A look at how to launch a book

Our book launch is only a month away (February 5th!), so, with the help of our team, we’ve been busily preparing. Our team at Penguin includes our publicist Alyssa Adler, marketing lead Madeline Sheffield, and our editor Leah Trouwborst. We’re also working with Callie Schweitzer, a freelance creative strategist and publicist. We have a weekly planning call with these three, as well as with our agent, Lisa DiMona.

We use author Jenny Blake’s 15-tab Marketing Spreadsheet to organize all our plans. We began our publicity push by writing articles to pitch to magazines, newspapers, and websites, and asking that they be published around February 5th. We thought about which topics or excerpts from the book would make sense for which outlet, and then pitched to them with the help of Callie and Alyssa. We heard from other authors that podcasts can sell a lot of books, so we emailed 50+ podcasts. We’ve recorded a dozen so far, and have another dozen to record in the next month.

For in person events, the advice we received was that a full blown book tour only makes sense if you’re already famous. So we decided to focus on key cities and do a few events for our friends, families, and networks. With Alyssa’s help, we reached out to bookstores to find out their availability (as a note, we wished we had done this three months ago, as we learned that bookstores book up about four months in advance!).

During our launch week, we’ll host a book launch party on February 5th at Brooklyn’s Powerhouse Arena (RSVP here), and on February 7th party at Clever in San Francisco (RSVP here). Then we’re splitting up and doing several readings: Mollie is going to London January 28th-29th and Seattle May 4th, and Liz will be in Berkeley February 13th. We’ll also be at SXSW together on March 9th. (You can find details about all these events here). We’ve also done several workshops and speaking events with companies and groups, and have set up several more for around our launch. In exchange for a workshop or reading, we’ve asked these organizations to buy bulk copies of the book.


Liz and Madeline have been working hard to create adorable launch materials and merchandise. They’ve designed stickers, cards, and totebags, which we’ll give out at events, and send (with a book) to influencers. Penguin suggested that we make a list of around 300 people to send books to, including authors, social media influencers, journalists, and experts. Liz also designed some delightful iMessage stickers you can use to text your colleagues and friends, as well as e-cards. Liz has been ramping up our social media presence. She’s doing an instagram post almost every day, and sharing illustrations on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.

Pre-orders on Amazon matter a lot for book sales, so we created a pre-order incentive. If you pre-order, enter your order confirmation number here and you'll receive our special PDF guide to digital communication for free!

Inspired by all of the resources and assessments that Gretchen Rubin, Simon Sinek, Susan David and Dan Pink have shared with their audiences, we created some of our own. You can find our emotional tendencies assessments on our site, as well as PDF guides you can download about getting and giving feedback, decision making, and difficult conversations. In order to keep people updated and to grow our own email list, we write a monthly newsletter (you can subscribe here).

A big thank you to all the authors who gave us advice along the way about how to prepare for our launch, including Ingrid Fetell Lee, Jake Knapp, Adam Grant, Maris Kreizman, Laszlo Bock and Meghan Casserly, Susan Cain, and Peter Sims.