An introvert’s guide to a book launch – Liz Eeles

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By Liz Eeles

After my fair share of false starts, dashed hopes and rejection – the would-be author’s Terrible Trio – my first novel is published by Bookouture this month. Hooray! So, will I be celebrating as Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is launched on the world? Absolutely. Will I be buying a flash frock and having a huge launch party? Um, no. What do you think I am – an extrovert?

Being a writer is brilliant for introverts. We can spend time on our own, make up new worlds in our heads, and observe people (i.e. shamelessly listen in on their conversations) with gay abandon.

But as launch day approaches, I can’t help wishing I was an extrovert who could host a fabulous party and make a witty speech without going into anxiety meltdown. I also wish I was J.K. Rowling, but that’s not going to happen either. So, being realistic, I’ve considered a few ways for an introvert debut novelist to celebrate a new book, share the news on launch day and, hopefully, sell a few copies, without having to shell out on therapy.

Fake it until you make it

Berate yourself for being a lily-livered killjoy, book a fab venue, invite loads of ‘networky’ people, and have a few stiff drinks on the night to curb the uncomfortable feeling that you’re ‘bigging yourself up’. So what if you’re the centre of attention? You’ve earned it after all those hours bashing away at your computer, so sign those books and dance like no-one is watching (though lots of people are).

Scale down your expectations

Arrange a get-together in the pub for family and friends; have a laugh, eat cake, and don’t worry about inviting the media. Chances are they won’t come anyway unless you’re a bestselling author – I know because I used to be one (a journalist, not a bestseller, though fingers crossed….) You can always send a press release to the media instead.

Piggyback onto another event

A relative of mine conveniently hits 50 during May and I intend to raise a glass to the birth of my novel during his party. N.B. This option does run the risk of you being tagged a cheapskate.

Celebrate online

Social media (aka The Introverts’ Friend) is a great way of getting out there on publication day without actually getting out there at all. Maybe you could hold an online launch party – it’s cheaper than booking The Ivy, and if you attend in your PJs no-one need ever know.

Kim, Bookouture’s publicity manager, has told me to be loud and proud on publication day and shout about my book from the rooftops. And, thanks to social media, that’s what I’ll be doing.

Blog it!

It takes some organising and the support of the fabulous blogging community, but a blog tour around publication day is brilliant. It’s interactive, great fun, and you can reach readers by doing what an introvert author likes doing best: writing guest posts on your own. This can also be done in PJs.

Bribe family and friends to handle launch-day PR

If all else fails, good old bribery often works. Though my kids aren’t keen on my suggestion that they parade up and down the High Street on May 18th wearing sandwich boards promoting my book. After all I’ve done for them…

If you’re an author (extrovert or introvert), how do you like to celebrate publication day?

Liz Eeles began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding she much preferred the freedom of making things up as a novelist. Brought up in Gloucester, she’s lived with her family near Brighton for the last 20 years but still gets excited when she sees the sea. Her first published novel, Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea, was published by Bookouture on 18th May and is the first in the Salt Bay series.


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