a polished concrete, chandeliers hung from the roof. Purple curtains draped the windows and the seating was a random selection of velvety cushioned sofas and simple bar stools. A massive fish-tank featured and a bricked patio outside doubled the floor space. The roof was low and felt constrictive which I thought added to the overall underground feeling I was after. Neon lighting around the base of the exclusive bar that ran the full length of the room took away some of the ambiance, as did the small disco lighted dance-floor, but I could work with that. What I could not work with, was the price. It was double what I hoped yet I put a hold on the venue because it just felt right. I knew I couldn't afford it but I wasn't ready to give it up and maybe, maybe there was a way I could find the cash. Even if I could have afforded it, if I had decided to stop looking, I would not have been able to afford some of the amazing additions I will be covering later in the series and I would have missed out on the great venue I did have. The lesson here is that even when you think you find the perfect venue, be willing to look a little further, you never know what you might stumble across.

I inspected a few other options (which were much more affordable) that I knew I could work with, but none of them had the same feel. Then, I went to the Dorset Gardens Hotel. They were my last appointment, I had exhausted all other options. I secretly hoped they would be too expensive so that I could justify spending the money I didn't have at the other venue though I knew in reality, I would probably have to settle for something cheaper. I saw two of their function rooms and was feeling pretty unimpressed. The two rooms were horrible. They were small and had no character at all.

When I walked into the last room, I was gobsmacked. It didn't have the dark underworld feel of the other venue; instead, it was huge and open and welcoming but there was something very strange about it. The room welcomed me with a warning and that was exactly the feeling I was after. The high ceiling made me feel small and when I thought about my book, the open space was much more appropriate. The huge windows were draped with think curtains that looked heavy and ominous. Painted wood panelling on one wall gave the room the kind of old classic feel I didn't even know I was after. Large glass doors opened up onto a well maintained courtyard complete with concrete statues and a gorgeous little pagoda. Back inside, the bar was much smaller and more inviting than the other venue and it was not as intrusive. There was no dance-floor – and I didn't need one. I asked my questions, I got the price (it was well within my budget), I booked it, I cancelled the other venue. I was over the moon. Though it was not what I originally envisioned, it was strangely perfect as if it WAS exactly what I was looking for – I just didn't know that until I saw it.

How to Find a Venue

Often, book launches are held in book-stores but for me, that did not provide the intimate environment I wanted or the space and time for my production to play out. You will see what I mean by “production” in later chapters of this series. Following is a list of approaches to take when searching for your venue - this is the method I followed.

1. Open Google Maps, choose a coverage area and Google search the below terms. In the above screen shot, I searched for the suburb of "Ringwood" on Google Maps and zoomed to my desired coverage. You can see that I then put my search criteria in the search bar and Google Maps has found all matches within the area.

Search terms:

* Functions
* Events
* Hotels
* Nightclubs
* Sports Clubs
* Golf Clubs
* Hire Room

2. For each result, check the company website for:

* Confirmation of function rooms on offer
* Pictures of the rooms
* Any details in regard to price etc.
* Contact details
* Ease of access and parking (use Google Maps Satellite to check)
* Availability

3. Short-list the venues you would like to contact/inspect. Only you can decide how many this will be (depending on your available time etc). Do not waste your time by instantly booking an inspection. Firstly, check/confirm the room availability for the dates you are considering and ask any questions that may be lingering in your mind after looking at the website. I contacted about 7 venues and from the information I gathered over the phone, I booked 4 venue inspections with a total of 9 function rooms.

4. At the inspection:

* Take photos if you are allowed (if not, draw a floor-plan)
* Confirm pricing and confirm what is included
* Confirm additional costs
* Ask for an information pack including a booking form
* Ask questions!!!! - More below
* DO NOT BOOK until you have checked all of your venue options, reviewed the information packs, and considered your needs and wants. DO NOT BOOK based on emotion. Wait until you can weigh up your options with a logical approach.

5. NOW you can book your venue!


Make sure you ask questions and you pay close attention to the layout. Is there easy access to the bathrooms? Will your guests have exclusive use of the bathrooms? Will your guests have exclusive access to a bar? How would you layout your seating, your book display, your music, etc.? It there an outside space included? Is there easy access to the venue? Is there ample parking? Is there disabled access for elderly guests? Is food included? Can you decorate? Is there anything included such as use of a projector, speakers, microphone, etc. What is the view like (if any)? Is security included in the cost? Will your guests have an exclusive entrance? Of course, some of these will matter to you, some won't. List what you need and what you want and prioritise everything. Don't give up something on your needs list just because it gets you 3 things on your wants list. Stick to your priorities and don't be afraid to keep looking until you find the venue that is meant for you and your book.

Part 2 - Venue Layout

In Part 2, I will discuss the layout of the venue including how I chose the layout for MY book launch and what considerations you need to make when designing your layout.

* Read the Introduction to the Series - HERE
* Read the poem that inspired the novel, "Awakening" - HERE

Awakening is Available on Amazon and Amazon KDP - Search for Porle Joen.

Other Articles By Porle Joen (me!)

Launching Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget) - Series:
* Introduction (star page)

Mitcham Railway Station – Thank You for 131 Years of Loyal Service (star page)
Music Review: The Revolution is Never Coming by The Red Paintings (previous featured page)
Finally - a place for Self-Published authors to find readers!
* New Year Resolutions - A Recipe for Success?
* Two Healthy Snack Recipes – No Simple Sugars, Wheat, Dairy or Eggs!

Awakening (poetry - dark)
Mediocre Utopia (short short)
The Chill (short short)
* Weekly Breakdown (poetry - humorous)
* Leap of Faith (poetry - love)


Book Launch, Book Promotion, Book Signing, Event, Event Management, Event Planning, Event Planning Tips, Events, Function, Functions, Promote, Promoting, Promoting Your Writing, Promotion Methods, Publish, Published, Publishing, Publishing My Book, Venue, Venues

Meet the author

author avatar Karen McTackett
* Professional Writer/Facilitator/Speaker
* Writing Mentoring & Freelancer
* Master of Arts (Writing)
* WRITE NOW Creator -

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Jerry Walch
13th Jan 2014 (#)

Very informative. Nicely done.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Karen McTackett
13th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you very much Jerry :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
13th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Porle; thank you for sharing this information. I like that you give us the story of the event, with its attendant personal touches, followed by the nuts and bolts to get a venue. Nicely done. ~Marilyn

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
15th Jan 2014 (#)

Excellent and interesting post!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd Jan 2014 (#)

Good job with the nuts and bolts of how to search. Hopefully, a book launch would be done in your area or be hosted, so you know the lay of the land, so to speak. But I also know that isn't always the case, and introverted writers aren't always thinking with marketing brains... ;)

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?