What’s in a book launch?

Defining You

Last Thursday, the Conker House team were privileged enough to be part of a book launch for Fiona Murden’s new publication, Defining You (Nicholas Brealey). The Saloon Bar in The Marylebone was buzzing with people, all so excited to share this important moment with Fiona. As I travelled back from London, I found myself pondering the journey we had all been on to reach this point.

Fiona first contacted Conker House in the summer of 2016. She was full of incredible ideas which we were very keen to help translate into published material. We worked through her text, honing certain messages and creating a publishing proposal ready to share. Next came sending it out to the world – a whole series of pitches to publishers before the waiting game. Nothing happens fast in publishing. Thankfully, this particular story has a very happy ending – a publishing deal with Nicholas Brealey and a reason for great celebration.

As I revisit some of the messages in Defining You, they make me realise that not only is this a moment for Fiona to reflect on her achievements, it is also a time for us here at Conker House to reflect a little on ours. The book poses a series of thought-provoking questions:

  • What have you enjoyed most on the journey to where you are today? What have been the high points?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The celebrations on Thursday served as a timely reminder that making books is what brings us our greatest sense of achievement. Hearing another person’s vision full of passion and enthusiasm and helping to bring it out into the world in printed form is a richly rewarding accomplishment. Knowing that the voice you heard can be translated onto the page and transferred to so many readers makes the hard work along the way worthwhile.

I was asked during the evening if books were dying out, but it seems that we all still crave them. Long may that continue…

See pp.141–142 of Defining You for the full set of questions

Read more from Fiona on her blog


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