Report on the Party (non-political)

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Some six months after publication, “We Do Not Kill Children” finally got its long-promised “launch” party. I certainly enjoyed the evening, and it seemed that other people did too.

It was lovely to see so many people willing to come, sometimes at some trouble; among them people from almost every aspect of my life – neighbours, people from four different churches, former work colleague, relatives, mother of daughter’s school friend…

I learned:

  1. That you can advertise an event very cheaply by asking a post office to put your poster in its window at the generous rate of 75p per week. Some shops/cafes will do this for free, although others will promise to do so, and then not deliver;
  2. A book launch is a sufficiently odd event that people want to come to it. I had previously been to one book launch (an academic book by my mother; I gathered that one serves drinks), and one book reading by a major author (Sebastian Faulks in Waterstones; I gathered that you can read and discuss more than one passage);
  3. Having a second person to share the talking is good. Ian Storer of Scipio Design displayed his artwork (some of which is on this website, but obviously most is not) and spoke about his interests and techniques as a historian/artist, to the great interest of those present;
  4. Modern adults have a surprising tolerance for being read to. Altogether I interspersed reading and talking for about 20/25 minutes, and this didn’t seem to be overlong. At least people were eager to follow up both of us with genuine and probing questions!
  5. Many people were courageously willing to buy the book before I’d even begun to try to sell it to them – perhaps thinking this was the unofficial entry fee? It wasn’t intended to be!
  6. Display boards with pictures and maps are a good idea for people to look at, both during the talk and around it; so is daring to dress up weird;
  7. You need assistants to serve food and take money (and pack up). I should have organised an “official” photographer;
  8. We should have served water, especially on a hot night; we didn’t need nearly as much food as we bought. (Wallaces Always Over-Cater.)

Of course, the fact that the book had already been out meant there was a mix of people who’d read it and people who hadn’t. One kind person turned her “question” into an advert much more kindly worded than I would have dared!

This worked well, but I’m hoping next time to have the party for “The Tenth Province of Jaryar” a bit earlier in the book’s life.

So, anyway, thank you to those who came, and who bought – and congratulations to competition winner Mandy Stanton (not present) who named a major fictional river the River Angan.

Love from the PPI Blogger

PS Don’t forget to vote!

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