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Book Launch: The Conclave

Posted: July 2, 2019
Event Dates: December 2, 2018

The Conclave

S.C. Eston and Chuck Bowie
S.C. Eston and Chuck Bowie
Photo Credits: Leigh Ann Estey
The launch of "The Conclave" was my first experience at doing an official book launch. It took place at Westminster Books, here in Fredericton. The bookstore is a well-known supporter of local authors and was recommended to me by Chuck Bowie, who launched his book "The Body on the Underwater Road" at Westminster earlier in the year.

The first thing I did was get in touch with the manager of the store, which I did in person. She said they would be happy to host an event for my book. After a few back and forth by email, we selected a date that worked for the both of us. Then, I took some time to research what could or should be included in such an event. I put together a program, which included an introduction (by someone else if possible), some readings, a Q&A and some time at the end for signing books. One recommendation I liked was to do a give-away for people who signed up to my newsletter. I created a simple form, printed it, and asked my mother-in-law to go around asking people to sign-up.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Photo Credits: Leigh Ann Estey
The event took place on Sunday December 2, at 2pm. I was nervous about the turnout (and the whole thing for that matter). I had heard that one can never be certain about how many people will show up. A few weeks before, I had gone to a Q&A by two international authors, at the same location, and there was only 6 people, including myself. Knowing that, I set my expectations fairly low.

S.C. Eston
S.C. Eston
Photo Credits: Mathieu Chiasson
In the end, though, everything went well. Around 20 people came, including friends and family members. I was also lucky to have the support and participation of two great friends and authors; Chuck Bowie and Roger Moore. Chuck gave the introduction and Roger read three poems from his collection "Monkey Temple". I myself read two passages from Conclave. The Q&A session followed and was a lot of fun. People seemed interested and asked a bunch of questions.

Bookmarks were available for free and 4 books (including one from Roger) were won in the giveaway (being my first launch, I felt generous!). We ate cupcakes (by Leigh, who is the best baker I know!) and the store provided a punch. I then sold and signed some books (9 books total, which is pretty good I think).

All in all, it was a great event, one that I'll always remember. I'm very grateful for everyone who came, and for their ongoing support, including Gaetan (my alpha reader), my family and in-laws, and my wife, Leigh. I feel it was a success and the effort I put in was well rewarded. The first time of anything always has many unknowns and a certain level of stress associated with it. But I'm definitely glad I went ahead with the launch. It was great, and I'm hoping to do something similar for upcoming stories.