Episode 300: Why to Avoid Traditional Publishing with Courtney Friel

Feb 26, 2020

Courtney Friel is best known for her work as a news anchor at KTLA in Los Angeles, where she also hosts the video podcast “Keepin It Friel: Conversations on Recovery.” She previously worked as a national correspondent for Fox News Channel and hosted the “World Poker Tour." She has more than a decade sober and speaks on the topic all around the country. Courtney grew up in Philadelphia PA, but now lives in LA with her son and daughter. 

She is also the author of Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News, which was released in January and which I am very proud to say Launch Pad published. The back story is, as follows: Courtney and I became friends back when we both lived in New York between 2007 and 2010. She was an anchor on Fox News and I went on a lot of the shows to talk about addiction and recovery.

At parties (she had some epic bbqs back in the day), she would corner me and ask me about what it was like to be sober. I didn't think much of it. In my experience, people who actually need recovery tend to avoid sober folks like we're cops or their moms back when they were in high school. All of which is to say I was very surprised when she told me, a few months after those inquiries started, that she needed to go to rehab.

Flash forward to a few months ago. During a tour at my housewarming party, I showed Courtney and a bunch of other people my recording studio. The next day she called and confessed that she had a book scheduled to come out but things had gone awry with her publisher. Long story short: my team and I jumped in, re-named the book, gave it a new cover, had Courtney record the audio version and voila, it hit the world.

The news cycle went crazy for some of the tidbits in the book (particularly the one about how Trump asked her to come to his office so they could "kiss") but it's the story of recovery that resonates.

In this episode, we get into all of that and more.


CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS BELOW TO HEAR IT!!


COURTNEY'S TOP 3 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH:

1) Avoid traditional publishing

2) Save some money so you can spend it on your launch

3) Find the news hook in your story


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:

Anna:                           00:01                Okay. So this is super fun, right? I've already introduced you so you don't know that Courtney, we're sitting in the quote unquote booth where you recorded your audio book.

Courtney:                     00:12                It's nice to be back in here. And you guys can't see it, but it's really cute. It has wallpaper of books on shelves.

Anna:                           00:20                That in a video, looks just like books, but you know this is getting dismantled and we're in fact building a real studio.

Courtney:                     00:26                Well then I was in the O G version, and seeing this with how it was when I came over to your party made me want to do my audible book here.

Anna:                           00:34                Okay. So this is a super fun conversation for so many reasons. One, you are the, well, the second person I've had on where I actually published the book, but we've had such a long and interesting history and plus you're in launch right now. You know, so, okay, so, so let's talk about your decision to write a book. What happened?

Courtney:                     00:59                Well, I have 10 years sober now and when I was six years sober, that's when I came out, so to speak, on my social media. People in my life knew that I was sober, but I never shared it with fans. And so once I did that in the past four years, the floodgates just opened with people, Instamessaging me, how did you do it? What was your story? What tips do you have for myself or my loved ones? And I thought it would just be really easy if I had a book where I could just say, read my book. And so I felt the need for it. And also I wanted to give back and I wanted to help people because I kind of, and I think you feel the same way too, like we didn't plan this in our lives to get sober, but then we enjoyed it so much, especially the longer amount of time that you have in sobriety. Maybe at the beginning isn't that much fun. But I feel like I've stumbled upon this secret or this gem. And so I wanted to be able to share that.

Anna:                           02:00                Yeah, I know. My beginning was fun. I remember your beginning. I was there the day to day and, yeah, I think that yeah, people don't know that, a lot of people don't understand that if you stick with it it's going to get a lot better.

Courtney:                     02:14                And I have heard a lot of stories of people having fun in the beginning too. I think if you hang out with a lot of sober people and do social things with sober people, then that will be helpful. That kind of wasn't a part of my story. I was married plus I was also losing my career kind of at the same time because when I came back from rehab I like lost all my air time. So it was kind of like.

Anna:                           02:37                I didn't know that.

Courtney:                     02:37                Yeah, it was kind of like a double whammy for me because all I cared about was my career and partying and it seemed like I was losing my entire identity.

