Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stage Fright

To celebrate my first book with Avalon I wanted to do something special, so I organised to have a book launch at a romance book store in Perth. I was going to sit in the store, talk to customers, sign books and give away free chocolate. But as the event loomed closer, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was such a good plan. Since Avalon is an American publisher that does not distribute internationally, my book has zero presence here in Australia. The lead up to the launch involved a lot of finger nail biting.
Who’s going to come?
Who’s going to care?
I’m nobody.
Of course, I knew my mum was going to be there, and my sisters but I couldn’t exactly count them. They’d come if my book was 3 pages long and illustrated by my two year old son who my mother already tells everyone is definitely a child prodigy. Hmmm...

So I braced myself to twiddle my thumbs for the majority of the day. You can’t imagine my shock or my delight to find that the traffic through the book store was non-stop. Half the people who turned up, I didn’t even know. Of course, I asked them where they’d heard about me and it was all word of mouth. They were friends of friends. People who knew people who knew people who knew me. Not everyone reads romance, but you can bet your best friend they know someone else who does. So when you send out promos, especially emails, always tell people to forward. It’s easy for them and it works wonders for you!

I was also amazed at the number of readers who came just because they wanted to support a local writer. They were so proud of me. “What an achievement!” “You’re published in America!” and “What a feeling to see your name on the cover!” – They wanted me to do well which was really really touching.

I had HEAPS of fun and by the end of the day I’d lost my complex. I realised for the first time- I’ve written a book. It’s a big deal.
For more photos from the Launch, check out my website.
For more highlights from the day, see my blog at


Beate Boeker said...

Loretta, it must have been such a wonderful feeling! I do know what it felt like . . . my first reading was fantastic too - it felt like a birthday party, only better. Congratulations!

Sandy Cody said...

Congratulations on a successful launch, Loretta. I can identify with your before-the-event nerves; I always angonize over things and am a little surprised that other people consider me a "real" writer.

Carolyn Hughey said...

Congratulations, Loretta.

What a terrific idea. Asking friends to forward your email notification makes perfect sense. So happy your book signing turned out so well. It's a very exciting time! Enjoy the ride.

Elisabeth Rose said...

You're a braver woman than I am Loretta. I thought all those thoughts you did and didn't bother organising anything. Maybe I should do one after all. The local romance bookstore is very supportive except at the time of my first release I didn't know the owner so well as I do now.
You've inspired me to at least reconsider the concept.

mulligangirl said...

I'm glad you realized your accomplishment is worthy of lots of positive attention. You have followed your dream and made at least a piece of it come true- that's a big deal. Btw, I read your book (it was so nice to get those ARCs at Nationals) and really enjoyed it. Wishing you lots more success at future promotional events!

Carol Hutchens said...

Congratulations, Loretta. Your post is inspiring to those of us more reluctant to be that brave.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

I'm delighted you had such a great day! Isn't the realization that you truly are a WRITER fun?

Eleni Konstantine said...

Great going for doing a book launch on your first book - love that you got support from the writing and reading community. Yay.