What’s the difference between a Book Launch and a Book Lunch?
Once upon a time, in the year of 2013, I got an email from the warm and friendly Steve Bicknell of Maverick Books. His email said I was invited to a book lunch. Do I get to eat books for lunch, I wondered. I’m not that kind of monster. I do read books, I eat lunch and I could do both together. But eating books? That was a bit dry for even me, the vegetarian. Granted they were made of plant produce. But was the ink vegan? I digress.
You guessed correct! At a book lunch, you not only launch the books, you also get lunch. A great lunch – at the Palm Court Brasserie in Covent Garden. With champagne and dessert and fantastically literary company. Oh, I forgot to mention, you get a copy of the books. Now that’s what I call a book lunch.
I checked the email a few times – was it spam? Was I wrongly invited? Then another email popped into my inbox. From Julie Fulton who is part of my picture book critique group and said you will get an invite from Steve. Ah that explains it. And then another email from Alice Hemming. Another SCBWI member who I had met in a workshop.
On the 27th of September 2013, two British Isles SCBWI members were launching their books with Maverick Books. Right they are mavericks! Celebrating book launches with wonderful lunches and inviting a guest of honour like Julia Eccleshare and a nobody like me to sit next to each other. (Yes! My claim to fame – I sat next to Julia all through the lunch and heard her talk about books, reading, schools and more).
With blessings from Natascha Biebow, our wonderful RA, I accepted to represent SCBWI at the lunch. Someone had to. Wink, wink.
What a way to send your book into the bookstores. With reviewers, TV producers and other book people like Viv Bird from BookTrust. What a way to say thank you to the people who put the books together – from editor Kim to everyone in the Maverick office.
Speech! We asked Julie and she said
SCBWI had been an influence on her writing and getting published. Alice seconded that. And I was proud to be a SCBWI representative at that event.
It wasn’t my book lunch! But I was proud to be there. That’s what SCBWI does to you. You’re part of a community of supporters. You are being supported.
Chitra has published over 20 books in Singapore, UK, USA and India. She loves writing picture books, folktales and is also working on fiction for 7+ with a lead character brightly named Aurora. Chitra is a member of the Words & Pictures' editorial team, managing The Slush Pile Challenge for writers.