Writing and creating a book is a solitary and lonely experience. Oftentimes it’s not even that much fun, just a whole lotta work. That’s why, when the book is finally released, it’s important to let your hair down, break out the fruit punch and have a book release party!
For our last book we had the party in our hometown (at Toadstool Bookstore) where a ton of family and friends came out to listen to us talk about our book, the history of Moo-Cow and what we were doing. It was really fun, and I was grateful so many people came out to support us. Last week, several thousand miles away from our hometown, we had our second book release party. This time it was in our new hometown, with our new friends, in Lin’an China.
We held in on a frosty Sunday evening in a big classroom. We invited our students to it, but you never know how many will actually come, especially on a weekend night. Nothing is more depressing that having nobody come to your release party. To our relief over 70 students came, including teachers and some of my classmates from Chinese class.
We started off talking about the history of Moo-Cow. In America everyone knows us as those Moo-Cow people, but here in China everyone knows us as English teachers. So we started at the beginning, the very beginning. We told them how we began Moo-Cow in 1995 and described our journey all the way to present day. (All in about 20 minutes. Scary how quickly a decade plus of your life can be boiled down.) There was one message we wanted to get out to the students: you don’t have to be rich, knowledgeable, or have a connection to publishing to do something. You just have to have an idea, and the learning comes as you experience and do more.
In addition to the release party we had the World Premier of the MCFC trailer. Several weeks ago we filmed a few scenes from the book, and despite the holiday season and finals Ryan managed to find time to put together the trailer. The costumes and props were all made by students and of course the actors are students as well. Here is the video in all its five-minute glory.
After the video we held our first ever MCFC Awards in three categories. Best acting, Funniest and Best Human Playing an Animal. Everyone in the room got to vote and the winners were:
Each student got an MCFC shirt and a chance to say a few words into the microphone. It wasn’t exactly the Oscars, but it was still fun.
After the talk we sat down to sign books. We had about 40 books sent to us from America and we had no idea if we would sell them or not. We had to lower the price because directly converted from dollars to RMB it was a tad pricey as most students don’t have jobs or much money. To our pleasant surprise we sold every single copy!
It was fun, really fun, and proof that you never know where life is going to bring you. If you told me 5 years ago that we would be having a book release party in China I would have said you were crazy. Not only did I never expect to be in China, but I had no idea that we would be writing Moo-Cow books either!
It was definitely a night to remember and I hope the students enjoyed it as much as we did.
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