1. Make sure you have enough broadband!
2. Plan for a varied programme of about 45-minutes. It could include introductions, readings (about 200 words with a good payoff), Q&As and thank-yous. If you have some good photos, show them.
3. Ask someone who is experienced with zoom to host the launch. The author will have quite enough to do.
4. Be generous and inclusive in your invitations. It will cost you nothing (unless you exceed the 100 limit in which case you will have to spend $50 on a Zoom upgrade)
5. Have one rehearsal. (You may need another.)
6. Make sure you have left nothing weird or distracting in the background as you speak.
7. Have everything (literally) to hand – pens, water, scripts, tissues etc.
8. Mute your guests to reduce background noise.
9. Keep a recording for those who missed it and take a screen shot (or several) as a memento.
10. Leave your guests with clear information on how to buy the book – and how to help you market it.
11. Plan how you will end – perhaps with an unmuted round of applause, or by allowing people to chat with their old friends in break-out rooms.
12. Follow up by writing to those who attended – and consider a ‘gift’, such as a screen shot that includes them or a voucher for the free glass of Prosecco they missed out on!.
This advice comes from my experience launching my latest book in the middle of the pandemic. Thanks to Elizabeth Gowing for contributing to this piece and to hosting the event. She is available for other events: to contact her click here.