Doubtless you’ll all be glad to know that Lynne will return from her travels next week, but I’m afraid that in the meantime you have to put up with me once more. This week I’ve been pondering the idea of the book launch, as I have one coming up on September 14the for my new novel, Come the Fear.
My books are mysteries, set in Leeds, England, in the 1730s. The launch will be in the city, at Holy Trinity Church, built in 1727 and now an arts centre – about as perfect a location as I can imagine. There will be short extracts from the book read by young local actors (the centre has a mission to foster young talent, although I’m far from young!), some artwork by young local artists inspired by passages from the book, some music and some storytelling by two of England’s best tellers – friends who volunteered their services.
So far, so good. I’ve held launches for two of my three previous novels, and they’ve been fun affairs. The question that keeps coming back to me, however – and I’m the one paying for this launch, as I don’t expect my publishers to kick in anything – is how worthwhile is a book launch really? I’m trying to treat it as a party, a celebration, rather than a way to make people more aware of the book and my writing, although I’m making a story with my series characters, and set in Holy Trinity Church – available for the launch weekend only.
For those of us who don’t receive reviews in the newspapers (and don’t ask, I’m not going into that), maybe the way to look at it is converting readers one at a time. I’ve been lucky and had good reviews in some publications and on blogs. But ultimately, it’s about the folk who spend their money or borrow the book from the library. And if a book launch in Leeds brings in a few more readers, as well as having a great time on a Friday night, then it’s a win-win situation. Right? Right? I’m interested to know what others think.