#57: Behind the scenes of running a book launch tour

Show Notes: 

There's a lot of lessons from running a book tour across 7 cities over 2 weeks! In this podcast episode, I'm sharing with you the preparations and some behind the scenes stories from what it was like to launch my book, ONE LIFE, around the country. Grab your copy here >>> onelifebook.com.au

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#57 Show Transcription

Hello, I'm Tina Tower, and you're listening to Her Empire Builder. For my first decade of business I thought grinding and hustling and working harder than everyone else was my path to success. It was pretty successful by a lot of measures, but it led to burnout and adrenal fatigue. Then, when I travelled around the world on my family gap year, I discovered the simplicity and the reach of online business, and I completely fell in love.

You have so much knowledge and expertise that's within, and I want to help you to package that so you can also help to lift others up. So, how do you build a thriving million-dollar business based on everything that's in your mind? This is Her Empire Builder, the podcast.

Hello, and welcome to Episode 57 of Her Empire Builder. I am so happy to be bringing you this episode today because it is all about behind the scenes of my book tour which I've just finished and the reason I'm so happy is because I get a rest now. It's been a massive, massive, great fun, incredible couple of weeks and there's been a lot of highlights and a lot of mistakes, and I want to share those with you because if you're ever thinking of launching your own book, then hopefully some of the stuff that I can talk about in here will be really helpful and if you're not planning on launching your own book, then hopefully some of the mistakes that I made will be rather entertaining as well.

Okay, so, it will be remiss of me to get started with this without plugging the book slightly. So, if you don't have your copy yet head to onelifebook.com.au and you can grab one and any Christmas gifts that you need for people there as well. So far, the response has been amazing, which makes my heart so happy. If you have read it and you've loved it, if you could jump onto Goodreads or Amazon and leave a review, I would be so incredibly grateful because that's what helps it to grow and I need the help because I’m still battling to get into the major bookstores. So, we're in quite a few bookstores, but we're not in the major ones yet. So not in, like, Dymocks and not in the airport. So, I need those reviews. I need your help.

Okay, so let's get into behind the scenes of the book tour. So, there was a massive lot of preparation to get ready for this. There's so much in terms of the graphic design, thinking about the marketing materials that we need, the promo materials, the social media while I'm travelling, all of that sort of thing was all pre-planned. So, it was kind of the month before we went on the book tour, every day was really spent in, in preparing for that in all the sorts of ways. When, the media wall was probably one of the best things that I did, because although it was very difficult to get from one location to another, which I will be sharing a little bit about, it meant that at every location, we could kind of put up this media wall and it was in the background of all the photos and it kind of made it look like a book launch. So that was great. I did not anticipate how much Me was on the wall, you know, when you look at something on a little computer screen, really different than when you look in real life, and, and I remember, you know, when I, when I came home, and the media wall had, had arrived, and Matt, my husband had, had set it up in the, in the lounge room and he's like, “Ha, ha, come in here, look at this.”, and I mean, it was so exciting, but I was also like, “Oh my gosh, there it is, it's huge.”, and there's, there is a lot of me on there, but it was fantastic. So, you know, I think, I should have had the exact number, but It wasn't very expensive. I think it was like $500. So, if you’re ever doing an event, some sort of live event or anything like that, it's amazing. I'll put who we got it off in the show notes, so that we can, so that you can use them as well. It's an Australian company. We got it made, made here, and it was absolutely fantastic, and it has like a zip cover over the frame so that for different events you can change the zip cover, which is cool.

