Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Launch Etiquette - part deux - how to behave at one...

So I promised a part two on Book launch Etiquette - how to behave when you are a guest at a book launch. As with being the feature author of your very own book launch, the key is, be professional. As a guest, its all about someone else and their book and the promotion and sale thereof. So they won't be handing out their publishers/agents/editors details to you. They don't have time to read and comment on your manuscript - do not even put it in your handbag/briefcase to bring with you. And they won't have time to tell you how to get your book published. A book launch is the very public birth of something the author has laboured over (like a pregnant elephant) for months, maybe even years. They want it be born alive and grow up to be hugely successful like any proud parent would. Whilst birthing their own they cannot spare a moment to help you get pregnant with your very own book/baby. And if you already have a number of prodigious book children of your own they should be left at home.

If you can afford to, buy the book. If the queue is long and you are close friends with the author get them to sign it another time. If you do queue, don't chat for hours with the author unless the queue is short or non-existant in which case you should go round several times, talk until more people line up and check if the author needs some fortification or refreshments. Relax and watch how its all done so you'll have some ideas when its your turn. I think its ok to chat with the venue hosts about holding your own launch there if you are planning one and you like the set up. Its okay to meet the author's publisher/agent/editor but not ok to give them your manuscript. Let them set the tone of the conversation. Of course if they say 'so tell me about your book' or 'would you like to come in and discuss your work with me' thats different but don't kiss them or hug them too tightly if they do. Remember, good guest behaviour has a karmic quotient. Be the kind of guest you would want at your own gig.

Today's juicy link is on 9 unsavoury character traits of real authors from the tastily named Feckless Goblin blog via Maureen Crisp's Amplify Blog thing at which you can find all sorts of amazing links. I also rather liked this from The Rejectionist. I laughed.

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