Episode 180: When Launching Goes Wrong: A BTS Look at My Book Launch

October 3, 2023

Chasing Simple Marketing


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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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The Chasing Simple Content Planner

After more than a year of preparing to bring this book into the world, it’s finally here and the book launch didn’t go as planned.

When A Book Launch Goes Wrong

I love nothing more than a good launch recap episode, and chatting about what went well, what didn’t, and where I hope to improve in the future. So today I’m taking you behind the scenes of the launch of my book – Chasing Simple Marketing.

After more than a year of preparing to bring this book into the world, it’s finally here and the launch … well it didn’t go as planned. In fact, it went horribly wrong. And yet, it was still a huge success as far as the numbers go.

Why is that, and how did that work out? Join me for a stroll down launch lane and I’ll share exactly why things worked out despite an awful launch.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Really quickly, before we dive into this episode – I just HAVE to share something I’m really excited about with you. My book, Chasing Simple Marketing, is launching this July. I wrote this book for the business owner that stumbled into entrepreneurship because they were following their passion. But without that Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or background in business, they find marketing overwhelming and frustrating. Throughout these pages, I’m going to take you on a simplicity-focused journey to improve your content marketing and you’ll walk away with an actionable plan to simplify your marketing, so that you can fit your marketing into your business, without it taking over your business. To learn more about how to grab your copy, and even potentially get on the launch team head over to amandawarfield.com/book/ See you there!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by the Chasing Simple Content Planner and you can grab your own at amandawarfield.com/planner/
  • This week’s action step: When you’re creating something, don’t let fear of it not happening keep you from sharing. In fact, this week – share something you’re working on behind the scenes and tag me!
  • This week’s book recommendation: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield

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Have a comment about today’s episode, or a topic you’d like to suggest for a future episode? Shoot me an email over at hello@amandawarfield.com!

Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate

I love nothing more than a good launch recap episode, and chatting about what went well, what didn’t, and where I hope to improve in the future. So today, I’m taking you behind the scenes of the launch of my book, Chasing Simple Marketing. After more than a year of preparing to bring this book into the world, it’s finally here, and the launch, well, it didn’t go as planned.

In fact, it went horribly wrong. And yet it was still a huge success as far as the numbers go. Why is that? And how did that work out? Join me for a stroll down launch lane and I’ll share exactly why things worked out despite an awful launch. You’re listening to episode 180 of the Chasing Simple podcast, and I’m your host, Amanda Warfield.

This episode was brought to you by the Chasing Simple content planner, and you can grab your 2024 version at amandawarfield. com.

How do I find time to create content without overwhelming myself? Where should I even be showing up in my marketing? How do I come up with fresh content ideas? Where should I be focusing my marketing efforts? What is lead generation anyways and how do I do it? Are launches still a thing? And most importantly, How do I put it all together to market my business strategically?

Can I really grow my business without spending all of my time marketing? These are some of the questions that float around in your head when you think of marketing. Welcome, friend. This is Chasing Simple, where practical marketing strategy meets simplicity. I’m your host, Amanda Warfield, simplicity focused content marketing and launch strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Chasing Simple Marketing.

I traded in my classroom lesson plans for helping creative entrepreneurs sustainably fit marketing into their business without it taking over their business, so that they have time to grow their business, take time off, and live the life they dreamed about when they first decided to go out on their own.

When I’m working, you can find me working with one on one clients, such as The Contract Shop and Rebecca Rice Photography on their marketing strategy and copywriting, or helping my students simplify their marketing and launches. And when I’m not, you can find me spending time outside with my husband, Russell.

Reading in our hammock, watching GameCock Sports, traveling, or forcing our cats to snuggle me. If you feel overwhelmed by marketing, you aren’t alone. Many entrepreneurs find marketing frustrating, overwhelming, and simply an obligation. They know they need it, but they don’t enjoy how easily it can suck up their time when what they really want to be doing is the thing that they started their business to do.

Which is why I’m here, to help make marketing simple and less time consuming. So that you can spend less time on your marketing and more time growing your business and doing what you love. Each week I’ll bring you transparent conversations, actionable steps, and judgment free community to encourage and equip you.

So grab yourself a cup of coffee or whatever your drink of choice is and meet me here each week for love, support, practical tips, and advice on uncomplicating your marketing and business. Let’s do this entrepreneurship thing together, shall we? Really quickly, before we dive into this episode, I just have to share something that I’m really excited about with you.

My book, Chasing Simple Marketing, is launching this July. I wrote this book for the business owner that stumbled into entrepreneurship because they were following their passion, but without that master’s of business administration or that background in business, well, they find marketing… Overwhelming and frustrating throughout these pages.

