Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My First Book Launch

Living in London and surrounded by a plethora of literary events -- and even having a few books of my own published -- I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I'd never been to a book launch until last night. What actually happens at those mythical launches, I always wondered.

So when the lovely Caroline Smailes invited me to the London launch of her new book Like Bees to Honey, I jumped at the chance to go. Like the true social coward I am, though, I dragged along my husband with me so I could talk to him if no-one wanted to talk to me.

Luckily, I knew some online friends were going: DJ Kirkby, for one, and Carol from Not Only in Thailand, so I hoped they'd provide a few friendly faces!

Slightly sloshed from an earlier jug of Pimms, I donned my high heels and pranced (OK, tried not to fall over) all the way to Wood Green, North London, to the wonderful Big Green Bookshop. I hadn't been there before but I'd enjoyed reading the bookshop's blog, and owners Simon and Tim proved to be every bit as nice (and quirky) as they were in the virtual world.

Walking in the crowded room, it was obvious the party was already in full swing and my husband and I quickly made our way towards the drinks (as you do). Waiting at the cash to pay for my copy of Like Bees to Honey, I finally met Caroline's publisher, Scott Pack, who had given me such great advice on the cover of my 24 Hours London book and helped me promote it through giveaways on his blog.

The lovely Carol from Not Only in Thailand gets her book sighed by Caroline.

The night quickly blurred into a flurry of meeting Twitter and blogging folk like Liz Fenwick (whose website I stole these photos from - hope you don't mind, Liz!), Sue Guiney , @beecee, @katheastman and the very cool @themanwhofell, whose book my husband bought! I do think that name-tags (can you tell I have a dork inside me fighting to get out) are definitely in order, as Twitter photos cannot be trusted and I missed out on meeting loads of people, namely @GKateB, the author of the Dating Detox, whose book is next on my list to read!

My husband and I (with our heads thankfully cut off so you can't see how sweaty our faces are - it was hot!) wait to get our book signed.


It was fun alternating between my Talli-Marsha identities, as I tweet from two accounts, but I fear as the night went on and my fluid intake increased I became less responsive to either name! By half-nine my husband and I stumbled out and back to the Tube, happy to have made the journey north.

So what does go on at book launches? A lot of wine/ Maltese beer (at this one, anyway), some very nice people, and a very good time!

(Stay tuned for a review of Like Bees to Honey, right after my review of Nicola Morgan's Wasted)

76 comments:

  1. I wonder if in the states you need a liquor license to serve alcohol at a bookstore during a launch....but it sounds like fun. I have never been to one either. None of the authors that I know live near me.

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  2. Hehe - No, I'm reserving those for the conference in July!

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  3. So glad you came! I did wonder about name tags, but worried people would think me too bossy! Next time... :) x

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  4. Sounds like a fun event! That bookshop looks great, the sort of place I miss here in Italy. There are bookshops but it is just not the same when the books are all in Italian :(

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  5. Definitely sounds like you had fun and something everyone should attend at least once. Love the photos.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  6. It was great - thanks again Caroline! I am such a dork with nametages - I love them! I'm bad with faces but great with names.

    LindyLou - Big Green is a super-cool bookshop!

    Plain Jane - What, a license? Crazy! I can't imagine a launch without liquor... but that's just me! :)

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  7. That is so sweet. I've been to a book launch but it was years and years ago before I started writing. It would be so different now!

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  8. There are times like this that I wish I did live in England... At least I can "experience" it through your words.

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  9. What a wonderful celebration, in a charming shop too. Launching a book is the perfect reason for a party :)

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  10. I too have an inner dork fighting to get out. Well, she's already pretty much out there :) Sounds like lots of fun!

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  11. I've never been to a book launch. It looks like fun.

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  12. Looks like fun - even if it was hot :)

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  13. that sounds like a lot of hot fun!! I can't wait to go to one now. Thanks for the pictures!!

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  14. Sounds like a fun night.
    By the way, you're so funny :-)))

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  15. Wow what an experience!!! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!!!

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  16. Aren't those book launches a blast? I'm glad you had fun. :)

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  17. Oh boy I really wished I didnt live in a german speaking country...I would like to go to book signing too! It seems so much fun!

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  18. I have never been to a book launch. They look like fun. How lovely you met up with blogging/Twitter friends.

    Wine,beer, cupcakes, A/C and name tags...check. (Just making a list incase I am lucky enough to be published). ;0

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  19. I've never been to a book launch before, and it sounds like such fun. :)

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  20. One of my favorite things about launch parties is meeting other writing friends of the author. I've gained a few friends that way. :) I'm glad you had a good time.

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  21. Book signings are so exciting especially if there is a little reading thrown in. I treasure some autographed books we have.

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  22. Aw, I really miss London book shops. I used to get off the tube at Charing Cross and walk down the road full of used book stores on either side, then come back with bags full of good finds.
    The book launch looks very fun...are you going to have one for The Hating Game? I could send a cardboard cutout of myself over the pond to be there in my place.

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  23. I am so sorry I didn't get to meet you! Next time...

    Gx

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  24. Fun fun! And what an exciting preview for what yours will be like!

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  25. It sounds both great and scary at the same time. Being in a room that crowded would make me sweat to. I'm glad you had fun. Not sure I could do it without being drunk but who knows, I like to challenge myself.

    CD

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  26. Books, wine, party people...delightful!

