Join Kathi and Michele for Part 2 of “Rethinking Book Launch Parties.” They are joined by Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory who have recently launched their book, Exhale. The four friends tell you all about their recent 7-minute launches; the fun, the authenticity, and the tips for you to host your own 7-minute book launch.
In today’s episode, you will learn:
- The point of the 7-minute book launch (*hint, no need to overthink it!).
- 5 things to know about hosting one.
- The various ways to host it.
- The different kinds of launches you can have, it’s not just for books!
Links and Resources:
Drop a comment below and tell us, what is the best thing you’ve ever seen in a book launch? Whether it’s been done online, in person or even in the movies. We’re going to pick one winner who will receive all three books from our book launches; Relentless, Exhale AND The Christmas Project Planner.
To share your thoughts:
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Transcript Of This Episode
Read along with the Podcast!
Communicator Academy Podcast # 190
Rethinking Book Launch Parties – Part Two
Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Communicator Academy, where our heart is to equip and encourage men and women become the communicators God has created them to be. Joining me today is my cohost and the author of Repulsive, Michele Cushatt.
Michele – Oh my, gosh. I can’t even.
Kathi – So you guys have to understand. I have a history of getting Michele’s titles wrong.
Michele – Oh my, gosh. I can’t even catch my breath right now.
Kathi – I have a history of getting her titles wrong. I have not got her title wrong, accidentally, this whole time, but the whole world cannot get the title of this book.
Michele – Nobody can get it right. Nobody, so far, has said ‘repulsive’, until today.
Kathi – I just thought, you know, “A God that despises the sin in the world and only wants good things for you.” I am writing you gold here.
Michele – Wow. You are definitely my next publicist. For sure.
Kathi – Absolutely. I should get paid way more than I do.
Michele – I should be throwing cash at you.
Kathi – Throwing it. Relentless. Tell us the subtitle.
Michele – Relentless. The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves.
Kathi – And if you heard our last episode, which I really suggest you go back and listen to it.
Michele – It’s worth it, just for the last sixty seconds.
Kathi – Oh my, goodness. Guys, when we get together with our friends, here, and we’re in the same room?
Michele – It’s so dangerous.
Kathi – I know. The information is slim, but the joy is robust.
Michele – Abounding. It’s like the Garden of Eden, right here. Full of life and fruit.
Kathi – We’re here with Cheri Gregory and Amy Carroll, who are the authors of Exhale. Also, in the room is my mom and Moose, the dog. Then, Bethany Howard who is with Permission Granted and Permission to Post. She’s is hanging out and being our Woo Woo Girl over there.
Michele – I love Bethany.
Kathi – We love Bethany. What? She’s over there, rocking back and forth, ‘cause we’re talking about her. If you’re struggling with having the confidence to do the things that God has called you to do, we’ll put a link to Permission to Post in the notes. What we want to talk about today is book launch parties. I’m very sad that Tonya Kubo is not sitting here with us.
Michele – She should be here.
Kathi – She’s a great strategist when it comes to all things book launch. What we did this year? We’re all just tired.
Michele – We’re worn out. We are so thin. If our energy was a thread, it would be the tiniest needle and thread. We’ve got nothing left.
Kathi – Frayed. Knotted.
Michele – Frayed. Chewed on the end.
Kathi – It’s not pretty.
Michele – We’re just a little bit tired.
Kathi – We are. So, we decided to do something. We created something I’ve never heard of, but now, I’m so excited.
Michele – I think we’re calling ourselves the inventors.
Kathi – It is The Seven Minute Book Launch Party. Can I just tell you? This was such a freeing concept. It wasn’t that I had to do a thousand things. I could do a couple of things, and do them really well, and be done. Seven minutes is enough time.
Michele – I have to tell you, I was surprised at how effective it was. I had said this in the last episode, so if you missed it, go back and listen, but I had been planning on doing my first ever book launch. A big, huge book launch party. We were planning on renting a venue, getting it catered. It was going to be invitation only. It was going to be this whole very posh, very fun, very amazing event. I finally, just last week, cancelled it, because of the expense and the time requirement; how tired I am. I did not have the margin, both financially and physically, to be able to do it. It was very disappointing. I was very upset by it. Then, we have the Seven Minute Book Launch, and I thought it was a throw away effort. We did it this week and it was amazing!
Kathi – Here’s what I love. When we are doing our book launches, we have to be strategic. We can’t do all the things. I’ve heard of people going on road tours for it. Cheri wrote fifty blog posts for Overwhelmed.
Michele – Cheri is crazy.
Kathi – Cheri is crazy.
Cheri – I will never do that again.
Kathi – So, what we really wanted to nail down with this book launch, is to really take care of four things. You know what? I’m actually going to add a fifth to it, because that’s what I do when I think about things. I expand upon them. So, one: You want to hand out the book. Two: You want to tell a little bit about the book. Three: You want to get a great picture, where people are excited about the book. Four: You want to equip people, so they can share about it on social media. And five: I think you want to say ‘thank you’. We all did that, and I didn’t mention that before, but that’s what you want to do is say ‘thank you’. It’s not just to people who are in the room, but to your publisher, to the people who lived with you when you didn’t bathe for the last two weeks as the deadline approached. All of those things. It’s really an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to everybody who participated. So, we did three entirely different Seven Minute Launch Parties. I want to talk about what those looked like and we’ll be sharing pictures on the podcast page, so you can see what those actually look like in real life.
