I enjoyed my first Book Launch. It’s a novel experience and I don’t mean that as a joke. It’s genuinely a very unusual event. There you are signing copies of your beloved manuscript as if you’re some literary genius.
I had mine on the 10th Floor of the offices of my publisher, Pearson, on the Strand. It was a wonderful sunny Autumnal evening with light streaming into the room and the view from the balconies east and west down the Thames were amazing. Many friends and family were there, some over indulging and others just dropping by to give a vote of confidence. Nice.
It’s incredibly difficult to dream up 70 dedications on the spot for people. If you ask them what they want, mostly they have no idea either, and you feel obliged to craft some witty comment or reflection. Still most people seemed content with my scribbles.
I reflected on the recent discussion about the Book Launch, triggered by an article by Sebastian Shakespeare, “Bring on a new chapter for the Book launch“, in the Evening Standard. He argues that the days of Book launches are over because they serve no commercial purpose and just take up time and effort which no-one really wants to bother with. Having just done my first, which I mostly roorganised but with some help from Pearson, I think they do have role to play. It’s not commercial. They help spread the word and generate a bit of PR but fundamentally the book sales barely cover the cost of libations for the troops. No, it’s wonderful milestone for the Author. It’s a recognition of a success, a book delivered to the market.
And celebrating milestones is as important for the Author as it is for the Entrepreneur. In both cases it can be easy to forget all the time and energy spent on a new project. But if you don’t celebrate a success then how unrewarding is that. You never have a chance to pat yourself on the back for what you have done. No it’s great to do that. There doesn’t have to be a business case for everything. Sometimes it can just be a case of enjoying the moment.