Launching your Book in Style - Part 5: Presenting Awakening

Karen McTackettStarred Page By Karen McTackett, 24th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

Why not give your guests something to watch and even something to talk about? In Part 5 of the series "Launching Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget)", I will tell you about the presentation I had playing to introduce my guests to my book, "Awakening". You can even have a little peak at the presentation I created.

Presenting Awakening

This is Part 5 of a series: "Launching Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget)"

Read the Introduction HERE
Read Part 1: Finding Your Venue HERE
Read Part 2: Organising the Layout of Your Venue HERE
Read Part 3: Decorating Your Venue HERE
Read Part 4: Sweet Music HERE

In the introduction, I gave you the background of my launch experience and why I decided to write this series of articles. In Part 1, I told you the story of how I found my ideal venue and gave you some tips on finding yours. In Part 2, I discussed the layout of my venue and some ideas to help you. In Part 3, I discussed how I decorated the venue with limited funding. In Part 4, I discussed all things music. In Part 5, I will tell you about the video presentation I created.

The idea!

You may remember from Part 1: Finding Your Venue, I mentioned finding my “dream venue” before I came across my perfect venue. While my friend and I were checking out that dream venue, an idea struck me. They had a little corner set aside with some lounge chairs where a projector descended from the roof. I asked the Function Manger about this and he confirmed that yes, I would be able to use this feature. I turned to my friend and said, “How cool would it be to project a scrolling view of my book?” This is how the idea started. We had a very brief discussion about the possibilities before finishing our tour of the venue.

Once we were back in his car (he was my gallant chauffeur for the day), the idea had firmly implanted itself in my mind and we brainstormed further. Suggestions included:

  • Scrolling of the entire work throughout the night – this would allow reads to get glimpses of the book... or just sit back and read it
  • A running presentation of random pages – this would allow me to control what the audience saw
  • Actual scanned pages (as opposed to the copy and paste) – this would provide authenticity

I tried my initial idea and realized very quickly that to have a constant scrolling version was going to be too difficult to achieve with MS Office PowerPoint. I tried the second idea and found it just too plain and boring. The scanned pages idea did not work for me as the resolution was lost when the image was expanded. With all of these options, I found the text difficult to read and realized that most of my audience would also have difficulty. They would be likely to briefly glance at it and pay no more attention henceforth. Also, it would take too much of their time and concentration with everything else going on during the night. I looked at it from a guest's point of view and came to the conclusion that if I was one of them, I would not want to spoil my reading experience with pre-read passages.

Still, I was hooked on the idea of a presentation playing in the background of the event. After trial and error and much chopping and changing, I decided on the perfect format. I would have snippets – lines, phrases, quotes. Teasers if you like. Something to feed my guests' interest and intrigue. As the presentation developed, I added a section about the journey of Awakening as for me, it was not simply writing a story, but rather a 20 year adventure with glimpses of the future. I included photos of the original poem I wrote at 16, early idea building exercises, and even photos of my earliest “horror” writings at the age of 10.

What I Included in the Presentation

The final presentation was 30 minutes long and was a representation of not only the book, but also the journey of myself as a writer. The following is a slide by slide list of what I included:

  • Slide 1: Welcome page (see attached picture)
  • - I started with a very sweet and lovely welcome slide. After a few seconds, drops of blood began moving down the page. A shroud of red then descended to cover the page. It was a quick reminder for guests that “Awakening” is a horror novel.
  • Slide 2: Book cover
  • Slides 3 – 6: The Journey to Porle Joen
  • - Photos of a random selection of my earliest writings and short stories written over the years
  • Slides 7 – 15: The Journey to Awakening
  • - Photos of the original poem, random writing sessions, research, the first printed draft copy, and a peak at a “diary” by one of my characters I wrote in a character building exercise.
  • Slide 16: “The Journey is Complete”
  • Slide 17: Book Cover
  • Slides 18 – 22: Thank you pages
  • - Individual recognition and photo collage of friends and family
  • Slide 23: Dedication
  • Slide 24: The poem “Awakening”
  • Slide 25: The Awakening Dictionary – Definition of Awakening
  • Slides 26 - 27: “Prologue”. Included Prologue introduction and passage
  • Slides 28 – 44: Part 1 - “New World”. Included passages, quotes, “Awakening facts”, and “Awakening Dictionary” entries.
  • Slides 45 – 60: Part 2 - “Lost”. Included passages, quotes, “Awakening facts”, and “Awakening Dictionary” entries.
  • Slides 60 – 84: Part 3 - “Revenge”. Included passages, quotes, “Awakening facts”, and “Awakening Dictionary” entries.
  • Slide 85: “Rules for being a Vampire” - 8 rules and facts for surviving as a Vampire in “Awakening”.
  • Slide 85: Book Cover
  • Slides 87 – 90: Support thank you pages.
  • - Slides with advertising to thank those involved: StarShots for the cover photo, CreateSpace as they were my publishing platform, and Prospect Wines for creating wine bottle labels with my cover art (more on this later).
  • Slide 90 – Blank page (black) to lead into loop back to the welcome page.

