I don’t get out much these days, what with the wind and the rain and the endless, endless editing, but last night I made an exception. A friend of mine has just published a book – a memoir about caring for two elderly parents with dementia, called “But Then Something Happened” – and she kindly invited me to her book launch. It took place after hours at Heffers, our local book emporium, and I went along (a) to show support for Chris, (b) to hear more about her book, and (c) to find out what a book launch might entail.
For this is one of the things that the self-publisher often sacrifices: a real, physical book launch. You can do one, of course, but it sort of misses the point of self-publishing as I am doing it (i.e. with a print-on-demand paperback and an e-book) as you really have to have stacks of your book there on the night, for people to snap up and for the author to sign with a flourish. But I did wonder whether there were elements of the book launch that I could adapt to my self-publishing purposes. I am sure Chris will forgive me for saying this, but the discussions about dementia, with audience members adding their own experiences, were the least interesting part of the evening for me. The bits I really liked were when she read out extracts from her book – because, I suppose, these are well-crafted and carefully selected descriptions rather than on-the-fly answers to questions. So I think what I need to do is choose one or two tip-top scenes from my own book and get those out there ahead of the publication date, to give people a taster of what’s to come. (I know that Amazon offers the “Look Inside” feature, but I’m thinking of before publication rather than once the book is for sale.)
So this weekend’s tasks are:
- Do final, final, really, really final edits.
- Choose two good scenes to publicise.
- Watch “Love, Actually” again – listen, my husband is off playing golf for the weekend, so it’s my only chance. Please don’t judge me.