TRACEE: Every Tuesday books launch, like little missiles, into book stores and onto electronic media. Could you share your feelings about book launch week and day? Any expectations for book birthdays? And, of course, we had one of our very own launching this week. Congratulations Connie!
CONNIE: Oh, I can’t wait to hear! My thoughts are mostly gratitude. I’m grateful to have had the mentoring of my agent, Paula, and my editor, Faith. I’m grateful to sweet friends who have “taken over” my launch party, providing treats and organizational skills so I can relax and enjoy the afternoon. And I’m grateful to my readers for caring about Kate and following her story, book to book.
TRACEE: Hope you enjoy all day tomorrow. The party sounds fantastic.
SUSAN: I found Maggie Dove launch day incredibly stressful because it was published as an e-book. So unlike my first book, The Fiction Class, which was in print, which I could drive to bookstores and see for sale, I couldn’t actually believe that Maggie Dove would be bought by anyone. I was convinced it would flash across the screen and disappear. Fortunately, my publisher had signed the book up for something called House Party, so a large group of people had read the book in the month before publication and left amazon reviews. So on launch day I watched with amazement as my number of amazon reviews kept ticking up, going to something like 300, I think. Then it got on to book bub and then I began to calm down. For a little while.
CONNIE: Susan, that’s amazing. Your publisher did a good job for you. I’ve never heard of House Party but will look it up.
TRACEE: And Susan, congratulations on having a Maggie Dove story accepted for Alfred Hitchcock Magazine.
ALISON: Gratitude. For my first book, my husband hosted a party after the launch at The Mysterious Bookshop. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many friends. This year, my daughter was home from college, and we had a quiet family celebration. It’s easy to not savor the moment–to just keep working, keep writing, like any other day–but I think there’s value in taking the time to exhale and be happy with what you created, whether you do that with a cocktail at a Tribeca hotel or in pajamas around your own dining room table.
MICHELE: Let me just share that the launch of my First book, No Virgin Island, ranks among the best days in my life. People who had been with me on my path to publication showed up in droves and brought me more joy than I ever imagined. I’m grateful to them and their continued support. Writing may be a solitary adventure, but publishing is definitely not.
TRACEE: I remember seeing photographs of your book launch party. What fun, I can imagine that it would rank as a top memory.
ROBIN: When the anthology with my short story came out earlier this year, the release day coincided with Left Coast Crime. Most of the authors in the anthology were there so we held a party at the hotel bar. We had our “official” launch party at a book store in San Francisco where each author read the first page or so of their stories followed by champagne and snacks. I was beyond excited in the run-up to both events. For the official launch, a bunch of my friends came to help celebrate (and buy books), and I contacted local media to make sure the event – and every other event for the anthology since then – got listed and promoted in event pages and email blasts. What’s a party without party people?
LAURIE: The launch is like the wedding, the whole process over the years of writing and publishing is the marriage:-). I’ve had three launches and the latest one I wanted to do something creative for my friends. Since I write about the 1930s, and I love creative stuff, I thought a party at a speakeasy would be fun. And it was! The place even created three special cocktails for my three books.
I love variety and sometimes a big shindig is great, and like Alison said, sometimes a special little time is perfect. But it’s not everything. Like a wedding, if you get bogged down in details to make your debut perfect, you might miss out on the fun and the joy of it all. Soak it all up, take your victory lap. It takes a LOT of work and anxiety and then more work to get a book out there. Enjoy and celebrate the moment.
ALEXIA: Launch week is always sort of a blur to me. It’s a social media frenzy, since most of my book promo and sales are online, and I’m kind of exhausted at the end. I’m surprised at how much energy social media takes since you don’t actually have to leave your house to do it.
TRACEE: Thanks all! And Connie, while your book released on Tuesday, tomorrow is the official launch party, so have a great time! Wish we could all be in Columbus!