Posts Tagged ‘Tales from the Firehouse’

Book launch done RIGHT!

Here’s a bit of encouragement for those of you who may have been working on your book for a while. Sunday marked the launch of Classic Tales from the Firehouse: Firefighters’ Stories of Calamity, Courage, & Caring, more than 22 years in the making. Mother-daughter team of Betty Joy and Rebecca Joy came up with the idea on Christmas morning 1991 when Rebecca’s brother, a Phoenix firefighter, was late to the family celebration because of an odd call: a family reported a noxious smell in their home, and it turned out that Grandma was the culprit! Betty turned to Rebecca and said, “These stories are all so fascinating – we should write them down.”

Rebecca, also a 26-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department, had unique access to the storytellers themselves, so she began a mission to collect stories from as many different firefighters as possible. The result is the book, Classic Tales.

My role in the book was multifaceted: editing, page design, marketing consulting, revising the media release, input on the cover design, help with the website. So I am very proud of Rebecca, Betty, and this book.

But what I want to share with you today are all the ways their launch was a perfect one for novice authors to model.

Perhaps the most important thing they did was begin with a really good book!

Classic Tales book cover

Next, they chose a great day for the event, planning their launch on May 4th, International Firefighters’ Day.


Rebecca then secured an awesome venue: the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting.


HofF 2

HofF 3  Hall of Flame classic fire _truck_

Next, we wrote a kick-ass media release.

Microsoft Word - Beckie May 4 news release

The release resulted in an invitation for an interview by KTVK-Channel 3 and an event listing in the North Central News, a biweekly tabloid newspaper!


NEW - north central news

Rebecca used Eventbrite, Facebook, and the Channel 3 website to promote the launch.






She ordered posters, bookmarks, and business cards.



biz cards

On the day of the event, things went almost perfectly. First, she had an acoustic guitarist friend playing in the background.


The first table guests passed offered them the opportunity to “sign in” – the perfect way to collect email addresses, both for sending thank-you notes after the event and for list-building.

sign up 2

sign up

Rebecca did something very cool: she had prior version of the book on display so guests could see the evolution of the book through the years.


A second table was set up to disseminate information about Rebecca’s pet project, the Simple Awareness Method.


A professional videographer was on hand, capturing everything for memories, YouTube, and future marketing.


The books were prominently displayed.


Rebecca enlisted the help of her friends from the National Speakers’ Association to serve as cashiers for the event. Each was equipped with a Square, for quick credit/debit card and cash transactions.



In order to keep the line moving as quickly as possible, Rebecca’s friend Jamie gave each guest a sticky note on which she wrote the name to whom the book would be autographed (especially important for those buying more than one book), and inserted a bookmark at the page where they wanted the book signed.



line closeup

organized 2


April Warnecke, the weather gal from KTVK-Channel 3 served as emcee – the perfect choice, as her family has a long history of fire service.


Of course, Rebecca and Betty spoke.


rebecca & betty

Rebecca took the opportunity to acknowledge all the firefighters in attendance, including her brother, Cyrus, and her son, Jesse. Every firefighter, both active and retired, received a button that said, “Firefighters Kick Ash.”

ff pins


Hungry guests were able to purchase snacks of Mexican food from local favorite, El Molino, which had a mobile stand set up right outside the venue.

el molino

Rebecca and Betty are donating a portion of all proceeds from the book to the Beyond the Flames foundation, started by retired Phoenix Police officer, Jason Schechterle, after he survived a horrific automobile collision. Rebecca also had volunteers selling raffle tickets at the event for a ride-along with the Phoenix Fire Department to raise more money and was thrilled to present Jason with a check for $500 at the event.

raffle sign

Presenting Jason with check


The only thing I might have done differently would have been to provide more seating. The event opened at 1 p.m. to allow guests the chance to visit the museum. The program began at 2 p.m. and ran till 4 p.m. – a long time for people to stand. Rebecca’s nephew, Jared Kolesar, played a set as part of the event lineup.

Jared Kolesar performing

Here’s one lucky seated guest, a long-time friend of Betty’s, perusing the book.

a reader

Overall, it was, by far, the best one could hope for in a first-time author’s launch. If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put an Anatomy of a Book Launchevent like this together, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: