Sunday, 2 October 2016

How to Launch your Book with a Bang - and a Curse

My first young Adult book, The Dagger's Curse was launched at Waterstones Bookshop, Dundee on 10th September. Now, as I have four adult books out I was used to launches but I wanted this one to be different and ties in with the theme of the book. So how do you make a launch go with a bang.

I wanted the launch to tie in with the storyline of the book which is:

An ancient Egyptian dagger.
A hungry curse.
A city under siege.

In the dead of night the ancient dagger is stolen from the museum in Dundee. As mysterious accidents, illness and even death stalk the city, the Detective Duo, Fergus Bernstein and Flora MacDonald, follow clues that lead them into ever increasing danger. Can they find the dagger and break the curse before it’s too late?

Firstly build up the suspense, both before and during the launch. Before the day I let everyone know that there would be several surprises and that this was a launch not to be missed. The launch was on a Saturday afternoon and the place was packed. So the first thing you need to do to make your launch go with a bang is make sure there is an audience who are expectant of great things happening.

As the first part of the book takes part in Ancient Egypt I appeared in Egyptian garb. It's a good job I don't take myself too seriously as I was fighting a losing battle with my headdress which was slowly slipping off. It wasn't on too long anyway as I did a quick striptease and was in shorts and a t-shirt underneath. This tied in with one of the main characters of the book, Flora MacDonald who wears brightly coloured clothing. Second piece of advice when it comes to launching a book. Don't take yourself too seriously. 

As part of the talk I had a friend with me. Stuart Archibald runs a theatrical armoury and just happened to have the cursed dagger in his armoury. This was a fully sharpened live dagger, so police permission was required for it to be in the bookshop. I started my talk by building up the suspense about the cursed dagger being in the store. When I reached the part of the book about the curse being released he opened the steel case and the light shone out as the curse was released. Cue gasps and delighted chatter from the audience. Everyone, children and adults alike, wanted their photograph taken with the cursed dagger. Third tip for a successful book launch use as much drama and theatrical shenanigans as you can. The audience love it. 

My last tip for a successful launch is be ready to sign plenty of books. Waterstones had given me my own display with plenty of books and a book signing table. As always the staff were helpful and accommodating and I owe a great deal of thanks to them for putting up with cursed daggers in the store. 

I will finish by saying, whatever genre you write in, think of ways in which you can make your launch different. Then go for it, make it as much fun as possible and enjoy yourself. 

You can buy the books from Waterstones bookshops in the UK
You an buy signed copies of the book on my website 
Available on Amazon