I wore a glittery bomber jacket and PJ bottoms to my own book launch - Natalie Tolhopf - Business Coach


I wore a glittery bomber jacket and PJ bottoms to my own book launch

How do you sell books when you don’t have them in your hands? What about hosting a launch party that no one can attend?

Well, you roll with it right?

Seeing as I am all about imperfect action and it is the tagline of my book, I was like this really is the PERFECT time. The perfect time to show others how to literally make lemonade from lemons.

How to take the best laid plans and throw them up in the air! So how did it all turn out you may ask?

Imperfectly perfect.

Picture this…. A spreadsheet with the timings of the first book draft, finalising the guest writers, finalising the cover design, the proof reading, the pre-tease posts of the book is coming!! To the whole…OMG the book is here and you can pre-order right NOW.

Then picture this amazing glory coming to fruition with an abrupt halt.

The pre-order timing went from a well accepted two weeks to…”So because of being in lock down printing has stopped and your book…well your book that you paid for is going to be well… I don’t know WHEN I will get it to you! “

Of course my amazing book buyers were like, this is totally understandable. We can wait.


Except I didn’t want them to wait.  So what did I do?

I started recording two chapters a week on audio and sending it to them for their weekend. It went down a treat. The audio isn’t perfect BUT the feedback has been amazing. Not to mention I get to repurpose these audios recordings. I am going to send them to a sound technician get them tidied up and boom hello Audible!

Again I want you to picture another well thought out plan, this time with an event organiser. Hours of preparation, discussions and excitement. The guest list was created, the guests were invited using this awesome app called Paperlesspost.com.

The RSVP’s rolled in, people were getting excited and funnily enough, I hadn’t mentioned to my parents I had written a book. They were ecstatic and very much looking forward to the book launch. As were my two daughters Ruby 12 and Molly 8, they were going to be the paid help and serve food and drinks. They had their hair booked at the hairdresser for banding braids and half day at school.

We secured the best venue (my event planner was Emma Jane John from Sisterhood Of Style, she is legit the bomb!) and we were just discussing the amount of champagne bottles to order when…. Covid level 2 was announced.

Hmmmmmmmm. I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable, so I made the decision for everyone that we were going to be the FIRST (well first for me and my cool tribe) to host a book launch party online!

Hey, I want to be honest, I was disappointed 100%! But it helped me realise just how important it is to drop the perfection.  And I made a great decision by following my intuition and not my ego, because a week later New Zealand went into lock down.


Now the question became how do we make an online book launch, feel energised, intimate and meaningful?

No brainer for me, I asked my Girl Friday…EJ to help me pivot the book launch. We came up with the idea of a recipe card (CLICK here to see it) A recipe for how to have a fabulous online party. It set the tone and added some anticipation. Then we asked the guest speaker to speak, I was going to do a reading and then Q&A.

Simple. For everyone. No trying to fancy it up with backgrounds, zoom rooms, or music or slides. Just pure.

PJs at my book launch - Natalie TolhopfLaunch night came and I wore my new bomber jacket from Chasing Cait and my PJ bottoms. Very TV presenter! I did my hair and makeup and then my daughters got dressed up too.

45 guests attended my book launch and they got to see me at my most vulnerable. I cried, then my mum cried and then we all cried LOL!

I had a guest speaker, my editor the amazing Christine Sheehy. She spoke around the journey of creating the book, and then I did a reading, then we had  Q&A time. All of this in the comforts of our own home, but together.

The feedback that came in was threaded with how special, intimate, fun and inspirational the event went. All of this via zoom.


On reflection when I look back over this book launch, did it follow my excel spreadsheet plans, did I sell as many books as I could, was it the event it was meant to be?


I can hand on heart say that I am so grateful that the launch of my book was so imperfect, during the most imperfect time. So much so that it has helped inspire other women in biz to realise that there is no perfect time, ever. Only now and only with your full commitment and energy.

I want my imperfect book launch to be your launch pad for just taking action regardless of the best laid plans going tits up! By the way have you got your book yet? Grab yours here…

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