Promo material wise. So, I mean, we didn't go too nuts on promo materials. We had things like bookmarks and postcards and stickers, and that's really about it. So, in terms of logistical preparation, you know, there was the books, the books were very important. So, you know, I had to send them to each location in advance, so I didn't have to carry them all on the plane, but the tricky part was you didn't know how many books each location would need. So, in terms of the people that would show up, we had heaps of people that, you know, either couldn't make it because, you know, life, and heaps of extra people that would come as well. So, you kind of, every, every event, was kind of up and down and you didn't know who was coming and who wasn't coming, and then you didn't know how many books people were going to buy. So, you know, at one of the locations, heaps of people bought like three, four, five books so that they could gift them because once some, some people start doing it, everyone goes, “Oh, yeah, good idea.”, and start doing it too, and then there's other locations that, you know, half the room bought one book, and so you just can't pick it, and so it's from some of them, I was left with all these books that I then had to carry with me in my suitcase. So, while it may have looked glamorous, it was certainly, certainly most not. Which, which, I will, I will share a bit more on after.

You know, preparation wise, there was a lot of, I had to clear that time, because I knew it would be very demanding on energy. There was nine launches in two weeks, across seven cities, and so I was on a plane nearly every day, and then coming home on the weekends to kind of, kind of recover. So, it was a massive couple of weeks, but it was, I mean, it was only a couple of weeks. So, you know, it's fine.

Then logistics wise. So, the logistics, you know when, when I decided to do the book tour, I kind of went, “You know, should I just do one launch party? Should we do one launch party, funnel all the effort into that and make a big one in Sydney, or should I travel around?”, and obviously, ultimately, I decided to travel around and you know, there's positives and negatives to both, which is the same with every situation. I do think if we’d done just the one location, it would have been much bigger because all the marketing can funnel to that. Really, really hard to market seven locations of events simultaneously, when you're not a big person. So, by big person I mean, I'm not a famous person. So, you know, not, I don't have a massive following on social media. You know, people weren't chomping at the bit to come and, come and see me everywhere kind of thing, and so that makes a tour, as such, really hard to get people there, but we did, we did a great job.

One of the biggest challenges was filling all of, all of the locations. So, you know, all up, you know, we had mostly about 20 or 30 people at each one. We had 40 at a couple of them, but that's it. We had 60 booked in for Sydney, which was the biggest one, but that's where I'm from. So, yeah, it was, it was quite a challenge. So, you know, if you're, if you’re looking at launching a book and going, “You know, which way should I go? Why should I go more locations or one location?”, it really depends.

I think one location would have been a hell of a lot easier to market. It would have been incredibly cheaper. The multiple locations cost a fortune. So, there's the flights, there's the accommodation, there's the venues, the food, the people, the alcohol, the marketing, all of that. So, it's a massive financial outlay, but the reason that I decided to go the multiple locations was because I wanted to go and see people. So, I wanted to be able to really connect with people personally, not just the people that, that I knew, of friends and family, which is often, you know, who comes to book launches, and so that was one of the main reasons that I decided to kind of go to the cities where I’d had events before, so that I could connect with those people and celebrate with them and kind of, you know, bring that to them so that everyone wasn't missing out at a, at a local level. Like my favourite two cities was Launceston and Gladstone, which, you know, are regional towns and I absolutely loved going there. So, I didn't want to miss that. The other reason I decided to go multiple locations was for the marketing benefits. So, you know, you have one book launch, you get to have that one big day and get all of that social media collateral. I got, like, nine lots of that. So, I very much have a bank of content to last me a really, really long time, but it also meant that I could go to all of these locations, people had the books, and then they were going to share the books with their friends, they took photos with the books and shared that and so from a marketing point of view, I really wanted to give it my all to give it the best chance of being able to fly, and so for that I thought, “You know, I really have to be out and about.”, because I, you know, as I said earlier, like one of my missions is to get the book in all the major bookstores in the airports, and that's not easy as a self-published author. You've got to really prove yourself before they will take that on, and so I wanted to look like I was putting that effort in, that I wasn't, you know, just, just going to let it sit in my garage and do online sales, and that's it. I wanted to really go, “You know, we’re self-published, this is a serious book, and, and we want it to be one of the majors.”, and so yeah, so we put all of that around it, but logistically, I mean, each of the events was different because some of them we had in a pub, or a bar. Some of them we had in a couple of girlfriends’ offices of mine, but just arranging all the things. Oh my gosh, all the things.

