A Right Tangle or The Right Angle? Part 2. Tips for a book launch

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Tomorrow is almost upon us!

In approaching the second event of my three part book launch, I continue here with the blog post I started a couple of days ago.

The three-prongs of my launch began in November with the live Igniting Souls Conference in Columbus Ohio, at which most of the first Author Academy Elite cohort presented their book.  What a thrill it was to stand on this platform with the shiny new published copies on sale!

Secondly, this week I am honoured that my author mentor, Kary Oberbrunner will host my live online book launch party. Kary and David, his business partner, conceived the Author Academy Elite programme.  It is undoubtedly the most high value comprehensive support and coaching package for writing and marketing your book that is currently available.

As a result, I had my book ready for market from scratch–within six months!

The third event I am super excited about is the live and local book launch at The Point, Doncaster’s Arts Centre, UK. There will be a crowd of connections, friends both old and new and access to a parallel photography exhibition all about young people’s unique hopes and dreams (their inner genius).

The blog post photo here is original work by a young artist Jen Teasdale whose series called “Restrained” speaks volumes of the frustration my book aims to disentangle.  She will be bringing her work along too.

Now, back to the fourth lesson of the list as I continue to share tips about YOUR preparation for a book launch.  Here are the seven most important things to disentangle during a book launch

  1. Have a reader rather than author-centric motive           √
  2. Follow the leader                                                            √
  3. Ensure external endorsement                                        √
  4. Over explain expectations                                              √
  5. Personalise invitations

    6. Multiply communication channels

    7. Trust and record the process

5. Personalise invitations

The fifth touch is obvious, yet demands extra special care and time to tailor your invitations in precise ways that may appeal to serve each individual you ask. Spamming is out (and illegal), group emails are lazy and a personal ask is always powerful. I will pour my efforts into this one tip as a priority next time around. What is really fascinating though is that some of the people you think will be excited are not and some of those you invite less intentionally are your best advocates. Grow the relationships with these especially.

6. Multiply communication channels

As a writer I am far more inclined to pour time into creating emails, posts and tweets and marketing materials.  I love creating! However, to have live conversations is something I have to be more purposeful about.  So I schedule all of this in a system I have learned that ties my WHY with my HOW. Especially when there are some parts of HOW I would rather put off.

7. Trust and record the process

And that brings me to why recording the lessons learned and the “hacks” for the future is so important. If I am totally honest with you I would have rather disappeared off the grid and written another book than executed a marketing plan.  That’s quite typical of a traditional author. However it robs the potential reader of an awareness that there is a resource that could speak straight into their situation and really HELP them. So swallow the false humility or the imaginations that others may believe you have a bad case of head-swelling .

Get your valuable story out there where it belongs!

Here’s that online party launch link again. Speak tomorrow?



A Right Tangle or the Right Angle?

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Well I’m into my first book’s launch (This one is online).   Like most things I have never done before I felt a little daunted at the prospect. Like most things, the learning acquired en route reduced any threat!

I mentioned recently that the completion and publication of my book felt a little like producing my first born. It has been totally exhilarating, quite exhausting and for a few weeks perhaps a little bewildering.

I was so grateful for mentorship through this particular “tangle” and so perhaps fresh from the process perhaps I can help you in a similar way with a personal reflection on the  seven most important things to disentangle during your book launch

  1. Have a reader rather than author-centric motive
  2. Follow the leader
  3. Ensure external endorsement
  4. Over explain expectations
  5. Personalise invitations
  6. Multiply communication channels
  7. Trust and record the process

Now to untangle yourself from any angle that sabotages even your very best efforts

  1. Have a reader rather than author-centric motive

There will always be someone who “just” missed all the action.   If you can still signpost them to the key messages sent out during the book launch and these still add value and relevance to the reader AFTER the launch ends, your content passes this test! So give your messages shelf life wherever possible. It’s always about the long view rather than a quick buck.

It goes without saying that today, a “service” focused business, a “value-added” service and even a long-life sound bite can mark one out as special amongst the clamour of BUY, BUY BUY!

  1. Follow the leader

When you have never done something before, nor done it well, find a leader in the field. One that has similar values, stacks of experience and wisdom. Stand on their shoulders and aim to make as much of your learning second-hand as possible! Why? Because then you have more time for your own first-hand experience. How else are boundaries pushed?

Or maybe you simply need to be time and resource efficient? Follow and leverage a tried and tested pattern. After all, who doesn’t want to be that savvy?

  1. Ensure external endorsement or credentialing

This leads on nicely to the fact there is probably no one who wants to see you succeed like a trusted mentor. They know you and can point authentically to your personal genius and frame anything you will want to say with credibility and honour. They are like gold, so similarly honour and value those relationships. Make sure you have deposited into them over time so that there is something you have to draw upon at moments like these.

  1. Over explain expectations

I must be honest, launching a book and using all the channels of communication that this could capitalise upon EFFECTIVELY is a bit of a jungle. If people are not getting the message, that’s “my” fault and not theirs.

I have learned that about 75% of my connections have been either nervous, or procrastinated what they needed to do to follow through on an Eventbrite registration or a freeconferencing.com dial in. Or they underestimated the time it took to understand a process. Then, by not following through in advance then become flustered in the moment of the event start time.

Maybe that’s a UK unfamiliarity with some of the systems, I’m not sure. However, I need to simplify How, When and Where I instruct readers to get on board with me. The onus is with me to make that EASY!

And there are three more of these 7 angles to follow that you should beware of. I’ll post these on the eve of my

Book launch online party,

at which MY Trusted Mentor (Kary Oberbrunner) will be investing his invaluable time as host and MC!

