I have a confession to make.
I did not keep my writing log over the past two weeks. The truth is, launching Doable threw me into an intense work frenzy followed by periods of malaise, large doses of Netflix, and more frequent naps.
To circle back to my most recently stated goals, here’s how I did:
- Continue sharing the promotional content I’ve created for Doable and crossing items off my launch plan execution list – YES
- Write 2 more blogs for author community – behind-the-scenes of Doable – YES
- Finish writing my outline of my talk for Beyond Words Live Google Hangout (scheduled for Jan 28) – YES
- Continue filling out my lists of main themes, key points, and title brainstorm words for the WIP – YES
- Read / skim some of the other “competitive titles” and sample structural books on my list – MORE OR LESS
I was successful with my writing goals in large part because I kept them simple and not too ambitious. I knew that launching Doable was going to be a bear (and it was) and so I didn’t unnecessarily fill up my plate.
Today I’d thought I’d recap the days surrounding the launch of Doable and share with you what I actually did in this last big push. Next week I’ll fill you in on my new plan for the WIP, because oh yes indeedy I do have a plan.
The release of DOABLE on January 20 was a happy day as it marked the end of a lengthy pre-release publicity period and the formal beginning of the next phase. Plainly put, the “big” pressure was off. And it felt really good to be able to say “the book is HERE!” instead of “the book will be here SOON!”
On the same day as the Doable release, updated editions of my books In Their Shoes and Chill were also published, both of which I’d done substantial rewrites for and had fresh, new interiors and cover designs.
It was kind of like giving birth to triplets. Except not really.
Still, the DAY that something comes out is a very important day. It’s the big birth announcement. It’s the day many people for the first time will choose to read about the book or click through to an online bookstore and make a purchase. It’s the day people want to celebrate with you. So it was important that I capitalize on this built-in positive energy surrounding my books.
For me, this involved a LOT of work on 1/19, the day before launch, to line everything up, and then a concentrated work period on launch day in the morning. Here’s exactly what I did:
The Day Before Launch:
- Wrote and scheduled the reminder email that would go out the next morning to all my advanced readers of Doable who had agreed to leave a review on Amazon
- Wrote a draft of the email I would send to all 49 of the women I featured in In Their Shoes, telling them about the release, thanking them for participating, giving them easy ways to share via social media, and letting them know about Doable
- Wrote a draft of the email I would send to the women I featured in Chill, telling them about the release, thanking them for participating, giving them easy ways to share via social media, and letting them know about Doable
- Wrote and scheduled emails to all my lists announcing the release of Doable
- Went through my FB groups and made a list of groups where I could share the launch news
- Went through my list-serves and made a list of groups I could share the launch news with
- Made a list of everything I needed to do the following morning and laid it neatly atop my desk
- Sent out the In Their Shoes announcement email individually to all 49 women (used Text Expander, which definitely sped this process up!)
- Checked to make sure the email to my group of Amazon reviewers went out and proceeded to obsessively check Amazon to see when / if reviews were posted
- Went through my website and updated all the pages and links that referred to Doable, In Their Shoes, and Chill (getting rid of all “coming soon!” references, updating Amazon buy links, etc.)
- Updated my automated response emails for my author community list to get rid of pre-publication references about Doable
- Posted the news on the appropriate Facebook groups
- Wrote emails / posts to appropriate list-serves
I finished these launch day morning activities by 11am. Then I went for a much-needed run which helped get the launch-day jitters out. And then my son and I went skiing for the afternoon, which actually turned out to be a fantastic choice for how to spend the day, in large part because I’ve never skied in my life and had a fair amount of anxiety around injuring myself. I was so focused on doing “pizza” so as not to speed uncontrollably down the hill that I didn’t even think about my Amazon ranking or how the reviews were coming in. Turns out fear can be a great distraction.
Instead, I let my son be the expert and take care of me on the last few runs of the day, shared some awesome friet met mayonnaise with him in the café afterwards, and got home around dinner time. And that’s when I began obsessing over Amazon ranking and reviews.
By eleven that night, I was toast, drinking a glass of wine and settling in for an episode of Breaking Bad with the hub. A last check on Amazon revealed I was in the top 10 ranking for books in two categories and had 33 five-star reviews. I read each of the reviews and came close to tears, overwhelmed at the response, at my supportive community, and that I’d made it through to the “other side” of the book publication journey.
And then I slept very, very well.
(NOTE: I followed Tim Grahl’s strategy for launching with 25 Amazon reviews to the letter and had great success. Here’s his blog post on the subject.)
* WRITING GOALS FOR THE COMING WEEK *
- Get ORGANIZED on my various projects and initiatives and come up with a 3-month plan / map
- Write a blog post for author community, continuing my behind-the-scenes look at Doable
- Continue filling out my lists of main themes, key points, and title brainstorm words for the WIP and do the beginnings of an OUTLINE
- Come up with another plan for my Doable interview series (Skype is being troublesome) and set up a plan for continuing
- Choose ONE of my big social media tools to put energy into (Pinterest, SEO, etc.)
* * *
I hope you enjoyed this installment of Writer Unplugged! If you aren’t already on my email list, I encourage you to sign up below so you don’t miss any of the series!