So, it turns out that launching a book isn’t as scary as I thought, and that people do turn up. And that they are interested and have fun chatting to each other and the author about the book and anything else that comes up.
At my launch on Friday evening, people from all areas of my life turned up – yoga students, parents from the children’s schools who have become friends, my children’s friends, my dog groomer, my husband’s friends, football parents, cricket parents, writer’s group friends – a real mixture. Some of them even found friends amongst each other they hadn’t seen for years!
There was wine, there was food, there was a marvellous MC in Liz Allen who works for Gleebooks, and with whom I did yoga many moons ago. There was Khyiah Angel, author, friend and all round superwoman, who launched the book with lovely words that made me feel proud and humble at the same time. And then there was me – an extrovert who doesn’t like being the centre of attention. I kept my part as brief as possible – some thank yous, a couple of words about the writing of the book and two short excerpts and another thank you for coming, now please eat and drink and chat.
Then came book signing. That was weird. I don’t know about other writers, but I feel embarrassed when people buy my book and want me to sign it. It’s not that I’m not proud of the product, and I certainly recognise the amount of work that I put into it, and know that it was all mine – the research, the endless drafts and revisions, working with the feedback I requested until the book was as polished as it could be. I think the embarrassment is in the fact that now it is about to be judged by another who may not like it, and (so the thinking goes), therefore not like me either. I am fused with the product. And yet I also know that my friends are bigger than that, that they appreciate the time and effort put into the book, and while some may not like the style or the content, they won’t hold it against me or find me diminished in any way. So I have to get over it. Stand up tall, look them in the eye, and say, Thank you for buying it. If you like it, tell all your friends, if not, keep it to yourself!
And on to the next one…