5 Steps for a Successful Online Book Launch

You’ve done it. You’ve written a book. It’s been edited and proofread. The cover gleams. You feel a sense of accomplishment coupled with a twinge of fear. Will anyone read your book? How you get it in front of your future clients? You must have an online book launch, my dear.

Here are the five things necessary for a successful launch:

1. Great launch partners

Writing may be a solitary activity but launching is best enjoyed with friends—lots of them! You’ll want friends, family, and colleagues who agree to focus their marketing efforts on one specific day, your online launch day.

2. Set-up your launch partners for success

You’ve asked and they’ve said, “Yes!” In addition to expressing gratitude, you can help them help you by providing sample text for them to use as the basis for their email invitations to their lists. Also, you’ll want to give them branded graphics, Tweets, and Facebook posts to share.

3. Communicate

Sure, everyone’s stoked that your book is coming out. The truth is that no one is as excited as you (well, maybe your mom is). Help your partners stay engaged and excited by communicating with them throughout your launch day. Tell them how you’re ranking in the categories you selected. Ask them to preorder your book and take photos of them holding it, reading it, or opening their book box.

4. Celebrate

The process of preparing for and launching a book can take significant energy. Be sure to save some to celebrate with your launch partners, your friends, and family. Pop the champagne or sparkling cider and jump onto Facebook Live or a Zoom call to celebrate with your team.

5. Express gratitude

Thank your launch partners verbally and with a follow-up email or written note. Be visible on social media and give them a shout out. Include your editor, proofreader, publisher, and anyone who supported you on your publication journey.

Ninja tip: hire an experienced online book launch manager. If you’d like to chat with me about launching your book, schedule a virtual coffee date.

The Whack-a-Mole Approach

Have you ever had those days where you feel like you have a tiger by the tail or the tail is wagging the dog? Yeah, me too. I’ve noticed a particular pattern emerges when I’m in that state, and I affectionately call it the “whack-a-mole” approach to getting things accomplished.

Here’s how it feels in my body when I’m whack-a-moling: shallow breathing, lack of focus, jumping from one thing to the next in an attempt to “get it all done.” I’m sucked into a vortex of doing.

When I notice that I’m in that state, I do something you may not expect: I slow down. Go for a walk. Toss on some music and dance. In other words, I step away from all I have to accomplish and focus on being.

Why Step Away?

During my healing journey, I realized that I suffered from what Brené Brown calls, “Hustling for your worth” syndrome. More projects meant I was busier—and more stressed out—and the more I said, “yes,” the more I expected people to respect and admire me.

Yes, I became known as “Debby Gets It Done.” The bigger problems were I didn’t feel a deep sense of satisfaction or connection to what I was doing. I also burnt out. Big. Time.

I discovered that when I slowed down, I could hear my intuition. I could feel emotions and where they showed up in my body. And by doing so, I invited into my life expansiveness. I took projects that lit me up and worked with people whose missions turned me on. And my business grew, and—more importantly—I grew. My sense of joy deepened.

Imperfect Action

I still find myself in times where I’m living a “whack-a-mole” life. The major difference is I recognize what I did to get me there, I pay attention to my intuition and body, and give myself permission to slow down. Rather than playing several rounds of “whack-a-mole,” I might play one. Sometimes I catch myself picking up the proverbial mallet and stop the game before it ever begins.

That’s progress and not perfection.

Here’s How I Did It

First, I gave myself permission to take breaks when I needed them. I tuned into my intuition and body, which gave me clues. I honored them (and, consequently, my intuition has amped up and gotten much stronger).

I sat with my feelings and emotions and dug deep into why I hustled for my worth. I focused on how I wanted to feel, unapologetically.

Then, I celebrated when I noticed and make a different choice, regardless of where I was in the process.

Want to Know More?

You’re invited to schedule a free 30-minute coffee date with me where we can discuss when you’re “whack-a-moling” and what might change if you decided to do things differently.

Are You Stopping Short?

The 90s television show Seinfeld is known for how it changed conversations, and one can immediately connect with someone of like mindset by using phrases such as “sponge-worthy,” “master of your domain,” “no soup for you,” “shrinkage,” and “a dingo ate my baby.” Not only was the show hilarious, but it was also sticky.

There’s an iconic scene in a Seinfeld episode (“The Fusilli Jerry,” Episode 107) where Kramer stops short while driving George’s mother from a doctor’s appointment. George’s father freaks out and accuses Kramer of “stealing his move.”