There was a couple of times, like in the first week that I was like, “Why did I think it was a very good idea to go to seven cities? This is insane.”, and, you know, one of my biggest idols is Marie Forleo and she’d done her book launch last month for Everything is Figureoutable, and I was watching what she was doing, like ideas for my own book launch, and, you know, she, I remember watching her, you know, talking about it afterwards and saying how exhausting it was and she'd gone to five different cities, and, you know, she's going, you know, “Logistically and energy wise and all of these things, it’s so hard.”, but she had a hair person or a makeup person and, like, an entourage of six, and, and I did this solo. So, you know, I had no one to help carry anything or prepare anything or do anything. I mean, there was, you know, great friends that were hosting me at each location that were incredible, but most of it, you know, I had to, I had to kind of do it, do it by myself. So, it was, it was exhausting.

Anyway, so we had, let me tell you a couple of the funny stories because I've got, I've got a few of them. So, you know, the first week was pretty, pretty non-eventful. You know, I didn't have too much drama there. Launceston, the plane was delayed so I literally got to Launceston at five minutes to five with the event starting at six o'clock. So, I didn't have it, have time to kind of put any makeup on or do my hair or anything like that. So, you know, I changed my shirt at the, at the airport and kind of ran straight there, but the greatest group. I think it was my most fun one that I had because it, it was on a Monday and they were just so excited. They were so excited to be out and oh my gosh, we went through like two bottles of gin across like 30 people. So yeah, that was, that was great fun, but the second week was quite big.

So, on that first week too was Melbourne. So, Melbourne, Melbourne is crazy with its weather. So, even, when I used to have Begin Bright and we had the franchises there, I never knew with Melbourne what to expect. So, sometimes it would be freezing. Sometimes it would be boiling. It's just, it's all over the place, and so the day of the book launch was 44 degrees, and so in the morning, I've got, you know, I went to the place to get makeup on because, you know, I don't know how to put makeup on. I end up looking like a clown. So, I thought, you know, “I'll go get, get the makeup on.”, so I went to the Mecca counter and got the makeup on and got my hair done, and then, and then was, it was kind of going about town and I decided to walk from my hotel to the venue because it was only 900 metres down the road. So, I thought it's going to take, it's five o'clock, so it's going to take way too long to catch a taxi or an Uber so I'm better just to walk, but I had the media wall with me. So, the media wall weighs nine kilos in this bag, and nine kilos doesn't sound like a lot but in 40-degree heat and walking a kilometre, it was a long way. Now I was very thankful that I have given up the wearing of heels and had my sneakers on, but by the time I got there, my hand was breaking from carrying this because in one hand I had the media wall and in the other hand, I had like my laptop bag with a whole heap of promo stuff in there and all of that sort of thing.

So, my hands were full, and I couldn't put anything down or move anything, and the wind was whipping, like totally whipping. So, I've got hair blowing everywhere, the hair that's just been done, and because I've got makeup on, like, it's sticking to my lips from the, from the sticky, sticky stuff they put on there. What’s that, lip gloss, that they put on there? Then because of the wind there’s dirt flying around everywhere too, so I'm literally feeling dirt like whacking me in the face while I'm walking. Sweat dripping down, just going, “This is terrible.”, and so I get to the venue eventually. Like, I would have looked like a hot mess. Like, you can imagine how I would have looked. So, I get there and the guys like, “Whoah, are you okay?”, and I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve just, can you give me a hand?” Anyway, he grabs it, like, you know when you've been holding something so tight with your hands that you can't straighten your fingers again, like crazy.

