Getting published via Facebook status update

If there’s something you want to do, you’ll be more likely to do it if you write it down or tell someone. This isn’t exactly how Go the F— to Sleep came to be, but the book exists because of one fateful Facebook post written last June.

It started when Adam Mansbach, a writer, updated his status after his young daughter wouldn’t go to sleep: “Look out for my forthcoming book, Go the F— to Sleep.” The status was just a joke, meant to express his frustration. But the update drew lots of attention in the form of “likes” and comments.

Mansbach made the book a reality. He wrote the story in the style of a children’s book but with adults as the intended audience. Akashic Books agreed to publish it.

What began as a joke became an internet sensation. A PDF of the book was leaked and went viral. It became so popular that the official release date was moved from October to June 14.

It’s fascinating to see social media have an impact like this. While it’s common knowledge that Facebook and Twitter are important tools for marketing and promotion, this shows how they can do even more. Social media was central to the formation of Go the F— to Sleep; it wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

OK, so it’s not Mansbach’s Facebook page that helped create the book, but it’s the people who visited the page who did. Collaboration and feedback are important for the development of any great idea. And social media makes it easier and faster for people to get a discussion going.

If we take a chance and put our ideas out there—even just small nuggets of ideas—someone out there will see them. Our online friends might add to the ideas, suggest a change, or offer informative criticism. They might see the brilliance that we never knew was there.

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