A Book Launch is Kind of Like a Birthday Party

Book launches come in many different forms. The one I attended most recently was a lot like a birthday party (more about that after the jump – yes there are incriminating pictures.) First I would like to take you through some of the multitude of ways to launch a book for the fans, the author, and the publishing house. Any excuse to party about books, right? Right.

There are launches where a book is announced at a Con, where an author talks about their book with fans and suvudu, and has signings. At NYCC Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge are interviewed about writing their new book Black & White 2:53mins :

There are launches in the form of a public reading, which can be pretty awesome. I would never have understood Mark Z. Danielewski’s Only Revolutions if I hadn’t heard him read some of it and … explain it. (Seriously, check out the website. It’s pretty freaking awesome, and the intro has a loop of him reading a passage that helps explain) And this fall Terry Brooks obliged Suvudu with a fabulous clip of him reading from the forthcoming A Princess of Landover. = 3:52mins :

There are launches that are an elaborate cocktail party where literary elite get to rub up against each other and drink champagne. I have fun at those, but always fear they’ll play out like that famous scene in Bridget Jones when she makes a complete fool of herself in front of Mr. Rushdie. (You should hear the RH office when a celebrity comes to visit. We’re all a twitter. Meaning, that would be me up there with no Hugh Grant to save me.)

Or you can throw a press conference like Paolini who held what looked to me like a Steve Jobs-style keynote speech … only far more excited, dorky, and endearing. However, the unveiling of the book was equally as exciting as seeing Apple unveil more fun gadgets. (I gave the link instead of posting because it’s 9:30 mins, but it is really fun to watch if you’re interested in Paolini.)

… OR a book launch can be done Peter Brett-style: THROW A PARTY.

I haven’t really been to very many book launches, and they’re usually of the cocktail party or reading persuasion–but unlike a reading, this intimate affair celebrating the launch of The Warded Man felt a lot like a birthday party.

Held at an awesome little bar in Brooklyn called “The Zombie Hut”, (appropriate much?) family, close friends, collaborators, and some incognito corporate types were in attendance + one fan-girl. No this wasn’t a polite affair with champagne, finger food, and light conversation. The party was thrown by freelance editor, and Pete’s good friend, Jay Franco.

There was a lot of shouting, hugging, publishing talk, and of course, sci fi gorging. (I think I got into a debate about Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars at one point …)

There was Cake. A necessary Birthday Party tribute.


There were gifts. Fotini Designs, a NYC jewelry maker and metalsmith, made awesome metal bookmarks stamped with wards specially for the party. The wards you’re seeing everywhere were designed by Lauren Cannon, from which Fotini had been commissioned earlier to make Warded Man jewelry. Yeah, Oscar gift-bags eat your heart out. I have a Warded Man bookmark!

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There were super-happy supporters

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and there were party props


I’m only kind of sorry to keep tooting Peter V. Brett’s horn — but The Warded Man was truly fabulous. I promise to move on to a new obsession … eventually. And as my previous post would suggest, I’m a little bit of a fan.

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