Anna:                           02:47                Wow. Okay. So you decided to write a book, so you're six years sober and you know, and you're getting these DMs and you decide to write a book. And so some of this stuff we can get into, but some of it is like you, you wrote a proposal, you going to go traditional.

Courtney:                     03:03                Right. I kind of, I feel like I did everything not the right way. And I talked to so many people. It's so different.

Anna:                           03:10                Except me.

Courtney:                     03:10                I know. But even with you, like I wasn't quite exactly sure what your publishing deal was like, I thought you were working for someone and maybe you were at one point.

Anna:                           03:22                I mean that never has gone well for me, but I have.

Courtney:                     03:24                I just couldn't comprehend. Like I would Google articles about it and I would have, you know, other author friends, either self-published or the traditional way. Everybody gave me advice and it was like I was so busy and that I just couldn't, I couldn't get it all. And then I was this woman who kind of ended up being like my coach and she helped me write the proposal. We worked on that for a year, all of 2018 and she kind of taught me the traditional way of getting a publisher. So then that was what I was doing. Now looking back, having self-published, I didn't even need the proposal.

Anna:                           04:07                Technically you did not self-published technically the term is you hybrid published with, no, I like it much better. Yeah, an Indi.

Courtney:                     04:15                Much better then self. So yeah, so that, I know people don't get that that's like a countdown to heartbreak. Even if it works out, it's this crazy time and money investment that rarely works out or I don't, I didn't have the time. Like I have a friend who did, he took nine months off of work. He wasn't in a relationship, he didn't have kids. He taught himself how to do it all. And I mean he built his own little recording studio, edited his own audible track, edited almost everything for his book. Like he just taught himself how to do that. He's like, just do that Court. Just do that. And I was like, when I have zero extra hours in my day, like.

Anna:                           04:53                And Why? Why learn things that you weren't going to do for the rest of your life?

Courtney:                     04:57                Well I guess he was out of out of the job at that point. So he wanted to keep it all on the backend. Right.

Anna:                           05:03                Right. Well, so and so then w basically we swept in, I think it was a month before your release date.

Courtney:                     05:11                I think it was three weeks, yeah.

Anna:                           05:13                Three weeks before you're released at you had to different.

Courtney:                     05:15                Anna was my angel and rescued me.

Anna:                           05:17                Why do you think I wanted you on this show? So different title, cover similar, you came up with that cover concept. Do you want to talk about that?

Courtney:                     05:27                Yeah, it's half an image of me in my wasted days meshed with half an image of me like with the spiritual Buddha, meditation pose on the anchor desk.

Anna:                           05:41                I love it. And, and so let's talk about the launch. Since I was so intrinsically involved, I'm going to sort of step out and let you know what we had, which most books don't is we had like a really juicy tidbit, several. And there was this, you know, it was sort of deciding, you know, I know the person you'd worked with before said, don't even keep that stuff in the book. It's too risky. Right? And, and then, you know, and basically I have this way that I like to launch books with the advanced reader team and all of this stuff.

Courtney:                     06:13                Well, like I said, everything didn't go like as planned.

Anna:                           06:18                And yet it's been a bestseller since it came out. Right. And you're doing media every day to promote it.

Courtney:                     06:23                I have 46 reviews right now.

Anna:                           06:25                That's amazing. Without our advanced reader team. So, yeah. So, you know, the way that we usually do it is like, we gather this team and you have so many people who follow you that that was easy. We have hundreds of people ready to go. And then we had bad timing and the big bombshell dropped in the New York Daily News.

Courtney:                     06:44                Right. Which was not even a part of my plan either. That was just all of a sudden sent to me and by someone who was helping me. Yeah. I didn't know that.

Anna:                           06:54                So you just knew that you, somebody was helping you out and they have the book and then the next thing you know, how many stories posted one day?

Courtney:                     07:02                Oh, I don't even know. But yeah, it got me like in trouble.

Anna:                           07:08                Yeah. Can you talk about that or no?

Courtney:                     07:10                That's all blown over now. But that stuff's out there too. Like with my job, but we're all good with that. But it was the month of December. Let's just put it this way. Like I did not sleep. I had so much anxiety. And what's important now is that I am a bestselling author and that's awesome. But I knew that, you see because we had the book funnel, there were people who were able to read the book. And so that was like tipped off that information with the book funnel. So then that article was written off of the book funnel information.

