Book Launch Nerves

Gabrielle Barnby, Author, Across the Silent Sea, OrkneyThe book launch is coming closer. It has been set for Saturday 2nd September. To get to this point I have gone through many stages far removed from the original idea of the novel, far removed from deciding on Esther as the heroine’s name and the self-imposed challenge of a central character that does not speak (madness). A whole different set of skills are needed. I need to market, promote and organise practical things. No more shuffling words around on the page, but inviting actual people to share, celebrate and enjoy the fiction that I have created.

It is not a comfortable position for me. Although I am more experienced in publication than I was (two books and more out in the world) I still feel green as an eight year old. Yes, my expectations are lower, more realistic – there may not be a global level of interest in the things I write. I feel that I can enjoy some satisfaction if a small number of friends and family read and enjoy Across the Silent Sea. Oh, there is so little time for reading though, adults have busy lives and are tied to so many time commitments, but it remains an ideal to have time to read.

If we have it, do we take it? I wonder if it is a bit like having more time to write. Now the children are older it is certainly less impossible to write for fear of immanent disaster or possible escape. My concerns are different, perhaps of a deeper nature. Perhaps this encourages a sort of nervous procrastination about writing that wasn’t there before. I have two half-finished things from holiday that I could be working on…but I am occupied with the launch and other things. Yes, once the launch is done I will rebuild good habits again. The problem is that if these habits are hard to maintain now, what is going to change?

Anyway, I put such thoughts aside. What I wanted to get down is that I am nervous about the launch. Is anybody interested after all this time and effort? Can I truly say that ‘I am enough’ without a single copy of the new book being sold? I think I can…although I would like very much to have a good celebration, and to sell a few books, and just maybe, someone will say they absolutely loved it!

August, 2023

Gabrielle Barnby, Across the Silent Sea, new novel set in Orkney, book launch celebration

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Gabrielle Barnby