Behind the scenes on my book launch

Vicky Shilling book launch

January 25, 2022

I'm Vicky Shilling

A wellness business mentor, podcast host, author and I help you start and grow a successful wellness business.

My magic is in being able to break down the practical and strategic parts of business building, coupled with helping you cultivate a mindset that supports those actions to get the outcomes you desire.

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For a while now I’ve been telling you all that I’ve been writing a book. And I have!

Across 2021 I’ve gone from vague idea to a fully-fledged plan, to a draft that got read by BETA readers, to a final edited version with a cover design that’s ready to head off to be laid out and printed as a real book.

Finally the date is creeping closer for the book to be released and shared with the world.

And naturally as I’ve shared the process I keep being asked – “when’s it coming out?”

This should be a simple question to answer.

But here’s the truth.

I have been feeling nervous about giving a date.

Why?

Because I’m not in control.


As many of you will know I am a huge advocate for doing things yourself in your business. I’ve learned everything from scratch through creating my own blog and learning how to market it, getting my own customers, running my own webinars and courses. I think it’s so important to understand how all these elements work, so that you can effectively outsource when you’re ready, realise the potential for the tools and be in control of what your customer sees and experiences of you.

I like being in control. When I say I’m going to do something I stick to it. I deliver. That reliability is important to me.

 However.

Publishing a book is a different kettle of fish.

Publishing a book and fully understanding where it needs to be uploaded to, what specifications the designer needs, how to establish a pre-order date and pushing the whole thing over the line to turn it into an actual book in your hands… they’re pretty unique tasks. They’re not the sort of thing I’ll be doing repeatedly in my business – I’ll definitely write another book, but I won’t be doing it every 6 months!

They’re all tasks I’ve outsourced – to the wonderful and very capable Erin Chamberlain.

Great!

Now I’ll be able to confidently know a release date as I have an expert on-board. Right?

Sadly not.

It turns out that as capable and knowledgeable as Erin is, even she is not completely in control of the release. It’s dependent on so many systems all working together – words and platforms I’ve never worked with before: Ingram Spark, Amazon, KDP, Nielsen…

That’s not including the fact that right now as I write this the designer is still working on the page-layouts, the proof-reader will need to check it all over and edits will need to be made and then it goes into an electronic system we’re at the mercy of. Lots of others to rely on.

And that’s on top of all the problems Brexit, Covid and Suez Canal blockages have created around supply issues for printed books. I’ve seen this as a major concern for other authors like Lucy Werner who’s latest book struggled to reach the best seller list when books weren’t being dispatched according to the planned schedule.

What I’m trying to say is…

I desperately want to give a fixed date for the release. But I feel totally out of control.

What I must do now is trust. Put my faith in those I’ve asked (and paid!) to help me and know more than me. Trust that they’ll do a great and efficient job. And that the book publishing gods will look kindly on us and the tech and ensure a smooth publication that goes to plan.

And so last night Erin typed into one of the platforms the book will be available on the release date: Friday 4th March 2022.

As far as we know, and with everything we’re working on, that’s what we’re aiming for.

However, until now, I’ve been reluctant to share that date with you.

Why?

When I dig deeper into it, what it’s brought up for me is that I feel scared to look stupid.

My reliability is crucial to my brand. I don’t want to tell you one thing and then go back on it. 

Trust and reliability are everything to me (you can read more about my values here). If you invest in someone (which is something I hope you’ll do with me one day if you haven’t already), you want to know I’m reliable and will do what I say.

I’ll also be sending out a press release to journalists about the book and that will include the date it comes out and can be pre-ordered. How stupid am I going to look if I have to go back to a professional journalist and say “oh sorry actually the date’s changed now!”?

But on this one, I’m not in control.

No matter how hard I fight, I have to accept that one possible outcome is that I’ll look stupid, have to say there’s been a problem or a mistake, and that things are changing.

It’s out of my control.

In all honesty I’m not good with looking stupid or making mistakes.

The coach I’ve worked with over 2021 Julie Creffield remarked this to me often: “Vicky, everything you do looks so polished and finished! I want to see you let it loose and bit and show some more vulnerability!”

Whilst I preach visibility and vulnerability to my clients and Just Start Now community, I do still struggle with it myself.

It might not seem like it to you but committing to a date for this book publication feels vulnerable.

Because there’s a risk it’ll all go wrong and I’ll have to pick up the pieces, reorganise everything and hope that it hasn’t eroded trust or made me look flaky or like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

The thing is, as my business grows, I won’t always be in control of everything. It’s a (slow) realisation I’m coming to. And let’s be honest, things do change. HELLO pandemic and entire world change, with all plans out the window!

Not everything will go smoothly. In life or business.

Not everything can be controlled. I can put in place as much as possible to mitigate against mistakes and changes. But ultimately, I don’t always have the deciding action.

Whilst I can’t be totally in control on this, I do have one thing going in my favour: if I commit to doing something, I damn well follow through.

This book is going to come out. The launch might be messy, the dates might change, I might have to go back and look a fool to journalists, but it is coming.

I won’t sit on it forever. I’ve started the process and I will see it to the end. To a book in my hand and on my shelf. A book in your hands and on your shelf. To be able to call myself an author.

And maybe, just maybe, being open to getting a bit of egg on my face and committing to a date will make being muddled more acceptable for me in the future. So that I can show you that giving it a go and putting yourself out there is more important than it all going perfectly.

In summary:

  • The book is (as far as I know right now) going to be released on Friday 4th March.

  • I don’t know pre-sale date yet but if you join this waitlist I will keep you in the loop.

  • I’m working on an exciting two-day book launch summit running across 4-5th March to celebrate the release. Fingers crossed this coincides with the book landing.

  • I am not in control of many elements of the launch. All I am in control of is how I feel and show up, and how I communicate with you all. I’ll do my best to make that reliable!

What do you think? Do you struggle with being out of control, or running the risk of looking stupid? Any words of wisdom for me? Let me know in the comments or drop me a message on social media.


Want to hear me and Erin chat about the book and the process of writing?

Listen to this bonus episode of the Just Start Now podcast in conversation with Erin about the book (episode goes live 31st January 2022).

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