Tumbleweed, crickets and other launch day terrors


Back in the heady days of early 2017, when March 24th was months away, I had no nerves at all about my launch day. I was breezily looking forward to a nice relaxed evening, chatting to friends and family, in a place that I love.

Now that launch day is the day after tomorrow, all breeziness is gone and I am a bundle of fears and self-doubt. The following thoughts are on an ever-repeating reel in my head:

  • What if only a handful of people turn up? (Cue images of tumbleweed rolling through and the sound of crickets in the background.)
  • What if a reasonable number of people turn up but hardly anyone buys the book? (Cue image of stacks of unsold books on the floor of my bedroom forever more.)
  • What if lots of people buy the book but hate it and demand their money back? (Image: me crying while handing back bank notes to an angry mob.)
  • What if online trolls get wind of the book and flame me on Twitter to the degree that I have to quit social media and become a hermit?

I’ll stop there before the fantasies get even more ludicrous. I’m sure Twitter trolls have better things to be doing with their time than picking on a virtually unknown self-published author. Right?!

To switch back to positive mode, a window display for ‘Mental’ and a poster advertising the launch are currently in situ in the window of The Book Centre, Waterford, where the launch takes place on Friday evening.

To my surprise, I had to set up the display myself. My surprise was not that a self-published author would do their own window display (who else would do it?), but that The Book Centre were willing to let me loose on their window. I have zero experience of doing displays of any kind. Here is the result of my attempt:

mental book centre window display

‘Mental’ in the window of The Book Centre independent book store, Waterford, Ireland.

Lesson learned: window dressing is a lot more difficult than it looks. Kind friends have assured me that it looks ‘minimalist’ and fitting to the theme of the book (rather than ‘bare’ and ‘bland’ as I (still) suspect).

My next post will be a report on the launch itself. Fingers crossed for no tumbleweed or crickets.

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Posted on March 22, 2017, in Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Good luck Orla. I am down with a dreadful cold/flu so won’t be able to come to your launch, very annoying, but wishing you every success. Enjoy the evening. Regards Teri Flynn

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  2. It will be fine, Orla. Dervla is right.

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  3. Donal Shanaghy

    Wishing you the very best Orla. I am sure the launch will be a great success. I read the book and really enjoyed it. Regards, DJ.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To address your concerns.
    1. You’ve spread the word enough. People will come. You have booked it, so they will come.
    2. They will buy the book because they’ve turned up, and it’s good launch etiquette. The launch is where authors sell the most book.
    3. Well, I imagine most of the people at the launch will be Irish. Even if they hate your book, which they won’t, irish people are famous for never complaining, so they won’t demand a refund.
    4. Social media is a vast space. We’re lucky if anyone notices us at all, let alone flames us. In fact, being flamed could give you a certain cachet, as an infamous social media star.
    All will be well. Enjoy it. It will be one of the most special nights of your life. It will be a lap of honour.

    Liked by 1 person

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