A slightly heartbreaking post below in which (almost) no one turns up to a launch. That is often the fear.
I've definitely had my fair share of under-attended events but at least, generally, there were other readers there too, so we could bond over that and turn the evening into a different fun vibe. Here, Matthew Norman is on his own.
It also shows the importance of letting people know about your event in the first place - sometimes social media feels effective enough but I'd really recommend a personal email. If you want someone at your reading: tell them! We all lead such busy lives it's easy to let something slip.
At the microphone, I set my book on the podium. I touched the microphone and cleared my throat. I hoped that this pretty obvious body language would cue the people who were perhaps there to see me but were hiding to come out of hiding, but no luck. A few people looked up from textbooks. Who’s this jerkoff? their expressions said—shouted, really. “Hi, everyone,” I said. “I’m Matthew Norman. Is… is anyone here to hear me read.”