We don’t usually need a reason to throw a party, but it helps. Even entire days are given over to festivities based on flimsy premises for celebration, usually hijacked from our pagan predecessors, from Halloween to Hogmanay.
I shall be celebrating the launch of my first novel, Mrs God, this coming Saturday with family and friends in my home city. I decided not to hold the launch in a bookstore because I want it to be a party first and a book launch second. This doesn’t mean I won’t be selling books at the event! But it’s a celebration, meaning I want to congregate people together in one place on one date so we can all hold aloft glasses of various liquids and toast the fact that my book exists. That I wrote it. And it’s now OUT THERE.
The weird thing is this: after spending almost a year and a half having the book all to myself, it feels like it will be a great handing-over ceremony, where the book no longer becomes mine but EVERYONE’S. The weirder thing is: I have to constantly remind myself that I wrote it. I see it every day at home, pictures of it wash around blog posts and Facebook updates and tweets. But I feel as if it was written by someone else. Perhaps other self-published authors have undergone this feeling of weirdness. Maybe it’s a symptom of shifting gear from author to publisher and marketer so suddenly.
Anyway, today I reminded myself of the truth about who wrote Mrs God by signing lots and lots of book cover posters. I plan to give them away to those people kind enough to attend my book’s big night. (I have other free stuff up my sleeve, but it’s a state secret right now!)
I would recommend to all self-publishers out there to go the extra mile and publish a paperback version of your book. I know there are ways and means of offering methods of downloading on your launch night, but there really is no substitute to having physical copies of your book for people to wave in the air and stick under your nose for a signature.
So, my book launch party will allow an author and his family and friends (and anyone interested) to celebrate Mrs God.
It may also help me to realise the true scale of the achievement.