Planning a Book Launch is like Planning a Fireworks Display

I have no experience putting together a fireworks display, but I’d be willing to bet it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, I found this blog post from about hosting a backyard fireworks show, and was struck by the amount of planning that goes into it. Here’s an excerpt:

 To insure a safe and successful consumer fireworks display, there are some topics which merit consideration in the planning process:

  • What are the laws governing such a display in my particular state, county, or city? Is there a requirement to have insurance for such a show?
  • What is the site like where the display is to be presented? What sorts of fireworks devices will be appropriate and safe at that site?
  • What is the budget for the show? Who will be paying for the fireworks, and when?
  • Will the display be shot with accompanying music or not?
  • Will the display be fired by hand, electrically, or with a combination of the two?
  • Who will be helping with the display?
  • What will be the length of the show?
  • What devices will be employed in the show, and how will they be laid out at the site?
  • What safety precautions are necessary?
  • Will there be any reloading of devices during the show?
  • How can we prepare for inclement weather?


All of this might sound like a bit of “overkill” to some of you. Having been involved in the planning and production of many small “backyard” displays and large commercial ones, I have learned the value of planning and getting as much of the work done prior to the day of the show as possible. (full article here.)

The article goes on for much longer, showing sketches, supplies, breaking out into considerations like safety precautions and what to do in case of inclement weather. It’s a rather detailed resource, and you can tell that Ned, the author of the article, knows about which he speaks, and probably holds a pretty rad fireworks display when the time comes.

So…what does this have to do with mysteries, you might ask?

It’s simple. If we want our own version of fireworks on our book’s release date, then we can’t wait until the last minute. We have to plan ahead. If we want the zing and the pow and the explosions in multiple colors, the ooohs and aaaahs over our accomplishment, and the attention of people who maybe haven’t heard about the book yet, we have to do some work ahead of time.

Our marketing plans are like plans for a fireworks display and our publication date is the show.

I’ve been working on the marketing plan for SUEDE TO REST, the first in the Material Witness Mystery Series. The book comes out in November, so I’ve created a month-by-month action plan so it doesn’t sneak up on me.

How about you? What have you done to create fireworks on book launch day?

 P.S. 111 days until SUEDE TO REST!



Author: Diane Vallere

Diane is the author of four mystery series. Like her character Samantha Kidd, she is a former fashion buyer; like her character Madison Night, she loves Doris Day movies, like her character Polyester Monroe, she lives in California; and like her character Margo Tamblyn, she has a thing for costumes. Find out more at

9 thoughts on “Planning a Book Launch is like Planning a Fireworks Display”

  1. First, I’m really glad I changed my blog post for tomorrow. 🙂

    Obviously, I haven’t really planned a book launch yet – but I am taking notes for when my time comes. I wish I could plan better for my middle-grade series, but there are certain things out of my control that prevent a lot of pre-planning (which makes things a little frustrating, but them’s the breaks).


  2. Mary-what were you going to blog about? Now I’m curious!

    You know what would be fun? If we took a made up book and brainstormed a marketing plan, just to show how outside of the box ideas could be. Okay, I think it could be fun, but maybe it sounds a little abstract.


  3. Nice comparison!

    Diane, you are one of the most creative marketers I’ve see…I’m always blown away by your amazing ideas.

    ps: Counting down the days with you! Can’t wait to read SUEDE TO REST.


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