Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Secrets of Kidlit: Inside a Book Launch

This weekend was a first for me: my first book launch! As in, the first one I attended, and it was such a fascinating experience. So many of us have experienced writing a draft, sharing with critique partners, or revising, but it's not often that we see the fruition of all of that work in the flesh. That, my friends, is where a book launch comes in!

On Friday night, my friend Alison Cherry launched her debut YA novel RED (full info below!) at BookCourt in Brooklyn. First of all, BookCourt's space is amazing:

So many books! And such a nice, open space to have a group of friends gather to celebrate the milestone achievement of launching a book into the world. Congratulations, Alison! So, what happens at a book launch? First, you buy the book! That was something I wasn't sure about prior, but friends assured me that the proper etiquette is to purchase the book at the location hosting the launch (makes sense). Here I am getting my first taste of RED!

Yes, I'm biting the book, not sniffing it :)

Once everyone's settled in, the author is introduced. Typically, the author will then read an excerpt of their novel--with Alison, we were treated to an absolutely fantastic staged reading with half a dozen friends reading the different character's parts. Not only was this reading absolutely hilarious, it really show-cased Alison's ascerbic wit and skill in balancing multiple characters in an engaging opening scene. I totally fell in love with RED during this reading. It just goes to show the power of the spoken word. Read your books aloud--to yourself, to your kids and friends--the transformation of words from paper to sound is magical and eye-opening.

After the reading, the author takes questions from the audience--a potentially terrifying moment, right? Alison handled her questions with so much grace and humor. It was the perfect transition to her book signing, which was paired with a really great opportunity to dress up in crazy RED get-ups and take photos. This along with an array of delicious RED goodies and raffle prizes made the launch so special, truly designed to celebrate a unique YA read.

And the best part of a book launch? Why, hanging out with your writer buddies!

Ronni Blaisdell, Jen Malone, and Me: Melanie Conklin

So if you've ever been curious about what happens at a book launch, I recommend you check your local bookstore for events. Many book launches are totally open to the public. They're not only a great chance to meet an author and get your book signed, but to spend an evening talking books with people of like minds while catching a glimpse at what lies in wait at the end of the rainbow.

-- Mel

RedRed by Alison Cherry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

1 comment:

  1. You ladies look fabulous! I'll definitely start keeping my eye out for local book launches.


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