After my off-the-cuff Friday post being nostaligic about old friends, I got to have a party with current friends. Laura, my editor and closest friend, threw me a book launch party. It was completely unexpected and an immensely fun – I even got a cake with Strange Cosmology’s cover on it. Look at it!
And it made me realize that book launch parties need to be part of the publishing process. You don’t need to have someone else do it for you, do one for yourself.
It’s a big event and should be celebrated
Do you know that 81% of people say they intend to publish a book someday? That’s not just me making up statistics on the spot like 73% of all statistics on the internet – it’s something someone else said and I’m repeating! I do believe this number – I cannot tell you how many people have told me they want to write a book. Not other writers on the internet, but co-workers, friends, and random people on the street! (that last one actually happened – someone overheard me talking about publishing and thought I should know they want to do it too.)
There are, based on various estimates, about 14 million books self published between 2010-2019. If we assume that A) all authors of those books are American (which they aren’t) and B) all authors of those books only published one book (which they didn’t), then that means about 7% of people who say they want to publish a book actually do.
That means if you publish, you did what millions of people intend to do but never get around to.
So hell yes, you should have a party to celebrate. We have parties for birthdays, and all you have to do for a birthday is not die for 365 days! Everyone does that until the one year they don’t. We have parties for giving birth, and…actually, no, I’m not going to make a joke about childbirth because that shit looks hard. But going back to the birthday thing – Why would you have a party for a birthday, but not for publishing? One is, arguably, a bigger accomplished if for no other reason than sheer rarity.
Your friends and family do care – and it’s nice to be reminded of it.
I’ll admit, if it hadn’t been for my editor, I never would have done this. It felt self indulgent and egotistical. What’s funny is, I realized later – if one of my friends was having a book release party I would have been all about celebrating with them. But we authors are often an introverted breed and don’t like making a fuss about things. Even when that thing is pouring hundreds of hours and thousands of words and your heart, sweat, and tears into a book that you’re now going to thrust before the uncaring eyes of the internet.
Why not celebrate with the people in your life who do care?
At my party, in addition to my editor, was my best friend from High School and college who I’ve stayed close to, his girlfriend who I’d never actually met, and another close friend I never get to see because we work opposite schedules. Like I mentioned Friday, I like my circle small. But these people – including the woman I’d never met before in my life – all were super excited for me. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and I absolutely recommend you try it out.
It rebuilds your own excitement.
After spending so long working on a book and reworking it and fixing it and throwing it against the wall and screaming on it…it’s easy to lose your excitement about publishing it. I know that when I initially finished Strange Cosmology, I didn’t feel excitement, just a deep relief that it was done and I could move on to the sequel.
By the end of the party, I was chomping at the bit to have it finally out.
Nothing rebuilds your hype for publishing like celebrating with the people closest to you. It creates a positive feedback loop that reminds you of how much you’ve accomplished. I would always, always recommend you try it out – it’s the number one way to get yourself pumped up for the book to come out.