A couple weeks ago, a marketing person who also happens to be a friend, told me I should have a book launch for the new book. My response included the words ‘No thanks’, ‘nope’, ‘no way’, ‘not going to happen’ and every other version of ‘no’ you can think of.
Which of course made me pause and wonder why that huge wall immediately reared up.
The first thing to pop into my head was the scene I’m sure we’ve all been in. That moment when you walk into the book store looking forward to a relaxing leisurely browse with the reward of something new to read at the end. But instead, parked across the entryway is a starving author sitting behind a folding table, peering up desperately over the a pile of books. Everything screams of selling, of ‘BUY MY BOOK!!!’ and also whispers faintly of desperation.
So you squeeze by the table, nodding politely, immediately swamped with guilt.
I remember one time a man started talking about his book before I was even fully through the door. And it wasn’t even a polite introductory question along the lines of ‘do you like romance?’ which gives you the opening to say ‘no’ and sidle sideways. It was all about how wonderful his book was. I remember muttering something about not reading that genre, and realizing my mistake when he then went off on how his book just happened to cross all genres.
You get my point. That incident was pushy and all it did was make me take his business card so I’d remember in the future whose book not to buy.
I explained that to my friend and told her about the big wall I felt when she said ‘launch’. She said what she had in mind was a get-together with friends to celebrate the accomplishment of finally finishing the book.
Well…okay…maybe…I don’t know…
She talked about spending an hour or two with friends at the meadows that are a location in the book. Of how we could invite the fire department to do a demonstration on earthquake preparedness. About how the espresso stand at the meadows could do a special drink with the book theme…
And suddenly, without me being fully aware of it, we’re having a party.
Will there be books to sell? I suppose. A few, maybe, in the background. Or maybe I’ll just bring one to show what I managed to accomplish after four years of work. But the main thing is it’s going to be a fun afternoon with good friends and good coffee and music.
No starving authors will be allowed admittance.
And best of all, I can avoid the demon of Marketing, also known as the demon of pushing your book on people. I know there are ways to sell without being pushy, but I’m just not comfortable with the whole marketing aspect of writing. So instead, I’m going to sit in the meadows, with the lovely view of mountains and waterfalls, and enjoy a day telling stories with friends.
That I can do.