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book launch

Taking Time to Celebrate

What a party! The launch event was a tremendous success. It is difficult to describe how I felt seeing family, friends, former colleagues and new acquaintances together to celebrate the launch of Change with Confidence. It was overwhelming in a great way.

It looked like a 70’s poster where celebrities and music icons from all eras are combined into one image. This was my celebrity poster and I was proud and honoured to have so many wonderful people be in my life.

I had first discussed my launch event with the Wiley team in August. When I asked for advice, in unison they said, “Keep it short, thank people for coming, get off the stage.” It seemed like good advice, just like when speaking at a wedding. Got it.

I had thought a lot about what I would say in my speech. My goal was to thank everyone for their support. I also wanted to share what I had learned about myself and what I had realized about change management. On a lighter note, I also wanted to share some fun facts about the last two years. 

I don’t know what happened, but my son Sam told me that I had talked for ten and a half minutes. It only seemed like four. What were the Wiley folks thinking?

Thanks to Mel Barnett for the photos

Before I knew it, two and a half hours had flown by. The caterers were cleaning up and Ben McNally, the owner of this amazing bookstore, was packing up with his daughter. It was a great night. 

Barb, Sam, Charlie and I went out for dinner to end of the night in a perfect way. The Earl’s waitress even brought us a complimentary “book launch” family dessert, which we devoured.

It is important to take time to celebrate. This is not a strength of mine, but I am working on it. It allows you to thank those who have contributed to your accomplishments and strengthens you for your next challenge. Mine is marketing my book. With the support of my family and friends, I am ready to roar.

Thanks to everyone who attended my launch event!


Everyone’s Invited to the Party!

Launch preparations are in full swing: early-print books have been sent to reviewers, articles are being submitted to business magazines and blogs, and speaking engagements are being booked. 

The most symbolic event, however, will be the launch event. Not all authors have one, but it was important for me to do so. I am passionate about experiencing every element of my journey and this one, even though I wasn’t sure how they worked, is a big one.

So, what is a launch event? It is a celebration of a book being published by an author and publisher. In other words, it is a big party held for an author to thank people for their support. Books are there to buy and have signed but that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to say thank you with refreshments and good conversations.

Ben McNally Books, Toronto 

I am fortunate to have a great senior publicist from Wiley to make it a special moment in time. She selected a wonderful bookstore, Ben McNally Books, in downtown Toronto to hold the event. I laughed when I asked her and other members of the Wiley team for advice on what I should be doing at the party. All of them said, “Whatever you do, don’t give a long speech. Make it five minutes at most.” Ah, so this is like an author-book wedding. 

As I prepared the invitee list I thought “Who would be interested in attending?” I abruptly stopped this sorting process. My launch event is a celebration where everyone should be invited, even if we have never met. It’s a great networking opportunity, a chance to reconnect with past friends and colleagues, and a fun time. Everyone is invited.

If I have missed anyone, please send me an email to let me know (ph************@gm***.com). It would be great to see you so I can personally say thank you. It will be fun too.


Is Enough Ever Enough?

I find that strategy and execution don’t go well together. I wish it was different, but when I am planning I plan, and when I am executing, I execute. It’s not ideal because you need to do both to be successful and you miss opportunities when the balance is off. I realized this (again) when I stopped executing and started thinking about what comes next. I had been busy making final “typo” edits, discussing cover design options and loading content onto the changewithconfidence.com website. 

“Next” is the book launch that will be supported by marketing efforts by the Wiley team and me. My questions were, “Are we going to do enough to get the word out about my book?” and “What happens if it isn’t enough and we miss the critical launch window?” I am having a party and wondering if anyone will show up.  

Jane Russel once said, “Publicity can be terrible. But only if you don’t have any.” I was aware of authors hiring publicists but wasn’t clear what they did or whether it was a good investment. 

I asked a couple of authors with successful book what they thought, One author said, “It’s important to invest in the right publicist – a publicist with teeth who can build awareness for you and your book.” Right. Got it.

My initial discussions with book publicists have been intriguing. I am drinking in their knowledge and experience and developing a clear and realistic picture of how they can help. Now I am reviewing proposals and soon will be starting a new partnership. After a quick strategy session, it will be time to execute again. 

Each phase of my journey has involved experts that have helped me find my way. Why shouldn’t this be true for my launch? There is never enough marketing and promotion because you can only know the answer when it’s too late to change the outcome. That probably holds true for parties, too.


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