And that first discomfort rolled into another and then – go figure – all the wingeing anxiety centered itself around the biggest deal in my life at this moment – my book launch. Within moments, I could feel my stomach twist and my chest tighten, and not even the snuggling butt of a basset hound was easing me.
What matters is how you define success, not whether you get on the bestseller’s lists. If you hit the goals YOU want to hit, that’s what matters.
Now, I’ve never imagined Steele Secrets would rocket to the top of the New York Times list, and honestly, I don’t care about that. But I did have some concept of how this book would go, and it would be big. . . . I hadn’t articulated what “big” would mean for me and Mary Steele though.
So at 3:45, after I prayed and breathed and snuggled Mosey closer, I came to these goals as ways I will define success for my new book:
- Readers will enjoy it. So far, I’m on track for this one. Everyone who has read it and talked with me about it has found the book to be a good read.
- The book will get 500 pre-orders. I did set this goal a while back, but it wasn’t until a friend told me that one publisher considers 150 pre-orders to be really good that I realized I was ambitious here. Still, I’m sticking to this goal. (See below if you want to help reach that goal.)
- The book will sell 1,000 copies in the first two weeks of it’s release. Now, I’m fully aware that this is a BIG number, but I believe in going big . . . and also if Tim Grahl can do it, why can’t it? (I saw that half in jest. . . Tim Grahl is a BIG deal. 🙂 ) Still, I’d really LOVE to hit this goal.
- I feel good about the book’s content, design, and marketing. In many ways, this and reader enjoyability are most important for me. If I don’t have confidence in Steele Secrets, if I don’t believe it worthy of a few hours of someone’s time, if I don’t think it’s important, then what does it matter if I sell 1,500 copies by February 23. By the way, I totally believe in this book and feel great about the writing, design, and marketing processes. Woo hoo!! Goal reached!!! (For the time being, these things are cyclical of course.)
That’s it. . . that’s all it will take for me to feel totally accomplished with this book launch. Those are lofty goals, but they are achievable – and by and large, they are things I can control or help bring closer to fruition. It’s not a bestseller’s list, but really, I’m not eager to try and compete with Anthony Doerr or Ta-Nehisi Coates. . . in fact, I’m not eager to compete with anyone.
I just want Steele Secrets to reach the hands of people who need it, who will appreciate it, and will take what they need away when they are done.
What about you? What would you consider a success in terms of your writing? A publication in a certain place? A certain number of readers on your blog? Or maybe a few kind emails that tell you what you’ve said matters? All of those are awesome goals. . . . and I’d love to hear your definition of success as a writer.
Ways You Can Help Me Reach My Book Launch Goals
- I did a BIG Post on this last week, so you can check that out for some really tangible ways you can help.
- You can sign up for my ThunderClap campaign. ThunderClap works by combining the social media power of a group of people to do one big release at one time for a particular project. To make my ThunderClap a go, I need 250 people to sign up. When you join, you select the buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr, and then ThunderClap will post ONCE at Noon on February 9th on your behalf. After that, the link disappears, and you never hear from them again. Sign up here if you would.
- Tell a friend. I don’t know about you, but the way I find out about books I read is through friends. Mostly my friend Heather, who always reads great stuff. So if you would, send a link to the book to a friend who might be interested.