In the context of Seinfeld, stopping short is when the driver is on a date and hits the brakes in a faux emergency and puts his arm out as if to stop his passenger from hitting the windshield when what he really wants to do is feel her chest. (Yes, it’s creepy and not in alignment with today’s feminist standards, but putting a protective arm out often happens when there are children sitting in the passenger seat, too—at least in my car.)

What does this have to do with your business?

You could be stopping short with your ideal clients.

Here’s what this looks like:

  • You develop a great program that will solve your ideal client’s biggest nightmare but don’t release it
  • You write all your marketing copy but never publish it
  • You start to second guess yourself (Hello! Fraud factor)
  • You gather momentum but abruptly shift gears to focus on something else
  • You do the do-si-do between options

Do any of these sound familiar?

I know I’m guilty of stopping short. A colleague of mine calls this the ‘busy bitch syndrome.’ Like when I develop great content or a kickass program but move onto something else instead of releasing it (anyone else?). Busy-busy-busy. I kept busy and thus hoarded my gifts.

Once I realized what I was doing, I had to make a choice: step up or step away. I opted for the former and put in place bumper guards to keep me in the game.

Here’s how to combat the stopping short phenomenon:

  • Commit to a launch date and ask someone to hold you accountable
  • Get clarity on your marketing goals, have someone edit your materials, and keep your promise to send the goods out
  • Create positive affirmations and read them out loud to yourself several times a day
  • Join a mastermind group of people who will cheer you on, talk you off the ledge, and support you unconditionally

I’d love to hear your insights regarding the stopping short phenomenon and how you’ve successfully combatted it in your business. If you’d like to chat about your marketing copy and how it make be supporting your “stopping short” activities, I’d love to chat. Click here to schedule time on my calendar.

How Trolling Amazon Can Increase Your Success Rate

Look up the word “troll” in the dictionary and what you’ll find isn’t very flattering. Trolls live beneath bridges. They’re either small or giant. Perhaps they smell unpleasant.

One thinks these days of internet trolls who deliberately make offensive comments to upset readers. That’s not what I mean by trolling!

Another definition of “troll” is a line or bait used in trolling for fish. In this analogy, your ideal clients are the fish, and you’re using Amazon to see what kind of bait they want or need.

In other words, you can use Amazon to see what has been written and published for your ideal clients—and what gaps exist.

For example, let’s say you’re a health coach and you want to figure out what your ideal clients want to read that hasn’t been written. Visit amazon.com, perform a search for book titles related to health coaching or holistic health. Then, click on books which fit your niche.

Scroll down to the bottom of each book’s page and focus on reader comments. Note the following:

  • What did readers like about the book?
  • What didn’t get answered satisfactorily?
  • List any topics or questions readers had.

This intelligence provides insight into your ideal client’s unresolved pain points, which is gold when it comes to writing a book that sells.

Want to learn more or dig into your book idea? Let’s have a virtual coffee date.

 

10 Most Inspirational Quotes on Writing

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved quotes. In fact, I have several small notebooks filled with famous quotes that I’ve jotted down over the years. There are quotes on my vision boards. Thoughts penned on Post-It Notes stuck to my computer.

I find inspiration inspiring.

Here are my top-ten favorite quotes on writing:

    1. “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” E.L. Doctorow
    2. “You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.” Neil Gaiman
    3. “If I waited until I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” Anne Tyler
    4. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov
    5. “Tears are words needing to be written.” Paulo Coehlo
    6. “If you cannot tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.” Virginia Woolf
    7. “Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very, and your editor will delete, and the writing will be just as it should be.” Mark Twain
    8. “A writer is a world trapped in a person.” Victor Hugo
    9. “When you start writing, the magic comes when the characters seem to take on a life of their own and write the words themselves.” Alice Hoffman
    10. “Where’s the fun without a little bit of risk?” J.K. Rowling

What quotes would you add?

If you’re planning on writing or have written a book that you’d like edited and published, you’re invited to a free virtual coffee date with me.

 

 

Open Letter to 90-Minute Books

Dear 90-Minute Books,

Thank you. Because of your writing, editing, and publishing style, I have more clients. They come to me after their experience with you, asking me to clean up your mess. It breaks my heart to see entrepreneurs so excited to share their expertise, anxiously awaiting the publication of their first book, only to have their hopes dashed when they receive a copy of their books from you.