I’m going to take you on a simplicity focused journey to improve your content marketing. And you’ll walk away with an actionable plan to simplify your marketing so that you can fit your marketing into your business. Without it taking over your business to learn more about how to grab your own copy and even potentially get on the launch team Head over to amandawarfield.

com slash book. I’ll see you there as I’m recording this it has been just about one month since Jason’s will marketing my book launched and if you’ve been around for a while, you know that I love I love live launches. I love figuring out the best pieces of the puzzle to put together. I’ve got tons of podcast episodes about launching.

I absolutely love launching. And I also really love planning and preparing well for my launches. I am. Always 100 percent scheduled out before a launch. I love being able to enjoy a launch. I love being able to give myself space during launch. I, I’m a big pro of really being prepared for your launch. Now, this launch was no different.

I have been planning for this book release for over a year, and I was not only doing all of the things for the project. The book. But also the launch, and really prepared and ready to go for this launch. My launch did not go as planned, and I don’t mean that as far as sales. The sales, which we’ll get to, were really great.

I was really, really happy with the success of the launch. But I mean the launch itself, the launch activities, the behind the scenes, it just did not go as planned. So, what went wrong? Well, I launched the book on my 30th birthday, July 26, and for my 30th birthday, we took a massive trip that was incredible.

We flew out to Seattle, we spent about a week with our friends in Washington, and then we saw Taylor Swift in Seattle, which was incredible. The day after we saw Taylor Swift, we flew down to Disneyland for three days because we were doing this whole West Coast trip. So we spent three days at Disneyland.

Ending on my birthday. On my birthday, we were supposed to take a red eye home that night and land back in South Carolina the day after my birthday that next morning. Well, the day of my birthday, the day of the launch, everything had gone great up until that point. I was prepared. You know, I had, because I was on East Coast time, I was getting up early each day and getting like two hours of work in to help prepare for the launch while we were in Washington.

All of that went really, really well. I was on top of things. I wasn’t feeling behind. I was feeling pretty good. I woke up on my birthday, and I felt like I had a cold. And I was like, man, that’s awful. Like, I’m not feeling great. Um, I asked my husband and my sister, who all three of us were sharing a hotel room, I asked them if they felt like they had a cold, and they said no.

And I was like, oh, okay, well, whatever. We get going, we pack up, because again, we had to check out and go into the park, and we were going to leave that night. We pack up, as I start moving around, I start feeling better. Great. We are then standing in line for rope drop at Disneyland, and You know, my body’s kind of like, hurting, and I chalk it up to, well, we did the entire three hour Taylor Swift concert, plus all of the getting there and leaving and all of that, and standing and jumping and dancing, and then immediately flew to Disney, spent two days full out doing Disneyland, and now it’s the third day and you know my body’s tired.

So, once again, I look at my husband, Russell, and my sister, and I go, Hey, do you guys hurt? Like, is your body hurting? And they were like, Eh, I mean, I guess kind of, but not really. And you know, I’m just again, I’m like, Eh, I guess this is 30. Like, feeling, feeling tired, feeling achy, my body hurts. All, all of that fun stuff.

Like, this is just 30. Within a few hours. I was in a ton of pain, I was really not feeling great, and um, come to find out, I had COVID. So, came down with COVID on my birthday on book launch day, which, you know, left me not feeling up to much launch things. Well, this was the second time I had had COVID. Last summer, summer before, in 2022, I had gotten COVID for the first time and Honestly, it was mostly asymptomatic.

I just had the slightest of symptoms, and it didn’t last very long, and I was, you know, up and about pretty quickly. This year, that was not the case. I was down hard for a week, and I mean There was no, I’m the kind of person that like, if I can sneak work in, I’m gonna sneak some work in. I didn’t even think about work.

There was, there was nothing. I mean, I was just struggling. And so that entire launch week, I am sick, sick. I’m not getting any work done. I’m not doing anything. I’m like re sharing things on stories and that’s really it. And then, while I still had COVID, I’m not healed yet. I am still sleeping in our guest room, like I’m not interacting with Russell at all.

We are staying, you know, more than six feet apart. I’m not even really going in the rest of the house at all. My grandfather dies. And, um, yeah, it, well just suffice to say it was How quickly it happened was a surprise. We certainly weren’t expecting it to be then. We’d known his health was declining for a few months now, but it just the timing of it was shocking and the decline was quick at the end and our family’s very close and so that Was hard.

There was a lot of grief. There still is. Obviously, it hasn’t even been a month. Um, But all that being said, I had planned to take two weeks off and realistically I was taking two weeks off from client work, but I had only planned to take a couple of days off Just those like few, like the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, really That was it, and the 23rd was a Sunday.

The week before that, I was still doing a little bit of work here and there. I was still getting in like 2 or 3 hours each morning, and I had planned on the 27th to jump right back in once we got home. Well, I ended up taking closer to 4 weeks off of work and just kind of doing the very, very, very bare minimum for four weeks because of the trip and getting COVID and then my grandfather dying.

