When Dead Boy Talking was written, edited and away to be printed my thoughts turned to the day when it would make its first appearance.
There is no particular right or wrong way to launch a book but it seems a real shame to have laboured over writing it, fighting with your characters and your muse for months, just to allow it to enter the world completely unheralded.
As you send your latest precious offspring off on its journey you need to fortify yourself, because it is a very scary business this; laying your work out there to be examined and criticised or (heaven forbid) to be ignored.
So this is your chance to celebrate its arrival.
I am a firm believer in having some kind of a book launch.
It doesn't need to be an expensive, sparkling, celebrity affair paid for by your publisher (in fact this is very unlikely unless you are a megastar or multi-million selling author). It may be held at a local bookshop, a restaurant, a gallery or just about anywhere with particular significance as regards the plot or theme of the book - with your publisher hopefully contributing to the drink and some nibbles and possibly helping out by emailing or sending out the invitations (although they may not offer to do any of this, there’s no harm in asking!).
It might be just the author inviting a few friends round for a party - but celebrate it you should - after all you have worked hard for it and as all those who long to be published will tell you; you are incredibly fortunate to be published at all – especially in the current economic climate.
But how to go about launching this new teenage book.
I have had all sorts of book launches some were open public affairs - for children and families -in bookshops and in castles such as Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle and
like this one, with Illustrator Sally J Collins actually on the Falkirk Wheel
Some were more private for invited friends, family, fellow writers and other interested parties and held in restaurants or other venues.
But I wanted to try something different for this book and get some teenage readers and their school involved.
It’s by no means a new idea, it has been done before, and how it works really depends on the book and the theme, but most of all on the school and of course the teenagers themselves.
With the new Curriculum for Excellence about to be rolled out across Scotland’s high schools after the summer promoting cross curricular work, it seemed to be a project that might appeal to a school if they were to look at all aspects of publicising the book, of organising the launch itself and also examining themes within the story.
I will be writing in more detail and blogging about the project, the book and the teenagers, over the next few weeks but here are a few of the things they did:-
Their first job was to devise a company name and so they became Platinum Pages Publication Promoters
- They helped decide on the book’s cover, designed posters and invitations – finding printing companies and costs.
- Found out about the publishing industry and how publishers work to produce a book.
- Contacted the press and media about the project and the launch,
- Created a blog deadboytalking.blogspot.com
- And a Facebook page for Dead Boy Talking
- Living in a rural location, a small group met up with a peer group from a city school to discuss the book and its themes.
- Organised a launch for their entire year group in school time - which included a visit by a local police superintendent talking about the realities of knife crime.
- They wrote and performed a short drama sketch based on a scene from the book
- Produced a powerpoint display of the project for display at the launch
- Produced name labels for the launch
- Hosted the evening launch event in the school, welcoming guests, introducing the elements of the launch and interviewing me.
Dead Boy Talking published June 2010
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