A couple of weeks ago, my friends Karen and Daniela (that’s Daniela standing on the left) decided to invite a bunch of their mom friends over for a private reading of my book at Daniela’s apartment. “Are you sure this is what your friends want to do with their free time?” I asked her. “Absolutely!” they said without hesitation.
They invited about 35 guests, ordered a platter of hummus and falafel, had their friend from Lavenson Cakes bake a cake (in the shape of my book!) and put out some bubbly. We mingled, noshed, drank and then it was time for my reading. I wasn’t sure what to expect because in my experience, the audience is always better when they are already fans of mine. Most of these women were hearing my words for the first time and some of them are moms at Mazzy’s school so I would have to face them again— even if they didn’t think I was funny.
I was a little nervous, to be honest.
The women gathered around casually on the floor and the couch and I took a seat in a large chair facing everyone. It was all very “fireside chat.” Except the fire was a flat screen TV. I opened the book and started with “Rejected Titles for my Momoir” which is a short list I’ve found to be a good opening if I want to read a room. No laughs— go for the serious stuff and get out of there. Laughs— relax and have fun with it.
I read the first title.
I read the next.
Aaaaahhhh. There is nothing better than having a receptive audience in an intimate setting. I knew this was going to be fun.
I read a few more passages than I typically read at my signings. I took a few requests from people who had read the book and answered questions. Then Daniela ushered me over to her dining room table where I sold and signed books just like I would do at a bookstore. We sold 32 books for me that night— it was awesome! And Daniela sent everyone home with homemade biscotti from Expressive Konfections (which is a dessert catering company run by another guest in attendance.)
At the end of the evening, I felt like I hadn’t just gained a few new fans. I had made some new friends as well.
One of the moms at the party actually decided that she would like to do a reading for her friends on the Upper East Side so that’s what I’ll be doing this coming Monday! And another mom expressed interest in doing a reading for her friends in Connecticut, so now I’m kind of hoping that even though the official book tour is over*, there will be other opportunities to do private readings in people’s homes. If you are interested, send an email to email@example.com.
Another book party option is something that my friend Seri (aka Little Miss Party) cooked up. As you probably know, she sells “parties in a box” and last week, she put together a “Remarkably Average Book Party in a Box” as a perfect holiday gift for all your mom friends. Here’s the totally ABOVE AVERAGE set-up:
The concept is simple— you buy the box which comes with all the tableware, decor, etc. for a Pinterest-worthy gathering of 8 or 16. The box also includes a cake stand (seen being used as a bagel stand) a free signed copy of (you guessed it), “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting!”
This is the part of the very staged party when Seri told me to “give her the gift of my book.”
Now here’s Seri pretending to be “surprised” by my very special totally unexpected gift (of which she already owns about ten copies):
Now. Here’s where it gets interesting. And this was Seri’s idea, not mine, so I hope it doesn’t come off as too shameless…
You could buy additional copies of the book so that when all your friends come over for the party, they each leave with their very own copy!
Holiday shopping for all your mom friends complete in one fell swoop!
Or, you could treat it more like a book club night, have everyone buy their own book themselves and read it before attending so you can discuss it over cocktails. I mean, isn’t cocktails really what book clubs are all about anyway???
Either way, I think mom friends, cocktails and tales of “remarkably average parenting” make the perfect break from the all the holiday hoopla.
And yes, I have just linked to my book in this post FOUR TIMES.
Want to win a “Remarkably Average Book Party in a Box” which includes a signed copy of my book? (That’s five.) Just tell me where you are from and who you would invite to your party in the comment section below!
*It is possible that the tour will continue with more cities in the new year! Fingers crossed.
WINNER UPDATE: Congratulations to Payton B! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!