My Book Launch Kinda Sucked

In the career life cycle of an author, there’s probably few dates more important than a book launch. That’s when your baby – that thing you’ve spent months holed up in your office writing, that thing you’ve ignored your own family for, that thing you’ve high-fived and cried over – officially goes on sale.

Of course, there’s a lot of reasons why having a coordinated launch plan is ideal, mostly because a stellar release creates the initial wave of buzz needed to sustain momentum overall. A “bad” release means no one hears about your book and, well, you know the rest.

Game over.

I’d love to tell you the launch of Who Says It’s a Man’s World has gone exactly as planned but, as we all know, sometimes life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes it hands you a sh*t sandwich. Along that line, here’s just a fraction of what blew up behind the scenes.

1. The book came out WAY early. Who Says It’s a Man’s World “officially” launches on January 29th, but it’s been available now for more than a month. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal – well, except for the fact that my website was being revamped and down for almost a week when the book hit shelves. Not good. I should also mention it was down when media packets went out too, so journalists interested in covering the book were met with a big ‘ol “under construction” sign. That’s professional, right?

2. The book features web links that will be live on the 29th, but aren’t live at the moment. So readers who have the book early are met with another – you guessed it – “coming soon” page.

3. I was very eager to record the audiobook until I got an email that basically said, “Sorry. Your book has already been recorded….by an actress….who isn’t you.”

4. If you’re reading this via email subscription, you may have noticed the header is half developed.

Trust me, I could go on but I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, it feels a bit like coming down a grand staircase in front of all your friends and family only to realize you’re not wearing pants.

Still, I believe these are moments that reveal our Truth. Sure it’s easy to feel great when things are working. The real test is how you feel when they’re not. And since we act based on how we feel, this is where paying attention to what we’re telling ourselves makes all the difference.

Knowing the very trajectory of my career is riding on this launch, could I stew over the situations above (and more) and get worked into a tizzy? Sure, but why? What’s done is done and getting torqued over the past only distracts me from focusing on how to make the best of the present. In other words, the more time I spend stewing over shipped books, wishing it had been me in the studio, or wondering about a negative first impression I may have created in the mind of a potential reader – the less time I have to actually DO something about those things.

Here’s an example: I had a former colleague email me saying her book arrived over the Christmas holiday. “I thought you said this was coming out in late January?” she wrote.

At this point I have a choice in how I respond.

I could start punching the keyboard, e.g. “I know! It’s totally insane. The book is shipping early and the website isn’t ready! So pissed!” OR I could simply write, “That’s awesome! Must have arrived in stock early. If you don’t mind, would you be kind enough to post a review on Amazon when you finish reading…”

Problems are only as complex as you make them – and when you allow what’s wrong to hijack your mind, you lose the perspective and sound judgement you need to make it right. So while of course I’m disappointed the launch hasn’t gone as planned, I still have a great book out and, well, that isn’t so bad.

P.S. If you’ve read this far, you know I (clearly) need your help. If you’d like to support the release of Who Says It’s a Man’s World, here’s what you can do.

1. Purchase copies for yourself and your career-minded girlfriends. I’m even giving away 30-minute mentoring sessions to anyone who buys 20 or more books. Since I *never* do one-on-one coaching, this is a good deal.

2. If you have a copy, post a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. These reviews make a huge difference to potential readers.

3. Spread the love! Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram….share the book on your social networks and encourage others to do the same.

P.S.S. Thank you so much for your support. It’s thinking about this group and your emails, calls, online shout-outs, and career progression that reminds me I’m already doing what I love – kickass launch or not.

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