It can’t be difficult, surely, to organise a book launch (as part of the recent FantasyCon weekend). After all, I have organised and co-organised the British Fantasy Convention itself – several times – plus many one-off events. Ah, as with all best-laid plans, it didn’t quite go according to – well – plan.
My first worry was: did I have enough copies of the books to be launched? It turned out, yes I did. It’s better to bring home unsold copies then it is to run out.
Number 2: Would I have enough wine? I counted the number of authors who said they’d come along to the event and the anticipated audience based on pre-convention interest. Thus a couple of weeks beforehand I doubled the wine order. Weirdly, considering this was a fantasy, horror and science fiction convention (those who have attended these things in the past know that attendees drink like fish), relatively few people were in fact drinking the wine (and for hotel wine it wasn’t too bad). I brought home a few unopened bottles of the red and white stuff. Never fear – it will be drunk.
Number 3: Name plates! I spent ages preparing these, getting them printed and trimmed and folded, ready to give to the authors so folk would easily identify them. But where were they? I found them on my desk when I arrived back home from Scarborough. Ho hum.
Number 4: Were there enough chairs and table space for my authors? Unfortunately not! I was only able to glance through the glass door into the venue since a panel was in progress. The panel ended and people mingled as they filtered in and out of the room. Sadly, the convention organisers hadn’t allowed a ten-minute changeover between events (which wouldn’t have mattered too much if between panels but in this case…) Needless to say, there was insufficient table space for all the authors and chaos ensued as additional tables were brought in and chairs rearranged. (I’m not really complaining, but future convention organisers: please take note.)
There were almost 30 Alchemy Press authors signing the two books launched at FantasyCon: The Private Life of Elder Things and Something Remains. Despite the panic trying to set in (in my mind), the overall chaos seemed to be appropriate. We sold many copies – not as many as we would wish but then we always wish to sell more than we do! We did cover most of the printing costs, so all is well. If you need a copy drop me a line, or order direct from Amazon.
I had hoped to get a photo of all those signing books but we had to clear the room pronto so that he next event – a panel discussion – could begin on time. We’ll have to make do with the accompanying snapshots…
I wish to thank all those who bought copies (remember, profit from Something Remains goes to Diabetes UK) and to my authors who, with good humour, found places to sit and sign the books:
Allen Ashley, Stephen Bacon, Simon Bestwick, James Brogden, Ramsey Campbell, Mike Chinn, Gary Couzens, Sarah Doyle, Pauline Dungate, Jan Edwards, Paul Edwards, Terry Grimwood, Andrew Hook, Ian Hunter, Tom Johnstone, Tim Lebbon, Alison Littlewood, Keris McDonald, Gary McMahon, Adam Millard, Chris Morgan, Thana Niveau, Marion Pitman, John Llewellyn Probert, Rosanne Rabinowitz, Lynda Rucker, Steven Savile and Adrian Tchaikovsky. Fabulous people all.