Anyway, I get up there. It's 20 past 5, the event starts at six. I'm like, “Okay, I need to go and get the alcohol.” I checked earlier, so we did it a co-working space called The Commons in Melbourne, which is stunning. So, they put up the media wall for me, which was really lovely, and I ran down because Dan Murphys was only like 200 metres away, so I thought rather than ordering it there and taking the risk of getting it lost, I’ll just get to the venue, run down, grab the alcohol and bring it back because it was BYO. So, I went down, grabbed a couple of bottles of gin, some wine, some rose, some champagne, all of that sort of thing, popped it all in a box. So, at the front the guys going, “I don't know if you're going to be able to carry this.” I'm like, “Look, I'm going to be fine, you know?”, because that's what we all say, and so he puts it all in a box and then I'm like, “Oh, I need the ice.”, because you need ice if you're going have gin and tonic, and so he's like, “Well, how are you going to carry the ice?” I'm like, “Could you just whack it on top of the box for me?” So, I'm holding this box which is very heavy. I don't know how heavy it was, but it was a full box of bottles so very heavy, and then he puts the 5-kilo ice bag on top. So, I can barely hold this thing. I was very happy actually for the ice because it was cooling me down, but I, like, had frozen boobs by the end of it. Anyway, so I walk back again. Back through the wind. Back through the heat, and up, so by the time I get there, I'm just like, “Oh my god.”, and I'm thinking in that moment going, you know, this is, this is one of those moments where you kind of go, “I'm so proud. I'm finally this published author.” and you know, feeling all good about myself and really, you're just there carting your shit around. I’m like, there’s no glamour about it at all. You know, it's hard, it's hard work.

So anyway, so we did that. I had the same repeat at Gladstone again, you know, because the venue was only 700 metres down the road. It was 36 degrees, and again, I thought the same thing, I should walk instead of catching a cab because it feels ridiculous to catch a cab for such a short space of time, but I did not learn my lesson. I did it again in the heat, carrying that bloody media wall. So, me and that media wall, oh my gosh, it's a heavy thing. Next time I need someone to just come and carry my bags. Hopefully with book two I'm, like, far more fancy and can be willing to spend the money on having someone come with me and carry my bags because I mean that's a good point to touch on too because you may be thinking, “Tina, why did you not just get someone to come with you?”, but it's very expensive. So, if I'm looking at bringing someone with me because obviously, I did the math on that, you've got all the flights, all the accommodation for them. So, all up, flights cost me about $2,500, because I went to seven places, and the accommodation, we, we ended on, on about the same, about $2,000, $2,500. So, it'd be double that, so an extra $5,000 plus their wage, so like $2,000 a week, so I'm looking at like $9,000, $10,000 to have someone come with me, just to help me carry stuff. So, in the end, I went, “You know what? While that would be very helpful, it's not going to be worth it from a return on investment point of view.” So that's why I was carrying my media wall by myself in the heat.

So, we were getting towards the end. So, the last week was a big one. We had Brisbane and then I went up to Gladstone, and then down to Gold Coast then Central Coast, and so I came from Gladstone, Gladstone then flew to Brisbane, drove the two hours from Brisbane to Gold Coast. So, by that stage, I was getting really tired. It was the second last night and I was a bit, I was a bit tuckered out in terms of, you know, so much talking, so much, you know, being out there and not having any recovery time, so while I may seem like super extroverted to some people because I can perform really well, I do like to have a lot of alone time. I like to have that rest and that, that recovery time as well, and so doing it like back to back, I was like, “Oh my gosh, like we got to, I’ve got to front up and do this again.”,  and I go to bed really early. Usually I'm in bed by 9:30pm but it was like midnight nights every, every night and then getting on a plane early again the next morning. So, I was pretty hammered by the time I got to the Gold Coast and was kind of, you know, going, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got two to go.”, I’m like, “Come on Tina. Rally, you can do this.”, and then got the Gold Coast, went for a swim in the ocean and just laid out there for about an hour. So, went, went out to the back of where the waves were breaking and, and just kind of floated in the water, which was so beautiful.

