Note: If you're reading this in your email or in a reader, be sure to click over to the site today and check out the new look and feel of PositivelyPresent.com. I did some design updates over the weekend and I'm pretty excited about the updated look!
It's been about two months since my book, The Positively Present Guide to Life, debuted, and the launch has been a whirlwind of excitement and hard work. It's been such an amazing feeling to see the book on shelves and to sign books for Positively Present readers in person. (Two more signings coming up: Arlington 6/14 and Towson 7/19!) Honestly, cliche as it might sound, it really is a dream come true. My whole life I've dreamed of seeing my book in the bookstore, of being an author, and now it's real!
I'm obviously thrilled to have a dream come true (who wouldn't be?!) and I'm so overjoyed about the book's success so far, but I do have one little problem when it comes to this book launch stuff: I'm not all that great at promoting. Whenever I talk about my book, I feel like I'm bragging or rehashing some lame sales pitch, and I tend to downplay the excitement I feel and the desire I have for people to check out the book. Inside I'm so proud of what I've created, but I hesitate to vocalize it because I don't want to come off as boastful.
However, too do well in the ever-shrinking book industry, you have to sell, sell, sell. These days, authors aren't just writers; they're marketers and PR agents and designers and social media experts. They write, but they also sell. I see some authors' websites — filled with sales-y jargon and buzzwords meant to get you to make a purchase — and I cringe. I don't want to be like that. I want people to want to buy my book not because I tricked them into it with some proven sales tactic but because they actually want to buy my book.
Of course, I want you to buy my book (after all, it's how I make my living!), but I want you to buy it because you're drawn to it and you think it will help you make your life a more positive, present place. As the author, of course I think the book is awesome. I spent years working on it, and I'm still kind of in awe when it hold in my hands. But sometimes I take for granted the fact that I know why it's a worthwhile read, and I forget to actually tell people about why they might think it's worth buying.
So here we go — my attempt at an honest look at why The Positively Present Guide to Life deserves a spot on your bookshelf — based on both my personal feelings about the book and on some of the wonderful feedback I've received from readers who've already purchased the book.
1. IT FEATURES PRACTICAL ADVICE YOU CAN USE IN THE REAL WORLD
Okay, so I'll be honest: there are a lot of self-improvement books on the market and a lot of them are really great. In my line a work, I read tons of them and think most of them have something of value. However, the trouble with some of them is that they don't always show you how to take their ideas and make them work in the real world. The Positively Present Guide to Life does things a bit differently. In the book, I write about thought-provoking topics, but I do my best to bring them to the reader in a practical way. Staying positive and present is lovely in theory, but in practice it's hard. That's why I offer tactics, tricks, and tips that provide accessible advice for you to use in your real life: at home, at work, in relationships, in love, and during times of change.
2. ITS ORGANIZED CONTENT CAN BE READ IN ANY ORDER
One of my favorite features of the book is that it's very organized, featuring 30 clearly defined chapters spread across five sections (Home, Work, Relationships, Love, and Change). Though the book flows nicely if you decide to read it in order, the awesome thing about it is that you can read it any way you want. If you feel like you need some inspiration for coping at work, start with the Work section. If you're having trouble staying positive at home, begin with Home. If your relationship could use a little boost, check out the Love section first. Whatever area of your life needs a bit of a pick-me-up, you can just flip to that section and discover insights and inspiration for your current situation.
3. IT CONTAINS INSPIRING ACTIVITIES (AND FREE WORKSHEETS!)
In addition to the advice and tips mentioned in #1, the book features 30 unique, inspiring (but easy-to-do) activities that you can do to put the advice into practice. Of course, you don't need to do these to get the full impact of the book, but I'm so glad these were included because they give readers an idea of how to take concepts from the book and actually put them into practice. And the extra-cool thing about these activities is that many of them have accompanying worksheets you can download for free! You can even download the worksheets right now and have a look (though they do work much better when you have the book as a guide). I love these worksheets, and I have a feel you will too!
4. IT'S A TANGIBLE, CURATED POSITIVELYPRESENT.COM
So, you're obviously reading PositivelyPresent.com and hopefully you think the site is filled with inspiring, interesting, and motivating insights and information. The Positively Present Guide to Life is like a tangible, curated version of the website. If you're looking for information on a specific topic, it's much easier to grab a copy of the book and flip to the Table of Contents then it is to search the PositivelyPresent.com archives to find what you're looking for. Let's say you need a little help staying positive at work. You could search the archives for posts that relate to your current situation, or you could purchase the book and have everything you need to know about staying positive at work right at your fingertips, including easy-to-do exercises and illustrated inspiration!
5. IT'S FILLED WITH INSPIRING ILLUSTRATIONS
And speaking of illustrations... one of the absolute best features of the book is that it has pictures! Creating the illustrations was one of the highlights of making this book, and I think the added dose of inspiration really helps to spread the messages from the book. Even if you're not all that into illustrations, you can't deny that there's something useful (and more memorable) about seeing an inspirational image. It's likely to stick with you longer than word-laden paragraphs of text, which hopefully means you'll keep the wisdom tucked somewhere in your mind for a time when you need to access it. The illustrations add another element to the book that you don't see in many self-improvement books these days, and I really think they help make the content more memorable (and prettier too!).
6. IT SHARES WITH THE FULL STORY OF HOW THE SITE BEGAN
I can't tell you how many times I get asked, "How did you get into this?" or "How did Positively Present start?" In various interviews, I've talked briefly about how the site began (back in 2009!) and what inspired me to create it, but in The Positively Present Guide to Life you get the full story of why I started thinking about living a more positive, present life, why I decided to create a website, and how it lead to a full-time job (and a book deal!). Even if you're not all that interested in my personal journey, it's always kind of fun to read about the backstory of someone else. It was really interesting for me to reflect on the beginning of Positively Present and share the full tale of how it began, and that part of the book ended up being one of my favorites.
7. IT'S COMPACT SIZE IS PERFECT FOR ON-THE-GO INSPIRATION
Yes, you can access inspiration online on your smartphone at anytime, but there's something really great about having a book you can carry around and reference at any given moment. And I absolutely love the size of The Positively Present Guide to Life (5.8 x 7.8 inches). The size wasn't up to me (the publisher decided on that), but as soon as I saw it, I was in love. (Book nerd alert!) It's small enough to tote around with you (as I so often do!), but it's not so small that it's tough to read or lacking in substantial content. Even though real, in-your-hands books are rarer these days, there's something quite wonderful about having a book you can easily keep with you for instant inspiration and motivation — and that's just what this guide is!
Hopefully you can see now why I love the book so much and am so proud of all the hard work that went into creating it. If you want to learn more about the book, watch the book trailer video, or download the free worksheets, check out DaniDiPirro.com/Books/Guide. And if you're feeling inspired to pick up a copy of the book, you can find it at your local bookseller or at these online retailers:
Already have a copy of the book? I'd love you forever if you left a review on GoodReads or Amazon! And if you want to spread the word about the book, here are some sample messages you could share via Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform:
Also . . . THANK YOU to anyone who has bought a copy of the book or spread the word about it! If you're unable to make it to one of my DC-area book signings, I have some FREE bookplates I can personalize, sign, and mail to you. (Check them out here.) Just email me your mailing address and who you want me to make it out to and I'll send you one!