Michele – We should probably mention we have guests with us again today. We haven’t done that on this episode.
Kathi – I’m sorry. That is totally my bad. Go for it, Michele.
Michele – We have two additional people with us today; two people we love and adore so much. Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory, who just released a book: Exhale.
Kathi – I did say that.
Michele – You did say that, didn’t you?
Kathi – I just didn’t say that they were in the room, so thank you for clarifying.
Michele – Yes. She did mention Exhale. I thought you were going to call it Ecstasy. That’s a different book.
Kathi – I’m not old enough to read that book.
Michele – Sold by a different kind of bookstore.
Kathi – Oh my.
Michele – So, these are my friends that wrote the book Ecstasy, Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory. They’re sitting in the room with us. I’ll pass the mic to them, because I’d love for them to share what they did for their book launch.
Kathi – I think that’s a great idea.
Amy – Well, what Cheri and I did was very last minute. Kathi’s went first, then Michele’s. We were like “How do we fit in, and do something a little different?” I’m sure somebody will talk about how each one of these launches really reflected our speaking styles. So, Cheri and I are both former educators, so we did the educating thing. We tried to give some content; something valuable to the attendees to Leverage by talking about what we learned from our book launch.
Cheri – The thing that was nice about that is, I was thinking, “Should I run out to Trader Joe’s and get some drinks and refreshments or something like that?” But when we hit on the idea of just giving a little bit of background about how the book came to be, and the three takeaways about what we learned through the process, takeaways that anybody could learn. You didn’t have to be writing a book. It felt just right. It felt like just enough. They got the book, we celebrated together. We shared that information with them, and for us is felt better than a big party.
Kathi – To me, what you guys did was so ‘you’. When you’re talking about Exhale. Give it to me, ‘cause I’ll screw it up.
Cheri – Lose Who You’re Not, Love Who You Are, Live Your One Life Well.
Kathi – What you really did was take people on a journey. This is what it originally started as, what you called a failure, a book proposal that never went anywhere. You created a podcast and out of that came this book. It was so tied to the book, but it was also serving your audience, which was so important. When they came back into the room, the books were there. You told a little bit about the book. Tell them about the picture you took.
Amy – Well, Kathi has the most interesting architecture in her church.
Kathi – From the 1960s, yes.
Amy – We got in the old fountain, and Roger, our intrepid leader, got up above us and took pictures above us, like we were in this circular fountain. It’s very cool.
Kathi – It’s such a great picture. I loved it. Now, how did you help people share it on social media? I know you took a lot of pictures with people, and gave them the opportunity to hang out and do that, so, how did you encourage them to share it on social media?
Cheri – We assumed that they knew to do it after being part of yours and Michele’s.
Kathi – That’s okay!
Amy – We’re strategic like that.
Cheri – We shared our little bit with them, and then we let them go with God. We missed that little part, there.
Kathi – I was going to have Roger edit that, but that silence was Cheri’s deer-in-the-headlights.
Cheri – Cheri forgot. Cheri skipped a step. But here’s the thing. They are sharing. We didn’t ask them to. We didn’t remind them. I’ll tell you the thing I will do. I will go, as I’m seeing it show up in my feed on Facebook and Instagram, and I’ll comment and thank them, and that sort of thing. So, I know they’ll be part of an ongoing conversation.
Kathi – I would call yours the Organic Book Launch Party. It was so organic of who you were, what you did, sharing out of your own hurt, but then look at this hope that was provided. It was really lovely.
Cheri – The nice thing about that time limit, I didn’t have time to fall back into perfectionistic tendencies. Even though I thought, “Oh, I should go buy balloons.” There was no time, and there was no energy, and there was no need. What we did was just right for our particular book.
Kathi – Yeah. Wonderful.
Michele – The point of the Seven Minute Book Launch is to not over think it. That’s the whole point. None of us spent a fortune on this book launch.
Kathi – I bet I spent the most, and I spent $100.
Michele – Yeah, I didn’t even spend that. I made bookmarks.
Kathi – Right. Exactly.
Michele – There was nothing else. That’s the point, not to over think it, not to make it a huge production, but to leverage the enthusiasm of people in the same room, and the tight time frame. It’s interesting. It’s kind of like a race. People in a marathon have to run slower, because they have to pace themselves. But a sprint? Everybody can run all out. This is kind of like a sprint. You have seven minutes. It’s not hard to get a bunch of enthusiasm in seven minutes.
Kathi – And you can sustain the enthusiasm for seven minutes. ‘Cause we’ve all been to the book party where we’re just standing around eating bad cheese.
Michele – And there’s nothing worse than bad cheese.
Kathi – Okay, Michele, tell us about your Seven Minute Book Launch.
