“Have you considered doing an online book party?” Leslie Whitaker asked me on facebook. I had, but I didn’t know what to do with one. “Come join some of mine, then you can see what it’s all about! I can even host it for you if you like.”
How could I refuse such a wonderful offer! Leslie even arranged some little giveaways for the party, because she is fantastic.
Of course, being the nut that I am, I took it all way to serious. I hung out at a couple of parties, and realized that –if done right- these felt like ‘actual’ parties… only online. I’m a big fan of parties, so ‘WIN’!
It got me thinking, that if I wanted to host one of these parties, I wanted to make it all about Coyote. I took notes at the other parties, looked at the games we played and the things that were discussed. Another thing I did was look online how book parties were supposed to work, but to be honest, I found more about the benefits about them, rather than how to host a good one.
On my notepad I had games scribbled like “Caption this”, but I wanted more than that. After a little surfing around I came across a few others that would be suitable as timeline games. Instead of taking them from the pages, I decided to make them myself. I hoped that it would add to the theme of the novel.
It was quite a bit of work, I have to admit. And the last day was a little stressed, but I felt very happy with the end results. I drew four ‘caption this’ games, and used three of my old drawings for ‘spot the difference’ games. The rest of the games were just written.
The games were only part of the party, in order to do a promotion party, we also needed to have some prizes. The main prize was easy: get a copy of the book. I had this idea of doing t-shirts. It took a while to convince Daan. I have a beautiful cover, but somehow it just didn’t feel right just to put a cover on the t-shirt, I wanted it to appeal to none readers too. So we used one of my silhouette drawings instead and put it on a black t-shirt. Daan pointed out that
After a lot of banter and quoting famous cowboys, I actually came up with something we all (I involved Apple in the conversation by now) agreed on: “Hot Shot”.
The t-shirt design is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. And so another prize was born.
Leslie suggested that I would give away some prints of my work. That felt very weird, because I don’t consider myself a ‘real artist’, but a hobbyist. It felt silly to consider my work as a prize. But Daan and Apple responded positive to this, so I decided… what the heck?
Together with Leslies lovely accessories, we had quite a few prizes to give away.
On the day of the party, we were really busy trying to set everything up. The last games needed finishing and I was trying to get some more people to attend. I decided I wanted to make a video too, to welcome the people personally. Taping your own face is awkward at best, if you ask me, and I felt a little loopy. The guests were really positive about it (though it could just be that they were humoring me *grin*). If you want to see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreQxmu1odo&feature=youtu.be (the sound got a little messed up when Daan made it sepia, so it’s very soft) I look like a bit of a lemon, and the hat on my head is a bowler… which is not very clear (there went my cool theme)
The fun started at least an hour and a half before the party started. People were popping in and saying hello. Bringing virtual drinks and having a little bit of chit chat. I was still frantically working on thelast games, to catch much of it.
At 18:00 local time, some of my friends came over, for support. We quickly ordered a pizza, and I was in ‘chaotic Chanti mode’, which is funny to watch, less funny to be *grin*.
At 19:00 the party was already ‘packed’ and we each took place behind an internet device (it was hilarious, I was on the computer. Daan was on the laptop. My friend Arjan used the ipod, and my friend Stefana was on her cellphone, all at the same event.
Leslie, our main hostess, was brilliant. She played the games and monitored them, I was too busy to try and figure out what is happening. In our house, you could hear the crickets chirp… that’s how quiet we were; we all were completely focused on the event. Afterwards we joked about how we all sat and stared at a screen. The crazy thing was; we felt really involved and active. It was difficult to keep up with everything that was going on (but I really tried)
I loved seeing the reactions to my game, and I loved how people came up with the funniest things for the ‘caption this’ games. It was a blast.
In the end we had 120 guest, though I have no idea how many of them were truly active. Some people popped in and out, and we probably had some people that kept quiet too, and just watched.
It was a lot of fun to do. I really hope the people really enjoyed themselves. I know I did. I liked giving away things too, that felt nice.
Now the next day, I feel drained, as if I had a ‘real’ party all night. This was quite intense, but such a great laugh! I would definitely do it again!