Some might scoff at the idea of having a book launch in an ice cream parlour but it was an ideal setting. A lot of scoffing did go on – of delicious ice cream, fabulous desserts, yummy hot chocolate and coffee that was out of this world. Finding Kaden is the first book in the young adult series of The Finding Trilogy, so an ice cream parlour seemed a very appropriate place to do a book signing. Miceál, the proprietor of Fantastic Flavours in my home town of Youghal, organized everything. He printed posters and displayed them around the town, promoted the event on Facebook and on the night made everyone, including me, feel at ease.
There was a wonderful party atmosphere and having spent most of the day nervous and sick at the thought of putting myself in the spotlight, I was very grateful for the lovely introduction Miceál gave me. It also helped that I knew a lot of the faces I saw and some good questions were asked so that I didn’t have to think too much about what to say. It was all very conversational and friendly – we could have been gathered in someone’s family home, it felt that relaxed.
I was very happy with the amount of books sold and some of those who attended had also downloaded the ebook. Miceál, himself a published author of quite a few books, kept the banter flowing by asking me questions whenever there was a lull in the conversation. He did this as he dished up his famous ice cream and hot beverages and I was deeply appreciative of the genuine interest and support that everybody gave me that evening.
I had bookmarks printed with the cover of the book on one side and the year of the launch, with links to my blog and social media sites, on the back. I also printed matching business cards and placed one in each book that was sold. A couple of the local papers also took photos and interviewed me. Fantastic Flavours is a place where local artist/musicians/writers are encouraged to showcase their work to the public and Miceál is to be commended for the effort he puts into promoting them.
Now that I have done my first launch, I don’t think I will be quite as nervous second time round but I’m not in any great hurry to go through it again. I felt a bit self conscious speaking about my book and was delighted any time a question was raised on my experiences of writing and publishing. I found it much easier to talk about the latter, as I was conscious all the time of not giving away any spoilers when answering questions about the book. It helped a lot that everyone was so friendly and relaxed, which meant that I felt at ease in no time.
By Jean Reinhardt 2013