Shall We Launch, or Keep on Moping? Eight Truths About Book Launches
1. You should have a book launch party and invite everyone you know. Even if this is not your first book. Even if you have to pay for it yourself, which you probably will. You should have a book launch party because otherwise you’re going to feel like your book is a tree that fell in the forest and didn’t make a sound.
2. Someone will say, “I’ve never been to a book launch before. What happens?” and make a disappointed face when you tell them all that happens is people buy books, you sign them and maybe say a few words. And that there will be a cash bar.
3. Some people you previously thought of as well mannered and polite will not RSVP, show up, or mention your invite when they see you next. This will not make you feel kindly disposed to them, but will make you feel slightly better about the times you have not RSVP’d.
4. You will come up with two inane dedications and write one in every book you sign. You will wish you had dreamed up a third in advance but that would have been only marginally less lame.
5. You will be expected to make a speech at the launch. Talk for a maximum of three minutes about how or why you came to write this particular book. Keep it short, make self-deprecating jokes, and stand up straight, for god’s sake, so you don’t look all slouchy and round-shouldered in the photos your husband takes to put up on the author facebook page you’ve had for a year and still don’t quite understand how to use.
6. You will feel grateful for and moved by the friends and relatives who came to the launch to support you and buy your book, while feeling mortified that you asked them to. Prepare to relive this feeling for the duration of your writing career.
7. You will not sell as many books as you hoped to, either at the launch, or ever. No one does. Except maybe J.K. Rowling.
8. Once the launch is over, you’ll be glad you did it, glad it’s over, and happy to crawl back into your Writing Cave of Solitude, the place where you belong.
The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.
Kim Moritsugu is the author of six novels to date, including Looks Perfect, nominated for the Toronto Book Award; The Glenwood Treasure, shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel award; The Restoration of Emily, serialized on CBC Radio; and the just published comedy of suburban manners The Oakdale Dinner Club. She also leads a walking tour for Heritage Toronto and teaches creative writing through The Humber School for Writers.