October 26, 2013, book launch
The latest memoir from The Memoir Network, Business Boy to Business Manby Robert Verreault, was given a rousing book launch on Saturday, October 26, 2013. It is a 375-page memoir that was begun four years ago and then was unfortunately interrupted when its author died on October 6, 2011. Business Boy to Business Man was about 90% written then, and the author’s daughter collaborated with me to finish the manuscript. Had Robert Verreault lived, the book would have been some 50-100 pages longer, but his daughter and I decided we could not continue to write text and brought the story to a close at an appropriate point. She and I worked together for about two years. So…
We were ready for a book launch party!
The book launch party was a lovely experience—one that brought to those of us who were involved in creating the book a strong sense of (forgive the overused term!) closure. Writing a memoir is a long haul and it is refreshing to have an event as one might a wedding or a funeral to gather friends and family and fans together to acknowledge that an end and a beginning are occurring.
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Of course, a book launch has an added function of selling books. In this case the family was not as much concerned with selling as with doing an event to document they were in the publishing business and so be able to take expenses off the profits of the estate.
I had approached a local museum, Museum LA, (for Lewiston-Auburn, Maine) which specializes in the work history of the area. Business Boy to Business Man is the story of a local man who began a machine shop in 1946. The company grew to employ 175 people in its heyday. So a museum devoted to the work life of the community seemed the right venue for Business Boy to Business Man.
The museum director, Rachel Desgroseilliers, was pleased to be asked to sponsor the event.
This book and launching it into the world is right at the center of our mission statement. We want it. Don’t go looking anywhere else to host your book launch.—Rachel Desgroseilliers
In anticipation of attracting an audience to the book launch, we had done a fair amount of publicity. Robert Verreault’s widow, Cécile, had called many people who she thought would want to come. We had a feature in LA Magazine, a local magazine. A newspaper ran our press release in an arts-and-culture section. We had numerous calendar of events listings. Posters, designed by Museum LA, were all over town.
We are set for the book launch rush.
As the 1 o’clock start time approached we waited for our crowd to come—and come they did. About 100 people showed up! It was wonderful. There was a table of books from which we were relieved to see the books disappearing. The family and I were asked to autograph the book. There was also a refreshment table—from which the goods also disappeared.
The program was divided in four readings, each followed by a brief discussion with the audience. A Verreault granddaughter had created a power point presentation which was showing during the entire program.
In a further article, I will write about aspects of organizing a book launch. Meanwhile…
Leave a comment below about your own book launches.