We had a beautiful location in the Gold Coast. It was great to be back where, you know, I was from the Gold Coast for five year. Before we went on our trip we lived just north of Byron so Gold Coast was, it was like my local, and so we had a great event there, a lot of old friends and people I worked with, which was really fantastic, but then when it finished and I was like, “Ah, I get to go to sleep.” I went into the bedroom and we’re on level two and on level one, they were having karaoke night. So, literally, the bed was like vibrating with the music of people, like, you know, you can, “Oh, we're halfway there.” You know, that's sort of like, “Whoa.”, and you’re just like, “Oh my god, someone kill me.”, and so at that time I was kind of going, “This is ridiculous.”

Anyway, they finished at 1:30am, and so then, you know, it went quiet and I was able to sleep and then I had my cousin with me. So my cousin is from the Gold Coast and she owns a cafe a few hundred metres up the road from where we were staying but she decided because the place we had booked to have the book launch in, it had two bedrooms there, so she took one of the bedrooms so we could have a sleep over and the plan was to wake up the next morning and have a nice breakfast together and catch up because we don't get to catch up anywhere near as much as we would like to, and we got a call at five, or she got a call at 5:00am and comes running out and I'm like, “What's going on? What's going on?” Her cafe was broken into and so up we get at 5:00am to go and meet the police and the forensic, forensics because someone had broken in and stolen all the iPad and the, and the safe and the alcohol and all that sort of thing. Lucky they didn't like smash the place or anything, but horrible to happen and so we kind of got the hustle on that morning in trying to fix everything up so that they could trade and waited. So, I was supposed to get on the plane at, at 10:00am or 11:00am. So, as soon as the shops open went and replaced the iPads because my gorgeous cousin is not that tech, not, not that Into tech, and so she's like, “Can you set these up for me because that will be heaps quicker and easier than me doing it?”, so I had to race up to JB Hifi and grab the iPads and like code them and set them all up for her, so that, so that they were ready to go. So, then we did that just in time to run and jump onto the plane.

Then, so, jumped on the plane, landed back in Sydney, two hour drive back home, where I got home at about quarter to four, and at 4:00pm I do Cocktails and Coaching, and then we had to head up to the Central Coast venue at 5:00pm for a 6:00pm start. So, it's pretty tight, pretty tight, but I got back, quarter to four, jumped in the shower, came back on, did Cocktails and Coaching, finished that, saw my husband. So, I haven't seen him all week. I've been travelling all week, one location after another, and he looks at me and goes, “I'm getting a bit of a cold. I'm really tired.”, and I think I nearly killed him with the look on my face. So, he's just like, you know, “I'm exhausted, I'm tired.”, I’m like, I literally will kill you right now.

Anyway, we got to the venue and by this time I was, you know, I was running out of steam. It was probably too much in a row, you know, initially we looked at doing it over three weeks but I decided, you know, two weeks will be better because I'm away less from the kids but I should have done it over three weeks because that, I should have left one night in between each one so that I could have, have a good sleep in between each one.

Anyway, we got to the Central Coast and I was, I was kind of ran out of, of energy in a, in a certain way. Still, still, you know, showing up for everyone how I, how I should have and that's the thing, like, when it's your time to shine, you kind of, you can turn that on, but I thought it was hilarious because I got in the car and the petrol light was on. Like it had like 10 kilometres to empty and I'm like, “Oh my gosh.”, because I hadn't had time to stop and fill the car with petrol, and so it's running out of petrol and then I look at my phone, my phone's running out of charge. So, I'm like, I carry a power bank with me so that if it runs out of charge while I'm travelling, I can plug that in, but I'd already used that twice that week and so I plugged it into the power bank and the power bank had ran out of charge to. I'm like, “Oh my God, everything's running out.”, and then I get to the venue, we set it up, I take a couple of photos, and my camera runs out of charge. I’m like, “Oh my God. It's the end.”

