Cheryl A. Head
Updated: Apr 4
Today marks the one-month ago launch of my new book, Time's Undoing. I've always looked at my book launches as sort of artificial dates, but so many people put so much focus on the publication date, that I know I was caught up in the whirlwind. I'd much rather think of a book launch as an introduction. You get books to the bookstores, announce the publication of the book, and you begin to talk about the book, and its qualities, to the reading public.
The book launch as event approach feels like the old broadcast viewing model. Pre-internet and streaming, and cable, the three (then four) networks pushed appointment viewing. Watch [enter program here] in real time. Sometimes the viewing of a program became an event in and of itself. That still happens around big sporting events and awards shows. But with the advent of the new models of program delivery, the viewer can structure his/her own screen-time events: whether it's binging an entire series season in one day, or gathering friends to watch last-night's awards show, or firing up the DVR to catch that favorite show you missed last week.
Bringing this back to books, some readers like to pick up a book as soon as it's published. Especially, if it's a favorite author. They count down the days when they can get their hands on the hardcover, or get the download to their e-reader. Other readers depend on recommendations, reviews, influencers. Sometimes the buzz from a book comes before it's published, or from an award nomination, or a celebrity endorsement. Other time the buzz is quieter but steady, growing in volume and intensity on the grapevine.
Time's Undoing started out with a certain amount of buzz. There was a focus on book blurbs, and cover reveals and pre-orders, but the competition for attention by booksellers, readers, reviewers, media outlets is intense. Only a handful of books leap up the list into the consciousness of readers. I'm hopeful that Time's Undoing will be a slow burn. Like the taco you eat with the habanero pepper. There is immediate sensation when you become aware of the pepper and it flares with heat. Eventually the heat subsides, but some of the spark stays with you as you continue consuming your meal reminding you of its presence.
I hope you'll pick up Time's Undoing. I think it's a good read, and an important story. There's more to the novel than meets the eyes. Based on a personal tragedy, the book plumbs some dark material, but the novel also incorporates the joy and love of Black people and their communities, points out the importance of allyship in our contemporary cultural and social justice struggles, and has a bit of the supernatural to keep the reader connected to dreams and aspirations.
Time's Undoing is a slow-burn read that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page of the book.