Anna:                           07:46                That wasn't through the publicist?

Courtney:                     07:47                Well that he was the one that sent it to them.

Anna:                           07:51                Got it.

Courtney:                     07:52                But I didn't know anything about the timing and.

Anna:                           07:55                Right. And so, yeah, and the way we do it is so different because usually advanced sales matter a lot, but we don't even offer advanced sales. And so, and so it launches and you know, and then all we can say, all I can say is paparazzi chased you here when you came to do the audio book? Yeah. And so, and so then tell me about this launch. So, so by the time, by the day it came out, which was, you know, the day of your launch party in LA, was that fun? Like what was that like?

Courtney:                     08:23                Well, I only saw the book, the physical copy of the book. I only saw about a half an hour before my party.

Anna:                           08:30                Right. I know.

Courtney:                     08:31                And we didn't even know if the books were going to be there on time.

Anna:                           08:33                Oh, I remember.

Courtney:                     08:34                We had our, my assistant was going to pick them up and they wouldn't let her get them. So thankfully I had not, I was going to leave for the day and thankfully I had like five extra minutes to stop by and pick them up. And then they were in the car all the day car all day long. And then I got to the party and brought them in and opened them up.

Anna:                           08:54                And it was, you sold every single one that night?

Courtney:                     08:59                Yeah.

Anna:                           09:00                And it was funny because like I was, you know, I get very like into this and I was like, is there a party going to be okay? I mean she's not promoting it and you know, and then I go and it's not only mobbed but it's mobbed with people I knew from all sorts of aspects of my life.

Courtney:                     09:15                Right. Well the reason I didn't put that one on social media is because I had it at a meditation studio Unplug, and they invited some of their people and I knew that the space only took like a hundred people. So I am going to be doing a book signing coming up that I will promote on social media and anyone who missed the first party, if they want to come by.

Anna:                           09:36                Where's that?

Courtney:                     09:37                We're still, we're still figuring that out.

Anna:                           09:40                Well and so, and then you kind of got to go on this ride. Tell us about that ride.

Courtney:                     09:46                I just connected with some people that I've worked with in the news business and tried to set up a little book tour. I mean, I went to New York and had two publicists, helped me throw a party there and then I'm from Philly, so I went on a Good Day, Philly, cause I knew like the anchor there from my Fox News days and then I was going to visit my parents in Florida. So I said, okay, well let me look and see who's the Fox morning anchor on the station there in West Palm. Turns out it was a girl that I had mentored. She was now the anchor there and I still had her number in my phone, so I texted her. She's like, yeah, I'll totally hook you up with that. And then our sister station down in San Diego as well as in San Francisco. I was able to get interviews on there too when I came back. So I'm doing Vegas next week, Friday next week.

Anna:                           10:40                And you, I know that people were pursuing you a lot because they were coming, a lot of them were coming through me. And so what was that like to suddenly have your personal life out there? You never really have and to have media coming to you, like you've been on the other side of it.

Courtney:                     10:56                Yeah. It's interesting being asked the questions, although thankfully I know how to deflect. If it's something I don't want to answer or just bring it back to my message cause you only get like three minutes or in an interview, so you got to make sure you get the message out. But I mean, I'm happy with everything I can, you know, would I have liked to have done more press in New York, sure, but the Iran situation was happening right when I went there. And so, everyone was kind of like, no, but I'm going back there in April. So I guess that's the thing about having a book. Anytime you're going anywhere you can reach out and say like, Hey, can I come promote my book? At least with addiction, you can tie it into like, Oh, this latest study on overdose deaths or something. The most recent one was like white women are being affected by alcohol more than any other?

Anna:                           11:58                And what better representative of white women. Right. Right. So what is the been the most surprising thing about transitioning into being an author?

Courtney:                     12:11                Hmm. I don't, I don't feel like too much has changed, but it's been nice to see people rally around me and support it and post little Instastories and recommend the book to their friends. And it's been nice to read those 46 reviews on Amazon.

