July 14th, 2016

Lilla’s Sunflowers Book Launch

9am: It’s finally here. The day of my book launch. My very first ever. Something I’ve been working toward for too many years to admit.

All my supplies had been delivered to the bookstore two nights ago. Luckily for me, the launch coincided with a huge Arts and Crafts Festival and the entire main street of the business district would soon be teaming with people—and the bookstore where I was having my launch was smack dab in the middle of the festivities.

I zip up my carefully chosen sunflower themed dress, smooth my hair into a bun and wrap a sunflower headband around my head. Carefully, I slide on the gorgeous amber sunflower earrings my generous agent sent to help me celebrate the day.

me_at _start _of _day1

10:30am: My good friend and fellow writer, Suzi Key Ryan, pulls up and meets me outside my house. Her car is filled with all the delicious baked goods she generously crafted for my special day.

cookies1 cupcakes1

My husband drives us to the bookstore. We carry all the prizes, decorations, and giveaways up from the basement and lay them out. Now all I need are people. It’s around this time that the nerves set in. What if nobody shows? What if I sell only a few books—and they’re all to my mom and dad! What if I look silly? What if I can’t answer peoples’ questions coherently…what…what…what?

smart look1

12:00am: The doors open. People start wandering in. Family, friends, strangers—and they’re all buying my book! Kids love my giveaways! They want to have they’re picture taken with me. They go to the Book Nook and lay back on the pillows to read my book!

mom_dad_coming _in_store

My friend Suzy and my husband Chip are snapping pictures, covering social media, keeping the snacks stocked and letting me have my day.

suzi and chip2

Some people can’t understand how important your first book launch is, but most writers feel it’s analogous to your baby’s first birthday party.

Me_and Jenn_hubbard1

I was shocked at the number of people who traveled from quite a distance just to celebrate with me. There was even a phone order from Ohio asking for a signed copy (writer friends are the best.)

me_and _friends1

5:30pm: People were still wandering in and buying books.

karen deckard

6pm: We finally packed up and locked the doors. The bookseller at Inkwood Books in Haddonfield was ecstatic. We more than doubled what she expected I’d sell. I gave her a little thank you gift and we were on our way.

Pizza and a cupcake for dinner, then sleep. Grateful for all the people in my life who loved and supported me and for all the others who loved my book enough to spend money for my creation. It was a very good day.

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