"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's a long way to the top - if you wanna launch a book.

List of things to do:
1. Clean house. Check.
2. Order caterer (Bedazzled is great). Check.
3. Decide what to do at Backs Community Building. Ch-ch-check.
4. Buy the stuff for the Backs Building. Check.
5. Have book launch party. Check, check, and check.

Okay, got that off my list. Now what?

Just joking. Planning and holding a book launch party is so much more than making a list. In all, there were a dozen lists made. Lists of what to buy, lists of what to do, lists of who to call, and lists of what order the buying/doing/calling needed to be done.

Yes, lists like this.

Of course, Life had to stick its nose into the middle of all my beautiful plans. First was the trip to Decatur. It's a requirement, according to my hubby, that we visit my family every other year. We managed to squeeze in five days the week before my book launch party. While we were eating Krekel's burgers and admiring the Chicken Car, I made a few phone calls, faxed some forms, and made more lists.

When we returned home, our dog, Mikey, was under the weather. Six hundred dollars and two days' of tests later, the vet determined he's "borderline" with Cushing's disease. "Borderline" means they don’t want to give him meds; just bring him back in six months for more blood tests. Great.

Then there was the email from my newspaper publisher. "Hello, sorry to do this to you, I know we just did this earlier this year, but I don't know if it got lost or what, but the accountants that be are saying we need a new contract with you. Here is the one I had you sign earlier, will you resign it and mail it in really quick. They said I can't run you column again until I get it."

Translation: print the contract, sign it and run it down to the Anaheim office so I can continue getting paid.

As I put out fires and checked off lists, The Big Day kept getting closer. I had the room layout complete, contests and raffle organized, and displays ready, but I still had no idea what I was doing that day, apart from (hopefully) selling books. On Thursday, I read Brett Battles blog and commented to him that I was stressed and clueless. His response was perfect: "…please don't judge my launch party with what is the norm to do. I have no idea either, and just wing it, too. Ultimately it doesn't matter. As long as you're happy...it's your party after all!"

I relaxed, and decided to give a brief talk, which I practiced while I was cleaning my house… and cleaning… and cleaning.

When the actual day arrived, my friend (and partner in crime) Robin Reichelt came over to help me. With my son, Marcus, and her son, Ryan, we decorated the Backs Community Building Main Room, and waited for 2:30. Suddenly -


Lots of people showed up, from friends and family to people who read my column. Among the highlights:

The column folk were great fun, wanting me to introduce them to Marcus and asking me if he gets hassled about being in my column so much.

My friend, Ken Niediger (and his lovely wife, Colleen) took tons of pictures, which I'll post as soon as I get them.

Dean Martin showed up for a photo op.

I never grow tired of autographing my book!

I'll be posting more about the event in a couple of days, after I've had time to sleep and process it all more. But let me just say - this whole book thing just gets better and better!


N A Sharpe said...

Congratulations! It is a long road to book launch day. I am so happy to hear it went so well - I'm loving the pictures and can't wait to hear more of the details of what you did for your special launch party! Here's to the great things I know will come for you and your continued success. I know you book is on my wishlist of books I want to own! Kudos and wishing you much success!

Nancy, from Realms of Thought…

Patricia Stoltey said...

Sounds like your book launch party was a great success and, most important, you had fun. I've ordered some of the BBT buddy books and should receive them this week. I may have to take a week off and book binge.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Gayle, likes how nice of our Dino to show up and do a pix-op with you...congrats on the launch...may you book become more and more popular likes our Dino....

Gayle Carline said...

Dino - yes, everyone agreed that Mr. Martin was in fine form. Lots of people gathered around for photo ops, and he was oh-so gracious. In addition, we had a Dean Martin CD playing in the background, so it was a perfectly Dino Day!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Looks like a great launch. Congratulations.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Gayle, how cool to learn that you put the accent on our Dino for your comin' out bash for your nouvelle novel....btw, your pix with our Dino and a link to this post will be comin' soon over at ilovedinomartin....and the word from the street is my copy of your tome oughta be at a local book joint early next week...and I can't wait to read 'bout Mr. Needles addiction to our Dino....

Marvin D Wilson said...

"this whole book thing just gets better and better!"

Yes indeed, and you are well on your way - nice going! :)

The Old Silly

K. A. Laity said...

Congratulations! Looks like a fabulous time.

Teresa M Burrell said...

Great blog, Gayle, and great launch party. Nice turnout, handsome son. It was sure fun to see Dino there. I had a nice conversation with him, though I think I did most of the talking.

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