When does a book launch start and when does it end? So far I have given three book launch events…without having the actual book in hand! They were on April 2, 3rd and 10th. The physical copies of my book arrived at my place one day after the last event! I felt so bad for having all the people come to hear about my book …with no book on hand! I learned the hard way that when a book is about to be published, unexpected delays can –and did- happen at every step of the process.
For all 3 events I thoroughly prepared. First I had prints made of the book cover image, both in “flyer-card” and in business card format. To prepare those took a long time on the computer and then in transportation and printing. This also cost me what is for me a “pretty penny”. My partner Greg and I biked to 2 out of 3 of the events, and though the rain is very much appreciated in these rain-drought days, we were glad it did not rain much while we were on our bikes.
. The April 2nd event was open to the public at large. It took place at an “Autism Awareness” event held at a San Rafael church with a large room in the back. I was at one of approximately 30 tables, each presenting on autism-related subjects. I became acquainted with the woman at the next table; she herself is the author of a book about her autistic son, and we decided to pair up in future conferences as the noisy environment made by so many people speaking together under the same roof renders such events challenging sensory-wise. All and all it was a great little conference, with many people coming to visit.
On April 3rd, the event was at a private gathering at the beautiful home of friend in the area near where we live. Her gorgeous garden was in full bloom and the weather was nice enough that we could sit outside sipping cold tea… until it got colder, a rapid happenstance in springtime. At this event, I read out of a chapter of my book and gave people the “flyer-cards” I had printed. These were all dear friends of mine, many – but not all – Zen practitioners, some having known and supported me during my bout of illness 7 or 8 years ago. Thus, at the end of my 10 minute read, I asked them to share something about times they had experienced with me.
. On April 10th, Greg and I took the bus and walked – a trip that took almost 2 ½ hours – to get to another beautiful home, this time located in San Francisco and with a great view from the very top of the house. It was too far for us to bike there and luckily we were able to arrange for two friends to give us a ride back all the way home. The crowd was quite different from the first reading. Many were people from the autism community in or near San Francisco. One of the highlights of the day for me was when my 24 years old son unexpectedly showed up…while I was reading about being reunited with him (an excerpt from my book).
In any event, my guests were all very gracious and did not once make me feel bad about not having the book yet. Each of the 3 events gave me a happy feeling, the type one has when a new child is born. Also, the feeling of having suddenly become “someone” was very new to me, and that was kind of strange as I am usually left to feel a little one-down. Let me never forget in all of the future events that I am very privileged to be in an “author place”, I really believe the same possibility exists in each of us, given the right opportunities. Without my Zen practice and its other indirect positive results, this could not have happened to me.