The Committee were reeling over news that the spine was too narrow for a title. Surely there was some solution? Clearly, it was too late to add extra works, with all the editing, checking and content list changes that would entail.
Then someone came up with the idea of increasing the size of borders, and using a larger font. This gave us more pages. Problem solved. Phew!
At last we had time to think about organizing the Launch night.
We gathered a sales team, with floats of cash- small notes and change- and receipt books to monitor sales. Since the book was on sale for $20-00, the bookmark with writers’ names for $1-00, we figured it should be easy.
Col’s husband, Michael, would brings the books and bunches of maroon and white balloons. We gave Silda money from the kitty to buy & bring flowers for our presenter & Silda’s daughter,Devi, who designed the cover. I had a copy of my memoir, ‘Black Stockings, White Veil,’ wrapped in gold paper & ribbons for presentation to Joy Hrubi.
Colleen gave me a call. The books & bookmarks had arrived! Oh, the excitement of holding our Women’s Work, admiring the cover and overall design.We felt our efforts were richly rewarded, our writing group’s work honored in the best way possible. So much for she who declared we’d never do it!
On the morning of the launch, came a setback. Our launcher rang in with a heavy respiratory infection and croaky throat. We felt for her, clearly she was very ill . Disappointed over letting us down, she offered us a free workshop late in the year, which was very generous. Luckily, we had Joy Hrubi to speak at our launch, and Siobhan, our convener could fill in where needed.
Oh what fun decorating the room with balloons and posters of the cover, the books and bookmarks attractively displayed on a long table.
Guests began to arrive. I helped distribute mini piazzas , pies, spiced chicken and other eats, encouraged people to buy. A number of folk bought multiple copies, which was great for our budget.
Helen and Penny, two of my oldest pals from nursing days, came to share my moment. Writers, family, friends of friends soon filled the room with laughter and chat. We toasted our success in champagne, listened to the speeches…our Women’s Work was officially launched. Silda’s grandchildren presented the flowers.
Sales were brisk, the feedback on our Anthology positive. Best of all, when our debts were all paid, we would have made a modest profit, with more orders to come. Our first edition was almost sold out!
We guessed there might be negative comments on some aspect of our production,input, text or the handling of it all, but not tonight. We had a quality product, and couldn’t have put in more effort to achieve that goal.
One option to consider later was an eBook, the way publishing is headed (though I’m old-fashioned enough to prefer hard copy, the feel & smell of a real book).
For now, it was time to think about life after our anthology. Col and I had our passports. airline tickets, travel money… By next week we would be flying to South America far from critiques, good or bad!