After months of slaving away, I finally had my book release party for Altered before the Altar on Saturday, November 15, 2014! Even though I had to push it back and every detail didn’t always go according to plan, I have to say that the party came together and received a great deal of support from the ladies who were able to help with it. Warning, this post has lots of pictures and highlights.
The picture to the left is of my signing table. That lace tablecloth over the table belonged to my great aunt, who wasn’t able to come due to recovering from a full knee replacement. Also on the table are copes of Altered before the Altar and the study guide, my business cards, and a wonderful book centerpiece that Sister Peggy Macon came up with. Speaking of centerpieces…
These are the centerpieces that ran the length of the table. Each main centerpiece was flanked by two smaller ones. The center columns each had a white dove, blue and gold ribbon and a blue bow. The smaller pieces are small mirrors, votive candles in jars with ribbon, and pearl and diamond pieces scattered around the center jar. Sister Macon did an awesome job on these as well. Everything looked wonderful.
Sister Yvetta Ammons did a ton of decorating as well. She provided the chair covers, table cloths, and gold runner that went down the center of the table. She also used gold ribbon to decorate the chairs. Both sisters manned the kitchen, plating all of the food cooked and donated by other sisters to make sure the guests were able to gnosh on fruit, veggie, and cheese trays, along with deviled eggs, bbq meatballs, pinwheel sandwiches, chips, dip, pretzels, and desserts like almond pound cake, lemon pound cake, and banana nut bread.
I arrived at the church early to finish getting the items ready for the guest bags, the door prizes, and the giveaways.
Gift bags were color-coded for the icebreaker game. There were red, yellow, green, blue, and orange bags. Each bag had a sticker with the book cover on it and contained the following: A lip balm with a custome label (label included book cover, website, and a bible verse), a business card, a personalized book mark (designed by my lovely critique buddy, Christina Yother!), a notebook customized with a sticker with the book cover on it, a pin, bubbles, and a pack of m&ms.
I made seven door prizes to give away during the event.
Six of the Door Prizes contained a 2015 calendar (generously provided by my aunt, Louise Taplin), a small shower gel, shampoo, and lotion, a manicure set, a candle, a compact mirror, and a gold pencil. The seventh went to the oldest woman attending, and contained a premium manicure/pedicure set, bubble bath, bath salts, a compact, a pencil and a calendar.
Finally, I had two big giveaways. These included the following:
A large two toned tote bag with the book cover on it, a small personalized tote with either “A good thing in the making. ABTA” or “Throw Rice, Not Shade. -ABTA” on it, A personalized journal with the book cover and tagline, a copy of Altered before the Altar, and a copy of the Altered before the Altar Devotional Study Guide.
Nearly thirty people attended the book release party. I’m so thankful to each and every one of them for coming out. Co-workers as well as church members came out to celebrate with me.
I was able to sell quite a few books and mingle with some great friends. I could not have pulled this event off without the help of several people: Sister Macon and Sister Ammons, who helped decorate and serve food; Sister Brenda Calloway and Sister Juanita Saintelian, who helped put the guest bags together (Sister Calloway also did a wonderful job at the welcome table), my co-worker, Marcia Potts, who loaned me the display stands for the part and picked out/bought my party dress, Sister Tonya Drummer, who has been helping to spread the word about the book and “drum” up sales (pun intended), to all the Sisters who pitched in with the food–Sister Pearl McFarland, Sister Zelda Jones, Sister Brenda Calloway, Sister Princess Ortiz, Sister Linda McSwain, Sister Yvetta Ammons, Sister Peggy Macon, my aunt, Louise Taplin, Sister Marilyn Adams, and others I may be forgetting–Sister Jenny Bullard, who helped me to plan the entire thing but was unable to attend, Sister Andreana Jules, who helped spread the word on UCF’s campus and came straight from work to be at the party, and every single lady that attended or prayed for the event. A special thank you to Desmond Alvies for being a Jack of all trades, at times manning the welcome table and stepping behind the camera as needed. And a special thank you to my co-worker’s son, Kenny, who braved an event with only one other male attendee without breaking a sweat!
If anyone is interested in how I pulled off the book release party, I can write a post about the planning. I have been asked to consider a few more upcoming events, and as soon as those are finalized, I will add them to the engagements tab. I’m so thankful for all the support the book has gotten thus far, and I pray that it is touching lives.
If you want to have an Altered before the Altar party in your neck of the woods, want to place a bulk order of books or study guides, or want to let me know how you felt about the book, please send an email to inquiries[at]aseriousseason[dot]com or email me directly at mz[dot]zeyzey2[at]gmail[dot]com.