Anyway, the Central Coast location was fantastic. We did it at a gin distillery and I had some beautiful friends there and clients and friends, and I just, I just absolutely loved it. It was, it was in a, like a, like a garden kind of thing, and there's roses everywhere. It's just so pretty. So that was a really beautiful one to finish on, and then yeah, I was done, and so, there we go.

That's, that's the story of behind the scenes of the book tour. I mean, the plan was to get a lot of marketing, I still haven't posted like a couple of the locations because even that I felt like I was giving people total fatigue in terms of marketing and going like, every day, “Here's another hundred photos in the album from the book launch that I had last night.” It's kind of like too much in terms of, you know, the first couple, we had all of this engagement of people going, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing. This is great.” By location five, people are kind of like, “Yeah, yeah. We get it, you're launching a book.” So, it's, yeah, it's a lot of stuff. So now I try to like space it out a little bit but for those that have followed along, thank you. I really appreciate the effort. We're all learning, you know. So, launching this is something that I've obviously never written a book before and I've never done this, so a lot of it’s experimental and figuring out what's working and what isn't and what we need to change for book two and how we can do it better next time and how I can share those lessons with you so that if you've got ideas for, for live events or for any sort of launching, that's helpful too. So hopefully, you know, hearing, hearing my fumbles around the country was helpful. If you're one of the people that came out, we had, I think 200 or 300 people all together that, that came out. So, I, thank you so much. I really, really appreciate it.

A lot of people I don't think, you know, I do, I really appreciate it. I really appreciate you coming, taking the time and doing that because it is, it is not easy. It's not easy to put a book out there. It's not easy to, to keep promoting it and, and doing all of that and it's spurred me on. The feedback has spurred me on, I mean, the messages that I'm getting on Instagram and Facebook every day make it so worthwhile.

I'm extremely impatient. I want it everywhere now but the people that have read it and that have loved it, thank you, please tell a friend about it so that we can share it, and again, if you want to get your copy, if you don't already, go to onelifebook.com.au, and with the book comes a free course as well, the One Life Mini Course. So, there's a lot of different stages in the book, where I talk about different things and I have templates to go with that, and so when you go to onelifebook.com.au, if you scroll down to the bottom, if you've read the book, you can get access to that course and get all of those templates there as well. So that'll help you bring it to life, which is a great thing to do over the Christmas / new year holidays because we're kind of got this beautiful time of rest and reflection to be able to go, to go over that.

Alrighty everyone. Well, have the most fantastic day. Yeah, I was trying to think of something great to say but I'm like, I've already thanked you like 50,000 times but I feel it. I feel it. I feel thank you. It's been, it's been wonderful, and it's been quite the experience in the last couple of weeks. Now I am. I'd like to say I've come back now for a nice restful week but we move house, we move house tomorrow. So, you know, we finished that Central Coast one on the Friday, just to make you giggle in the end. We finished that Central Coast one on the Friday, we got the keys to our new house on the Saturday. So, we spent all day Saturday and Sunday painting walls, going, “Oh my gosh.”, because the quote was too high and I'm like, “$10,000 to, to paint walls in a four bedroom house? Like, that just seems steep. I'm sure we can do that.” There's sometimes my, my frugalness really is frustrating, but we're nearly done, and we move in tomorrow, so, I'm really happy with that and I have forked out for removalist so no more carrying big boxes for me. Alright, everyone, be awesome. Have a great day. Thanks.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Her Empire Builder. If you loved it, please share it on Instagram and Facebook for your friends, and if you really want to deliver me smiles, you can pop a review on iTunes.

I'd love to hear from you so if you have any questions, email me at podcast @tinatower.com and if you want to know more about what we do, head over to tinatower.com. Now I truly hope this podcast gives you so much value and you can use it to dream big, plan well and take massive action in building your very own empire that's perfect just for you.


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