Yes, I am home in body, but my spirit is still high in the clouds.
The pre-launch celebration for 8 States of Catastrophe exceeded all my expectations. Apart from a ten minute scare when it looked like the guests might arrive before the traffic-snarled vehicles carting the wine and food, the two-hour party went like clockwork and was a terrifically enjoyable occasion.
We had an abundance of food; simple scrumptious fare of sandwiches, cheese and crackers, pesto. The white wine was cold and crisp and the merlot blend mellow; OJ and mineral water were on hand; something for everyone to wet their whistle.
The guests mingled, chatted, asked questions, admired the venue (which I will write about some other time), sipped and supped and – thankfully – purchased books.
It was a real joy to sign books when asked. When, at the end of the evening, I overheard a couple of guests raving that it had been great fun and ‘not boring’ as they had expected a book launch to be, I knew we had done everything right.
Knowing there are quite a few out there in the blogosphere interested in the actual nuts-and-bolts of a successful launch, here are a few things that I believe helped make mine such a success:-
- Don’t overdo the speeches. A friend made a small speech on my behalf because…(a) I am not a comfortable public speaker and; (b) I am told that the majority of writers usually bore everyone to tears.
- Don’t have a strict regimented program. The speech was made at about the half-way mark when it just seemed right.
- Make sure the guest list is varied.
- Try to interest the media. I was thrilled that a photographer from the Hobart Mercury came and a journo called a couple of days later for more detail which resulted in a nice write-up with some great pics. Book launch photos
- Get the books ‘out there’ straight away. We had a table set up with books on display and someone to accept money. Because this was a pre-launch, I didn’t have access to eftpos facilities (something the publishers usually organise) but we had a computer set up for anyone who wanted to transfer funds or use paypal. As it turned out, all the guests had come prepared and cash was in abundance.
- You – the author – should mingle. I didn’t want to sit all stuff-shirted at a table ready to sign books. People purchased their books from the first five minutes right up until the end and then came to get me to sign if they so desired.
- Have fun! It is easier than you think. Forget about who may or may not like the book, don’t think about how many will sell. Just think of it as a party to celebrate the thrill of having your work published and sharing the excitement with others.
Thanks to everyone…you know who you are…for making the night so absolutely categorically perfect.