Hello, how are you? My weekend was dominated by the launch of CLARA. It has all been very exciting, and began a few week’s ago, so I’ll tell you about it (because one day, you might be having a book launch of your own).
CLARA is the second book which I have been brave enough to have a launch party for. You have to be brave, because writing a book involves hours living inside your own head, and a book launch involves talking about the book to other people – which does not come very naturally to most authors. However, as I discovered with my previous books, if you opt to not have a launch, then some of the friends who would buy your books, find that local shops have sold out, or they never actually get round to ordering a copy, so you lose sales. After 18 months writing and rewriting and editing a book, you want people to read it. (Plus it’s nice to start paying off some of your debt!)
The first decision is time. I waited until the books were safely in my house, and I had checked they were good, before advertising my book launch. I know some authors are braver, especially those who use a printing company that isn’t in the UK, and I have heard scary stories about everything being in place for a book launch…except for the books.
Once I had set the date – last Saturday – I needed to decide venue. At the launch of JOANNA, I had invited absolutely everyone who I thought might be interested. To be honest, of all the family, neighbours, friends, people who heard me on the radio, people who saw the event in the newspaper or on fliers, only my friends or friends-of-friends actually came. (Plus my family, but none of them bought the book as I’d given them copies.) I therefore decided that although the local community hall was a nice venue, and although we’d had sufficient people to fill it (about 50 people) it would be much more relaxing to have it at home. I have a big kitchen area, which is often used for church functions, we would use it for the launch. So I didn’t have to worry about transporting glasses and cupcakes, or cleaning up afterwards, or exchanging keys. And it wouldn’t be embarrassing if only my mum came.
I decided to serve cupcakes, with either wine or cups of tea, depending on what people wanted. (At my last launch, I served wine, but most people wanted soft drinks.) I began making cupcakes. I have an excellent cupcakes recipe book, and the cakes freeze very well, so I could make them ahead of time. The kitchen began to smell lovely, and Husband began moaning that no cakes were available for eating. It coincided with a cold spell, which was unhelpful as the chickens all stopped laying in protest, and I actually had to go out and buy some eggs.
I made invitations and bookmarks. We have a printer at home, so that was easy (well, it was easy once I’d persuaded Husband to make them). I wanted a poster of the book, which I could also use when I’m doing book-signings or selling at fairs, so I contacted Chloe (who took a photo for the book cover) and she sent me a photograph I could use. (I couldn’t use the final cover version, as the quality has been reduced to make it suitable for printing.)
Then I invited lots of people, contacted the local press, asked people to write reviews, and waited. I wrote a couple of blog pieces too, as most of you won’t be able to attend the launch, but I want you all to know what CLARA is about, so that you want to order a copy too.
The day of the launch was very scary, wondering if anyone would actually come. I had borrowed an urn to boil the hot water, so was ready if loads of people came – or just one (my mum had been told it was compulsory attendance).
It was fine. There were about 40 people, some were good friends who had travelled for miles, others were people who I didn’t actually know. The local journalist came, and took some photos, and I gave a short talk about how I wrote the book. It was exhausting – because I find public events difficult – but everyone was very kind, and the event was a success. Most importantly, I sold lots of books. In fact, some people who have read my previous books bought two copies – one for a friend. Have you bought a copy yet?
Thank you for reading. Have a good week.
CLARA – A Good Psychopath?
The Cobweb Press
Would you like to buy a copy? It costs £11.95 from Amazon and in bookshops (they can order it if it’s not in stock). But until the 31st March, I can sell copies at a 33% discount, for £7.95 including free UK postage. Just send me a message via the contact form below, with your postal address (this is sent directly to me, it isn’t public). I will then send a book, and enclose payment instructions – you can pay by cheque or direct bank transfer. Why not buy a copy today?
If you prefer to buy from Amazon – it is available as a Kindle book in most countries, the UK link is: