Image Credit: All images kindly supplied by Anne Wan.
This is a slightly strange post from me as I’d hoped to go to Anne Wan’s recent book launch in Southampton but was, unfortunately, able to do so in the end.
However, I share my thoughts below on what a book launch means to an author and the work involved behind the scenes. I then hand over to Anne for her report on her special night.
Book launches are special nights for any writer lucky enough to have them. It is a visible achievement for one thing. The writer concerned will inevitably have dreamed of being published/having their own launch for a long time – years in many cases. And here it is, suddenly happening! There is, of course, no “suddenly” about it as I discuss below but it can seem like it to the writer. The goal you have worked towards you are now fulfilling and that is very special.
You also hope that this one visible stage in your writing career leads on to others – more book launches for that particular book, writing and having more work published and so on. The encouragement you feel as you reach a stage like this should not be underestimated.
Launching a new book is exciting and nerve-wracking for any author as it is something you dream of doing but, when it does happen, you can never be certain who is going to turn up on the day. And you hope, to quote the old phrase, “it will be all right on the night”. Most of the time it is but that still doesn’t stop the nerves beforehand!
A good launch will see the author working hard, not only in signing books but in talking to people, reading from their work, answering questions and so on.
In Anne Wan’s case, for her most recent launch, she also had a crafts table where the children had fun making star based items to tie in with the book, Secrets of the Snow Globe – Shooting Star. This is the second in Anne’s Secrets of the Snow Globe series. There were also refreshments again with stars as the theme.
A good launch will have had a lot of preparation behind it. Getting the word out about any launch or book related event takes time, a certain amount of imagination (where would catch the potential reader’s eye? The bookshops, yes. The library, yes. The secret though is to get word out when people are not particularly looking for it as it means you have reached a wider spread. So where would people usually go? Would such places be willing to put up a poster? Can I get to these places to ask them (the personal approach is always better)? All of this takes time.
Anne launched Secrets of the Snow Globe: Shooting Star, on Friday 29th September at Waterstones in West Quay, Southampton.
Now over to Anne for her report…
Book Launch Success at Waterstones
Magical star themed decorations adorned Waterstones, West Quay at the weekend as local author, Anne Wan, launched her new children’s book, Secrets of the Snow Globe – Shooting Star. Eager young readers from across Hampshire gathered for the event, keen to meet Anne and to buy the latest addition in the Secrets of the Snow Globe series.
‘Since the launch of my first book, Secrets of the Snow Globe – Vanishing Voices last autumn, I have visited many schools and libraries in Hampshire. It was wonderful to see so many of these children at the launch enthusiastic about reading my books!’ Anne Wan
‘A brilliant evening! Well worth the trip from Andover!’ parent from Portway Junior School, Andover.
Travelling a little further than Hampshire to the launch, was Dawn Larder, the illustrator of both Vanishing Voices and Shooting Star. Dawn made the considerable journey with her twin sister, Sharon Larder, from Spain, to be at the event.
‘Dawn and I have worked together on two books over 18 months and have communicated via more than 1000 emails but have never met until now! Although we correspond digitally, all of Dawn’s artwork is created using traditional medium. As a traditional storyteller, we made the perfect match producing books with a classic feel. It was fantastic to meet her face to face and, at last, to have a conversation! I was thrilled that she could take part in the launch and meet the children who have enjoyed her work.’ Anne Wan
Anne’s editor, and former senior lecturer at Winchester University, Barbara Large MBE also came to offer her support.
‘Barbara is passionate about helping new writers like me, to fulfil their writing dreams! She has worked so hard with me on this book. It is a joy to celebrate with her the launch!’ Anne Wan
After being treated to star themed cakes and party food, the children had the opportunity to show their own creative flair producing husky dog faces and shooting star bookmarks and husky dog masks.
‘The craft table was packed all evening with children making bookmarks and masks. I was amazed at how they added their own twists to the designs!’ Joan Bates
To sum it up in Dawn’s words, ‘It was a fabulous evening!!!!!!’
To purchase either of Anne’s books, visit Waterstones, Southampton, West Quay or order via her website www.anne-wan.com
Many thanks, Anne, and I am glad you had a wonderful evening. I don’t know how common it is for an author to have their illustrator be able to join them at a book signing event but to come all the way from Spain especially definitely shows dedication. Well done, Dawn!
Chandler’s Ford Book Fair – 28th October 2017
Anne’s books will also be available at the Chandler’s Ford Book Fair on Saturday 28th October between 10.00 am and 12 noon at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road.
A number of local authors will be at the Book Fair, including Richard Hardie (Leap of Faith and Trouble with Swords), Karen Stephen, Catherine Griffin, Sally Howard and Maggie Farran (Secret Lives and More Secret Lives of Chandler’s Ford), and myself (From Light to Dark and Back Again). There will be many other authors there, a good range of book genres available, and we hope as many of you as possible can pop in to see us on the day. We look forward to seeing you!
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.
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