It’s been about a month since I launched my 5-star rated, Amazon bestseller, Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career. Things have been a little quieter than normal in terms of new blog posts because after an intense three-month push to the launch week finish line (including many weekends working), I decided it would be prudent to scale back and recuperate. In the midst of following through on book launch events, managing my team, working with a whole slew of awesome new clients, and overseeing plans for a national speaking tour, I carved out time and space to decompress and catch my breath. I’m now feeling restored and ready to dive back in!
Here’s an update on what I’ve been up to, along with a few lessons learned from my book’s launch.
My team and I hosted three sold-out book launch events in the DC area. Thank you to Lindsay for coordinating all the back-end logistics of filling these events and to Rachael and Jodi for assisting me during the events. I also had a great experience working with Busboys and Poets, so a big shout out to the staff there.
I’ve received amazing feedback on my free Step-By-Step Career Change E-Course. (This course provides encouragement and weekly guidance on the most effective steps to take for a career change.)
“I’m now on Week 9 of Step by Step and the course is outstanding, and it’s incredibly generous of you to offer such a thorough and well-paced resource por nada. It’s ideal for busy people who want to make a career change and haven’t gotten a ’round tuit’. The encouraging tone of the weekly lessons and the bite-size assignments make the process feel doable. I especially like the supplementary videos.” – Step-By-Step Career Change E-Course Participant
“This course has helped me immensely!!! Prior to signing up for the E-Course, the idea of a career change seemed like such a daunting task. This E-Course, along with your book, have broken things down into much more manageable pieces, pieces I can complete on a weekly basis and feel good about – gaining confidence in myself and my ability to find a job that is a good fit for me and my skills/talents/knowledge.” – Step-By-Step Career Change E-Course Participant
Advance readers and my community helped to spread the word about my book resulting in 39 5-star reviews and an Amazon bestseller ranking. Thank you so much for your support of my work!
Now that book launch month is complete, it’s time to shift my attention to the rest of the year. The first year a book comes out is the best time to promote it, so my team and I are diligently working to spread the word about this resource to help people who are feeling stuck with their career.
The following is a bit off the topic of career change, but for those of you who are thinking about writing a book, I’ve included 10 tips for you below.
10 Tips for Writing and Promoting a Book
1. Know why you’re writing and who you’re writing to.
You can’t please everyone with what you write, and if you try you’ll surely drive yourself crazy. Instead, connect to why you want to write. Is it for creative expression? To be helpful? To entertain? Once you have that clarity, pick an imaginary reader to write for. It could be yourself or a client or a friend. Write to that person, and allow your unique voice to shine through.
2. Pick a timeline, and stick to it.
Books can drag on forever, since there’s always more that can be done or improved upon. So it’s important to give yourself boundaries. You’ll want to allocate some time to write, time to edit and finalize, and time to promote the book. Be realistic in terms of how much of a priority it is to write your book and base your timeline on how much effort you are going to put towards it each week. Pick actual time periods for each of these elements and write them down.
3. Recognize the need to plan your promotion.
A lot of people think that the work involved in writing a book is just in writing it. That’s certainly a chunk of the work, but I think an even bigger chunk is helping readers find your book. Give yourself time to plan and implement promotional strategies. People won’t read your book if they don’t know about, so take this piece of the work seriously.
4. Write an outline.
This doesn’t have to be crazy, but do take the time to think through the overall structure of your book. What needs to be conveyed when? Are your chapters going to have a particular arc? Set out these guidelines for yourself at the start so that you’ll have a general road map to follow when you’re writing.
5. Drop your judgment while you write your first draft.
It’s really hard to be both a writer and a critic of your work. During the writing process you’ll want to drop your critical voice and allow your creative voice to come through. Keep that ideal reader in mind. Sit your butt in a chair. Get the words out of your head and into the world. Allow imperfection, and keep moving forward. Later on you can go back through and make things better, but a ‘win’ for the first draft is getting all the way through it.
6. Involve your community in your book finalization.
Some amazing people helped me out with feedback on my book’s cover, title, and table of contents. Their insights were invaluable and gave me real time feedback on what I was creating. I created simple google forms where I requested quick feedback once a month as the book neared completion. It was so helpful. Thank you Book Advisory Council!
7. Set a budget for finalizing your book (if you’re self-publishing).
There are expenses, like editing, cover design, and interior page design (for a printed book), that go along with finalizing a book. You can do these things by yourself or with the help of friends or you can pay for support. You’ll be spending either time or money to get these things done, so make a budget for what makes sense for your situation.
8. Ask for reviews from advance readers, and give them time and reminders to read the book!
This is really important. Tim Grahl has a more in-depth description of this process. Make it a priority.
9. Look beyond your launch.
It’s great to launch your book with a bang, but all is not won or lost in the first week your book hits the market. Look out over the year following your book’s launch and consider how you can run mini-promotions over time to keep interest in your topic. If you self publish through Amazon, you have the option of running deals and free promotional periods every 90 days.
10. Let go of extreme expectations and enjoy the process.
This is probably the hardest step to complete. Most of us are familiar with what the upper end of publishing success looks like, but insisting on an external result from your work is a recipe for sucking all the joy out of the process. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Reward that work and choose to learn from and to be delighted by whatever else comes down the pipeline from your efforts. Good luck!