How Do You Know You’re Ready For Launch?

We all want a big-splash launch – no matter what the offering. Who wouldn’t want mountains of accolades and recognition for a job well done?

In the period leading up to your big day, the best advice I can give consists of one very important word – plan.

Planning is critical to a successful launch, so make a list of everything you can possibly do to make your event as grand as possible. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Create a Task Timeline – Identify each component of your launch prep along with an expected timeframe for completion and a point of contact.
  • Prioritize Each Task – For each group of tasks you’ve outlined, ask yourself which ones will have the greatest impact on your launch. Focus on the ones that will deliver the biggest bang for your buck first.
  • Ask For Help – Reach out to all your contacts – family, friends, colleagues – anyone who can help you spread the word. Send them Facebook posts, tweets, images to share via Instagram, fliers to hand out in their towns – anything that will highlight awareness.
  •  Leverage Your Existing Fan Base – Come up with creative ways to engage your existing fans. Word of mouth is the most effective way to generate interest because of the credibility factor so ask your fans to get involved with your launch.
  • Cross-Promote – Identify potential partners who have launches around the same time as yours and augment your target audience by gaining access to theirs.
  • Maintain Your Plan – Update all notes and statuses so at any given point, you can see exactly what your progress has been in preparing for the launch.
  • Follow-Up As Needed – People generally don’t have a sense of urgency about someone else’s endeavors so a gentle nudge is sometimes warranted.
  • Get Out the Corkscrew – When you’ve fully executed your plan and feel confident you’ve done all you can do, the rest is up to the stars. So sit back, relax and have a glass of wine because you deserve it.

Red and white wine pouring on wood background

Put A Little Sex In The Headline

Okay, it may not always work as planned, depending on your audience. But I can tell you it will make your headline click-worthy. It doesn’t have to be graphic either, by the way. Just suggestive. =)

PR is EXPENSIVE so anything you can do on your own to generate buzz will reduce your burn rate. You can pitch editors yourself but if you don’t have a hook, they don’t have a story. The surest way to get a response is to give them the whole setup. If you can’t hook an editor, you won’t have a shot of hooking readers.

Press conference

An attention-grabbing headline is the first step. Think about this blog post. Did you click the link because there was a sexual reference in the title? Don’t be shy, it’s all good. I’ll bet everyone reading this was just as curious as you. If I hadn’t written it, I’d have done the same thing.

Eliminate the mundane. People won’t care. You need to find the angle that will pique their interest and work it into your pitch.

Here’s another little tip. Less is more. Your pitch needs to be short and sweet. Make your point once, quickly, before the editor loses interest otherwise your brilliant story will most assuredly end up in the desktop trash bin.

7 Must-Do Tips For Startups To Generate Good PR – Entrepreneur

Oh yeah, one more thing. Proofread your email and make sure you’re addressing the right editor because it would really suck if you sent your pitch to the wrong person at the wrong publication because that’s your one chance to make a first impression, folks.

Wine and editorial pitches DON’T mix!!!

Odor Eaters…For Your Mouth

The lingering flavor of a Morningstar Griller veggie burger on your tongue…definitely not delicious-smelling. In fact, the scent might well wilt a flower if you open your mouth next to it.

So what to do if you’re headed to a party right after scarfing down one of those bad-boys? You’d pull out a stick of peppermint-flavored Orbit gum, of course. Because other than vigorously brushing and flossing your teeth, what are your other options?

Nada.

But what about the fact that there will be wine at the party? Unfortunately, peppermint mixed with Sauvignon blanc isn’t super-appetizing.

Hence, the light bulb.

A Tic Tac type chewable that neutralizes the odors in your mouth.  It doesn’t have any flavor so you can eliminate all evidence of food and prepare for the next indulgence without making your stomach turn at the prospect.

I love this idea.  Hopefully, one day some chemical engineer will come across the post and figure to how to create the product.

In the meantime, I’ll struggle to enjoy my minty-fresh wine.

Recipe For A Startup Romance

If you saw my last post “Wanna Learn How To Start A Startup?” you know that running a startup is pretty much a 24 x 7 gig, which begs the question, are there any slivers of time in a given day dedicated to dating and romance? I mean, even entrepreneurs need love, right?

Interesting and intriguing questions, considering I’m a romance author and I basically create love stories out of circumstances that wouldn’t ever materialize in reality.  I can make anything happen…to anyone…and find the perfect resolution for all to end happily.

Courtesy of Entrepreneur

Courtesy of Entrepreneur

But in the real world, things aren’t so simple. They can’t be handled with a few clicks on a keyboard and a couple of glasses of wine.

