“You’re a total narcissist when you’re launching your books,” a friend once told me when I asked for some book launch advice. Then he went on: “But you have to be.”
My friend said these words as it came time to launch my last book, A Merchant’s Tale. The words stung then, because I knew they were true. They still sting. And because they are true, I intentionally approached this book launch with more gratitude and humility.
As you know, my book The Romance of Eowain launches today. If you’ve been waiting for it, you can now buy it on Amazon or through my online shop. But after so much effort expended on telling you to pre-order the book, it seems silly to spend one more blog post telling you to buy it.
Instead, I’d like to do something different. I’d like to thank all the people who made this, and everything I do, possible.
We All Need Community
There are three groups you need if you ever want to launch anything:
- A family. My family has been incredibly supportive throughout this whole process, cheering me on with each obsessive check of my Amazon rankings. And my two daughters have been quick to remind me that no matter how busy I am, there’s always time for an Avengers movie.
- A team. I couldn’t have pulled this off on my own. My team of beta-readers, book-bloggers and reviewers, and my incredible office manager helped me finish this book and bring it to launch without losing my mind. Our book launch team members have been early adopters and constant encouragers. And my partners have helped the book reach brand-new audiences.
- An audience. It doesn’t escape me that the books I write, the stuff I create, and how I make a living is all made possible by people like you who have given me the gift of attention. I try to not take that lightly.
In The Romance of Eowain, I wrote a story about unlikely love, about two people thrown together by the whims of fortune and politics. In my own way, I’ve lived that story in the writing of it. The lessons I’ve learned both in writing and launching this book are:
- Love is not boastful, nor proud. It requires a willingness to be humble, and grateful.
- Love is patient and kind. It asks forgiveness from us, even without speaking.
- Writing a book (and launching a book) is an act of love.
We all need people to remind us that we aren’t doomed by our greatest failure or defined by our greatest success.
We can only accomplish so much alone. Without someone to meet us at the finish line, the race is hollow and void of meaning.
In any undertaking, the work you do is only as significant as the people it impacts. And if you’re creating for your own amusement, the enjoyment you get doesn’t come close to the satisfaction of making something and seeing it connect with another human being.
For me, there’s something healthy about remembering that wherever I am in life, I did not get there alone. So today, we celebrate.
To everyone who pre-ordered the book and made it a success on Amazon, this is your day. To those who believed in the message and helped it spread, my hat is off to you. And to the amazing people who encouraged me, I am forever grateful.
Let’s Celebrate Together
As part of the celebration, I want to invite you to the following festivities this week:
- When you get a copy of the book, snap a picture of yourself with it and upload it to Pinterest. Tag me @michaeldellert and use the hashtag #RomanceOfEowain. We’ll be randomly giving away prizes to those who participate. If you want bonus points, write out a quote from the book and share it as an image (like this). Every day, we’ll pick a winner.
- Order a copy of the book (paperback or eBook) through Amazon and submit your receipt at the book site, and you’ll get a free copy of The Epistles of Eithne & Eowain AND The Wayfarer’s Guide to Droma. This launch week exclusive expires at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, 19 June, 2016.
It All Comes Down To This
So, am I a total narcissist during my book launches? I certainly feel like it sometimes. But do book launches have to be narcissistic? “I think…,” my friend continued at the end of our conversation, “You just have to show how much you love what you’re doing. Just show them the love.”
Maybe, as simple as it sounds, that’s the answer. How do we catch ourselves in the midst of our own ambition when we’re running so hard or so fast in a certain direction? Just love. Yes, I launched a book today. And if you buy it, that’s awesome.
But I want to make one thing clear: none of this would have happened without you. I don’t always know if I’m doing everything right or feel like I’ve got it all figured out. But when I’m surrounded with people who love me and remember to love them back, things tend to work out.
There is no better cure for narcissism and no better way to live your life — or, for that matter, launch a book — than to share it with others. Thanks for letting me do that.
Of course, I’d love your support with the book launch this week. But I couldn’t pass up a chance to express my gratitude. This day belongs to you as much as it does to me… maybe more.