No Excuses (Well, Just a Few) Countdown to Publication

From now through my book launch Oct 5, I’m writing a weekly column for one of my favorite websites, If you are a woman who writes in any medium, do check out SheWrites for fantastic resources, inspiration, and support network. Here’s column #1:

Dear SheWriters.
As I start my Countdown, I’m incredibly grateful to each previous contributor for sharing your experiences generously, honestly, and sometimes humorously. I’ve been lounging around your pool of wisdom, absorbing tips from every column—Hope Edelman’s computer meltdown a year ago through Lori Tharps’ thrill at seeing her first novel on the shelves last week. Now I’m on the high board, about to plunge. Deep breath.

No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power took eighteen months of writing but a lifetime of learning on the frontlines. It’s about American women’s ambivalent relationship with power, why after almost two centuries of the women’s movement, 51 percent of the population holds only 18 percent of influential leadership positions in work and politics, with similar dynamics in personal relationships. There are many reasons why we’re still so far from parity, but there are no excuses any more. So, practical activist that I am, I set out to find inspiring women’s stories and to create the 9 Ways—specific “power tools”–women can use to lead unlimited lives.

It’s my fourth book. But still…I feel unexpectedly jittery realizing it will be on bookshelves by October 5.

The minute I finished final edits last May, I swung into marketing mode. Wrote an eight-page memo listing offers of book events, social media goals, media contacts. I planned to have my website—the centerpiece of it all–revamped by July 31 and my first newsletter out mid-August. I had long-lead story pitches in mind and was sure that by now they’d be sold and written. My terrific intern, Dior Vargas, was busily updating my blog list so I could offer online book events and giveaways. I was ORGANIZED.

The talented folks at Seal, my publisher, made up this cool card—I never leave home without a bunch in my purse and relish giving them to everyone I meet:

I was sure that by September, I’d be relaxing, planning brilliant presentations, doing extra workouts, getting a massage or two, and finding that perfect red suit. (it’s either superstition or just superficial, but I have a fetish about wearing colors pegged to my book covers.) I’d be fit, rested, and rarin’ for the book tour.

But noooo. The website remains under construction and if I’m lucky will be only six weeks late launching. No newsletters have been sent because they’re supposed to look like the website and entice people to click onto said (finished) website. Heck, I haven’t been able to sync my newsletter contacts to my computer since I got my new Blackberry anyhow. Everything else, while coming along, is also, ahem, under construction.

What to do? After fretting a while, I’m now staring at my list of the 9 Ways I’m suggesting other women use, looking for some inspiration for my own dilemma. But help me out here, SheWriters. What would you do to make up for a significant delay in the linchpin of your publicity campaign?

Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

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