Anna:                           12:30                Everyone actually counts you guys.

Courtney:                     12:31                45 of them are five stars and one person who obviously didn't read it did a one star.

Anna:                           12:36                Nice. You got a hater.

Courtney:                     12:38                Yeah. Cause there was not even a way that that person could have had the book by the time that they read it. That was an unverified purchase.

Anna:                           12:46                Trump supporter possibly.

Courtney:                     12:47                Probably.

Anna:                           12:49                And so, so nothing surprising.

Courtney:                     12:54                Oh wait, the biggest surprises that my parents read it. They were adamant about they were not going to be reading it, but I knew like my mom, cause all of her friends were reading it and telling her that it was so good. I knew her curiosity was going to get the best of her and so she read it and she was like, Oh wow, I, I'm so impressed with your writing. And then she sent me a picture of my dad reading the book. She's like, dad's reading it. And I was like, Oh God, he's going to like care about me. Like having threesomes with chocolates and strawberry sauce all over me. But then I got a text the next day. Dad really loved your book. We're both impressed that you were such like a good writer.

Anna:                           13:32                You know? Who else is impressed by that is me. Because most almost, I would say 99% of the people who come to us saying, Oh, I wrote my book myself. Nobody helped me. Were like, Oh God, help us head in our hands. And you know you're not a professional writer.

Courtney:                     13:48                No. But I do write stories.

Anna:                           13:51                It reads like you are a professional writer for a living, and that's pretty amazing.

Courtney:                     13:57                Well that's sweet cause I kind of, I mean I'm very in my voice about it.

Anna:                           14:00                Yeah. Yeah. So what, I mean, I know there are things you would've done differently, but let's talk about what your tips are for people who are launching books or thinking about writing books and want to do it effectively.

Courtney:                     14:14                I think, the, you either have to do what my friend Brandon did and do it all yourself if you have that luxury of time and brain space to learn it all. And I, I mean I think this whole like self publishing, hybrid publishing is the way to go only because of the statistics. Like Anna, you told me that two out of 10,000 proposals get picked up by the top five. If I would've known that I never would have wasted my time with doing the proposal. And then it was hard for me to find a lit agent too. I went months and months and months and couldn't get one. And then I had the big publishers, see now I realize like Harper Collins for example, they did Demi Moore's book and Jessica Simpson's book. So for me they were like, well, she's a decent following.

Anna:                           15:07                Whereas another publisher would have been like, Oh my God, look at her following.

Courtney:                     15:11                Well, no, no, no. They were saying I wasn't A list in that.

Anna:                           15:14                That's what I'm saying. If they have Demi Moore and Jessica Simpson comparatively speaking.

Courtney:                     15:19                You said that people need to have like 2 million legit followers.

Anna:                           15:23                No, I think I just, the people I know who sell books are people who aren't even writers and don't even have interesting stories to tell who have about a hundred thousand followers or a newsletter list of 10,000. And it's so sad because it has nothing to do with quality. It has nothing to do.

Courtney:                     15:40                Well, I hope some of those people that turned me down like, got to see the news about it. I haven't even checked to see how many books I'm selling, we're going to do that after.

Anna:                           15:51                It's kind of exciting. And so, yeah. And so the surprising thing was having your parents read it and like it and not be shocked by your crazy girl behavior.

Courtney:                     16:04                And not too many people have been shocked about the stories. Everybody loves the book. They really do. And they, it's fun when they come to you, like some of my friends have typed up notes and they're like, okay, they go down the line and they're like, who was the celebrity you were in rehab with? And who's that guy you were doing Coke with? And what happened with this and that?

Anna:                           16:26                So can you reveal any of those things to my listeners?

Courtney:                     16:30                Well, I can tell you who I was in rehab with only because it ended up coming out that Catherine Zeta Jones went to Silver Hill, so that news went everywhere. So she was the one in there. I just, I didn't want to put that in there again, but, or I didn't want to put it in the book.

Anna:                           16:46                Yeah. And, you know, in terms of people who are Trump supporters, and if you didn't read the book, obviously this is terrible.

Courtney:                     16:56                It was such a mild story.

