For my first book, Kitchen Sync, I had a virtual book launch complete with Alfred, my virtual bartender.
The book launch this time is a bit more understated. It’s been busy at work, I’ve got articles to write, editors to talk to, and about a million emails to respond to. I need something a bit more low key.
“So why don’t you want a big party this time? Other than being tired?”
“Eh, this book is a smaller niche. This isn’t the quest for the perfect kitchen, it’s for homeowners who need to do a bit of maintenance for an older kitchen and don’t want to spend the money for a full remodel. Hence the subtitle: Solutions for Partial Kitchen Remodels.”
Alfred purses his lips and puts away the cloth before leaning forward, palms resting on the bar. “Seems like that would be a big audience: first-home buyers, people with older homes, investment and rental homes. Huh. Even for my place. I’ve got 3 more years in my condo before I move to London, and the counter’s sagging a bit at the sink. I’m sure not planning any big remodel. I’d never get the money back out of it.”
“London? You can’t move to London! I need you here.”
“Nice deflect. If you’re simply drinking wine, you don’t need me, Ms. Designer.”
“Haha. I’ll order a Gin Fizz then, Mr. Smarty-Pants.”
“I hate making Gin Fizzes.”
“Serves you right for moving to London on me.”
He nudges my hand, his not-so-subtle way of telling me to focus. “So why no big launch?”
I sigh. “This book is about getting the most value for budget, and dealing with the emergencies. Believe it or not, some homeowners don’t live, breathe, or sleep kitchens. They just know that the oven died and they need to get a new one, not knowing that some oven depths have increased, never mind widths and heights. Or that the sink that needs replacing can only be a drop-in sink, because an undermount sink doesn’t install well or last in a laminate counter. Doesn’t seem right to celebrate emergencies with a party.”
Alfred nods. “So you just want to get the word out.”
I take a sip of my Pinot. “Pretty much.”
“So let’s take a look at it.”
“Thank you. I’m worried how it’ll be received.”
If there was a scorecard for virtual eyebrows hitting a hairline, Alfred would get top marks. “Why? People like your last book.”
“Yes, but there’s no pictures in this one. Just the facts.”
“Well, there’s quite a few real-life examples for homeowners to relate to. And you did get a professional editor this time.”
“Don’t make me squirm. I know, I know. Kitchen Sync needs some help but the info’s sound. I’ll work on editing for the second edition.”
Alfred finishes wiping the bar and starts lining up the martini glasses. “Well, I think the people who can’t afford a full remodel might be interested, especially if they have a kitchen emergency or repairs they’ve been putting off too long.”
“What if they get bored? Or think I’m repeating myself?” I sound whiny, even to myself. “And what about those who wonder why it’s only an ebook instead of a paperback?”
“You worry too much. Didn’t you tell me that at 131 pages, it would be too slender? Besides, if there’s interest, you can always make it happen.” Alfred narrows his eyes. “How much wine have you had, missy?”
“Fine. Mock me. Some bartender you are if you can’t even keep count.”
Alfred reaches above his head to the glasses racked above him, sets a row of martini glasses on the bar and gets to work. “Seems to me that people might like to stop by to take a look. Dirty martinis good for you? In the meantime, give them a link.”
Distracted by the olives, it takes me a minute. “Oh, right.” Grabbing my purse, I sort by feel rather than by sight: cabinet handles, a travel screwdriver, wallet, laser measure, cell phone. Ah.
Alfred deftly slides my wine glass out of the way, replacing it with one of the martini glasses before picking up his own. In the background, the piano player transitions to Only the Good Die Young. I wince.
“Happy book launch, Kelly.” He clinks his glass to mine and raises it. “Happy 4th.”
“Thanks, Alfred. Happy 4th to you too.”
Until next time,