5 Lessons I Didn’t Expect From A Book Launch

When people ask me about my experience writing both books in one year, I always say, “Well, I learned a lot from writing the book, BUT I learned just as much, if not more from actually launching the books.” Personal growth to the max and an experience I am now so grateful for and can share.

5 Lessons I Didn’t Expect From A Book Launch

Lesson #1: People will show up.

  • In April, I had my first By Hand launch parties in both LA and Norcal and let’s just say I did not expect to be signing that many books! But what touched me more than the number of people who came, were my friends and family (and even new friends) who asked if I needed help. Those who stepped up and poured sparkling wine, who brought food, who helped me setup <3. I don’t lean on people very well and being single and not living close to my family, I have become so independent (maybe to a fault). These events forced me to ask for help and more importantly learn that people WANT to help.

Lesson #2: And people will also not show up.

  • This was probably the hardest thing to learn. And one that might be hard to understand. In contrast to the first lesson, I also had to learn that people are busy and the reality is that my event just might not be the top priority on their list. And that is 1000% okay. Little stings added up that I wasn’t expecting to affect me like they did. But when I got to the root of the problem, I realized it was more about my own self worth than others actions. Did I mention I learned a lot about myself ha?!

Lesson#3: You are an author now.

  • This one might sound funny to you because I wrote a book...so of course you are an author Nicole! But what I didn’t expect was the weight of what that title holds. Because to me I didn’t feel any different. I was still me. However, being a Published Author (with capital letters), I somehow was supposed to know everything. And in the first month of my book releasing, I took it the wrong way and I felt so overwhelmed. It wasn’t that there were negative messages (they were quite the opposite actually), I just couldn’t respond to all my DM’s, I then felt shame because like my mom would tell me growing up “this is a good problem to have”, and then I would feel guilty. It was a not so great cycle.

Then, before I get into the next two lessons, I want to preface that I can speak about this truth and all these, because I have worked through my emotions. I am not writing from an empty well running off my reactions. It has taken me a few months to get here and I’m comforted to express these thoughts to you clear headed.

Lesson #4: There will be a low after the high.

  • After the rush of both books launching, all the anticipation, all the work, all the late nights... at one point I realized I just didn’t feel myself. I was getting snappy with people, things didn’t bring me joy like they used to, and I was honestly exhausted both physically and mentally. If you’re curious, I actually spoke about it in my episode with The Modern Creative Podcast and Women On the Rise. Listening back to it, I can hear it in my voice and I admit to being sad. Then, in the midst of this all, Lesson #5 came my way.

Lesson #5: You will get a 2 star review.

  • If you follow me on instagram, I shared when I got a 3 star review and my reaction. I was in shock, my heart was racing, I kept refreshing the page thinking “wait did I read that right?” These are my IG stories from that time and what I learned.

  • But then, a few weeks later I got a 2 star review. And that one got me. I immediately texted a few close people in my life. I got sad and fired up at the same time. I knew it wasn’t personal (I worked through those emotions and yes it stung), but what upset me more was thinking about the future mamas out there who will go on Amazon and see these low star reviews. It broke my heart thinking it may prevent them from buying the kids book that I truly wrote to bring joy into kids lives.

So, why am I writing this all out now . . . because I want you to know that life is messy. Even mine. And like the title of this blog post explains, these were 5 life lessons I did not expect to learn from launching a book. Life is not perfect, life is not the little squares we post on social media, and we all have to work through our own messes.

If you are in the trenches of a hard season. Keep fighting. Please keep fighting. I see you.

And if you are someone who has this itch to do something creative. Do it. You don’t need to start a whole lettering business and follow in my steps. Just follow that curiosity; it will lead you somewhere. I know it.

And if you have just stumbled upon me and this is your first time meeting me, well hi :) that was a heavy blog post for you! But that’s me and I realized this is my approach to lettering. I teach from being aware, being mindful and creating from a place of human touch, not perfection.

Xo with lots of growth from a wild 2018 year,


Nicole Santo