Michele – Like Cheri and Amy, I didn’t have time to think ahead to buy gifts or to do balloons or anything. That was actually a gift, because I would have overthought it and spent way too much time and energy. So, it was brilliant that I couldn’t. So, what I did was, first of all, I shared the book trailer for my book. I had already invested this money on this book trailer, so why not play it? That creates a natural…and I don’t have to talk, right? It presents what the book is about. Played the book trailer, did a little bit of talking after the book trailer, but then, my friend Amy and Cheri had the brilliant idea to record an episode of their Grit and Grace Girls podcast in front of a live studio audience. So, in front of our people, we recorded a very short podcast. A really short podcast, in front of everybody, that will then be repurposed later and sent out, but we got to record it right on site.
Kathi – I think anybody doing a book launch, doing a Facebook Live or a podcast episode? It just adds energy. The four of us are used to doing Facebook Live and podcast episodes. We’ve all done this before. Most people have never been part of something like that. Our audience was thrilled to get to see that live. So that was really exciting.
Michele – That was really fun. So, we obviously gave away the book, and we did a picture, but the other thing I did was do a book signing right on site. The reason for that was, people wanted to get a picture of them and I together with the book in hand. So all those pictures are now being shared on social media and I’m being tagged. I can reshare them, but it was all captured in that moment.
Kathi – Amazing. The other book launch we did was for my book, The Christmas Project Planner. I knew that this was the only thing I was going to be doing. You can’t really sell a Christmas book past December 4th. The life expectancy for a book about planning for Christmas? We’re almost out of time at this point. So, when I say I spent $100, let me tell you how I spent it. It was really silly and really fun. I bought 40 Santa hats. They were even better than I expected. They were cheap, but they stood straight up, so when people walked into the room, it was covered in Santa hats. Super fun. I bought a bunch of Christmas cookies. One of the people on my team, Sarah, who’s amazing, she did a bunch of plates with Christmas cookies. We put them in the middle of each table. We had a gluten-free table. We had some apple cider. We had the book on the table with the Santa hat on it. I told a little bit about the book. We did get the big picture with everybody wearing the Santa hats and holding the book. Oh, and by the way, my husband found a Christmas CD really fast. That brought energy into the room. It was wonderful. So, finally, one of the things that Roger did, super quickly, because all my best ideas come at the last minute. He created a webpage, a very simple webpage from all the graphics we’d already done and it was just kathilipp.com/launch. So the Amazon link was on there. The link to our Christmas VIP group on Facebook was on there. So, they didn’t have to sit there and type in a bunch of things, they could just copy and paste. When they were sharing about the book, they could share the Amazon link and they could share, also, the Facebook group. We got a ton of people who were added to the Facebook group that day. Our numbers dropped, in a good way, in Amazon. It accomplished everything we needed it to accomplish. It was so funny, because what Cheri and Amy did was, they’re speaking style is very educational. They are both educators at heart, really. I know you have strong backup styles, but education is something you guys do. Your launch was so educational, and I know that the people who were excited about it, and sharing about it are also those people who have that educational heart. Michele’s was so inspirational. Here’s this beautiful video of her walking along, talking about pain, talking about the purpose in our pain, and it was just exquisite. Mine was Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs. That’s exactly my speaking style. We’re just getting up there, we’re doing something fast, we’re taking a crazy picture, and everybody’s wearing their Santa hats. I just felt like it was a perfect representation of each of us and each of our books. Entertaining. That’s why ‘the crazy’ fits.
Michele – Alright. There you have it. These are our Seven Minute Book Launches and they were all very different and very effective. The point being, whoever you are, whatever you’re launching, it doesn’t even have to be a book, say you’re launching some kind of other product, or course or whatever, you can create a Seven Minute Launch for that product that totally fits your style.
Kathi – I would say this: If you can’t gather enough humans in the same room, do this online. Figure out a way to do it with some other people, and do it online. By the way, go to our podcast page, because Tonya Kubo, (who helped with all of these different launches) and I are creating a download for you. It’s a cheat sheet for a Seven Minute Book Launch, so you can have your checklist for everything you need. If you have a great idea for a book launch, or something you’re thinking about trying, go over and comment. We’re going to choose two people to win the suite of all three of our books.
Michele – All three books. Come on.
Kathi – Relentless, Exhale, and The Christmas Project Planner. So, you’ll be ready for Christmas 2020.
Michele – The Christmas Project Planner, Repulsive, and Ecstasy.
Kathi – You know what? I can’t wait to get those in the mail. My Amazon review for those is going to be amazing.
Michele – Amazing. Alright friends, thank you so much for joining us. You’ve been listening to Communicator Academy. I’m Michele Cushatt.
Kathi – And I’m Kathi Lipp.
Michele – You’ve been given the best message in the world. Now, go live it.
*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items
Meet Our Guests
Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.”
Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.
Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.
Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.
- Listen to others with love so that you can understand even when you don’t agree.
- Feel people’s pain with a soft and strong heart, empowering you to respond with healing solutions.
- Do good that gives credibility to your words and outshines a thousand clever memes.
- Speak into the battle of extremes with gentle confidence and Scripture-grounded wisdom.
You can find her at https://amycarroll.org/.
Meet Your Hosts
Author, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEO
Author, Speaker, Mastermind Coach