The Blog

Lessons of launching a book – 12 months on

It’s one year today since my first ever book, Position Me, went to #1 and to be honest, it feels like a lot longer. Or maybe a lot has happened? Perhaps two things can be true.

One year ago my book was at #1 in 26 countries and I was nursing a bit of a hangover after one hell of a party. We old THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of books in the first 34 hours. We maintained #1 for weeks.

With all that being said, 2019 has been a massive year and I wanted to take some time and reflect on the things I have learned since writing a book and how things have changed.

1.       I had more support than I thought I did

At first, understandably, you can feel hesitant in putting yourself out there publicly as you need to when you are trying to break Amazon Best Seller status. It’s a formula designed to change algorithms but it means you need to mobilise people to help you reach #1. You need to ask every single person around you, leverage every relationship and ask every contact you have. Personally, I’m not great at asking for help but in this situation I actually had to.  

And what blew me away was that I had way more support than I thought I did. People happily purchased the book and shared it to their network. But it went deeper than that.

People I hadn’t heard from in years reached out and congratulated me. I had chocolates and bunches of flowers delivered to my house.

People were excited for me and they wanted to be part of my journey and success.

To this day I remember this support and I will be eternally grateful.  

2.       I’m taken more seriously

I network regularly and there is definitely a moment where someone says your name followed by ‘best-selling author’.

It has shortened touch times before someone purchases from me.  It has positioned me as an expert. I’m more welcome in the boys club.

3.       I did not become rich by selling the book. But I made money!
Let me be super clear here – self publishing a book does have an outlay cost for graphics, designs, printing fees… etc.

These things will add up and it does take time to recoup the cost of the book and on average can be about 9-12 months in book sales alone. However, having a book has made me money. It’s given me the positioning expertise. It gave me speaking opportunities, it gave me credibility. In truth, my book SOLD ME.

4.       Other people are going to have real feelings about this.  

Let me be clear that 99% of people were incredibly amazing about the book release but there were some really surprising things that also went down.
Here are just a few things that went down that surprised me.

One family member got annoyed at me for a joke.   
An old roommate sent me a critique and feedback sheet and a list of typos.
A political leader reached out to me and purchased 10 copies for their staff members for Christmas. 
A business contact threatened a legal injunction. 
Multiple people purchased the Kindle copy, the hardcopy and the audiobook one at the same time. Bless you all.
Multiple people asked me for a free copy. (NO.)

5.       Professionally, it was worth every part of blood, sweat and tears

I’m not going to lie and say writing a book is easy. It’s not. In the preface I openly talk about this feeling like taking a hammer to a brick wall. Writing is hard, someones amazing but usually not. What it is, is formulaic. It is typing 50,000 words. It is consistency every single day and having some champions in your corner who are supporting what you are doing.
But, it was the BEST thing I could have done to position myself as an expert.

I’m not saying that every single person reading this email needs to write a book, but if you think its something you want to do – I cannot recommend it enough.

If you are currently looking into it – reply with I WANT TO WRITE A BOOK and I’ll send you a checklist and a document that can help.

JA x

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