Decorate Press Breakfast
Hello friends! I simply must tell you all about the Decorate press breakfast in London last week, it was a huge success and I had a very good (somewhat surreal) time mingling and sharing my book for the first time - what a high! After flying home the same evening I kept thinking, "Did all that really just happen to me!?" -- pretty funny to admit but it's true, it was such a whirlwind filled with emotion. But I have to show you the beautiful UK cover in-situ, of course, on my desk at home. It is so nice to have it in hand after looking at it on my computer screen for so many months wondering how it would be once bundled together... What do you think?
The UK Version of Decorate, which is hardbound in light blue with a completely different jacket from the US/Australian versions. It also has different endpapers and is written in British English. On the cover is the New York home of interior designer, writer and author, Rita Konig.
I flew into London the night before and the next morning took a cab over to Covent Garden to meet the press beginning at 8:00 a.m. to talk to them about the book and answer questions. Decorate will release in the UK very soon on March 25th, and then Murdoch Books will publish it in April in Australia/New Zealand. On May 1st, Chronicle will publish it in the US. Funny thing is, the book releases in the UK a few days after my birthday -- what are the chances?! In September, Decorate will release in German by Callwey and sold in the German market. This is a very big year and what a bonus to have it publish in German so that my husband's' family can enjoy it along with our German speaking friends here. I look forward to reading it in German as well, but also seeing if Callwey keeps the name or changes it, and what image/s they will use on the jacket and how they'll design the endpapers... I am very curious about this as you can imagine!
The US version of Decorate, hardbound in turquoise with a different jacket, the same jacket as in Australia (more or less). The endpapers are different and it is written in American English. On the cover is the London home of stylist/author and dear friend, Sania Pell.
But yes, more about the press breakfast. I didn't even know what a press breakfast was to be honest but my publicist assured me that it would be a somewhat casual way for me to meet journalists and bloggers based in and around London. The breakfast was hosted by Jacqui Small Publishing and held at a new restaurant called Kopapa (I highly suggest eating there, wow, great food) owned by celebrity chef Peter Gordon from New Zealand, so the location alone was a real treat for us all.
On the cab ride over to Kopapa that morning, I felt butterflies and rainbows simultaneously -- it's a funny thing to say but I can only describe the emotional cocktail that I experienced in that way -- complete nervousness mixed with absolute bliss and excitement. Weeee! I felt shy upon arrival but Kopapa was so laid back and all who popped in were friendly and so interested in the book and they lingered, we ate together, they looked through the book and each left with a fresh copy to enjoy -- and a big bonus -- most asked that I sign their copy along with lovely Joanna Copestick, my co-author. It was thrilling to have a mini signing on the spot, their enthusiasm and encouraging, positive feedback still has me on a high because when you are a debut author it is only natural to wonder how your "baby" will be received.
London during the morning of my press breakfast.
Friends asked me after the event how it felt to sign my book for the first time. It felt so natural! I guess it is because I am so completely honored to have an opportunity to contribute my voice and vision to the interiors section of bookstores, a section that I've been frequenting since I was a kid! When I was asked for my signature, I had to hold back from shedding a few tears as I signed the first book. I remember having book signings in my bedroom as a little girl, I would sit at my desk and line up my stuffed animals and pretend that each of them wanted me to sign my book for them, and I'd sign and sign -- keeping myself entertained for a good amount of time! This time, I wasn't 8 years old before an audience of plush toys, but I was seated before accomplished journalists, stylists and bloggers and it wasn't a scenario that I was imagining, it was real. As you can imagine, it was an emotional moment. I often wondered how it would feel to author a book, at 8 years old it seemed as far away as flying to the moon, and to sign the first copy and now I know -- It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
After the press breakfast, which ended nearly two hours later than anticipated wrapping up during lunch, I walked over with my publicist, Liz, to meet a writer from Red magazine who invited me for lunch and an interview at the cafe in beautiful retail paradise, Liberty. Meeting her and chatting about my book in such an inspiring atmosphere was nothing short of wonderful. I've been reading Red magazine ever since Barnes & Noble started carrying it in the states (I think I was nearly 20) and always loved their features so it will be a treat to see Decorate reviewed in their May issue.
The press breakfast led me to think that I should have my publicist work with me on a small book signing tour in the US and in parts of northern Europe - why not - you only write your first book once!!! So I'm currently working on a plan for that and as soon as I have more information (when + where) I will post it on decor8. I want to meet SO many of you in person because that would be a real treat and this is an ideal chance to organize something special for you -- I want to get a lot of great people together in one room to network and have some fun -- I don't want it to be a typical "author seated signing books" or a panel or anything formal. I want to mix and mingle and hang out with my online friends, period. You guys are a big part of my life, you are the reason this book deal came to me in the first place, so it's OUR celebration.
I'd like to thank those who attended the press breakfast, having you there meant so much to me. I loved making important connections and to see your reactions to a book that I spent 2010 working on with Joanna and the wonderful team at Jacqui Small (Liz and Jodie, you rock!). I can't wait to finalize the Decorate Book Tour (yay!!! Feels good to write that) and post more information very, very soon. :)
(images: top 2: holly becker for decor8, london by thorsten becker)