5 Insights from the Dawn Treaders (A rock climbing parable of progress)


Two days ago a remarkable feat of courage and endurance was accomplished when Caldwell and Jorgeson scaled the last few inches of The Dawn Wall, the sheerest face of El Capitan in Yosemite National park.  It is arguably one of the most dangerous and testing smooth granite rock faces in the world.  Although not the first to succeed at this climb they were the first to do so using only safety harnesses.

In other words the only equipment that lent them any assistance was their stiff shoes.  The rest was down to muscle power and fingernails. Now my only experience of climbing was of a portable climbing wall at a community gala.  I was stretched out, stuck fast and straining every limb within minutes.

I’m happy to claim to have more perseverance in my life generally. Though this often means it is harder to know when, is “enough”. So I am fascinated by the equilibrium we all disturb when we swing in life from pain to payoff and back again.

How and when are we supposed to know what to stick at and to set down?

And once we have invested all our planning and focussing upon a unique goal and set out toward it in earnest, we feel this dilemma at a cellular level like nothing could have ever prepared us. Except perhaps, climbing El Capitan.

Since I saw the news report, five insights about persistence have clung to me like those rugged climbers on their rock-face.

1. Some rules cannot be broken 

There is a point at which testing for its own sake becomes foolhardy. These guys were testing their ability to use mental and physical agility to conquer a smooth rock. What would be the point in testing the impossibility of surviving a catastrophic fall.

2. Always factor in rest and healing

Excruciatingly shredded fingertips need special treatment if you continue to hang all your bodyweight upon them. The climbers simply had to wait for their tenderness to ease.

Overcoming overwhelming odds requires patience and a pace nature intended.

3. You can always reposition from where you left off 

Sometimes they lost their grip. The climb could be resumed after a slip or a sleep. They did not return to base every time this happened and thankfully for them, as in life, if we take stock; all progress is incremental.

4. Work with the prevailing conditions

We must study, interpret and leverage all that we find going for us! Even where we least expect it

Climbing during the night hours meant that the conditions were cooler, hand sweating lower and friction enhancing grip improved.

5. Adversity is relative.  Make the right comparisons

Periodically the couple slept in a suspended aluminium frame tent; screaming high altitude winds buffeting and chilling them.  Do you think they were preoccupied with the vulnerability of a mountain face as a campsite?  No! I am sure exquisite relief flooded their aching bodies by day 18 as they sank into the cramped sleeping quarters on that rock!  What will grow your ability to accommodate or even embrace certain discomfort this year?

The higher you climb, the further you might fall, perhaps the tenser the desire to finish.

Check these five points and continue to focus on staying with the challenge you face now rather than the last or the next one, the last or the next breakthrough.

As long as you stay harnessed, get back, cling on or rest again, which will it be?

If you enjoyed these thoughts I would be thrilled to have you join my book Launch party online on 29th Jan 2015

Here’s the link for your ticket registration http://ow.ly/GW1kO

Create margins of error


I’ve been having a “conversation” with one of my Facebook friends this last week about a suggestion I seem to have created. That we ONLY learn from our mistakes. This has been taxing his optimistic nature I suppose.

Of course the truth is that it is entirely possible to learn from both successes and gains. But how many of us in the flush of some amazing breakthrough are arrested by success long enough to reflect upon its probable causes?

Speaking once, I pointed out that often only after serial disappointments, we come to a point of view that “I have nothing to lose”. Wouldn’t it be so much more powerful to risk everything while we DO have everything to lose? Isn’t that why we admire pioneers such as James Dyson, because he didn’t wait till he was empty to try his chances!

If we have to be desperate before we invest last ditch energy and commitment, our chances of success are slim. Successful people therefore learn to harness the human tendency to work to deadlines by creating a premature sense of urgency called strategic goal setting. I love what happens when we set early deadlines contingent upon other early deadlines because then we create margins for error, for reflection upon potential successes and even the everyday! And, of course, we create margins of error for error!

Take my last Sunday’s bonus call. It was a failure!

For me it was a first attempt following my book’s publication to virtually gather people I know and others I don’t. They would hear from me, the author about the story of Disentangling Genius and the principles I see in it for escaping Seven Knots of Frustration.

For good reasons I chose not to use my usual telephony platform. That meant despite testing there was some insecurity in me about how things would work. I made the mistake of relying on registrants to send me their Skype address in advance. Despite advertising, I didn’t reiterate that the meeting was in a specific time zone; one unfamiliar for 75% of the callers. And of course some people inevitably forgot about the call which was outside of my control.

That afternoon, just before the fated call, I had finished watching the film Source Code. I had thought as an ice breaker to talk about the film’s resonance with the idea of Disentangling Genius!

In the thriller, Captain Colter Stevens is sent on a mission to avert the detonation of a bomb on a packed commuter train to Chicago. Repeatedly Colter finds himself sent to the same point of time for a frame of 8 minutes in the re-run up to the blast. In each play-through he learns, slowly at first through trial and error and on repeat increasingly through deduction and inference and the power of hindsight.

Each time he becomes sharper, closer and closer to cracking the code as to where the bomb is and who is the bomber. Each reiteration brings its own complexities and nuances. The film is a fascinating insight of how life can be a subject of design or default and the messy mixture of both it often is.

Wikipedia references “source code” as programming primarily used as input to a process that produces an executable program (The input has to be compiled or interpreted).

Isn’t that like life? We execute a code we have been programmed to play out. However, the beauty is that within that frame, we are free to deduce, interact and experiment and therefore influence and impact. This is why some people consider source code an expressive and artistic medium.

Now that sounds like something I want to play through a few times! And so we see that we learn from our failures and our successes but only if we create the space to re-play and reflect.

Test me and see if I have improved on last Sunday’s mission and Disentangle Your Genius in 2015