Hey cHEwY gum gums!

I love book launches, both as an author and fan. A book launch is a nice way to celebrate the milestone. I also love going to as many launches as I can, to support my writer friends.

I invited one of my old uni friends to come to my book launch for Don’t Follow Vee. Then she asked me what she thought was a dumb question. Do you have to buy a book at the launch? I reassured her that it wasn’t dumb, and the quick answer is no, you don’t. She came to my launch, enjoyed a cupcake and congratulated me. Honestly, just her presence was enough for me.

I was pondering this question with one of my author pals, Debra Tidball (thanks for reading my cHEwY blogs hehe) a few weekends ago. Do you have to buy a book at someone’s launch? Is it implied that by attending a launch that you’ll get a copy and get it signed.

Like I said, I’m okay with people not buying my book at my launch. I’m just happy that they want to spend an afternoon with me. Over the years, I’ve had many non-author friends at my launches where they don’t buy my book and it’s perfectly fine. I have friends who don’t have kids or don’t really read kids books. A launch is a celebration for the author and their book. Book sales are just a small part of it.

Yet, I would never have the guts to write in my launch invite, ‘There is no obligation to buy my book, just come!’ either. Booksellers are keen for book sales and it’s why we want them to host our launches.

Now on the flip-side, I always buy the book at any launch that I attend. I have nephews ranging from 7 to 15 so I am covered for most kids books. Yes, I do sneak in a quick read before I gift to them haha. But the reason why I have a 100% purchase strike rate is that I choose to go to book launches that I am interested in.

However, I may have a reason to stop buying books at launches. There is a towering stack of un-read books at my place, and it keeps on growing because I buy books like crazy at festivals and conferences. I think I’m at a stage where I need to hold off until I read my other books first. I admire Kate Forsyth who has vowed not to buy another book for a temporary period. So I wonder if I do turn up to another launch in the future, will I fight the temptation to buy the book. Or will I walk away with a quick photo as my momento.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough haha.

But I’m sure that if you speak to any author who has a book launch, they wouldn’t mind if you just rocked up to support them. It would mean the world to them either way. Our writing community is full of warm vibes and we understand that we can’t buy or read every book. Whether the restraint is from your wallet or house, there are times when you’ve got to say no.

So when you come to my book launch, come for the food, the photos and catch up with me and some other author friends. And if you want a signed copy, then yeah, that would be cool too 🙂


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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