Today the paperback version of my book “My Job Isn’t Working!” is being released. You may well already know that, as I have been shouting about it ruthlessly and shamelessly, as a tribute to my wife who passed away suddenly when she shouldn’t have, and as a means to increase the amount I can raise for the British Heart Foundation from sales of the book. They are spending £35m over 3 years in researching thrombosis, which is what stole Charlotte away silently in the middle of the night. I intend to contribute £50,000 to their funds as a memorial to her and to provide her untimely passing with some meaning. Donating my net proceeds from sales of the book will be a major part of that campaign.
Why am I telling you this? Because I over the last few days since the Kindle version was released I have felt the power of what can happen when a body of people gets behind you. Over the last few months I have been encouraging people to subscribe to my book website, and in effect to therefore join the book launch team. My incomparable publisher Alison Jones had advised me that in order to achieve Best Seller status on Amazon (and thus make the book more discoverable by others) it is best to co-ordinate purchases of it so that they happen in a fairly tight time window. This produces a spike in results, and is picked up by the Amazon algorithm.
So I started building the team, using a variety of means – mainly targeted emails and Facebook posts. Once people knew what had happened to Charlotte and how I was using the book to provide a meaningful legacy from her death they quickly got behind me. This is because they could relate to my purpose, and I guess wanted to show their support in this way.
As Simon Sinek says in his fantastic TED talk (which I expand on in the book):
“Once people believe what you believe, they will follow you with blood, sweat and tears.”
And follow me they did. On the day of the Kindle I wrote to my 370 strong team with a link to the book and a request to download it as close to 9am BST as they could.
Result? First in two of the three categories the book is listed in, and Best Seller status in the Business Careers section. As I write this I am ranking c 430th on the whole of Amazon UK, which currently lists 800,000 Kindle items. Bear in mind the book has only been available for one day at the time of writing.
How we will fare today when the paperback is released remains to be seen, but on the evidence so far I am hopeful.
My point is that there are times when you need to bring people with you in life in order to achieve the seemingly impossible. It takes time (and is therefore a challenge), and it requires two things: trust and shared purpose. Once you have those two things you can go places you would not have thought possible
This has been an uplifting and therapeutic experience for me, and I’m so glad I persevered with publishing. I had finished the first draft when Charlotte passed, but there was still a lot more to do. It would have been easy to walk away, but if I had I wouldn’t have tapped into this amazing support network. If you are a part of it already, thank you so much.
If you’d like to join in, you could either buy the book or download the Kindle version today (remember what I said about the spike?!), simply by searching for My Job Isn’t Working! on your local Amazon site. Or if you want to make a direct donation into the thrombosis research fund, here is Charlotte’s Just Giving page. Please also use your networks to spread the word.
I am eternally grateful.