I have to rush today. I’m working John Birmingham’s launch of After America at Avid Reader today (well, tonight, but it’s something of a trek into the city). I’ve got the easy job of setting up and taking down, and making sure the wine glasses are full, and I should be able to catch most of the show.
All this has gotten me thinking of book launches and what constitutes a successful launch. Obviously for the bookseller it’s sales of the book being launched, but also that people have a good time. For writers, a book launch is not just a chance to celebrate your book, but a way of sharing it with your friends and family. It’s the moment when the book becomes real, not just for you, but those around you. And it’s a chance to say thank you to all those people that have helped you along the way.
That said, I’ve been to (and worked at) some real stinkers.
To my mind, the best launches give you a taste of the book – but not too much – a sense of the writer (as a person not just someone that produces words) and a warm fuzzy feeling (which may or may not be the alcohol). Here’s a link to one of my favourite launches ever, I know, it’s at Avid (and I work there) but it was a great night.
What do you think constitutes a great book launch?