After months and perhaps even years of writing a novel you have finally put the last period to the story and the book is ready to be proofread, edited and printed. After long hours burning the midnight oil, everything is in place, the books have arrived and you start to prepare for the launch. But where should it be held? Where would I launch my tenth novel? After ten books and ten launches you start to weary of the process and can do it in your sleep. I thought of the District 6 Museum where two of my earlier books had launched and I sold 110 books. The book was about my travels to Mecca and performing Hajj and there was no room for an ant after everyone found a place to sit or stand.
After thinking back and forth of the logistics I decided on my newly-renovated kitchen where there were toilet facilities, parking, and a spacious place for people to walk around on the grounds. I had lots of energy then and did all the planning myself. The advantage of having a launch at your house is that there is no one hurrying you up to finish because of another event waiting to start and needing the facilities. You could have a Speaker to introduce the event, talk to people, sign their copies and have a whole new experience. While you might sell a lot of books at your launch, you sell more after people have read it and recommended it to their friends.
Involving the family
I got everyone in the family involved. My sister who is a caterer took care of the eats and the drinks and because of her catering background knew the kind of treats people liked. The table was beautifully laid out and displayed all the normal South African treats like samosas, pies, koeksisters, milk tart, savouries and chocolate cake. An urn with coffee and tea and bottled drinks were there for people to help themselves. My friend Judy collected the money and saw that no one took books without paying for them. Remember, writers do not get all the money earned; only a percentage so there is a lot of hard work involved.
Book launching educational
My young nephew Mezaan, seven years old and on a sleepover at my house also had a chore. It was his duty to remove the plastic covers from the books, set them out on the tables and talk to the adults showing them the cover and answering their questions. He told several people that his auntie had taught him how to spell the words conundrum and paparazzi. Because he is seeing first-hand the fun of launching a book he too is aspiring to become a writer. He might not have been so willing had the launch taken place in a big old hall. A kitchen launch provided all the comfort and ease and the discussions of books that went with it.