… would be the name of my book launch, if I was having one. Which I’m not, even though Frané Lessac is standing by to dress up as anything I so choose.
Despite the allure of Frané in a duck costume or a penguin outfit, or possibly both in rapid succession like the quick-change artist she definitely is, I won’t be having an actual launch event this time, but two books will nonetheless be launched onto an unsuspecting picture-book-reading public.
Thank goodness the rhinoceros is launched. Thank goodness the tour is over. Thank goodness we don’t have to see any more ‘arty’ photos of the book by the beach, or in a boat, or framed weirdly by random sticks. Thank goodness we don’t have to humour any more of Meg’s crazed attempts to draw rhinoceroses in tutus/jumpers/both at once.
Maybe she’ll go back to her cave now and stop shouting LOOK! MY BOOK!
Yes, well. About that.
There’s a little more shouting to come, my friends. Because if September was rhinos, then October is:
It’s been a busy few days. It began on Friday morning when I sat bolt upright at 3am and realised the year was drawing to a close and my annual carbon footprint was altogether too small.
Happily, this was easily remedied. I rolled out of bed and drove immediately to Perth airport. I flew across the country and all the way up to Brisbane. Then I drove to a hotel, stayed overnight, and at the crack of dawn, flew home to Perth again. And just like that, I was back on track.
While I was in Brisbane, a ridiculous thing happened, and it looked a bit like this:
A Single Stone was announced as the winner of the Griffith University Children’s Book Award at the Queensland Literary Awards!
We gathered, we laughed, we launched! I’m delighted (so very delighted, Amanda Betts!) to announce that the official launch of A Single Stone went off swimmingly on Thursday, 7 May.
Against the backdrop of a stunning Fremantle sunset at Kidogo Arthouse on Bathers Beach, a lovely host of friends, colleagues, and other possibly-soon-to-be-one-of-those-things folk ate, drank and were generally merry as Amanda (AJ) Betts launched the book in characteristically hilarious style.
A Single Stone, my new speculative fiction title for ages 10+, will be launched by AJ Betts on 7 May at the gorgeous Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle. I’m irrationally excited to have this book finally making its way into the world, and hope readers will be too.
Thanks to people who have more patience for event planning than me, along with the usual book sales and signing the launch will feature wine & nibbles, door prizes, & cake.
I hope you can make it! Please see below for all details and RSVP to me directly (or run the risk of there being NO CAKE FOR YOU!). Feel free to also share this invitation with your bookish networks.
1. It was held in the State Library, at “The Place”, to which all visitors are greeted by a welcoming book-themed cow.
2. It featured many foods of the tiny variety – sushi, tiny teddies, and other teeny delicacies. In keeping with the theme, we understand they were gone in the tiniest blink of an eye.
3. Award-winning illustrator and known rabble rouser Frané Lessac launched the book with a DIY rocket launcher, propelling it unwittingly into the arms of Meg’s daughter, the original inspiration for the book.
Usually at this point, I would say ‘shiny new book’, but this book isn’t actually shiny, at least outside my mind. Perhaps I might call it a ‘matt new book’, in a nod to the illustration style and the paper stock, which are very distinctive.
In any case, it’s a new picture book, publishing August 1st and launching very soon. And in the spirit of things, here are Ten Tiny Things about it:
1. The Blurb It was a red thing. It was a sparkly thing. It was a tiny, tiny thing
Tessa and Zachary have a machine that is swift and splendiferous. Every day it carries them from here to there and back again in cool calm comfort. But one morning, the machine breaks down. Tessa and Zachary are forced to venture into the world beyond its metal walls – a place of secret somethings and hidden happenings. Getting from here to there may never be the same …
Today, I’m launching my new book, Going for Broke. Sadly, you are not invited. But don’t take it personally, because no-one is invited. This time around, I decided that a launch party was beyond me. That doesn’t mean that the book isn’t launched, though. In fact, I’m launching it right here, right now.
Imagine, if you will, some hardwood floors, some overstuffed couches, a balcony overlooking the street. Picture a room full of enthusiastic friends and some random people who just wandered in from the Fremantle night. Imagine some gourmet pizza, a bar in the corner, a ‘kids table’ left sadly unappreciated while my target audience instead heckle passers-by from the balcony.
A few people have been asking about my launch – why I did it, how it went, would I recommend it to other first-time authors, and so on. So I thought I’d post here a little post-mortem I wrote for the digital newsletter Pass It On. I loved my launch! We could certainly have been better organised, but there are some things you only learn by doing, and that’s part of the fun.
“Launching Yourself (or, what I learned at my DIY launch so you don’t have to)”
1. Advance Planning
Have a range of possible dates and look into any other events that might be on around the same time. If there’s a festival or similar event, you may be able to piggyback your launch on this, sharing costs and publicity. On the other side of the coin, you might end up clashing with another launch or important book-related event that will affect turnout to yours.
Work out what you want from your launch. There’s symbolic value, a kind of punctuation, in a first-novel launch, drawing a line of sorts between your pre-published life and your sparkling new career (heckling to a minimum, please!), but it can also serve a number of important functions. I wasn’t able to make any decisions with regard to who/what/when/where/how until I’d worked out what those were for me. In my case, the goals were:
Celebrate the book! Mark the occasion with friends, family and colleagues. Kick back and grin. Say ‘huzzah’.
Annabel, Again was officially launched on Tuesday this week. Julia Lawrinson did a fabulous job of making me sound more impressive than I could ever hope to be (as a speechwriter by day, she’s all about the spin!). I spent most of the night with my head down signing books, but am told things went swimmingly outside my little corner of the room and that a good time was had by all.
Olivia and Anna were there on the night (or at least, their namesakes – hi girls!) and a marvellous crowd of friends, family, industry folk and random people who wandered up the stairs to see what all the fuss was about helped me celebrate Annabel in fine style.
Thanks again to all who made the trip out on a balmy ‘winter’ Fremantle evening. My task now is to try and get around to actually catch up with all those I didn’t get a chance to chat with on the night (everyone!).