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Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Embarrassing Truth About Book Launches

So I just had two book launches for my new novel, Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies, a book based on a true story that I poured my soul into. It was exhausting meeting the deadline and perfecting it before handing it back to my publisher, BWL Publishing so they could push it out into the world, the young innocent babe it is. And then...I had to do the book launch.

Well, let me tell you, book launches are the hardest work of all because no one likes going to book launches unless it's someone really famous. Sometimes only two people show up. 



But a typical book launch consists of 15 or 20 people who have been forced to come because either they're related to you, or in your writer's group, or because you twisted their arm to breaking point. And that's me - the arm twister.


So I start out by making an invitation that sounds like it's going to be the most sensational event ever. I provide live music, food, and prizes. I do FB ads, Twitter ads, send out press releases, personal invitations. I make sure it's on a day that will have no soccer practices, isn't a long weekend, and is convenient for everyone. My image is that 100 people will show up. Sigh.


To begin with, no one in my writer's group could come. And my dear old aunt who I was thinking of the whole time, went away on a trip for two days, and arrived back a half hour after the launch was over. Cousins were working. Someone got sick. A couple of people had unexpected company. And then there are the pingers and ringers. You know, those people who either call or text you at the last minute to say they can't make it?

But strangely, despite the embarrassingly small crowds (if you can call them crowds), there's always the handful of people who did come three hours out of their way to support you, or the cousin who just had her teeth pulled and is sore, or the friend from childhood who's a die-hard. And they buy books. And they tell all their friends. And that's who I'm doing it for.



And so I swallow my pride, realize I'm not alone. (I've been to many book launches that are poorly attended.) And I go on. And I dream that some day, I'll have that huge crowd going out the door. 



In the meantime, here's the book trailer for Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies.



And here is the link. Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies



18 comments:

  1. I like doing book talks but have to have one or two books to sell. And, yes, usually one or two are all that show up. I once had a lady who sat down, looked at me and said, "Oh, I recognize you by your watch." Whereupon, she stood up and left.

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    1. Oh, that's too funny! It's so much work, isn't it?

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  2. How true. Enjoyed reading of your trials and tribulations. Just did a library talk with three others. There were 3 in the audience. At least I sold a book.

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    1. Hahahaha! That is soooooo funny!!! I can't stop laughing!

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  3. Sketchy attendance seems to be par for the course - but at least you are making the effort and that's what counts.

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  4. Too true, Suzanne. We authors are masochists for sure. I'm doing a library talk tonight with 16 people RSVP'd we'll see how many show up LOL

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    1. Who knows, maybe you'll get more than 16. 16 is actually a good number.

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  5. It's the truth. So much work and sometimes seems like so little rewards but surprisingly even those that don't atten read all the promo about your upcoming launch see the book cover and hear about the book and believe it or. It all the hype leading up to the launch often brings about results you never see. Good job Suzanne.

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  6. Hey, Suzanne. I know you'd like large numbers, but it's about getting the message out and sounds to me like you did that just great! Congrats. Your book sounds really interesting and the trailer is eye-catching. Good luck. and don't beat yourself up about the numbers. :)

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  7. No matter what, it is exciting to release a new book, your baby, as you said. And then to have the chance to tell the whole world about it is fun too. At least you sold some books that you wouldn't have if you hadn't planned the event. Very proud of you. And hey, you can come on over to my blog and shout about it too! And I'll help! Wishing you success!
    JQ Rose

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  8. Sure, anytime. Send me some questions and I'll send you back some answers.

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  9. Thanks so much for this. I'm sort of dreading ours next month--book 4 of our fantasy series. Friends' eyes glaze over at the mention of it...at least I'm not alone!

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    1. Yup, I know about the glazed eyes and the, "We'll have to look at our calendar and see if we can do it." A sure sign they don't want to come.

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  10. I hear you. This was my 6th book launch. I have had 40 people show up and I have had 8 show up. It is the luck of the draw I guess. I was silly to have the latest one on Sept 2, a sunny Saturday of the last long weekend of the summer!! But I come from far away and it had to fit in my tightly packed schedule. However, many who couldn't make it came to the bookstore later and bought books so it is all good in the end.The following weekend at Indigo I had a very good turnout. It rained so that helped. It is a lot of work but I still think it is worth it. (BTW no one from my writers group came either!!)

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  11. One day you won't have enough food to feed the people.

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    1. That'd be nice. It's happened that it was all gone before I got there.

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