Last night my new novel The Mind’s Own Place was the occasion for a very pleasant celebration in the Lawrence Wilson Gallery under the auspices of Perth’s WinterArts Festival.
I’m grateful to a goodly contingent of friends for attending, to my publisher UWAP (especially to Terri-ann White and Charlotte Guest) for hosting the cheerful evening, and to fellow-novelist Brenda Walker for her generous words of praise in launching the book (you can read her speech here).
About 18 months ago I posted some thoughts about book launches, noting that even authors themselves aren’t unanimous about the value of these events. I quoted the sceptical David Malouf (so successful that he can afford to be dismissive), who shrugs them off as as “exercises in vanity,” and Miriam Cosic who says they’re an endangered species – “one of the silent casualties of shrinking profits and digital publishing.”
It’s understandable that some will see such events as expensively indulgent, seldom covering the cost of catering etc. Naturally I incline towards the more optimistic opinion that, though book sales on the night may be modest, old-style celebratory launches can still create ripples of publicity from which the book will benefit.
Anyway, I enjoyed myself immensely and the assembled company seemed to do so as well. And yes, a decent number of books were sold and signed. Heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the evening’s success.