Friday, April 24, 2009

How to Survive a Book Launch

Rebecca Cantrell suggested I post this (mostly) tongue-in-cheek list I made for her, so here you go:

1. Imagine your audience naked. Or, if that fails, at least in underoos.
2. Autograph with a comfortable pen. Bic does not make a comfortable pen.
3. Come up with memorable witticisms to inscribe above your autograph, such as "You Made the Write Choice" or "It's Been a Thrill." Note: memorable is often mistaken for good. This, obviously, is a fallacy.
4. Be prepared for many photographs. Practice by making evil faces in the mirror. The more evil the face, the more likely it will end up on someone's blog. There is no such thing as bad publicity.
5. When you are asked where you get your ideas, tell them it's a secret. And act very, very serious when you say this. They will stop asking. As a bonus, this also reduces the number of photographs taken.
6. Some readers will point out grammatical and/or typographical errors in your novel. Smile at them and kindly ask them how many grammatical and/or typographical errors are in their published novel.
7. Have gifts for your audience, such as food and cash. Bribery can go a long, long way.
8. When giving your public reading, make sure to have a beverage handy, preferably something fermented.
9. People you have not seen in years will come up to you and ask for your signature and will expect you to remember their name. Be prepared to act so overwhelmed by all the excitement that you can't remember anything.
10. Writers are, by nature, loners, and the book launches are, by nature, maelstroms of social interaction. Overcome this obstacle by carrying a notepad with you. When the social interaction proves too cumbersome, retreat to your notepad. This can occur mid-conversation, and people will simply deem you quirky or eccentric.


Matt Hilton said...

Hey, thanks for this. With a book launch looming in less than 3 weeks I'm off to practice my'evil face' in the mirror.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

It was too funny to keep to myself. Now I need to practice my evil face and start looking for fermented beverages...

F.T. Bradley said...

Man, I've considered number 10. It's a little concerning...

Cool list, made me smile.