So in that sense, the launch did not go as planned because I certainly had not planned to get sick or to lose my grandfather at that time. And I, I had very different plans. For what I was anticipating with this launch. So my original plan, again, earlier I mentioned project versus actual marketing, right?

So project part of any launch is the creation or updating of whatever it is that you’re selling. In this case, that was the book. The marketing part is, you know, all of the launch initiatives that you’re doing to Send emails, get, get out there, basically. So in this case, my original plan for the project part of the launch was to release all four versions back to back to back.

So my plan was to on launch day, well, really before launch day, I was pre launching and pre selling the hardcover version and the Kindle version. The goal was to have both of those ready to go, starting to get sent out like up and ready on the 20. Six on launch day and then you know all of the hype of the launch was supposed to like help with that Then the following week I was gonna release the paperback and then the week after that the audiobook and so basically my plan was to use this like rolling momentum strategy of Okay, these first two versions are available.

You can either get a hard copy or you can get A Kindle version. And, ooh, launch, exciting. Let me reshare all the stuff. People are buying it. People are getting it. Yadda, yadda, yadda. And then the next week, okay, well, if you didn’t buy yet because you didn’t want to pay for a hardcover, okay, well, the paperback’s here and it’s a little bit cheaper.

So, hey, if you haven’t gotten it yet, here’s the paperback. And then the week after that, hey, you want to listen? Here’s the audiobook version. And so the idea was basically just to have a good reason to keep talking about it week after week after week. And use that momentum on the marketing side of things.

I was obviously going to be putting stuff up on social media. I plan to show my face a whole lot like I do during any launch. I plan to send launch emails and, you know, send my launch team. I had an incredible launch team, send them emails every day with updates. I had a launch team, Facebook group that I was going to update.

And that was my original plan. Now I mentioned earlier that I am a huge proponent of scheduling everything out. For your launch and just having all of that content ready to go. So you can just kind of show up, uh, as you feel inspired, as you feel like it. And you’re not having to do a ton of hard strategic thinking during the launch because launches are tiring to have to show up and be so present.

It is exhausting. And so I’m really a huge proponent of scheduling everything that you can out and having everything prepared before the launch even begins for this launch. I purposely chose not to do that because I was so excited about getting this book out into the world that I really, I wanted to just be fully present and in the zone and be able to give, you know, real time updates and all of that fun stuff for the launch itself.

Well, with everything that was happening, it is not a shocker that none of that happened. I still, as I’m recording this, well, the paperback is now out, I haven’t announced that it’s out, the audiobook is not out yet, by the time this airs, they’ll both be out and you know, you can go grab them if you’d like, but one month later.

They’re still not announced and out officially, but I couldn’t ride that momentum wave. I couldn’t sit there and go, okay, well now we’ve got this and now we’ve got this. Like I had planned a full month essentially of launching and that didn’t happen. I also didn’t end up leaning on my launch team enough, which is such a shame because Truly, I had the most incredible launch team, and they were so willing to be so helpful, and I just wasn’t, because I didn’t have email scheduled out, I didn’t lean on them enough.

And that’s on me, because they truly were, it is an incredible, incredible, incredible group. I cannot thank them enough for all that they did do. But I didn’t ask enough of them, and that’s on me because I didn’t have emails scheduled out. I also didn’t send any launch emails the week of I didn’t send any emails out the week of the launch.

And I had to end up going back in and basically being like, hey, I didn’t schedule my emails out, but the book’s out. And so it’s like, after the official launch day had passed, I did send out some emails and did what I could, but The whole launch plan that I had didn’t happen. The week after it launched, I sent an email to my launch team and said, Hey, we’re going to try this again.

I’m going to do like a real launch week now that I’m better. But with everything going on with my grandfather, it just didn’t happen. And so I had all of these intentions. I had a plan and I just wasn’t able to execute it because I didn’t execute ahead of time by using a scheduling tool. So what were the results of the launch?

I mentioned earlier, I still was really, really happy with the success of the launch. Despite all of that, um, my goals were to have a hundred sales, 50 reviews, and what I ended up with were 67 orders and nine reviews. Now, that 100 sales number was kind of a number that I pulled out of thin air, which I’ve preached about over and over again.

That’s not something you should do. And so when I set those goals, I knew that they were a stretch. And that I was just going to work towards them. So I was actually really, really happy with that 67 number. I didn’t know what to expect, honestly, because I had never launched a book before. So that’s 67, thrilled with.

The nine reviews. Not so much. But again, that’s on me because I did not lean on my launch team enough. I only sent out one or two emails asking for reviews when I had this whole plan to like individually follow up with everyone. And there were a ton of people who had said that they were willing to do extra things for the launch to get in front of new people.

