By Nichole Giles
I bet you’re wondering about the launch party for Mormon Mishaps and Mischief. Did it go well? Did we sell a lot? Did we have a good turnout? The answer to all three questions is yes. We had a huge turnout, we sold out of Barnes and Noble’s stock and most of our personal stash as well, and by the end of the night, the store manager was practically our new best friend.
I’d say that means it went well.
But that’s not what I really want to talk about. Instead, I think I’d rather think about why it went so well. I’d like to take all the credit for putting out a highly demanded book—well, okay, half the credit. I’ll give Cindy her share too. But really, I think it has more to do with advertising, word of mouth, and loving, supportive people. Not because they bought all the books, but because to spread the word for something like this, it takes many participants. And we had lots of help in that department.
Posters and invitations can do a lot to bring people in, but word of mouth travels faster and has better potential to pique the interest of an individual. Plus, it gives off a personal vibe that paper just can’t accomplish. So here’s what we did. Cindy and I each basically told everyone we knew, and then we kept telling those people, who told other people, who told others and the thing fanned out from there. We Facebooked, Twittered, and blogged. And we promised treats and prizes. (Which definitely helped.)
After three signings in two weeks, I’ve learned a lot. (To read about some of the things I learned, click here.) But of all the lessons I’ve picked up and stuck to over the past few years, one sticks out in my mind. Networking is key. Networking is key. Networking is a really, really, really, important, big deal. I’ve never been to a book signing where there weren’t several other authors standing around chatting. So, other authors will come to support you. Good. That’s how it should be.
But it’s also important to network with other people. At church, at work, in social circles, and within families. Because relationships = bonds, and as we form these, we also form a sense of loyalty and respect, and sometimes even love. This is what happened at our launch. People who know us from church, from school, from conferences, from jobs—our own and our husbands’—and family members all came to help us launch our book into the market. And each one of these people contributed to the success of our party.
Utilize your relationships! That’s what they’re for. And when I say utilize, I do not mean use or exploit. All I mean is invite people, and they will come. We had no idea how many people would heed that call until we were overwhelmed with them. So overwhelmed, in fact, that I missed out on getting pictures with some people who are very important to me. A fact that I’ll regret until I can somehow rectify it.
When you’re getting ready to launch your book, never be too shy to tell everyone you know, everyone with whom you come in contact, and strangers on the street that they’re invited to come get an autographed copy of your book. And then, when lots of people come, you will feel the rewards of all the many relationships you’ve nurtured over the years.
This, I think, is a key to success.
Have a wonderful holiday season, and until next time, write on.
PS Click here to visit the humor blog and see a funny video of Cindy and I dancing.