This week we’re talking about launch parties and swag: what we did, what worked, what didn’t.
Fun fact: I didn’t really do either.
Not so much because I didn’t want to, but because my book came out in March and I had started a new, fulltime job in January. On top of that, the toddler decided early 2019 was a great time to start fighting sleep and I was working through the bulk of Book 3 edits. I didn’t really have the time or brain cells left to plan anything, and when I factored in the fact that I still didn’t know many people in town and I had no friends or family locally I could count on to fill out a row or two of chairs…
Well, the possibility of talking to an empty room filled me with the kind of panic I didn’t have time for.
So I didn’t.
What I did instead was take the day off from work and spent it like I might my birthday, i.e. doing fun little relaxing things for myself. I went out for coffee and wrote in the morning, then I came home and went for a long run, then I read and checked social media way too much and finally went out for dinner with my family.
On the one hand, the day was nice and quiet and helped make the following week as things died back down a lot easier to handle. On the other, it felt like nothing had changed, and the lingering feeling of being a fraud, of not belonging, has clung to my thoughts and actions like early morning spiderwebs, damp and sticky and impossible to scrape fully off.
It still feels all a bit unreal, but knowing that I can at least go to one bookstore in town and find my book on shelves has helped. And the influx of readers’ notes and reviews and love has scraped a great deal more of the spiderwebs away.
But I definitely want to do something different for the next book, for The Impossible Contract. As much as I recognize that I couldn’t have done much differently for TPA, I have the energy now to throw something for two. Something small, maybe. Something with the promise of cake.
But being there and having that moment and letting people celebrate with you – it really is like a birthday. It’s up to you to mark it; no one else is going to celebrate for you. Sure, you can let it slip by unmarked, but where’s the joy in that? Let people celebrate with you. Let them share your joy.
Let them share your cake.
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