And I didn’t follow up on any of that. Which again is, I’m really disappointed in myself because I didn’t do that because I didn’t schedule things out ahead of time. Other really cool launch results that I wasn’t expecting I had someone message me one day in my DMs and go hey, did you see this and The book was number one new release in Joe direct marketing on Amazon, which blew my mind That was not a goal I was aiming for obviously when you release a book like secretly you hope for those things but that wasn’t something I was really doing anything to aim for other than just Talking about the book.

And so that was incredible. And then we also at one point ended up in the top 10 in home-based businesses category. And so I truly am thrilled with the results of this launch. I’ve also seen from the book, which. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this previously in an episode, but the strategy behind the book is the book is a marketing tool, basically.

And so my hope is that I go and I share about the book when I’m speaking, when I’m doing different things like that. People read the book, they buy it, they read it. I’m not really making money on the book itself. I make a couple dollars each time a book sells. But the goal is, is that the book, you know, it gives such a deep dive on.

All of my, my own strategies and my own processes and how I teach things. And so the hope is that, okay, I’m building the know, like, and trust factor. And then within the book, I mention a couple of different offers that I have. And the hope is that at some point someone will decide, okay, I really love what she taught me here.

I’m going to take the next step. And I’ve already seen results of that as well. So that has been really exciting. I have seen people purchasing different offers that I have, um, and based on. Tags I have in my email marketing system and coupon codes that they’re using. I can tell that they came directly from reading the book to those things.

So that’s been really cool too. So all in all, I consider this launch a success regardless of not really hitting my plans because Of all of the pre launch I did, that pre launch made this book launch a success. Without it, the launch would have been awful. From the very beginning of deciding to write a book, I was very, very open about it.

Before I even began writing about it, I started talking about the book and sharing about it. And, And doing that for so long, all that time I spent working on that project, it built a community around the book itself. And because of that, all of that pre launching, all of that seed planning for the last year, that’s why this book was such a success.

Because even though I wasn’t able to send out those launch emails, I had people who were such cheerleaders of the book, people who were so excited about it, people who shared about it. And it really made all the difference. And so, what I’ve learned from this? In the future, I’m going to schedule everything.

I will not attempt a non scheduled launch again, because it just doesn’t make sense. If I want to add real time updates, I can go in before an email goes out, because I know when they’re gonna go out. I have that in my plan. And so I can go in before an email goes out and update it, if I have the capacity to, um, and give some extra real time updates.

But I’m gonna have everything scheduled out, in case I don’t have that ability again. And I also learned that, yes, pre launch is very important, and planting those seeds. As early as possible is very important and updating constantly about a new project is going to make a huge difference in the success of that launch.

So, your action step for this week is that when you’re creating something, Don’t let fear of it not happening keep you from sharing. I could have easily from the very, like I said, I started sharing about the book before I even started writing it and I could have said, well, I want to work on it, but I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to do it.

I could have kept that from sharing. And if I had, the success of this launch would have been. Well, not, honestly, it probably wouldn’t have been very successful. So I want you to not let that fear of, will it happen? Will it be successful? Keep you from sharing about what you’re working on. And in fact, this week, your action step is to share something that you’re working on behind the scenes and tag me in it.

Okay. I want to see what you’re working on. I want to hold you to it. Let me hold you accountable. Share something that you’re working on behind the scenes and tag me. And if you haven’t grabbed a copy of the book, be sure to do so. Like I said, we’ve got hardcover, Kindle version, paperback, audiobook. We’ve got all the versions.

So be sure to grab one. You can find it on Amazon under Chasing Simple Marketing. And if you have read it, but you haven’t left to review, you It would mean the world to me if you could. Like I said, I am not quite at how many reviews that I would love to see there. And so if you’ve read the book or listened to it, it would just mean the world to me if you could leave a review.

Now, this week’s book recommendation is We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon. I… I have talked about numerous books of hers on the podcast, and I also, I believe the next few book recommendations are going to be books of hers because I went on a reading kick for all of her stuff. Um, so as always, just.

She’s an incredible writer. She’s so talented. The books are fun and cute and easy to read, so we can’t keep meeting like this by Rachel Lynn Sullivan. And until next time, my friend, I hope that you’ll go out and uncomplicate your marketing and biz.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, friend. You can find this episode show notes as well as all the resources you need to simplify your marketing over at amandawarfield. com. If you liked what you heard here today, be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode. And if you could take a moment to leave a rating and review, it would truly mean the world to me.

Ratings and reviews are the number one way that you can support a podcast and ensure that it sticks around for many more episodes to come. I’ll see you next time. Now go out and uncomplicate your marketing and business.

Hey friend! Just a head’s up — this post may contain affiliate links!

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