Sunday, September 12, 2021

My COVID-19 Book Launch


                               Please click this link for author and book purchase information

For my first three novels, I had book launch parties at my local independent bookstore. Close to 100 people packed Owl's Nest Bookstore's premises for each event. Shortly before the pandemic, Owl's Nest cut its store space in half and nowadays most people I know aren't keen on packing into rooms with strangers. Last month, Owl's Nest suggested I look for a larger venue. 

Pre-COVID book launch

Venues in Calgary weren't easy to find. The libraries weren't renting their larger spaces yet. Other venues were operating at reduced capacity. My first choice currently only allows a maximum 30 people and wasn't available on September 16th, my scheduled date. Eventually I found a church meeting hall large enough for people to spread out. I felt we could host a safe event that would be fun despite the requirements that we wear masks and not share food. 

Unfortunately, Calgary's COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued their rise into September. The Alberta government reinstated restrictions. These wouldn't prevent the launch from going ahead, but I feared the situation would keep too many people away. Owl's Nest and I decided to move the event online, to the disappointment of one friend who was really looking forward to getting out and experiencing an in-person author reading, a novelty for her. 

Right now, I'm busy getting ready for this fourth book launch, which will take place on Zoom. I plan to do three readings from my new novel, Winter's Rage, one for each point-of-view character. I'll also talk about writing this third book of my Paula Savard Mystery Series. In particular, I'll discuss:

  • Why I scrapped my first draft half-way through and restarted from scratch
  • How I found the book's title
  • How COVID-19 affected the story     

 All off this will be backdropped by Powerpoint slides, including pictures of the street where my fictional murder took place. It was easy getting these pictures since the street is in my neighbourhood. 

"Wintergreen Close," my fictional crime site

It's also easy -- and free -- to attend the launch. All you need to do is go to the Owl's Nest Events Page  , scroll down to Susan Calder: Winter's Rage, and click the link to register. Owl's Nest will then email you a Zoom link to join the event on September 16 at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time. One advantage of a virtual book launch is that people can attend from around the world, as long as they're awake at that hour.    



  1. Here in the US, events are also rescheduled. The big Fan Fusion convention in Phoenix (Comicon style), already postponed three times and rescheduled for January 2022, was postponed again until May of 2022. This is my biggest book signing of the year. In my experience, online events do not compare to the exchange of energy that happens when people get together around a common interest. Best of luck on the book launch.

  2. I agree, in person is better and there can be great energy. I hope this online thing helps get the word out. It's hard, though, on Zoom to tell if people are listening with rapt attention, multitasking, laughing at your jokes ...

  3. Sounds like a fine plan. I'm looking forward to it. Have done our first live events here in Vermont. Masked, socially distanced, small numbers as we have more cows than people at all times!

  4. What a great idea, Susan! Good luck :)


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