The Ta-da Factor


Over the past few days I’ve done some very important, very nonscientific social research. And lucky you get to hear the results–

So, my new book came out on Amazon a few weeks ago. ( The whole thing happened faster than I expected, and Amazon posted the paperback three days earlier than planned.

I was thrilled beyond belief when I saw it up there, so without much thought I shouted it out to the Facebook world sharing how absolutely ecstatic I was that my “baby” was finally out in the world.

My friends and supporters shared my post like mad. It was amazing.

There was one problem.

This “announcement” was too soon. The kindle edition wasn’t out yet, so people were heading to my site and the kindle version wasn’t there.

Nothing was choreographed like I hoped. My words in the post weren’t carefully crafted, just blurted out to the world, but something interesting happened. I watched people’s excitement as they read it. They felt connected to me, and I felt connected to them! We were sharing in the love. They wanted to “share” on facebook because they were thrilled for me. They wanted to celebrate in the moment too. It was wonderful.

Then a few days later, when the kindle edition was out I had a chance to make a “real” announcement. I created an official one, spending a very long time figuring out the exact words to say.

In the end I tried to mimic my initial enthusiasm: “Hey guys! It’s here!” but something was different, this time I was in essence saying “buy my book” and the energy shifted.

On top of it, with all that over thinking going on in my head, my writing lacked sincerity. My intention was different. This time instead of just wanting to share the news I was secretly thinking “I want people to share this” “I want lots of likes” and it completely changed the overall reaction of my friends.

Living your life wanting likes is not a great way to live. Trust me, I know this sort of thing. I’ve learned in my 43 years, anytime I go into a situation where I’m thinking: “I want this person to like me”, “buy this”, or better yet “Ta da! Everyone! Look at me!” people turn away. They’re left ironically unimpressed.

No one likes a needy person. Their behavior in essences says “Something is incomplete in me. Please fix it.”

So, what’s the answer when you’re trying to sell books, make a living? Honestly I don’t know, but what I do know is this: all I can be is me and the minute I shift from my truth…from my essence, everything is thrown off. I know, I probably will never been a marketing wizard with these tactics, nor will I likely sell a million books by just “being me”, but hopefully the people who do read my books will walk away feeling they’ve been touched by something good and they’ll tell others because the book brought them joy.

In the end, all we have is truth. There’s no reason to hide it.

Side note: I can’t finish this post without a shout out to author (and occasional sensai) Tim Baker who has been telling me this stuff for quite a while. Now I’m listening Tim. You were right.