After 3 long years working on my second book about cats, the day finally arrived where I could shout out to the world about my new book Let’s Talk About Cats. Initially I had organised a party with 20 close friends to be at my sister’s home and a vegan caterer had been booked and a cake ordered. Due to the pandemic the 20 friends had to be reduced to 6 where we could gather outside in the garden and then it became clear even this was not to be, as Covid-19 still raged around us.
Like many authors excitedly waiting to share their book launch, I had to finally realise a remote launch was the only way to go. The caterer was sadly cancelled and I set to work thinking about ways I could make Zoom work. The good news about using Zoom for a book launch party was that I could invite more people (although not too many or we’d all look like ants on the screen)! In the end 24 people were able to join and this worked really well.
Initially I was lost on how to make the day special. I felt alone and a tad deflated, but that feeling was soon dispersed by Anita Chapman, who has been helping me with my social media marketing of the book. Something she is awesome at. After sending me some ideas and videos of other authors’ zoom launches I felt excited again. I quickly knew who would be the best person to ‘host’ my event, so that we did not have 24 people all milling about in front of the screen, talking at once and over each over, like a mass Zoom FAIL!
My friend, Mandy Bell, stepped up to the challenge and she was the perfect hostess. Not only that, but her daughter, Amy, made my cake. A lovely delicious vegan chocolate cake with my book’s cover made in icing.
Everyone logged on at 1pm and, after initial hellos, Mandy officially introduced everyone and then spoke to me about the book’s journey as well as a few other colleagues that were featured in the book, including the mummy of a famous cat called London Meow (featured in chapter 14. He has nearly 9,000 more followers than me on Instagram!!!). Others who spoke about the book during my Zoom launch were veterinary surgeon Dr Silvia Prigitano (featured in chapter 13), guardian of Dicey – Donna Canale (chapter 1) and renowned veterinary surgeon Dr Eyal Berman who gave a review of the book (Video below)
It was good to see my dad had mastered Zoom, as he’s a technophobe. It took days before launch day trying to get him to understand how it all worked, but happily, he was there to make a toast too!!
After the chats we all raised a glass and cut some cake, which made me feel really special. What could have been a sad dampened affair ending up being a happy inspiring occasion and I was thrilled to see all of my family and friends and some dear colleagues. I was also so happy to be joined by my PR guru Katrina Power – a lady that knows her stuff and has been fantastic to work with.
The day started with a bouquet of flowers from a dear friend of mine, Jane lester. Unfortunately she sent me Lillies, which are toxic to cats, so after a few photos the flowers were given to a neighbour who doesn’t have cats.
I bought some non-alcoholic wine, not a bad attempt from the wine makers, and got out the best crystal. Then I tried to fit into my best dress, which hadn’t been worn since my previous book launch of Claws. Needless to say, I couldn’t fit into the dress too well and had to have the zip slightly undone .. ahem!! Oh well, no one knew!! 🙂
After the event, which lasted about 30 minutes, I cut the cake and made local deliveries. Whilst delivering some cake I was given another lovely present for my post launch breakfast from the editor of Claws and now a great friend, David Lowe. Fresh home-made sourdough bread, avocados and chilli flakes. Delicious.
My book launch day ended with a curry! 4 of us nearly froze to death sitting apart in the garden where I was given another lovely post-launch present. A cat hat from my friend Shana.
I can’t thank everyone enough for making my zoom book launch the best it could be. The funniest moment was when we all started to count down from 10 so that I could press a big red buzzer I had bought!! Everyone was counting in different times. It was hilarious.
To any authors out there. Don’t fret. You can still enjoy the moment of your book’s launch by gathering people onto Zoom or Skype. It worked so well and can be just as special as the ideal scenario – seeing people in person.
Here’s a snippet of me talking about the book
Now that the real hard work starts in getting the book to sell I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of my interviewees who made this book the very best it can be:
Jackson Galaxy – CHAPTER 1 / Briony Smith CHAPTER 2 /David Teie – CHAPTER 3
Jenifer Conrad – CHAPTER 4 / Kim Freeman – CHAPTER 5 / Susanne Schötz – CHAPTER 6
Dr. Jessica Walker – CHAPTER 7 / Penelope Smith – CHAPTER 8 / Samantha Martin – CHAPTER 9
Sheryl Woods – CHAPTER 10 / Dr. Pete Coleshaw CHAPTER 11 / Kate Benjamin – CHAPTER 12
Sarah Fisher – CHAPTER 13 / Isabel Serafim – CHAPTER 14 / Dr Amy Bergs – CHAPTER 15 &
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel – CHAPTER 16
The book has finally seen the light of day and I do hope you all enjoy reading it and expanding on the special relationship we have with the most majestic of animals!