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:
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.
I seem to be in a constant state of excitement these days.
The latest reason is that I have confirmed the person who will launch my book. It is none other than Mark Roper. Mark is a nationally renowned poet and creative writing educator with a lengthy list of publications, credits and accolades to his name. (For details of these see Mark’s website.) I had the pleasure of having a piece of mine included alongside one of his in The Sunday Miscellany Anthology in 2011.
Even more significantly for me on a personal level, Mark was a writing mentor of mine back in 2003 and 2004 when I returned home to Ireland from my travels abroad. He encouraged and supported my writing as part of his Writer in Residency year at Waterford Regional Hospital (now University Waterford Hospital) and kindly included a piece of mine in an anthology of writing from people in the hospital. He has continued to provide support and encouragement ever since.
Mark’s kind and gentle manner is famous among those who know him. That temperament was in evidence when I attended his workshops in the hospital with a small, sometimes noisy baby in tow. He did not bat an eyelid at the presence of my daughter and made us feel nothing but welcome. It is seemingly little things like these that are true indicators of a person’s character.
The launch itself takes place in The Book Centre, Waterford on March 24th. There will be details in my next post; in the meantime, check out the event page on Facebook.