Last night I went to the launch party for Caroline Green’s debut YA title DarkRide, a book I just about finished on the train journey home. Not because it’s short, I might add, just brilliant and difficult to stop reading. Congratulations, Caroline!
The launch itself had all the essential ingredients -- wine, a reading, good company and a charming author – not to mention that other strange phenomenon of a 21st Century social life: the meeting of people one has already ‘met’ via social networking. In short, I had a great time, and I couldn’t help noticing that a lot of books were sold too.
The reason I find this particularly noteworthy is the fact that I was recently told (by those who know) that new authors shouldn’t feel the necessity to hold a book launch at all, at least from the point of view of sales. The reason being that all those who would come would probably have bought the book anyway. This has had me wondering about my own debut next year and whether I should go to the trouble of organising a launch party if, as is likely, the publishers don’t hold one. But last night’s spectacle of happy people chatting over dwindling piles of stock as the wine flowed has me thinking again. And after all, without that launch party I wouldn’t have met the author, I probably wouldn’t have bought her book any time soon, and I certainly wouldn’t have had it signed. So my question over whether to launch or not seems to have been answered right there. At least, from the sales perspective – it goes without saying that it’s always fun to open a bottle or two with friends, whatever the bean-counters think.
Before I sign off, I’d also like to send out congratulations to Fiona Dunbar, whose new book, Divine Freaks, is published today. Fiona was at Caroline’s launch last night, so I was finally able to chat in person with someone I only knew by reputation and facebook. Divine Freaks, by the way, is about a girl who can see ghosts, and you have only to glance at my last post to see why I find that interesting. Congratulations Fiona!