As you know, launching a book into the world is not your everyday occurrence. Certainly not something most of us do with any regularity. As such, we dream and toil over our manuscripts for YEARS, and by the time we release them from the privacy of our laptops into the big sunny everywhere, we’re a little limp, drowsy, slap-happy, and punch drunk. Ready to crawl back into the divine darkness of the cave and dance half naked in front of windows all at the same time.
It’s a journey, this writing path we’re on. As you can imagine and may have experienced, there is a never-ending list of details to attend to when birthing a book. As I’ve always told my clients, you’ll never get to all of the opportunities and don’t even try, or you’ll drive yourself nutball. But a few steps are fun and crucial.
You send early signed copies to friends and family, many of whom will rejoice in the gift, text you the kindest of love notes, and post social media shoutouts saying they’re proud to know you. What sweethearts! You will never forget how they went out of their way to make you feel valued. It means so much. With others, you’ll be too shocked to speak that some of your nearest and dearest don’t, won’t, aren’t cracking the book. Like maybe forever. (Say whaaat? Sorry. See chapter 9. You’ll thank me later. Everyone does.)
You write blog posts to your list(s), moving (hopefully) readers in your community to invite your baby into their lives and, please God!, love her enough to share their enthusiasm. Word-of-mouth is the holy grail, after all.
To that end, you craft (again, prayer hands) creative social media graphics in your spare time that others may like and post to their feeds, all the while checking and rechecking your Amazon and Goodreads reviews, even though you know you shouldn’t. Everyone says not to do that. “They” also say they never followed that advice either until they went batshit, and you feel better knowing you aren’t yet in that category as you check one more time. (My reviews, as of today, are primarily 5-star, so I’m still in the enjoyment part of this phase, but it’s early.)
There are bookstore events to figure out. ZoomCity has made this all easier, but not. Should you leave your house in this Covid age, and if so, where, or stay put? There is a world of places to visit if you’ve got the gumption and the cash. Same with media outlets to pitch yourself, TV, Radio, Podcasts . . . Which ones? How? Where to go full throttle? When to pull back?
I think about these topics daily, if not hourly, as I plan events (for you San Diego/Del Mar folks, here’s the first on the list, with more Southern California signings announcing soon) and will report back when I’ve learned a thing or two worth sharing. For now, I’m wondering for the hundredth time if mascara is enough to keep my eyes from disappearing on The Zoom or if I should try those false eyelash thingies everyone magnetizes to their upper lids in two seconds on Instagram ads. But figuring that someone somewhere has probably gone blind with those suckers, I’m a holdout for the falsies.
Some of you have asked the inevitable question every author gets asked from pretty much all angles of our virtual and face-to-face launch lives:
“Hey! How’s it going with your book?”
So, here’s my quickie wrap-up of just a few of the many magical details in what’s been the most beautiful few weeks. I’ll include a few pics below and link to my Instagram account too. (Thank you for caring! I feel you rooting for me as I root for you. Just as there are no one else’s children, it’s like there are no one else’s books.)
We hit #1 in a few categories on Amazon. A total rush when friends started sending me screenshots. THE Martha Beck had me on her podcast (swoon), and the fab Kate Northrup had me on for my first-ever IG LIVE. Wheee! I released a Pub Day Celebration episode of the Beautiful Writers Podcast with some of the rockstar writers profiled in the book’s pages. We’ve received so much love on Amazon and Goodreads that I’m feeling infinitely better about humanity (lol), and readers seem to be bonding with the book because they’re sharing the most stunning pics on social. My sister found the book featured face-out with On Writing, Bird by Bird, and The Art of Memoir at the iconic Three Lives in NYC. I’m seeing the cutest celeb posts and am starting to get fan art. Without a publicist, I just booked a considerable media hit I’ve hoped for a dozen years now (details when it airs).
Oh, and the writing podcasts—so much fun! I’ll be sharing a newsletter in the near future dedicated to those wonderful shows and hosts!
I’ve known from the start that Beautiful Writers is a niche book. Rather than being a HIT out of the gate, selling in massive numbers, my agent, publisher, and I decided early on that we wanted her to be a long-tail book. An evergreen. A back-list bestseller (touching people for many years, decades, even). Those books are often far more successful in the long run. I tried to make the storyline and contributor pieces timeless for that reason.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want or appreciate sales and reviews. (The holidays are coming! Great gift idea!) But it means I can breathe, knowing I’ve done the most challenging part and what I set out to do all those gazillions of hours of butt in the chair: write a beautiful book. The rest will happen in perfect time, whether I’m writing from the cave or dancing in those windows.
Write on. LOVE you, my reading/writing peoples!
PS. The audiobook rights sold at auction, and we’re on it! With all of those celeb voices mixed in with my own, we’re taking the time to get it right. But I’m excited to share the recording with you and will let you know an ETA when I have one.
PPS. Think you missed your window to get in on my awesome preorder bonus live call with Laura Belgray & me on Sept. 13th at 12:00 pm PDT? (Laura is an author, founder of Talking Shrimp, and co-creator of The Copy Cure, and we’ll be doing a deep dive on Beautiful Emails: How to Write the Only Newsletter Anyone Wants to Read.) You did, and you didn’t. The window is opening again. You are in with us by buying two books (cost: around $40). Laura hasn’t offered this training anywhere else. If she did, it would sell for $299 or more. But she doesn’t sell it, so this is your chance :).
When you purchase your 2 copies of Beautiful Writers by September 12th, email an image of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and my team will get you access to the party. We can’t wait to see you there!
More news coming. Have a beautiful rest of your day. LS xo