So now being the proud parent my second book, which I’d held lovingly in my arms I needed to organise a launch venue.
I found that when I wanted to launch my first book- The Magic that’s Ours bookstores weren’t to accommodating in allowing me the use any of their stores as I was an unknown entity. That seemed to change now that I was about to launch my second book. The benefit of launching at a bookstore is that they have a data base of clientele so the number of invites increases considerably. With the extra feet attending launch costs aren’t affected as the bookstore will usually supply the snacks and drinks at a nominal fee.
As I was a regular client at Wordsworths in the Gardens centre, they were very keen to hold the launch. It was to be on Saturday the 14th March 2009.Saturday is always a good day as people are usually shopping and people are always looking for things to do and hopefully to buy.
As I was part of IBBY-an association linked to children’s book writers and illustrators- I was connected to well known literary people. Robin Malan- a literary giant- was invited to be my guest speaker as well as 11 year old Amy Falconer who would be doing a reading from my book-The Power that’s Ours. The reason I invited Robin as a guest speaker, besides that he is a nice guy and honest reviewer of books, he is also very well known and a crowd puller in his own right.
The nice thing about launching at a book-store is that they will pretty much organise everything leaving you with only your speech to worry about.
An invitation that was sent out via email to my data base as well as printed and left at coffee shops and any other places that I thought might be suitable for passers by to see.
The launch on the 14th was one of the biggest that Wordsworth had ever had with over 80 people attending. The launch was such a success that Wordsworth head office asked if I’d do another launch in their Willowbridge store. This was arranged for 3 weeks later-1 week after my launch in JHB.
As mentioned there were about 80 people at the first launch. That was a real high. The launch in JHB was attended by about 20 people as well as the one held in Willowbridge-quite a let down in comparison to the one held at Gardens Centre. Be that as it may people attended and it gave me a good understanding for future launches
The Launch in JHB was held at a private venue as sadly there aren’t too many independent bookstores in that city and the book chains weren’t too interested in having a lunch. It was held on a child friendly private estate.
One of the main things about a launch is that local media are always looking for something slightly different and on all 3 occasions I wasn’t to be disappointed. Local newspapers as well a mainstream publications ran a story about a local author who followed his dreams by not only self publishing one book, but two. This in turn led to interviews on morning TV. The editor of a premier education publication came out especially-before a golf game- to meet me and take my picture so that they could run a story in theior magaiziune which goes out to every private school in the country. That in itself made the launch a success even if the attendees numbers were only 25% of those in Cape Town.
Besides the launch being an event that the media would be interested in promoting, it’s another way to meet readers.
The curve ball which I briefly spoke about last time was that as all of this was happening my financial backer had been heavily hit by the global recession and was unable to back me any further with all the invoices on the horizon…