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You've Planned a Book Launch

Updated on May 18, 2012


Cupcakes with my book covers
Cupcakes with my book covers

The Books Don't Arrive

You have worked with your publisher and the local librarian to do a book launch at the public library. The week before the book launch you learn that the hard cover books will not be there. The ones you plan to give away will arrive, but those you had hoped to sell will not be there. No problem you can take pre-paid orders for those.

It gets closer to the big day. You have no books and no poster of your book. They are all due to arrive the day of the book launch. You are antsy because that is a bit last minute for you, but you remain calm. You drive to your step-daughter’s and pick up the beautiful cupcakes she’s made for you. You even manage to get them home in one piece.

Then comes the call. Your books will not arrive tomorrow as planned and no amount of pleading on the part of your publisher will get them there. She is livid and you are stunned. You have to notify the librarian because she needs to know what is going on. Facebook ads and radio ads are running. The press is going to be there. You have a friend coming from out of town. What do you do?

First send off an e-mail to the librarian. Tell her you have your other books and we can make them available. You have the prizes for give-away. You will go through with that. Don’t forget you also have the cupcakes. She says not to worry it will be fine. Then you send off an e-mail to the out-of-town friend and say don’t make the trip, I’ll get a book to you somehow.

You toss and turn all night praying that the poster coming from the west coast will arrive and that you will not look like you have egg on your face. Sleep was a long time coming. I had called another friend to see if she was still in town and told her not to make the trip.

The big day arrives. The poster came early and the UPS driver apologized that he did not have the expected books to deliver. The poster is dropped off at the library on the way to the hair appointment. If you’re going to look foolish, at least look foolish in style. By the time hair was done there was enough time to get home, eat an early dinner, get dressed, and load the car for the trip to the library.

The good news is the two young ladies who were assisting me arrived on time. One was running the cash box for book sales and one was handing out tickets for the drawing. Soon after that the photographer arrived and took some photos of the cupcakes and poster to get a feel for the lighting. Slowly a few people wandered in, helped themselves to coffee and refreshments. The wonderful Friends of the Library had donated cookies and brownies.

I was privileged to speak to an audience of about a dozen, including my helpers and the library staff. People were able to ask questions. I gave away two of the absent paperbacks, getting addresses so that I can send them as soon as they come in. I also gave away one hard cover book and a necklace that will appear in book three in the series.

Sales were less than anticipated as the crowd was much smaller than planned. Many who RSVP’d they’d be attending were unable to attend due to last minute things. Those who were in attendance said they enjoyed themselves. So if the books don’t arrive, make the best of it.


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