In today’s podcast, I dig into a book launch case study with author Dr. Beth Ricanati. Last year she released her book, Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs, and we dig into the entire process of writing, publishing, and promoting the book. When I asked her to summarize the book launch, she said: “It was so wonderfully overwhelming.”
You can listen to the podcast by clicking ‘play’ below, or in the following places:
Some of what we discuss in the interview:
- The process of how she wrote her book, and how she switched books midway through the process.
- The reasons that she had to reframe her identity as an author when those around her knew her primarily as a doctor.
- How she created her book proposal, got her agent, and found a publisher.
- How the first deal for her book was killed because the marketing department at the publisher she was speaking to said “She has no social media presence. We are killing the deal.” She didn’t consider publication for another two years after that happened.
- How she launched an Instagram account and started sharing growing it organically to 6,000 followers. She also got more serious with social media and outreach: developing a website, newsletter, Facebook page, and more.
- How she sums up the role of social media in the book launch, “I have met some great people through Instagram and Facebook.” She focused on the human connections, not the numbers.
- How her marketing for the book centered on her existing network and friends and people she met through them. When I asked who she reached out to, she said, “I had a list, I had been keeping a list for a long time.”
- She totally flipped how many authors view marketing. Instead of worry about being seen as pushy in sharing her book, she mailed copies of it to friends, supporters and those in her network as “gifts.” She said she was at the post office every other day, just constantly mailing out gifted copies.
- She setup 20 events around the book around launch, and rethought what they can be. She didn’t want to just read from the book, since it is about making challah she used it as an opportunity to show people how to do it. She is now setting up a second series events for this year. She plans events around her personal travel schedule.
- How did she get these speaking events? By reaching out to friends, or through people who have reached out to her because one of her friends said something to them. “I have’t cold called, it’s been organic.”
- How she had to push herself outside her comfort zone: “The whole public speaking thing was terrifying. I had to really work on that. I was not comfortable public speaking, but now I’m more comfortable with it.”
- When I asked her how she thinks about the book promotion four months after publication, she said, “I think it is just getting going. I feel like it’s a snowball going down a hill, and it’s gaining momentum. It’s super exciting. I just got an invitation to speak in September, and right now it’s January. I’m so excited to see what’s around the bend.” She is excited about doubling down on ensuring this book reaches new readers.
- We explore how this entire process represented a massive creative shift for her. She pivoted from being a full-time doctor to an author. “There is a lot of support and resources and knowledge to help you do that. I feel like I’ve been given a gift, to be able to make this pivot. I hope others are able to as well. There is just so much out there.”
Beth Ricanati, MD has built her career around bringing wellness into women’s everyday lives, especially busy moms juggling life and children. She has practiced internal medicine at the NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, her writings have appeared in peer-reviewed medical journals and many lifestyle blogs. Ricanati lives in the Los Angeles area with her family and one challah-loving dog.