Notes on some of the inclusions:
1. The Awakening Dictionary – I created a new vocabulary of several words to describe the world of my characters including: “Cycling”, “Shimmering”, “First”, “Created”, etc. I presented these throughout the presentation like dictionary entries.

2. Awakening Facts – I included information such as how many words and characters are in the novel, how many times the word “Blood” appears, the date on which the first word was written, official publication date, etc.

3. Passages and quotes were chosen to entice and entertain without revealing any spoilers.

Using Powerpoint

This presentation was created using MS Office PowerPoint. With a little know how, you can build a presentation that is aesthetically creative and fun. Some tips on creation:

  • Utilize animations
  • - Fade in pictures
    - Use movements
    - Scroll longer text
    - Add fun custom animations
  • Utilize transitions
  • - Use different transitions for a fun visual or a consistent transition for a more professional appearance
    - Fade in text and photos to avoid harsh transitions
    - Try different transitions – you can always change them
    - Play with the timing on your transitions to achieve the effect you are after
  • Add background music if you are not having a live performer or other prepared music
  • Use the timings feature to record the length of time between transitions
  • Loop your presentation so that it will run continuously
  • Save your presentation as a .pps document.
  • - This is a PowerPoint Show document and will automatically run in full screen mode.
    Once you have set the timings and have your presentation on loop, you can simply open the file to play and forget about it.
  • Utilize the “help” feature to learn how each of these functions is used and then, just go for it and learn by trial and practice. I would recommend creating a backup copy before you play around too much.

The After Launch Presentation

The presentation was used on the night and was a great success. I received many comments on how much my guests enjoyed it – particularly seeing themselves on the photo collage page. They particular liked finding themselves within these photos. It seemed like an awful lot of effort for just a few hours of playing so I decided to use the presentation as a basis for a short “Post Launch” presentation that I could offer those that had requested a copy of the presentation at the end of the night. As this was still twenty minutes in length, I then created a minimized overview that I have uploaded to YouTube for you to watch.

This mini representation is less than five minutes in length, but you will get a feel for the full presentation. You will see transitions and animations along with the photo collage.

You can view “Awakening by Porle Joen - Post Book Launch Presentation” here:

Backing music: "Back Against the Wall" by Audrey Vixen ft. Jamie Slater
Used with permission (see below for links to these amazing artists)

Presenting at the Venue

Ideally, your venue will have a projector and a projector screen. My chosen venue had a projector screen, though no projector. Luckily, I was in the rare situation that I actually had a projector so for me, the situation sorted itself very easily.

If you do not have a projector or a projector screen and nor does the venue, there are some options available to you. Of course, you should have determined HOW you will be presenting your presentation before you spend the time creating it. Here are some options that you could consider:


  • Borrow one – IF you know someone that has one, naturally.
  • Buy one.
  • - Not the cheapest solution but if you can, why not? My project cost about $300 from eBay and has latest well over 4 years. It is my TV and it was a lot cheaper than a big screen TV plus provides a much bigger screen!
    - I have seen mini projectors for less than $70 (including postage) on eBay. The resolution is usually clear up to about 1.5 meters projection width.
  • Use a big screen TV or monitor if you have one or can borrow one.