The Truth About Entrepreneurship And Dating

I read about a company called Underground Attached, a unique dating experience that brings together 40 (20 men and 20 women) prescreened, like-soul and like-minded people for an evening of play (no, get your minds out of the gutter) and hopefully, a few love connections. Put a roomful of driven, ambitious professionals together and hopefully, sparks will fly…as long as they can stay off their iPhonesGalaxies and CrackBerries long enough to exchange business cards.

39 Signs You’re Dating An Entrepreneur

Sounds good in theory.  Of course, if all else fails, they could also find solace in using my brilliant app idea to build their own virtual reality porn star and their own…well, read the post if you can’t figure it out.

Maybe entrepreneurs should look at potential mates as prospective “investors.” You want someone who will support your goals and help drive you to achieve, someone who understands what it takes to be a success and will be patient waiting for the big returns.

How Much Of A Sucker Are You???

Grandpa took the crew to football tonight.  I am super-excited  It’s been a long week and I really need to kick back with a glass of vino.  Ahhh.  I hear the chardonnay screaming at me to take the first refreshing sip.  But I resist, I just need to put away a few more stray toys.  Only then can I relax.

Or, maybe not.

photo-3

Can you tell what this is?  If not, you must not have little boys.  They are LEGOS.  Teeny tiny pieces of plastic ALL OVER MY KITCHEN FLOOR because dippy Mommy picked up a container by the unlocked lid.  Freaking brilliant, right?

photo-2

I eye the wine glass and bite my tongue to halt the expletives threatening to escape my mouth.

And as I pick up the pieces, only a couple at a time because you really can’t grab more than that, I have a brilliant thought.  I need a sucker.  No, I’m not talking about my Hubby (hee hee).

“The Sucker” is a contraption that you can use to “suck up” these annoying little health hazards.  I say health hazards because heaven forbid you step on one in your bare feet.  Nothing can stop THOSE expletives from exploding, trust me.

My invention would collect these annoyingly tiny pieces and you could pop open a trap door to unload them into a box in your playroom!  The best part is that “The Sucker” would be designed to pick up these pieces, so you’d never have to worry about ruining the belt, the engine, the roller and whatever other parts of a vacuum you’d otherwise destroy by accidentally picking up that kind of crap.

I need to get this on Kickstarter.  Anyone with kids would LOVE it!

And now, I’d like to enjoy my wine.  FINALLY!  Before the crew gets back. =)

I Can Do Just About Anything With A Smile…Just Pop That Cork For Me, Would You?

Bath time isn’t fun.  It is AGGRAVATING.  And STRESSFUL.  I repeat myself, over and over, and nobody listens.  Corralling two little naked boys while I try to run the water and pull out the pajamas is like trying to corner a rat.  My blood boils and I struggle to keep the expletives locked up tight.  It’s hard, but I manage.  For the record, I’d manage better if I prepared myself with a couple of glasses of wine.  That’s when things run like a well-oiled machine.  Okay, fine, that’s a false picture of my alcohol-infused reality but whatever.  At least I’m relaxed.

This week I’ve been graced with the presence of Lulu at bath time.  She really is such a wonderful big sister and as much as her little brothers annoy her, she adores them and vice versa.  Each night when she ASKS me if she can give them a bath, I leap at the chance to sit on the sidelines and comment on Goodreads posts while she deals with their squirming and splashing.

It’s like having a babysitter I don’t need to pay!

Now for the aftermath…

Who CARES that the towels are flung all over the place and there’s toothpaste caked on the sink and faucet and the shower curtain is hanging on its last ring?

I can fix all that.  But since I CAN’T be tipsy every night of the week, I will continue to welcome the help.  Until Lulu comes to her senses and realizes she’s getting the short end of the stick here.

I Left My Beloved Laptop In A Fitting Room Yesterday…Senility Is Setting In Sooner Than Anticipated

Wine

I would say that I get one solid hour of stress-free, uninterrupted writing time per week.  That doesn’t mean I only write during that one hour; it only means that I don’t have seven other things cooking simultaneously.  I can’t tell you how much I love this time.  My daughter throws back handsprings.  I type.  Hard and fast.  Generates a lot of curious stares.  Sometimes a few comments.

Yesterday was no exception.  I churned out pages and pages of backstory.  Smiling, sighing, giggling, clapping.  It was a super-productive tumbling class.  But instead of celebrating the completion of a very challenging storyline once I got home, I nearly had a coronary.

My laptop was gone.  Not in the car, not in the house.  Not ANYWHERE.

My heart literally stopped for a few seconds…until I called Justice and found out I left it in the fitting room.  As an aside, I never leave my laptop on the car because I’m afraid someone will break in and steal it.  Ironic, huh?

I haven’t fully recovered…the palpitations have slowed but I’m still reeling.  Even three glasses of wine did nothing to settle my nerves.  I should have opted for the vodka.