Friday – yesterday, the day after my book launch for Empire’s Hostage – I was an exhausted wreck. Partly due to only four hours sleep (more on that later); partly due to the adrenaline-overload aftermath. The launch was beyond-my-expectations successful. The room was full, the applause after the readings generous, and I sold a lot of books.
So how did this happen? I put posters up in all the cafes downtown, and did lots of Twitter and Facebook promotions, which were generously retweeted and shared by a lot of people and organizations in our town. The local arts council put the event on their calendar, and did their share of advertising. The bookstore in whose upstairs bar the event was being held did their share with an in-store display and advertising on their website. And then I crossed my fingers, ordered nibbles for twenty-five people, and hoped for the best.
I had asked a couple of my writing friends, one a poet with a newly-published book, one an established writer of genre fiction, to read that night as well. That broadened the appeal a bit, I hope, and provided some new exposure for both of them, as well. Anyhow…it all worked. I could have ordered a lot more food; the beer and wine flowed nicely at the bar, people stayed for the whole evening. I signed my name on title pages many times. It felt like a good night.
But I am not a night person. I start falling asleep about 8:30 most nights, and struggle to stay awake till 10 pm. The first thing I’d done when arriving to set up at 6:30 was order a coffee. It was quite a large coffee, and I drank it all. So I was very awake for the whole evening…and the late evening….and the early morning…. Even the pint of beer I’d had after my reading didn’t help. I finally fell asleep about 2 am, and slept till 6 am. Yesterday felt like the day after an overnight flight. I managed to send thank-you emails and twitters and facebook posts. I organized breakfast for my overnight guests (even baking muffins); I remembered our appointment with our lawyer to sign our wills. I went grocery shopping (and didn’t forget anything). And then I crashed. The day is a blur from early afternoon onward.
Would I do it again? Definitely! But next time (perhaps when Empire’s Exile comes out) I won’t drink a large coffee at 6:30 pm. Mid-afternoon might be better….
Here’s the link to the books on Amazon. The e-books are free through Sunday the 28th.
(The less-than-wonderful photo is a friend’s phone shot.)