There is doubtless a right way to do this sort of thing. People do it all the time. Professionals, even. No doubt careful planning, experience, good taste, connections, all of that is required to successfully launch a new book. I’m sure that’s right. Good times. On the other hand…
When one has produced just a fat little volume of literary cartoons, had it printed up on the marvelous Espresso Book Machine, and then given away more copies than are likely to ever actually sell, well then, one does what one can. I did a little research. Honestly, I did. I’ve really thought about this — after I’d announced I wanted to do it. What I decided was that without a budget to speak of, or anything like a “target market,” or “projected sales figures,” or even a guarantee that there will be plastic forks, red cups or an audience, I just thought, oh Hell, why not?
So, come Tuesday, February 25th, at 7Pm at the University Book Store, Seattle, we’re gonna have us a lil’ shindy. I’ve been writing about books and drawing about books and reading aloud from books at Usedbuyer2.0 for five years now. Turns out, that’s a lot of little pencil sketches on scratch-paper. Thus the book, The Serial Doodler. A truly humble thing, but mine own. So why not a small celebration? As the father of Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie once rather insipidly said, “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” Now I know that’s the sort of sentiment usually reserved for needlepoint pillows and Internet “memes,” but I’ve never forgotten it. So, here we are.
Deciding to make the book, or the one before this, or starting to blog about books on my own five years ago, it might all be best described as a flying leap — admittedly off a very low threshold, but still. It’s been fun. And now I get to have a party with my friends. That’s a good, I should think.
I offer the following as the best advice I can give on the subject, other than to encourage anyone else, specially any bookseller who might be considering a little extracurricular artistic activity at or around the bookstore to go on, and give it a go. At best you might make something you’re proud of, make some new friends, read more books, maybe write one — or draw a couple, as the case may be — and at worst, you can throw a party and if no one shows up, you can always drink all the champagne yourself. That’s the plan, anyway.