15 May 2014

Returning: The "Official" Book Launch!

Returning has been launched!

Sorry for those of you who have been waiting to hear how things went Monday night. I've been at work for the past two days (talk about back to reality!) so I haven't had an opportunity to write about it. So here we go. It's worth the wait, I promise :-)

Prior to the day, I received a couple of gifts:

MissyMoo1 made me a card

A gift from an Old Duck who couldn't make it to the launch.


Preparations for the day started off well. After taking MissyMoo1 (7) to school, I dropped some books off at the library and ran a couple of errands. Some of you may remember that I had been wondering what to wear.


I decided to check out some local shops with the two youngest MissyMoos - this had so much potential to go badly, but actually things went really well. I found a gorgeous dark blue dress and matching silver shoes. I felt amazing in some new clothes, which helped build my confidence (shallow, I know).

A crazy busy afternoon followed, getting kids bathed and fed their dinner at 4pm, but we all scrubbed up well and managed to arrive at Toronto Library half an hour early to look around and help set up.

When we arrived, a selling / signing table had already been set up with the books on display and the bookmarks to give away :-)

Do you see those bits of paper in the background? They were pieces of "advice to your 16-year-old self" that staff and visitors had written in the lead-up to the launch.


Friends helped out in the nibbles department by bringing a plate, resulting in an amazing spread:


As people started to arrive I sat at the signing table, signed a few books and chatted to people. Most people there were friends, but there were a few there who had heard or read about the launch through the library's promotion of the event, so I met a few new people including a couple of local self-published authors and Amy from Lost in a Good Book, who was kind enough to blog about the event.

Flowers I received from someone who came to the launch

This was my first book launch and it was real! It had formalities and everything! An MC, speeches, book signing and a little competition.

After the MC welcomed everyone, one of the Old Ducks spoke briefly about the book and its themes. She also expressed some comments made by another Old Duck who had been unable to make it on the night.

It was then my turn to take the podium. I had been a little nervous in the afternoon, but there was such a warmth in the room that evening that I felt completely comfortable. Looking around me at a group of mostly familiar and very attentive faces, the words just came out.

Not the most flattering photo, but it's a good one of the dress!
I channelled my high school public speaker, even having a few points on palm cards. I spoke about a year of firsts: first completed manuscript, first peer review of such a big piece of writing, first time self-publishing and first book launch. I spoke about my inspiration for the book and about self-publishing. I thanked a gazillion people. It was a little emotional actually.

We also ran a little game. People were asked to write a piece of advice to their 16-year-old self


There were some great pieces of advice. The best one was "Dream Big. Be Courageous. Believe EVERYTHING is possible!" The prize was a little hamper I put together containing a notebook, pen, some choccies, a bookmark, and a cushion for a little extra reading comfort.

All in all it was a beautiful evening shared with family, friends and my local community.


I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to do this. I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement I have received from so many dear people along the way.


So now, Returning is launched! Time to tell your friends all about it!


What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?



Linking up for Thankful Thursday, because I'm so very, very thankful :-)

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life

30 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear it went so well - congratulations ! I have a couple of books to buy and this is going to be one of them !! A is leaving for Mackay on Monday morning for a month so I'm going to have a lot of free time to read !!!!
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

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    1. Thank you! What better way to pass the time than reading :-)
      Hope you're well.

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  2. How so incredibly exciting for your Francesca. Glad that it went well and may there be many more books and launches to come. Sending lots of fairy wishes and butterfly kisses your way, thanks so much for coming and joining in

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    1. Thanks Rhianna! I hope so too, although the writing is progressing at a snail's pace at the moment. Something about life getting in the way :-)

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  3. Fantastic hun! Congratulations! I'm sure you'll be an old hand at these soon enough and can give me a few pointers ;)

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    1. Thanks Jodi. It was surprising how comfortable it felt (it was mostly people I knew though which would have made the world of difference). Happy to give you some ideas WHEN your time comes xx

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  4. Oh, yay!!! Fantastic and well done! You looked gorgeous and very much a published author! x

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  5. Congratulations on your novel! As an aspiring writer, I can only hope...

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  6. Must be such an exciting feeling to be out there. Good luck with it all.

    I would tell me 16 year old self that lots of smiles are always around the next corner.

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    1. Thanks so much Annaleis. That's beautiful advice :-)

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  7. You look right at home at that book signing table, Francesca! Well done to you! x

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    1. Haha, thanks. It felt pretty cool :-)

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  8. Gosh what a fabulous event - congrats, I bet you were nervous but you looked like you had it under control! Lovely dress :)

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    1. Thanks. I was more nervous a few hours beforehand. When I got there, it just fell into place.

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  9. Oh how wonderfully exciting! And how gorgeous is both your dress ... and you! That one of you at the signing table is definitely one to frame xx

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    1. Thanks Kelly - yes, that's one of my favourite photos of the night (there were a few family photos which I've kept private)

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  10. PS Just purchased a copy - Amazon makes things so easy doesn't it?!

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    1. Thank you, thank you thank you! I hope you enjoy it :-)

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  11. Congrats!! How exciting for you, now to plan the next one!!

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    1. Haha, thanks Ann. Funny you should say that - I already have! Now I need to make time to write it! Most people who have read it so far are asking for the sequel!

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  12. Glad LMCL gave you a great launch! Sorry I couldn't make it.Photo of you at the signing table is stunning. x

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    1. Thanks my dear. Wish I could have caught up with you but understand it wasn't the easiest time of day for you to get there xx

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  13. Francesca! You looked beautiful! I'm so happy for you that you had a successful book launch! Congratulations again and good luck!

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  14. I think my comment just disappeared so I will try again. I just wanted to say a huge congrats as you should be so proud of yourself. This is such a big achievement, and you look absolutely stunning in those pics xx

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  15. Aww, thanks Sonia. I'm very happy with how it all went. Now I need to work on getting it out there a bit more :-)

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  16. Congratulations Francesca. Sounds like a great event (and a good book). Awesome dress! PS: I found you through blog carnival, nice to meet you:-)

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  17. Congratulations! The launch sounds like it went very well.
    I looked up your book on Goodreads and saw you don't have many reviews yet, have you considered joining groups where indie authors find book reviewers, such as http://www.theindieview.com/?
    Hope your book is very successful :)

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