Book Launch: Fantasy vs. Reality

I have been dreaming about my book launch party for as long as I have been dreaming about publishing a book, which is another way of saying a very long time. Your book party is your chance to celebrate. Book in hand, it’s your moment to say YES, I did it. All of those years of writing and revising, all of those hours agonizing over agent lists and query letters, all of the hope and all of the rejection behind you, your book party is the culmination of all of your effort—your moment to shine.

So, my dream for my debut book party may have become a little big in my imagination. Basically, I wanted to create a moment in the life of Guthrie, Vermont, the fictional town where I set THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING. I wanted to throw the party in a barn. I wanted to hold a contra dance. I wanted fiddles and banjo players. I wanted to have carts selling fair food—kettle corn and friend dough and blooming onions. I wanted to serve twelve kinds of pie.

But I had other dreams too. I have always pictured giving my first reading at Brookline Booksmith, my favorite indie bookstore—the place I have been book shopping at for over 20 years. And I wanted the party to happen on the day the book is published (August 9th!) I pictured the party to be within walking distance of the bookstore, so my guests can go enjoy themselves while I am signing books. So, given that there isn’t a barn that fits these parameters (or a barn for rent anywhere in Boston—believe me, I looked) I realized that I had to change my idea.

And as my idea changed, so did my reasons for having a book launch party. I have realized that the party is not just to celebrate the novel being published—it’s my chance to say thank you to all the people that made it possible. To my writing friends, workshop buddies, critique partners, and teachers. To my dearest friends and family who have been so encouraging over the years. And especially to my partner for all of her support—for reading every page a million times, for all of her feedback and guidance, and especially for putting up with me over this past year, where I have talked about little else other than this book being published. I want to give all of these people a cheery night to thank them for making all of this book business possible.

My book launch party will be held either at a sushi restaurant or a southern-inspired bar. I’m seeing both of them today and will decide hopefully by tomorrow, so I can send out the invitations. It’s only 6 weeks away! And although we won’t be dancing to a string band, I know I will be dancing on the inside, surrounded by the people I love. And no matter where the party is, I know one thing: there will be pie.

Author: Louise Miller

Louise Miller is the author of THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking/August 9, 2016), the story of a commitment-phobic pastry chef who discovers the meaning of belonging while competing in the cut-throat world of Vermont county fair baking contests. Find out more at

One Reply to “Book Launch: Fantasy vs. Reality”

  1. Many people experience the more pedestrian “star” moments – weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs – but a book launch is something most people never get to plan and enjoy. I hope you can have at least a few moments during the party where you can really drink it all in. Congrats!

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