My little novella, True, launched on March 14, 2019. Funny thing is that it almost was a colossal face palm. Here’s what I recorded on my drive home on March 13th:
I stressed out so bad over the launch that I gave myself a headache for over 48 hours. Even when I woke up in the middle of the night, I’d think about if I had the right graphics designed or what time to post a meme or all sorts of things like that. Because when it comes down to marketing, everything lands squarely on the author’s shoulders now. This was my first time. And I wasn’t going to mess it up.
So I woke up, first thing in the morning and I grabbed my phone and thought to myself, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow. My book is gonna be out tomorrow.” What did I think of when I thought of the word “tomorrow?” Little Orphan Annie, with her cute red curly hair, Sandy the dog, and I thought, “A-ha, new meme.” And I sang it in my head while I looked up the meme generator. And I made myself a cute lil meme.
Then I did what anyone would do, I headed over to Instagram to stick up the memes I’d prepared for prelaunch day. Who cared that the color scheme wouldn’t match my IG board? My book was coming out…and it was coming out tomorrow.
However. IG had other plans. I logged on, well tried to log on, and it wouldn’t post. Anything. I posted once. It loaded and loaded. Okay, so, I did what anyone would’ve done when it didn’t work, close the app. Then I opened it again and it still showed loading. So then in the back of my mind, I did what any IT person would’ve told me to do and charge me $90 for: I turned off my phone and turned it on again. I knew I’d get IG this way. So I opened my IG app. And there was my picture…
I thought to myself, “Maybe it’s just stuck in load. I’ll go ahead and load it again. I can just delete one post, or be funny and put a whole row of Lil Orphan Annie’s.” I tried to post it again. Status bar got halfway. And it stayed there. Now I had two posts in stuck land. Stuck between here and posting and going nowhere. Fine. I switched gears.
I opened up FB. And what do you know? The meme loaded beautifully. Okay Lil Orphan Annie. Show the world of FB that “Tomorrow. Tomorrow is only a day away.” And lo and behold, I was Zuckerberged as it tried to reload and then “had problems.” So I tried a different browser. I tried opening FB on a PC. It wouldn’t open. Then it did open! And for half a moment, I was excited!
But then it wouldn’t post a picture. And then I tried four different browsers, each telling me the same thing: the picture wouldn’t upload. Nothing is quite as depressing as the day before your book launch when you have all of these beautiful, perfect memes and graphics designed to remind people that, “Hey, you should buy my book tomorrow. It’s my debut book! It’s a little book that doesn’t cost very much because I didn’t price it high. Hey people! This is me, trying to go down the path that God has plopped in front of me, where I may not be successful, but I’m going to try it anyways. Because as Frank Sinatra said, ‘I did it my way.’”
FB and IG apparently had it in for me the day before my launch as neither of them would load up any of my pictures or memes or graphics or posts. In funny frustration, about the twentieth time I tried to post, I think I posted something ironic. Sometime later, as I was repeatedly clicking Lil Orphan Annie, not even trying to add a caption at that point, just clicking and clicking and clicking. And clicking and clicking. My finger got a cramp in it. And then one click, there she went: Lil Orphan Annie, no caption, but people knew that my book was coming tomorrow.
I gotta be honest with you, when the morning first started and IG wouldn’t open and then FB no workey, I resorted to anger texts. I sent people texts about how (air quote) frustrated I was. But let’s not lie: I was mad that my plan, my cute, little perfect plan for the prelaunch day was not going according to my plans. So, as the day wore on, my frustration grew into aggravation. Aggravation morphed into acceptance, eventually.
I had woke up thinking was, that I hoped I had a good day remembering to post the prelaunch graphics. And God answered me with “Nope. #shenanigans.”
All in all, I ain’t mad. It’s not like I can change anything now. Whoever is going to look at my graphics the day before launch, will look at them the day IG and FB start working again. And I hope that’s soon, because they were my marketing plan. And there’s that stupid saying that you’ll back and laugh at this one day. Maybe I will.
Pretty sure I won’t. I will look back and have a massive eyeroll and tell people, “Hey. You should have a plan B.”
Although I’m not sure with social media that there can be a Plan B and standing in a parking lot and handing out flyers is frowned upon. Sometimes, it’s illegal.
So, here’s to hoping that tomorrow, my book launch actually goes as planned. Here’s hoping that people actually remember that Pi Day is the day that my lil book gets its wings. If people don’t remember to buy it, that’s okay. My dad told me a few days ago that he finished the book and he likes it. And I’m guessing that’s gonna probably be my favorite review.
**And now you have the behind the scenes for my nearly prelaunch fail.**
***P.S. My mom liked my book, too!***