How to Attend A Book Launch

Yesterday I attended my first ever book launch.

The book in question — not my own, sadly! — was the dark political thriller The Washington Stratagem by Adam Lebor. (You may recall he ran the writing course I attended).

Having never been to a book launch before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What is the correct etiquette? Must you buy the book, or not? What do you wear? Will there be alcohol?

How to Attend A Book Launch

  • To buy, or not to buy?
    While authors would certainly like everyone attending to buy the book, I doubt they expect everyone to — particularly if you’re hard up on cash and/or not interested in the genre. Don’t feel pressured into buying: the important thing is to show your support in whatever way you can.

  • Bring friends!
    The venue will look at turnout for the event, and will be more likely to invite the author back if he/she can draw a crowd. Round up your friends and/or partner and/or dog and bring them along!
    (Yes, there was a dog at the event!)

  • Promote the author online
    Another way to show your support is to promote the event online. You can tweet or blog about it, and even set up a Goodreads event for the launch. Anything that will spread the word!

  • Don’t harass the author
    Book launches are like weddings: everyone wants a piece of the action. The author will want to circulate to greet attendees, so be respectful and don’t hog his/her time.

  • Enjoy yourself!
    What you wear doesn’t matter. Take the time to meet new people, listen to the author’s reading and get your book signed. It’s not every day that you can browse a bookshop with a glass of wine in your hand…

Do you have any other tips to add to the list?

* * *

The Washington Stratagem by Adam Lebor

Washington_Lebor Yael Azoulay, the U.N. covert negotiator, had to kill or be killed when she went rogue in Geneva. Now back in New York, she is tasked with meeting the man at the dark heart of the American military industrial complex. Yael soon discovers a chilling conspiracy that reaches to Iran…and a dark secret from her past. The endgame is a devastating new war in the Middle East. But the closer she comes to the truth, the more she exposes herself to powerful enemies who neither forgive, nor forget.

Three Very Cool Indie Book Covers

I’ve been talking about book covers quite a bit lately, so today I thought I’d share some awesome book covers by my fellow indie authors.

Here’s three of my favourites… and let me tell you, it was a hard choice to make.

Stories About Things by Aelius Blythe

Death preserved forever in drops of maple syrup — a name just out of reach — a bear’s growl — a door that leads to… nowhere, and a man who walks through it. These are the stories of things: some just this side of reality, some just that side of… somewhere else.

I reviewed Stories About Things way back in February, before Aelius got herself that shiny awesome new cover. Boy has she upgraded.

I want to own a print copy of this for that cover art alone — not to mention, I know the stories inside are worth reading again. (Psst, it’s free on Smashwords!)

Irregular Creatures by Chuck Wendig

Contained within are nine stories featuring bizarre beasties, mythological mutants, and overall “irregular creatures” – including flying cats, mermaids, Bigfoot, giant chickens, and mystic hobo hermaphrodites.

Horror, fantasy, science-fiction and humor.

This is another excellent anthology which I reviewed in July 2011. True to its name, the book cover also has a slightly irregular (more square) shape, however I adore the aged effect, the corners, the little cat with wings (featured in one of the stories), the swirly bits… well, everything.

How To Disappear Completely by David Bowick

Sitting at the top of a Ferris wheel overlooking the Boston skyline, Josh’s life takes an unexpected turn, and things will never be the same. Along with the many surprises on his life’s new path, he’ll come to take life advice from a family of ducks, get in a bloody war with a dog, lose his job over a spilled drink, wake up in the hospital, apply to work at an adult-themed novelty bakery, and find out that people often aren’t what they seem. When you’re at the top of the world, there’s nowhere to go but down.

This cover is far too quirky to resist. (And yes, I’ve reviewed it too!)

That’s only three, but there’s countless other great indie covers out there.

Go on, share a few of your favourites in the comments.

Indies Unlimited: celebrating indie authors

Indies Unlimited is a collective for indie authors, by indie authors.

From the about page:

We are at the beginning of a technological revolution in how books are written, published, marketed, purchased, and read. This site is dedicated to the independent authors, publishers, reviewers and readers who are on the cutting edge of that technological revolution.

A major challenge for any indie author is the lack of established infrastructure in place to market indie books. It can be challenging and time-consuming to get the word out about your book, to find reviewers, and to drive traffic to your website or Facebook page. As a new author, I was delighted to discover a very high level of mutual support and camaraderie in the indie author community. This platform is born from that spirit of mutual aid and support.

Please make Indies Unlimited your home for engagement with others who are interested in the Indie Author Movement. Be sure to “play nice” with others. Write informative, educational, or opinion minded comments, guest posts and other contributions. You can promote your books or yourself by participating in discussions and providing valuable content. Please do not spam us or use this system to send unrequested self-promotion, marketing, or sales materials. Instead, please use this platform to engage, inform, discuss, and build quality relationships.

I am currently featured on Indies Unlimited – they’ve posted a sneak peek of Hungry For You — so please stop by to say hi, and be sure to check out the rest of the site!

Other Sides: From Conception to Publication

Merrilee Faber is one of my favourite writers online: her blog Not Enough Words is always insightful, amusing, instructive and just generally envy-inducing, and she writes some pretty awesome stories.

She was kind enough to have me as a guest blogger, rambling about the making-of for Other Sides: 12 Webfiction Tales, including some general advice on how to make a short story anthology of your own.

Do head on over and check it out.