  • If you can borrow a projector you may be able to borrow a screen.
  • Buy one.
  • - Again, you can purchase a new free standing projector screen from less than $100 on eBay or much cheaper if you go secondhand.
  • You could drape a white sheet as your screen. This will actually add to a mystical or mysterious ambiance, though will affect your presentation. It would be more suited to a visual presentation with minimal text.
  • Use the wall. My projector at home is permanently aimed at a white wall that gives me perfect clarity. If you have such a wall in your venue, problem solved.
  • Use a big screen TV or monitor if you have one or can borrow one.

There are other considerations aside form the projector and screen:

  • Ensure that you have a suitably sized table for the project (or TV/monitor).
  • Ensure you have access to power with safety in mind in regard to where power cords will lay.
  • Provide a space for your guests to sit and enjoy the show. At my launch, the presentation was placed very centrally so guests could see the screen from any of the placed seating throughout. If you can do this, it would be ideal.
  • Announce it! Tell your guests at the start of the night what it is and why they should be interested. With my presentation, I planted the seed of interest by mentioning that they should keep an eye out for themselves.
  • You may wish to offer copies of the presentation for sales or as gifts – have a few DVD copies available. If you do this, ensure you save it as a .pps file so that they will not have access to the original work files and cannot make any changes.

I was very proud of the presentation and it was one of the elements that came together to make the night memorable for both myself and my guests. I would highly recommend any book launch to consider utilizing such a tool – I know I will in every future book launch I hold.

Back Against the Wall by Audrey Vixen ft. Jamie Slater

Jamie Slater is the amazing musician who played at the launch of Awakening. Read more about how I found the wonderful Jamie Slater in Part 4: Sweet Music.

Jamie and I have kept in touch and are often cross promoting each other. We share a mutual respect and understanding of this crazy world of “artistry” that we both willing entered. So, who better to ask for backing music to play over my sampler presentation? Jamie graciously agreed (and gained the agreement of collaborator Audrey Vixen) to allow me to use the beautifully melodic and haunting "Back Against the Wall".

Please, support these two amazing artists by visiting their pages. Warning, you may become addicted as I have.

Jamie Slater:

Audrey Vixen:

Part 6: Awakening Awakens!

I hope you have found something useful within this article and will be back with Part 6 soon; it will be a doosey! In Part 6, I will finally reveal the big bang component of my launch and how I brought my book to life for everyone in attendance.

In the meantime, why not read the poem that inspired the novel, "Awakening" - HERE

More about Porle Joen

Porle Joen is the Manger of Hidden Reads, the Project Manager for Sinister Reads (from the Australian Horror Writers Association), and is currently studying her Master of Arts (Writing) through Swinburne University. She has degrees in Geology and Astronomy and is a certified Trainer. She may also be certifiable insane – we just haven't had her tested yet!

Porle Joen is a horror writer at heart and has independently published two titles: The novel “Awakening” (copyright 2012) and a collection of poetry “Love, Live and Evisceration” (copyright 2013). Both can be found by searching Porle Joen on Amazon.


Other Articles/Works By Porle Joen (me!)

Launching Your Book in Style (Even on a Tight Budget) Series:



All poetry has been published in "Love, Life and Evisceration" by Porle Joen available on Amazon and KDP. Copyright Porle Joen 2013.


Book Launch, Book Promotion, Horror, How To, Novel, Powerpoint, Presentation, Self-Publishing, Writing

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 Fern Mc Costigan
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks for the kindness of sahring these tips and useful facts behind the publishing a book, great post!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Karen McTackett
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern. I hope that it helps some and entertains others. The presentation was one of the highlights and was definitely a talking point among my guests.

Reply to this comment

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Porle - Wow, this is wonderful. My daughter is an event planner and if I ever get that book done, I am going to try and hire you....please do not tell her. :) ~Marilyn

Reply to this comment

author avatar Karen McTackett
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Hahaha, done. Just make sure she doesn't read this! LOL. Thank you so much for your kind words. I had sooooo much fun with this launch. If you liked the information about the presentation, wait until you read the next installment. It's the one even I have been waiting for. :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Nicely done. I hope book sales have picked up for you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Ptrikha
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Quite a detailed and elaborate How-To ! Well written!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?