Anna:                           16:58                Really in the whole scheme of things. It's a mild story, but it is the President of the United States. And that's the only thing that makes it less mild.

Courtney:                     17:05                But he wasn't at the time.

Anna:                           17:06                Who was not President at the time, but in case anyone has not read the book, Courtney writes about how he told her she was the prettiest anchor at Fox News. True. And asked if she wanted to come to his office and kiss him.

Courtney:                     17:19                And he said, you should come up to the office sometime so we can kiss.

Anna:                           17:24                It's just so insane.

Courtney:                     17:26                It's just that who says that like that. Like that was just shocking.

Anna:                           17:28                The President of the United States.

Courtney:                     17:30                He wasn't at the time. But still, we were both married. So I said, Donald, I believe we're both married and this was over the phone. And my office mate was with me. And so when this came out, he came out on the record saying, I can confirm Courtney's account.

Anna:                           17:43                Oh, great.

Courtney:                     17:45                And Hey, he hasn't denied it. He hasn't said anything.

Anna:                           17:50                He's busy. Well, we'll admit he's busy.

Courtney:                     17:52                He is busy.

Anna:                           17:53                And then there was something about Roger Ailes as well. Also a big.

Courtney:                     17:57                Right. I felt that those stories were input, important to put in with the timing of Bombshell coming out. People are curious about that. And look, those were stories that happened in my early sobriety. So that's the chapter it was in. It was like, Hey, I'm not getting any air time, I'm feeling X, Y, and Z. Like, very vulnerable. And look what's happening, I'm having to do twirls and like the freaking Presidents or you know, Donald Trump's hitting on me and like I'm not drinking over it.

Anna:                           18:22                Right, right, right. Totally right.

Courtney:                     18:23                And I deflected like, okay. I, you know, I made it a humorous situation. Like, Oh, they have domb, dirty old man syndrome or dirty man symptoms.

Anna:                           18:32                Right. And so what would you like this book to do for you in your dream? I mean, and I know you've told me like, Oh, you know, this is your like gift or whatever. It's to be of service. It's to help people. But art, do you have any ideas about what it could do? You know, in terms of speaking, in terms of would you ever want to do coaching? Something like that?

Courtney:                     18:55                I haven't thought about the coaching angle. Speaking would be nice, but I, I'd have to work something out to be like part time with my job cause I have two young kids and it's just like hard to be out of town all the time. Because I only divorced, so I only have them half the time. I just, I feel so guilty when like on my two days off, if I'm traveling, that's when I have the kids like. If I'm traveling, I mean, but if things come up here and there, like my old college saw this news and I might have the chance to go speak with them. And I've spoke for the DEA before and I'm going to again in April.

Anna:                           19:33                And what's it like to sit and sign books? Is that like, I mean I know you're used to like kind of glamorous, fabulous things, but is there something?

Courtney:                     19:40                You still like signing my head shot autograph.

Anna:                           19:43                But isn't there something about signing books.

Courtney:                     19:45                Yeah. The first, I mean that night it was so surreal for sure. And I was make sure I personalize the messages.

Anna:                           19:52                I feel all this pressure where I want to write something really clever and I'm always like, wait, what's her name? Oh my God, I know their name. You Know that kind of thing.

Courtney:                     19:58                Oh, I Did that. I did that with my fiancé’s friend at the party and we had just had dinner with him the weekend for it and I was like, I kept trying to stall it.

Anna:                           20:06                How do you spell it? That's how you, that's what you do.

Courtney:                     20:08                Well it's Trace.

Anna:                           20:09                Just totally like, how do you spell that? Why? Why not?

Courtney:                     20:13                And then of course he like went back and was like, Oh, she doesn't remember who I am. I'm like, well I'm so sorry. I'm like spaz. It was like a whirlwind that whole day.

Anna:                           20:21                And have you read aloud sections that you didn't at that party, but have you?

