Episode 150: #NeverReady Mary Laura Philpott on the weeks before a book launch, regrets and do-overs

Mary Laura Philpott’s I Miss You When I Blink: Essays, launches April 2, 2019. (In a departure from our usual Indiebooks link, we’re linking to Parnassus Books–order from there and you’ll get a signed copy! Or support your local Indie.)

She’s totally ready!

Ok, maybe not. And Jess and I relate. If you’re a long time listener, you know I probably overdid it on my book launch (here’s the episode, along with the 8 things I did that sold books). Mary Laura’s been working all the angles too-but practically.

Here’s what she’s done: She made sure as many people had and could read the book early as possible, especially indie booksellers. (Who came through for her rather nicely–here she is heading up the April Indie Next list.) Her suggestion here is to get all the advance copies and galleys out there that you can, and make liberal use of NetGalley or any other digital format if you just can’t bring that off.

She kept her usual stuff rolling. If you get Mary Laura’s email, you know she would like you to buy her book. But you also still get all her usual great recommendations.

She’s directly asking people for things. Sharing. Coming to her book events (we’ll hear how those go in a later episode). Buying a copy and giving it to their cousin, their sister-in-law and their dog walker.

Here’s what she wishes she’d done: Truly cleared her schedule. All those loose ends that take up hours every day are still dangling, and all the usual stuff is still there, and maybe if you don’t already have large blocks of empty time, planning to fit a book launch into those blocks is not going to be as easy as you’d hoped.

Planned and written essays to try to place in various outlets earlier. I thought I started that early, she said–but it wasn’t early enough.

Read the book out loud before trying to read it as an audio book. Mary Laura cannot say “depths”, but she sure likes to write it. (I can relate–I can’t say “towards” to save my life, and I think I used it ten times in my book.)

Nobody’s ever ready for a book launch. But even though she denies it, I’d say Mary Laura is as ready as you get.

Find out more about our guest, Mary Laura Philpott here—and check out her latest book, I Miss You When I Blink: Essays, at Parnassus Books or at Libro.fm.

This episode was sponsored by Author Accelerator, the book coaching program that helps you get your work DONE. Visit https://www.authoraccelerator.com/amwritingfor details, special offers and Jennie Nash’s 2-tier outline template (the one KJ swears by).

If you enjoyed this episode, we suggest you check out Marginally, a podcast about writing, work and friendship.

Find more about Jess here, and about KJ here.

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