As soon as you start to dip your toes in the kid lit world, you quickly make a lot of friends with rather friendly, zany, fun, creative types like yourself who like to call themselves writers, illustrators or both. You also end up attending their book launches.
And can I say there is nothing more thrilling than to celebrate this milestone with the very people who understand all the blood, sweat and tears that go into producing the pages, words and illustrations all beautifully bound together in that now tangible object, the book.
A book launch is a celebration for all involved including the author, illustrator, publisher, bookshop for the sales, family, friends and fans.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending two book launches for two very talented Queensland authors who have also become my friends.
Animal-lover and advocate, Samantha Wheeler launched her second book Spud & Charli, published by the University of Queensland Press at Riverbend Books in Bulimba on Friday night.
The book follows Charli as she heads off to riding camp where she is matched with the somewhat ugly duckling called Spud, a former racehorse. Also there’s the dreaded bats and the Hendra Virus risk that scares Charli. Young girl readers will love this horse riding adventure. Here’s a great review already on Spud & Charli.
Space cadet, Candice Lemon Scott launched the first in a series of six books, published by New Frontier called Jake in Space: Moon Attack at Black Cat Books, Paddington on Saturday.
Jake is learning to drive at space car driving school when he discovers a plot to blow up the moon. In order to save the day and the moon, Jake puts his lacking driving skills to the test. This book is guaranteed to thrill young boy readers with space, cars and things blowing up. Two more Jake in Space titles are to be released this year and three in 2015. Check out the Jake in Space website.
So here are some things I’ve learned from attending a lot of book launches in the last year.
1) Buy the book before the launch starts. It’s a great idea to support our independent retailers.
2) Have any camera device ready to snap an impromptu photo, just as the author/illustrator is breezing past you. When they stop to say hello, ask them to pose for a photo with you. This works, of course if you know them. Smile Candice!
3) Have a notepad or app to jot down dot points when they are giving their presentation.
4) Go enjoy some snacks first and as the queue gets shorter, get your book signed then. This is a good time to ask for a photo if this is your first time meeting the author or illustrator.
5) Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Network and you will get to meet some of your favourite authors and illustrators that way. They go to these events too, to support their colleagues.
6) Have a business card ready in case a relevant industry professional asks for your contact details. It makes you look professional.
7) Enjoy yourself and the snacks.
Remember the cool ideas for your own book launch. I hope you enjoy meeting an author or illustrator at a book launch in your area soon.