So What's It Like To Have Your First Book Release Party?

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 4.824% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

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“I shouldn’t do this,” I said to Gini, huddling back in the car seat as we rode over to the bookstore.
She didn’t even look away from the road.  “Of course you should.”
“It just feels so… indulgent,” I said.  “Egotistic.  A whole party devoted to me.”
“To celebrate something you worked for all your life.”
“But… I went too crazy!  There’s a cake!  And my book-themed nails!  And I’m wearing this suit, like it’s a costume!  I should have just had a get-together in our living room.  Loganberry books will hate me.”
“You talked with all those writers at ConFusion, and they told you that it was okay for you to go nuts on your first book party.  They all did. And besides, when are you going to have another first book release party?”
“I shouldn’t do this,” I said, and turned up the radio.
But when I got there fifteen minutes early, I ran into two friends from the clubs that I hadn’t expected to see there.  They waved happily.  That was a good sign.  And when I walked through the door, there was a thick stack of books, covering an entire table – my books, so many it barely seemed possible that this many copies of Flex existed.
And I went back, and there were three more people, and a Very Large Room filled with chairs.  Too many chairs.  And a lectern, wherein I discovered that everyone but me had thought, “Surely, Ferrett will be doing a reading from his new book!”  But fortunately, there will be a special audio production of one of the climactic chapters of Flex, and so I’d prepared a specialized excerpt designed as an introduction for new readers, even if I would have to read it off of a teeny teeny screen.
And still more people.
And more people.
And more people.
All friends of mine, but who knew I had that many friends?  Just a stream of my beloveds walking through the door – some of them folks I hadn’t seen in years.  And it was chaos, because I could barely shake their hand and have two minutes of conversation with them before someone else I adored showed up and I had to hug them, but…
…some of them had read the book.  And they had that surprised excitement in their eyes, that thrill that said I started reading this book because you were my friend, Ferrett, but then I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in a day.  That happiness of not having to feign excitement, of actually having excitement, because they weren’t just here for me, they were here because the book was good and they wanted to be here when it all started.
(Which was still weird, because Flex is getting largely good reviews, and the GoodReads rating keeps going up the more people who review it, and I keep getting tagged on Facebook and getting texts from people and I just got my first fanmail from someone who’d never heard of me yesterday, and all this is a series of firsts with luck I cannot believe.)
And I was too nervous to have cake.  Not then.  Not yet.
But that big old room filled up.  With sixty-plus people.  The bookstore owner, Harriett, seemed surprised and thrilled.
And that table of books sold.  Every one.  I had to run out to the car to sell them my author’s copies.
And I read, and the audience laughed in the right places and seemed tense in the tense ones, and when it was done that wave of applause broke over me.
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And I signed books, so many books, fifty-plus books, and each one I numbered and gave a personal insignia, and there was even a guy there who didn’t know me, the book just sounded interesting, and that was awesome.
And I discovered that when you do a signing like this, each signature is a little moment, this tiny microcosm where you say hello and greet and have a little mini-waltz of friendship, and it was like this repeated pocket of hello, how are you doing, oh that’s wonderful, so glad to see you, how shall I sign it, hugs, goodbye, goodbye.
The FLEX debut novel party! WHOOO!
And then it was over, and I ate cake, and the cake frosting was dyed black to match the book, and it turned your teeth and your tongue black but I didn’t care if it gave me Orc mouth this was my cake of triumph and I ate it, I ate it so happily.
And I thought of the upcoming dates: New York next Friday. Boston(ish) next Saturday. Then Seattle and Portland the week after that, and San Diego, and San Francisco, and I worried that maybe people wouldn’t show up at those signings, that it would be the stereotypical bad signing – a sad little author at a sad little folding-card table, making sad eye contact with passing customers in the hopes of attracting their interest, a stack of unsold books on the table.
And it may still be that.  Maybe nobody will come to those other signings – because that, too, is egotistical, this bizarre hybrid of a vacation and a book tour, just me wanting to go to other cities and see some friends and see who’ll show up to celebrate with me.  And see the Special Flex-themed nails that you can only see if you come see me on this tour, which is ridiculous, but also strangely secretive and awesome.
But this night?  It was untouchable.  It was better than I’d dreamed, this glorious room that looked like a movie set (and seriously, if you like it, check out Loganberry books), and this future ahead of me, and all of these people in a room that bubbled over with friendship.
All the love.  So much love.
The FLEX debut novel party! WHOOO!

2 Comments

  1. Rosemarie
    Mar 9, 2015

    Ahhhh congratulations so much! 😀
    I will be at the SF signing! I am excited!

  2. Lyssa
    Mar 9, 2015

    I, too, will be at the SF signing, and I am really looking forward to it!
    And I finished the book and damn, I can’t wait for the second!

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