Courtney:                     20:25                I have not done that. I haven't even read through it in the book version. I read through it to go over the last of the stuff. Yeah. But no, I mean, yeah, one of the things I would have done differently is maybe make it a little longer because it ended up being shorter. But again, like I kind of was, I kind of had help but I was also kind of on my own, and then we were so up against a deadline. Yeah. Because I was thinking about canceling at all or not canceling it, postponing and then two of the three parties I wasn't able to cancel. And then I also really wanted the book to come out in January because of dry January and like new year. New you. So you said you could make it happen and you did, you moved heaven and earth.

Anna:                           21:10                And we moved heaven and earth and it happened and it was really kind of and still is like a fun and exciting ride.

Courtney:                     21:16                Yeah, this one will stand out for you.

Anna:                           21:18                Yeah, I had a TV agent who didn't, who doesn't represent you. I forgot to tell you this, who reached out to me because of the book and was interested in having, he was so sweet and having like seeing what the deal was for some of his clients. And then even maybe he would do a book. So yeah, they've got some interest. But so, okay. But back to tips. So you would say either really learn.

Courtney:                     21:41                Oh, right. I mean, I would think save some, save some money and some might have a team like you do it because then you could get to keep your rights. But it's just the investment upfront. So that's one way to do. I don't think that traditional publisher ways, I mean, if you want to do a proposal on your own, then that kind of gives you at least an outline for the book. So I was grateful that I had done.

Anna:                           22:11                It's just an expensive outline.

Courtney:                     22:13                It ended up being a very expensive outline. Yeah. But not if I had done it myself, but I wouldn't, I wouldn't have known what I was doing. I know nothing about this work.

Anna:                           22:22                I know and it kills me. So many people talk to me and they say like, well no, I just, I want my book in a bookstore, I'm going to try tradition. And I'm just like, okay, I'll talk to you in two years when you're, you broken your heart. I know it does happen for people.

Courtney:                     22:34                For me, the most important thing, cause my book I think is only available on Amazon and now soon to be audible. So for me, I only get books on Amazon or audible. So that's where I wanted it to be. And someone was asking me the other day about it being in a bookstore and I was like, you know, if people get the book, like if they can only go to a bookstore to get the book, they're probably really old and they probably wouldn't even like all the raunchy stuff in my book anyways. Like I'm sure most people, except like my grandma, you know, have a, an Amazon account.

Anna:                           23:09                I know, but people I know, I agree. One thing, I will say, two of our clients, Darren Prince and Emily Paulson have their books in tons of bookstores because they went and like basically tapped on the shoulder of the people there and said, will you have my book here? Emily told me she or her book is in 70 bookstores.

Courtney:                     23:28                Wow. And then she just does a consignment, right?

Anna:                           23:33                Does a consignment. I'm learning every day.

Courtney:                     23:37                That seems like a lot though to keep up with, like to have to know where all your stores are and everything. Like, what are you going to do track them down and be like, how many did we sell?

Anna:                           23:46                I think you have to kind of let go of the results and go, well, you know, if they get back to me with sales, it's alright.

Courtney:                     23:55                Isn't she buying the books?

Anna:                           23:56                I don't actually know what her arrangement is.

Courtney:                     23:59                But what's the deal like there's Ingram Spark too.

Anna:                           24:01                Yes. And by the way, I now know how to do that. We've now added that so we can do that for you. Post-release present. Yeah. I mean, but it's, but here's what people don't know is, you know, 3% Barnes and noble orders 3% roughly of the books that are available in Ingram, and that's including all traditionally published books. Then publishers pay a ton of money for that placement. People say, Oh, I want my book in bookstores. Well, Hudson News, you can pay them something like $30,000 and they'll put it there. It's all kind of become that. And that's why I think Amazon is the great equalizer and audible. And so, Oh, you know what, we'll launch this in conjunction with the audible release so you can get Courtney reading the book herself. Okay. But so, okay, we're still on tips. So one is either learn yourself, all the elements, don't do traditional publishing. Good tip. Right. Save money because you're going to want to spend it on launch expenses. Well, it, and what else would you say, I mean, plan travel and then just, you know, I think a lot of, I've done this before. It's like I've got this trip booked. I've spent the money, I better make the most of it and find some way to promote my book when I'm there.

Courtney:                     25:26                Right. Cause then you can write the trip off too.

