Last month saw the long awaited Australian book launch for my recently released Regency The Elusive Miss Ellison. Miss Ellison released in the US back in February, and we had an online launch party then, but apparently it takes a very long time for books to get from the US to Australia!
I’ve been scouring sites such as ACW for months, looking for ideas on what might work on a limited budget, as this was my initiative, and therefore my responsibility. Of course, in the midst of all my info gathering I was praying for God to lead me to make wise choices, and now it’s done, I look back and realise how God was helping me with so many things, even before I knew I’d have a book to launch.
|What is your Regency name?
About eighteen months ago we moved to a new church, and over time I came to learn that one of the young women who attends runs our local Christian bookstore. She is an avid reader, and someone who really enjoys Georgette Heyer, so we quickly hit it off 😀. When she realised I was a Christian author with a book due to be published she offered her support.
|Me and my 'Mr Darcy'
Originally I’d been thinking how nice it would be to hold the launch party at a historic venue in the area, something to help create the ambiance I wanted for my historical novel. Once I saw the prices they wanted to charge per head, and the rigmarole associated with getting exact numbers, I soon realised this would not be feasible, with those doors needing to remain closed. 😥
|Time for tea!
My friend (let’s call her Brooke) somehow managed to read an early copy of Miss Ellison and loved it, so her interest quickly moved from polite curiosity to enthusiastic support. That support soon swelled from thoughts about an in-store book signing to a Regency-inspired book launch, held at the church, where Brooke had managed to pre-sell nearly 50 copies of my book, just to congregation members! Having read it and enjoyed it, she was able to encourage so many of the ladies at our church to pre-order a copy, which in turn generated their excitement and interest in my novel, and willingness to support, via buying copies for their friends and family members, encouraging others to attend, helping set up the day before, and even baking delectable goodies for the afternoon tea. What a blessing!
|Props for the Regency photo booth
On the day we had the usual book launch things, such as an author interview, a book reading, the opportunity for books to be signed, even a live Facebook stream (video here), but we took things a few steps further. There were people dressed in Regency attire, opportunity for people to create their own Regency name and locale (Lady Maria Edgerton, of Dalmouth Castle, anyone?), we had a Regency quiz, a Regency conversation game (filled with one-liners from books by Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and yours truly), even a Regency photo booth! Lots of people commented on how much they enjoyed themselves, and I hope they come to associate fun and humour with reading my work.
I truly could not have done this without the support of Brooke and the people of my church. If I’d pushed ahead with doing things the way I’d originally envisaged, it would have been far smaller, far more stressful, far more complicated, and far more expensive. I'd anticipated that maybe 50 people might attend, maybe 70 if I was really fortunate. As it was there were over 100 (!) people in attendance, something neither I nor any hired venue could have coped with had I gone ahead with my original plans, and so many more people meant so many more book sales and pre-orders for book 2!
|Listening to the author interview
It’s funny isn’t it, how often what we think ‘will do’ proves to be less than what God wants for us. Our God is a good God, and His plans for us are for good and not for evil (Jeremiah 29.11). Our God is a mighty, powerful God. We may have many plans in our heart but it is God’s will that prevails (Proverbs 19.21).
Miss Ellison’s book launch once again proved the importance of trusting our faithful God to open the right doors at the right time. After all, “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3.19).
So be encouraged! Trust God. He will open the right doors, and close the wrong ones.
He wants more for us than we realise.
How about you? Have you seen God surprise you by surpassing your expectations?
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novel 'The Elusive Miss Ellison' released in the US in February 2017, and is available at Amazon.comCBDBarnes & NobleBook Depositoryand KoorongHer second novel ‘The Captivating Lady Charlotte’ releases June 27 and is available for preorder now.
Connect with her: www.carolynmillerauthor.com