Heffers Children's Bookshop, when it existed, hosted some great book launches for my Bloomsbury and Frances Lincoln books. I remember Bloomsbury had a cat cake specially made for the Tom Finger launch. A lot of books were sold on these occasions and it was a good opportunity to get to know the book reps.
Earlier book launches were often hosted by a school, following a term's residency. The launch of Tog the Ribber was at Great Chesterford Primary and again there was cake - a chocolate skeleton cake. The children had made shadow puppets and put on a magical show for that launch.
I had one disaster - the launch of Witch Watch at a Primary School in Saffron Walden in 1989 when the vicar completely stole the show:
"A few years ago I would have thought it was all innocent fun but the climate is different now," he told the press. "There is an increase in involvement in the occult in this area and I have had reports of witches coverns and black magic practices..."
Well, the advent of Harry Potter has changed all that. Let's hope the vicar is no longer troubled by the occult and his parishioners have been able to put away their broomsticks and settle down to a good read.