    I'm glad you went and enjoyed yourself. :)

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  27. omg how fun!! i've never been to a book launch, either. :(

    looks like you had loads of fun, though!! so happy for you!!

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  28. Wood Green North London?!?!? I went to school in Wood Green North London!! St Thomas More in the erm,.. ahem... early 1980's!! When Wood Green Shopping City was a dive and a dingy area that you had to hang out in to prove how COOL you were as a kiddie. (I usually scarpered to the library... I hope that's still there!!).

    You and hubby look like you've had a fabulous time and all the others who went to!! And that's what matters - plenty to drink, authors to sign your books, and lovely company - so glad you had a brilliant time! Yay!!! Yours next!! Oh yes!

    I've only ever been to one book launch - my friend wrote a book on Nietszche (OH I can't spell his name!!! You know whom I mean!!). Twas in the days before blogging and twittering and facebooking! Anyway - the best bit was seeing him really chuffed and slightly embarassed with all the attention. The next best bit was the FREE WINE AND NIBBLES. Oh yes!

    That btw is a BIG HINT to your swanky book launch Ms. Rolland! :-)

    Take care
    x

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  29. p.s. May I just say that Wood Green Shopping area is now a very upmarket and swanky place. It's gone through a regeneration and it's now FABULOUS!!
    It wasn't in the 1980's! It's gorgeous now!
    x

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  30. A launch party, what fun! I've never been...going to have to remedy that!

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  31. I'm envious... glad you had such a good time.

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  32. I totally do the bring-my-husband-along-in-case-I-don't-know-anyone thing too! Fun post! I've never been to a book launch, but I always picture wine and cheese at these elusive events. :)

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  33. How neat! I haven't been to a book launch either, but I'd love to go to one someday.

    I have an award for you at my blog, by the way. :)

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  34. Ooh, shmoozing and drinking - it sounds like a blast! Glad you had fun, Tall. It won't be long before you're having one for The Hating Game! Make sure you hop the pond for a book tour so the rest of us Yanks can meet you, too! :)

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  35. It was loads of fun - one day we'll have to have a blogger meet-up somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We'll float on a boat with cocktails, each with our stack of favourite books... someday! Maybe on my 'The Hating Game' book-tour once it's a bestseller (I can dream!).

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  36. Since I live in the South, we didn't have alcohol, but my first release party was a blast! You will enjoy doing one of your own, Talli.

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  37. Oh, and -

    Gemma - I hope to meet you soon and I can't wait to read your book! I spotted someone I thought might have been you but I wasn't sure...

    Old Kitty - You're coming to my book launch (if I have one) if I have to drag you from your flat, with a special platter and kitty drink set aside for Charlie!

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  38. Talli,
    This sounds like a great way to spend the evening. I see a lot of happy authors & readers in these pics! :)

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  39. Sounds like a great event! I sometimes I wished I lived in a bigger market so these events weren't one poor author at a time reading and signing--no agent or publisher in sight...

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  40. I've not been to a book launch...yet. But it looks like a good time was had by all. :)

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  41. I'd like to go to at least one.

    And thanks for following my blog! There was a comment malfunction going on but all should be fine now.

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  42. I've never been to a book launch, but they sound/look like a lot of fun :)

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  43. That looked and sounded like a lot of fun. I've never been but after this, I'd love to sometime :)

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  44. Yeah, that sounded like fun. Next time, it's your turn! ;-)

    ~JD

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  45. Sounds like such a fun time! I want to go to one. :) Good times!

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  46. I've never been to a book launch, so this was very interesting for me to read about! Good for you for doing your research!

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  47. I've only been to one book launch in small town Alberta-for a collection called How I Shot my Brother. I'll let you imagine the event!
    I'm planning a trip to UK in 2011 and can only hope I shall attend yours (and, along with traditional signed book, get to hopefully try one of your sweet cupcakes)!

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  48. What fun! And you don't look like you're sweating too bad.

    It won't be long before you get to do your own book launch!!

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  49. Sounds like it was a very successful book launch with lots of people attending. The only one I've ever been to was a pretty small affair but with very friendly people - I enjoyed it. Writers are a pretty friendly bunch. :)

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  50. It was VERY hot there. That's why I HAD to drink so much too ;) I was so happy to meet you and your very lovely husband in person and I just wish we all lived closer! Can you have a book launch closer to Portsmouth please? We didn't get home till 12.30 and I can't take any more late nights like that.

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  51. Sounds like my kinda party!

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  52. That sounds like my kind of party!

    Okay, that was only slightly different than what Ann said. But I really was thinking the exact same thing as I scrolled down to leave my response. ;)

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  53. Thanks for taking me along. I vicariously enjoyed every sip of wine. And I'm with you about name tags. I remember faces but have a horrible time with names. Need a little help from my friends....

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  54. That looks like so much fun! And soon you'll get to have your own! :)

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  55. I can officially verify that Carol is the most sociable woman on the planet...

    So glad you had fun.

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  56. I've just been on another blog moaning about how I'd love to live in London and here I am typing the same sort of moan again. It all happens in the City. You don't get gatherings like that in Leicester. It sounds like it was a brilliant night. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  57. How fabulous! I'm incredibly jealous. Would love to have been there and met Caroline. I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to find your blog. Your comment over at mine led me here. Thank you x

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Coffee and wine for all!