When I walked into my public library last week to return some books, I noticed a flyer for an upcoming book release party. The author was a local memoirist; it looked like she may have written about her journey with dyslexia; that was my guess anyway.

“Perfect!” I thought, making a mental note to attend.

I like to support local authors, and in preparation for the day when I become a published author, the book release party was a good opportunity to observe what’s involved.

When I got home, I put the date in my calendar, but I couldn’t remember the author’s name. A few days later, when I tried to look it up on the library’s website, my internet was down and then I forgot about it.

But I went to the party anyway. When I left the house, I told my husband, “I may be the only one who shows up, so I don’t think I’ll be too long.”

I pictured an insecure woman nervously facing a row of chairs, empty except for me. Giving her a smile of encouragement, I would listen intently, and after her reading, we would commiserate on how difficult it is to get readers’ attention. I would buy her book, her only sale that day. Reading it at home, it would be an amateurish, blow-by-blow chronology, like many self-published memoirs, in my humble-as-yet-unpublished opinion.

Is that music? I thought as I walked up the stairs in the library. It was—a two-piece band. And food. And wine. And a crowd?

Waiting in line to buy her book, I read the jacket and realized it was the author’s son who had dyslexia; she had fought to help him succeed, and now he was about to graduate from Oxford.

It was a story similar to mine: A challenged son who becomes a productive adult because of the love of his mother. The book is “Reversed, A memoir,” by Lois Letchford.

A confident Ms. Letchford enthralled the audience with readings from her book. I know I will be humbled and inspired by her writing, as well as by her story. When I finish reading, I’ll let you know more about it.

Someday, I’ll have my own book launch party. I have the perfect model to follow.

If you can make it, I hope you’ll attend, patiently waiting in line to buy my book, giving me smiles of encouragement. In return, I’ll do my best to inspire you with my story.


  • An emerging writer in upstate, NY, Karen DeBonis tells her story on her website, in publications like the NY Times, (a Tiny Love Story), in her “Become Emboldened” projects, and elsewhere. "Portrait of a People-Pleaser and the Son Who Paid the Price", Karen’s transformational memoir about a woman’s quest for authenticity and the courage to speak her truth, is currently available for representation.

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  1. Jack Herlocker on March 28, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Good for you for thinking ahead, Karen!
    Deb enjoys doing book events (www.caitlynsadventure.com/meet-the-author/book-events.html). In terms of sales, we got out what we put into them, but in terms of the joy of meeting people (especially kids, since hers are kids books) she’s had a wonderful time. I bet you’ll get the same enjoyment, and you’ll prep more so you’ll get sales, too. (Although… a band? Well, this is why I’m not in marketing.)

  2. Karen DeBonis on March 28, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    Well, I’d love to have a band, but I know I’ll have to weigh the cost of a band against the ten cents or so I may earn from each book sale. Hmmm. Maybe I can just hum a little. Can Deb sing?

  3. Janis on March 30, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    I would love to come….you know me..always like a party! However, I just hope it is not in the same year as wedding planning because I do believe I have mush for brains!! I am always very late reading your posts and sometimes not responding at all, but just know I am so proud of all of your accomplishments and can’t wait to say…I knew her when!!!

  4. Karen DeBonis on March 30, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    Oh Janis, I always know I can count on you!! And you’re making me blush. I so appreciate your comment from your mushy brain. LOL! And don’t worry … I kinda have to finish writing the memoir before I can have any kind of party. You’ll be well recovered by then!

  5. Paula Ransbury on March 31, 2018 at 11:41 AM

    What a fun and exciting event it will be for you and everyone fortunate enough to know you and be in attendance! I can’t wait!

    • Karen DeBonis on March 31, 2018 at 3:23 PM

      Oh thank you Paula! I know I’ll see you in the crowd if at possible.:)

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