Make your event fun. The boring sit-at-a-table-and-autograph-the-book-people-were-waiting-in-line-to-buy-for-days are over. To get people out to your party, you need to have a fun event. This is especially true if you are a new author. Why should they come and see you?
For the Dating Jungle not only did we have costumes, prizes and drinks, we also had a live jazz music. I decorated my area just like a jungle. Everything from a jungle background and vines hung all over the ceilings and tables, to blow-up monkeys to hang from the vines and palm trees on the walls. I even had a sex foot Jane and Tarzan photo op printed where people could take pictures of themselves.
Think outside of the box. Don’t be another boring book signing event. Do something crazy! The more over the top it is, the more people will have fun and remember it. Maybe bring a magician in to do card tricks or some kind of performer. For a children’s book get a balloon artist. Anything to get people to stay and hang out for a while.