We wanted to make the book launch of As the Sparks Fly Upwards a memorable one. After all, it’s my first novel and reaching this point in the writing process is like standing on top of a mountain waving a flag.
As the book is a historical story set in Dorset, we wanted the event in the local area, and settled on our favourite coffee shop L’arte Coffee House next to Arts University Bournemouth. They look for opportunities to help local initiatives and were great at letting us have free reign of the space, as well as providing great coffee and cakes for the evening.
The build up to the event was busy and nerve wracking. My great team worked hard on designing all the online graphics and physical posters and banner needed for the event and cracked on with inviting my local followers and friends, as well as advertising the event. But all the hard work didn’t guarantee people would come. We just had to wait and see…
On the evening we set everything up as planned, and I proudly displayed stacks of my books ready to share with everyone. We grabbed a coffee, and before I was able to worry that no one was arriving, people popped in early, eager to get a copy of the book before the rush. I signed a couple of books, chatted to the arrivals, and the next time I looked up the coffee shop was awash with people. Groups formed, tables were colonised and others stood and jawed, laughed and caught up with old friends.
This went on for two hours. I loved giving people time, chatting lots and answering questions, and signing many books. The surprise crowd meant we definitely needed to work as a team. I would never have made it all happen on my own. My two daughters and wife circulated and welcomed people and my son-in-law helped me sell books.
It was particularly great that Aisling Locke came, the designer of the book cover and the maps of the places in the story. I was able to thank her and share that people often praise the great cover design. She was excited to be at the event and finally get a copy of the book after working on the designs years ago.
Halfway through the evening I got the chance to read the first three pages of the book and thank everybody for coming to support me, before continuing to sign more books while the coffee shop staff struggled to keep up with the coffee demands.
I reckon that about 50 people came, more than I expected and I was really encouraged by the support. We sold 49 books which is fantastic. We wanted people to just come and celebrate the launch with us, so selling that many is a bonus and an amazing start to getting my novel out there.
By 8.30 we and the baristas were exhausted, and they chucked us out. We ended the evening with a family meal and reflected on the brilliant evening. I was buzzing and grateful it was such a success.
I couldn’t have hoped for more, and already I am looking forward to the next launch, when the second book in the Tom Tyler series is released. But that will be in a while, I’ll need to get back to writing!
If you weren't able to attend the launch but would still like to buy the book, it is available from Gullivers Bookshop Wimborne, or D J Brooking on Ashley Road Poole, or from Amazon here - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sparks-Fly-Upwards-Steve-Cox/dp/1838344802/