Monday, March 22, 2010

A (Pictorial) Anatomy: The Book Launch of The Body Finder

As many of you probably know, I flew from my home in D.C. to Seattle last week to be there for Kimberly Derting's book launch of her debut YA, The Body Finder.

This was my first book launch to be present for (my own aside, of course), so it was so much fun getting to participate in such a huge celebration!

I have to say, I think having a large base of friends and family was totally key for Kim. That, and a great book that the publisher clearly loves! :)

I wanted to get to the book signing early because I'd heard they were expecting somewhere between 200-300 people. They weren't completely wrong.

The event started with a quick introduction of Kim, and then she got to talk about how she started writing and read the prologue to The Body Finder and answer questions. My favorite questions were about her film agent (shhh!!) and who she saw playing the main characters if it got picked up as a movie.

Kim was, of course, coy about that, and there were no shortage of volunteers! In fact, Kim used many of her family and friends as names in the books, and so a group went out and commissioned t-shirts for the occasion with the book cover on the front, and the name of the character named after them on the back.

I loved this one:

I'm not sure how I would have felt, though, if the character named after me was one of the murder victims. Or the vapid high school cheerleader. I saw her. She looked really sweet in person.

There were some who opted for cuter shirt titles, like "paparazzi" (aptly named as he was constantly snapping photos) and "unpaid intern" (her husband).

This was such a cute idea I'm considering changing a bunch of names in my current book so we can do that when it sells, too.  And doesn't it make a striking statement when the Barnes and Noble looks like this?

Is that totally awesome or what??

After the talking and reading and answering of questions, we lined up for signings. I have no idea how Kim did it. My wrist hurt just looking at the line. It wrapped clear around the top floor. Still, I stood in it, even though I could have walked down the street two hours later to have her sign it because, heck, this is what an author signing is for, right? To drive your author in carpal tunnel purgatory?

I look all geeky and fan-girl like, but it was so fun I couldn't stop smiling.

See that yellow post-it in the book behind me? B&N was so organized, they had someone walking through the line asking who you wanted to book made out to, and then writing it on that sticky so that Kim would have the spelling right there, and it marked the page so she could turn to it quickly. This was a thought-out, perfected process!!

I left before the autographing was finished. That was seriously a long line!! There were cookies (yum!!) and bottled water (in case we had to be locked in all night, because not one of those fans was leaving with an autograph) and a HUGE and AWESOME gift basket with one of those great shirts, a sweatshirt from the high school the main character goes to, a mug from the fire department she works with, a hardback AND an ARC!!! And an ipod nano. Let me tell you, when Kim does something, she does it right!!

A few hours later I got to go to her launch party, in which I met even more really cool people, like fellow author (of Prada and Prejudice!!) and agent, Mandy Hubbard.

The party was so much fun, and I was having such a blast, I nearly missed my plane. Here's a tip for all you travelers: If you are in a hurry to get through security, knee-high boots are NOT your friend!!

I think I was one of the last on the plane, but I made it. I fully intended on reading Kim's book the entire way back, but since the plane took off at nearly eleven at night, I was too tired to even open it.

But I did sleep with it on my lap, front up, so that I could flash it to everyone passing by. It was the least I could do. :)

I was totally inspired to get cracking on my own new book now. If I could just stop dreaming about what the book signing will look like...


  1. wow, wow, wow! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I really like this, seeing what it's like and that dreams can come true!

  3. I love the T-shirt idea. Very clever.

  4. Oh my gosh! AMAZING! What an incredible trip. Thanks so much for sharing. The pictures are fabulous.

  5. This looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing!! I'm in awe...can't wait to read the book.

  6. You really captured the dream-come-trueness of this event! It sounds like it was so totally AWESOME, Heidi. I'm going to have to check out the book myself. Thanks so much for sharing the experience with us.

  7. So much fun. The t-shirts were adorable. This is one of the books on my debut list that I wanted to read. So, I need to go get it, stat. :)