How is a Book Launch like a Funeral?

In advance of my own book release next AUGUST 21, 2012 (get out your calendars right now!!! Mark it with a Sharpie pen!!!), I have been going to as many signings and launch parties as I possibly can. And not just because I’m taking notes and trying to figure out how to do The Best Book Launch Ever. (Which I totally am.) I’m also friends with a bunch of these authors. 🙂

Since I live in Austin, I have the happy coincidence of moving in the same circles as some of the most supportive kidlit writers anywhere ever. So when you go to a signing/launch here, you WILL run into at least a dozen other writers, and usually plenty of regular non-writerly reader types, too.

As I was sitting at one such launch party in Bookpeople yesterday, listening to my dear friend and amazing author Jessica Lee Anderson speak about her new book, CALLI (Milkweed Press), I had a thought about funerals.

They’re just like book launches.

Only funerals are slightly less important.

Let me explain. Jessica remarked on how amazing it was so have all those people there to support her, her family and friends, and all these wonderful authors, and I thought — it’s just like a funeral! The people who love her most in the world are all there — and they wouldn’t think of being anywhere else. They know how important this day is in her life — like, one of the biggies. You know the ones: births, deaths, graduations, divorces… and book launches. (Did I miss any?) The coolest thing is, at your book launch, unlike your own funeral, you get to SEE who showed.*

Maybe only other writers will get this. Maybe the rest of the world will think I’m being glib, or dismissive of the whole mourning process. I don’t mean to be — it’s just, I’ve had a few “big” funerals to deal with in my life, and I remember vividly every single person who came to them.

I have a feeling a book launch would make the same kind of memory.

Am I wrong, Writer Friends? Those of you who’ve had one already, feel free to chime in!

(I don’t know what other authors would say, but Friends? I want you to know this right now. If you have to pick one of the two to attend — my book launch or my funeral — please, I beg you, pick the launch party. At the least because I can’t promise you’ll get chocolate at my funeral. But at my launch? Heck yeah!)

Now go write! Or read!

* Or you get to read their facebook and blog posts about how sad they were not to be able to attend — not everyone can make it to every event, I get that. :).


Posted in Children's Fiction, People I Love on 09/18/2011 08:08 pm


  1. This, my dear friend, is just one of the reasons I adore you! You know that I will be at your book launch if I can, and I promise now to wear all black (not because a launch is sort of like a funeral, but to be kind of sinister-y). Thanks for your support!


  2. That’s the hard part about living in OZ, so far away from fab book launches!
    Including yours next year 🙂


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