Whitstable Literary Festival

Whitstable Literary Festival

Last weekend I attended the Whitstable Literary Festival where I had the good fortune to be interviewed by Guardian Journalist, Ros Coward, met an enthusiastic audience, sold out of books and learnt that literary festivals are rather like rock tours. A place to try out ideas on an audience and see what grabs them.

Thanks to Whitlit for having me. Ros for all her help, MLP for photos and the lovely audience for supporting me and buying my book.

photo 1

photo 3 Ros C and I laughing at Whitlitphoto 5 audience shotphoto 6 engaging with the audiencea long queue to sign books

Ten things to do before your book launch.

 

1st annual gardening garden party

Raise an army to help with your book launch. (sample army only, not for hire)

You’ve been writing that book for just about ever and lo and behold, against all the odds, you have found yourself a publisher. Your book is going to be out there on the shelves and the launch has been planned like a military operation. The nerves are kicking in and if one more person tells you to, “just enjoy it.” you’re going to scream. Follow my ten point plan to make sure you survive your big night and make it one you remember for all the right reasons.

 

  1. Firm up the details of your launch with the venue, publishers and your agent.
  2. Raise an army of helpers to lay out glasses, put up road signage and greet guests.
  3. Visit the venue with a friend to practice your speech and readings. Make sure your guests can hear you from everywhere in the room
  4. Buy a dress, get a haircut, do what it takes to feel confident that you look your best on the night.
  5. Designate a driver so you can enjoy your own hospitality and a photographer so you can remember the event if you’ve enjoyed the hospitality a little too much.
  6. Go Pilates, meditate, wander in the flowers, drink cider by the river. Get into your zone in whatever way does it for you. ( I did all four)

    32 towards St Cuthberts Island

    Get into the zone, just don’t forget the cider and the designated driver.

  7. Try to get some early nights and no doubt fail as everyone suddenly wants to spend time with you.
  8. Bathe in the good wishes of friends (they really are excited for you.)
  9. Get sage advice, a pep talk and a hug from a friend you love and trust to calm your nerves.
  10. Go out, smile and yes, enjoy it. After all, you have earned it.