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Learning to Launch! 3, 2, 1 Hold my coffee!

I made it through my first ever book launch. It was definitely a day of ups and downs. The best part of the day absolutely had to do with every person present. I had people attend I hadn’t seen in years. I also had new people, from the writing and online community come that I had never seen or talked to face to face. It really was simply fantastic to put names to faces and catch up. What was even more amazing, simply came down to the fact that people were interested in my book and me. Me, the girl who is constantly doing everything new and unpolished. People were so helpful in catching simple errors that first time I had made and were kind and helpful to let me know, without being judgemental. Having help and support is a gift in itself.

I made so many mistakes. The plan went out the window a bit and I was glad I wasn’t running this by myself. I had the help of a very wise friend and thank goodness for her because she helped save the day in more ways than one.There were some last minute cancellations and that's okay because life happens. I am glad for the smaller than expected turn out because I was learning so much. So even though I ended up with less traffic to my website and less instant book sales, I got to connect and have time with those that came. This way they didn’t feel like just another number in a large group. I got a chance to talk directly to kids who came to listen. And kids are who I write for. I liked that they felt seen and heard as well.

My biggest complaint about the event was the technology. I knew something was going to go wrong and it did. 5 minutes before the first book launch party my internet crashed. Completely. I was devastated. I knew I was going to lose people because I was late to my own event. People only wait so long and these were people from the writing community that mattered to me. Not to say others don’t, but these are people that helped me get started and people that I had started to build a great online presence with. So yes they mattered to me. I was in tears up until the moment I sat at the computer when the internet was back up . Our internet is notorious for crashing when important moments come up and this was my biggest worry. I am usually calm and collected; but today I was not when I called the provider and said, “ just fix it now”. And then the heavens opened up and it was working again.

I also had never used zoom before and even while watching tutorials I was still lost. My very good friend, also my emcee, came to the rescue and knows how to solve the problems. If not for her the tech would have remained unworkable. So thank you to her. I also had issues with my website and the links to the after party not working and rerouting people to my instagram account. Yikes. I lost people for the after party because of this. I quickly tried to message and email everyone. Some guests managed to get in and visit. So I learned. From now on all links for future zoom events will be sent via email only, or at least until I am more experienced

At the end of it all, I was tired, but I was really happy. I made it through 2 launches in one day. Problems happened and with help, I maneuvered through them. Great people came. My book was purchased and extra reviews were placed on Amazon. Honestly the reviews simply made me smile. and feel good. I know I will get better at this. If you are an author and having your first launch here is some advice: 1- something will go wrong and you will get through it. 2- have a plan, but remember it's a guideline and not set in concrete. 3 - Have a team run the event with you. If I didn’t have others helping me it would have not been a great day. 4 - Invite everyone and send lots of reminders leading up so people don’t forget. 5 - Run through your entire program with your team beforehand to work out the kinks. 6 - Record your event and take pictures. I forgot to record because of the distractions of the tech problems, and I wish I had recorded it. I remembered to take a picture at the last minute. One is better than none, but more would have been better. Stay hydrated and have fun.

You will have nerves, but the people there are your people and they are so glad to have been included, they are on your side. And sometimes the people that don’t show, you may have dodged a bullet. So it happens for a reason and it's not personal.

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