Let’s be clear: I’d rather not clean up your mess. I would prefer that entrepreneurs have an excellent experience and feel delighted with their end product. I want them to be proud of having published a book that will change lives.

Unfortunately, your business model doesn’t allow for entry-level excellence. And that’s not fair to budding authors. At. All.

You create broken spirits and crushed dreams. You leave others, like me, to rebuild confidence, offer hope, and provide quality. I’m up to the task, mind you, though it ought not to be a “thing.”

Please stop publishing less-than-stellar books. Please stop telling people that a book can be written in 90-minutes. Or, at least, be honest that something recorded in 90-minutes will be a shitty first draft that requires significant clean-up before publication. Then, do what’s right and demand professional editing. And proofreading.

Visionary entrepreneurs are out to change the world with their revolutionary ideas. Why wouldn’t you support them in a way that ensures quality? Why would you make their jobs more difficult?

I just don’t get it.

If you’re a visionary entrepreneur who is less than satisfied with your 90-minute book, let’s chat. If you’re contemplating writing a book, let’s chat.

The Art of Practice: soft-boiled eggs and writing

Recently, a dear friend from the United Kingdom introduced me to soft-boiled eggs served on toast. She made them perfectly each morning of her visit and, upon request, taught me her secret. The variables in making a perfect three-minute egg include egg size and temperature, as well as when one begins the three-minute countdown (barely boiling or bubbling madly).

This week, I decided to make them myself.

I reviewed all her instructions and, for good measure, consulted The Joy of Cooking. My confidence was high. But that first effort resulted in a gelatinous, barely edible mess. My second attempt was improved with the egg white perfect but the yoke overcooked. No doubt, my third attempt will result in a just-perfect soft-boiled egg.

All it takes is practice.

Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you. ~ Simone Biles

Which brings me to writing.

How often have you been given a writing recipe to follow, which you faithfully adhered to only to end up with something that didn’t work? Your own version of an edible, gelatinous mess. Did you publish or share it anyway (after all, you used a tried-and-true recipe)? Perhaps you trashed it. Maybe you put the work aside and came back to it with fresh eyes.

How did you feel about the experience? Frustrated? Pissed off? Did the message that “I’m not a writer” get reinforced by your attempt?

Just like learning to make a perfect soft-boiled egg takes practice,  improving your writing takes effort. And this means writing regularly if only 10-15 minutes a day.

Clear the gunk.

One of my favorite ways to get rid of the jellied mess in my head is to write morning pages as suggested by Julia Cameron in her brilliant book, The Artist’s Way. The Cliffs’ Notes version of Cameron’s book is two-fold:

  1. Write for at least 15 minutes every morning. It doesn’t matter what you write, only that you do. Feeling stuck? No problem. Simply spend your time writing, “I don’t know what to write.” What happens is as you spend time on the page, you clear out the cobwebs. Every once in a while a delicious gem of a phrase appears as if by magic. It’s those morsels you use to craft meaningful prose.
  2. Weekly scheduled alone time to participate in a creative endeavor refuels us. These artist’s dates are non-negotiable. For me, my time can be spent coloring, reading, drawing, photographing, watching a film, viewing other art, walking, going to a concert, or browsing a new bookstore. What sparks your creativity? Brainstorm a list!

What ways do you practice your own craft?

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4 Reasons to Write a Book

I tell people I’m a writer and ­– most of the time – their immediate reaction is, “Wow. Someday I want to write a book.” They have a glamorized version of what it means to actually be a writer. Here’s a secret for your eyes only: you write.

That’s it.

Well, okay, maybe not quite. Yes, to earn the title of “writer,” one must actually write. But it takes a wee bit more than that. (And, yes, sometimes there is a game or two of solitaire. Don’t judge.) That being said, you ought to be working your way to a book.

Here’s why:

  1. As an entrepreneur, having a well-written and published book establishes you immediately as an expert in your field.
  2. Your book leads to other types of engagement, like speaking gigs.
  3. Imagine a potential client’s face when they ask for your business card but you offer instead a copy of your book.
  4. Writing a book builds your confidence, establishing you as an expert in your own eyes.

The last reason is probably the most important. It opens you to possibilities, which raises your vibration and makes you more attractive to your ideal clients.

What are you waiting for? I can’t wait to read it!

Should you want to discuss your book concept, you’re welcome to schedule a virtual coffee date with me.