Anna:                           25:28                Right the trip off and justify, you know, why you were there.

Courtney:                     25:31                I have a trip booked going to Transylvania, Romania. I don't know if I can do anything there.

Anna:                           25:39                I mean you never know. Someone you mentored, you know, is now a correspondent in Romania, Romanian correspondent. What else are there other tips? Weather the storm.

Courtney:                     25:54                Yeah. And I would think, work on not caring what people think. For me, because I was putting so many vulnerable things out there. I have gotten the questions like what about your kids and what about your job and what about coming out about being sober and all of that. I'm just like look, my intention for this was not to get payments or to get rich, it was to help people. So that's a pure intention. So what can people say about that if they and favor pro like, Oh, I'm sorry. Do you have a problem with my truth? Cause that's my truth. And that's my stories.

Anna:                           26:25                Yeah. You have a problem with me trying to help people. Does that offend you? And, anything else? I mean, so I know for your LA party you wanted to make it personal to you. That seems like that was something that was really important to you. You had the meditation teacher that you found in early sobriety lead a meditation. So do you have a tip around that?

Courtney:                     26:45                Unplug was a very special place for me. Well for my Philly party, I just reached out to a bookstore and saw that they did, the readings and stuff.

Anna:                           26:57                So yeah. So you did do reach out to bookstores too?

Courtney:                     26:59                Yeah, just, and it's funny, they have like 10 remaining books from my party there and I told them, I was like, you guys, you are literally the only store in America that has my books.

Anna:                           27:08                But now that you know that they were so happy to do it, maybe you should see that's also, so that's something I want to offer is like, wouldn't that be amazing if I could offer that service and we'll get you in books. You know, we'll make those calls to Indi bookstores and get them in there.

Courtney:                     27:22                That's kind of like the press angle, I guess.

Anna:                           27:24                Yeah. And in terms of press, I mean your experience is obviously different than most, but.

Courtney:                     27:30                Well the advice is to find the news peg. So, if your book is about how to, I don't know, not have anxiety when you fly because of your afraid the plane's going to crash, right? Like you hear about a plane crash, like immediately every child, like.

Anna:                           27:49                Spoken like a true news correspondent.

Courtney:                     27:51                Hey, I have a book about how to like comb your fears of anxiety flying. So like, let's talk about it, that was maybe a bad example. It could be like, you know, after the next school you write a book about school shooting. Certainly you want to be on the news, you know, listening to the news, if there's a school shooting.

Anna:                           28:12                And if somebody who doesn't have your connections, do you have tips as someone in the news? What's a good way to reach someone?

Courtney:                     28:18                I think, now you can just find people through Instagram.

Anna:                           28:22                Really, so you would say DM reporters?

Courtney:                     28:25                I would look for who does the types of segments. Like if you're writing a book about cars and you see on ABC there's the guy that does the car segments. I would look for him. I mean, you've got to be like a little Nancy Drew. If you want your articles to be in the LA Times and in the Saturday, Sunday section, then you, this is what I did actually. But they were like, Oh yeah we already did something like that. But I just, cause I wasn't using a publisher publicist at first for this. So I would just stalk people. Not everybody got back to me.

Anna:                           29:00                Right. That's the other thing is you can't take it personally.

Courtney:                     29:03                No. No.

Anna:                           29:04                Well this has been awesome. Is there anything else that you want people to know about your book, about you, about launching a book?

Courtney:                     29:14                Well, I just love that statistic about how 80% of the people in the world think that they have a book in them, but only 3% write it. It feels good to now have it, cause it was something that was in the works and I know so many people who are trying to write books and you just get stuck. So set deadlines for yourself. I think that's helpful too.

Anna:                           29:38                Yeah, you have officially joined the 1%. It's true. It's true. Okay. Courtney, thank you so much. And you guys thank you for listening, as always, if you love this episode and the show, please rate, it'll take two seconds. It even means more than an Amazon review. But if you're in a real reviewing mode, also go review Courtney's book right.

Courtney:                     29:58                Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News.

Anna:                           30:04                And you can get it on audible as well. Also, there is a website, CourtneyFreelbook.com. So check it out. See you next time.

 

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