At Skoobs bookstore, Montecasino, in the heart of Fourways Johannesburg, I find myself attending the book launch of my friend (and now published author) Sonia Killik. Whilst browsing the weighted-shelves at this book-lovers Utopia I recognise several self-published titles. Seeing these books (cover-out, not spine-out nogal) on the shelves and in front of what must be hundreds of readers each day makes me feel warm and tingly.
These authors, are self-published. They have chosen a different route to publish. A lonelier route. Yet, here they are, alongside fellow authors, indistinguishable from their traditionally-published counterparts. F*ck Yeah. (For you Sonia.)
A quick moment to thank bookstores who stock books from self-published authors. You have no-idea what something so small means to an author.
Keys of Yama: Stepping beyond the threshold of death – TLB Kruger
Birth: F*uck Yeah – Sonia Killik
The War Between - Jennifer Withers
African Fiction, really?
The one thorn that I need to tug here is that our South African authors are classed as African Fiction. Whilst I definitely don’t want to look at this gift-horse, I don’t agree with our author’s fiction titles being separated from the generic fiction shelves as if their writing is somehow impure.
Could our South African authors books rather be mixed in with their international brethren to help de-stigmatize our literature, pretty please.
The value of a book launch
A quick few paragraphs to underscore the value of a book-launch for authors. The tangible benefits are obvious, book-sales, business cards and (struggling to think of another word with b...) exposure. (Dammit.)
The intangible benefits are from the validation of “having made it”. Your friends and loved ones who were with you throughout the journey are together with you in the same room, clapping. The applause of recognition is a salve to the fierce and fiery doubt that I know you quietly suffered. Enjoy it.
Although it might be considered an antiquated form of celebration in this digital age, I love a good book launch. The value of the event extends far beyond the expense of hosting one. I don’t think we will see the day where the virtual blog tour replaces the book launch at your local bookstore.
How Skoobs does it.
Here is the beauty of the book launch last night at Skoobs, it was free. I don’t mean free to attend (although it was), I mean free for the author to host. Let me repeat, in bold letters.
Hosting a book launch at Skoobs bookstore in Montecasino is free.
I honestly don’t think many authors know that a book launch can be a free event. I didn’t. Now to bring you back to earth, there will be costs for the event. A platter of food for the people attending, the fee for a professional photographer etc. However, the actual venue of the second floor of the Skoobs bookstore is not charged for.
There might be other bookstores willing to extend the same value to authors in other neighborhoods, please let me know if you are one of them. I would happily list you at the end of this post if it helped more authors host their own book launches.
Get hold of Skoobs
Looking to host your book-launch at Skoobs? Get hold of Deborah. She loves helping local authors arrange a spotlight, even for just one night.
Here are the best ways to get hold of the team @ Skoobs.
I thought I would end the post with a pic (of a pic) of the proud author – Sonia Killik.