Book launches are great fun for an author, but are they really worth doing? I've heard varying opinions on the issue - just as views differ as to the value of book signings. I've been to plenty of launches by other authors, as well as having a few of my own, and I've enjoyed them. Maybe the key question, though, is: what do you expect to get out of them?
For writers like me who do not sell in vast quantities, realistically, part of the rationale for a book launch is simply to have a good time in the company of like-minded people. Selling books is a bonus, not the main purpose. For bestsellers, of course, it's different, mainly a commercial enterprise. But a launch which focuses just on selling isn't terribly attractive in my opinion.
An unexpected benefit of my last launch, of The Serpent Pool, at Gladstone's Library, was that the setting gave me an idea for part of my next book. So it's very fitting that The Hanging Wood will again be launched at Gladstone's Library, on 28 July. I'm really looking forward to it.
Having a distinctive venue for a launch seems to me to be part of the fun of it all. I've been lucky in this respect. In the past, my launches have taken place at such terrific locations as Manchester Central Library (M.O., the CWA anthology), The Hard Day's Night in Liverpool (Waterloo Sunset) and St George's Hall in the city (Dancing for the Hangman.) Nights to remember and I'm optimistic that 28 July will be equally memorable.