Thursday, May 10, 2007

9 Things I Learned On the Way To Publication

Today's juicy post is brought to you by Writer Unboxed, so head over there to hear about the 9 things I've gleaned along the way.

I'm headed down to Nashville for the night to watch my (much younger) sister-in-law graduate from college, but I'll be back next week with more questions and answers. Yep, I know that I have a backlog, and I promise to get to them!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

And Now, Back to Real Life

Before I tell you all about my launch day, I have another Q/A out! Check out Susan Johnston's fabulous Urban Muse, in which I participate in her weekly 5 Questions post.

So...yesterday came and went and now it's back to my regularly scheduled programming. I ran around like a nutcase - hitting bookstores all over the city (though I still have to tackle downtown - I just ran out of time) and signing stock. I had a nice convo with a wonderful bookseller named Terrance at Barnes and Noble on 86th St, in which he genuinely thanked me for coming in, told me to call in a few weeks to see if I need to sign additional copies, and then also stated that autographed copies really do sell better. See? I find that strange. I guess maybe because I don't collect books or anything, but do people really buy books simply because the author has signed them? Maybe it's a situation of, if a reader is debating between two books, he or she is more likely to buy the signed one? Thoughts? I'm genuinely curious about this.

From there, I fielded more emails than I could handle, and chatted with my agent several times about what was going on, as well as book #2. Oh, and said fabulous agent also sent me some gorgeous flowers, even conspiring with my husband (who, I should note, didn't send flowers - he sheepishly admitted that he thought about it, but knew that my agent was sending them, so he didn', thanks, sweetie!) to find out what my favorite blooms are. (But hubby did know that the answer was calla lilies, so I let him off the hook. He's also listened to all of my stress rants the past week, so again, that helps me give him a pass.)

And then, that was that. Pub day came and went, and by nightfall, I was still sitting on my bathroom floor, reading How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night to my son, who was sitting on the potty, while waiting for him to "push pee-pee out of his penis." Yes, this writer thing is truly glamorous.

I think that for me, the sale of the book might have been more exhilarating. I mean, I've known for months and months and months that this day was approaching, but when you sell a book, it's such a thrill, not least because of the suspense behind it. Not that yesterday wasn't great - it was. To walk into a store and say, "I'm an author, and I'd love to sign my books," is any writer's dream. And I don't mean to undersell that. But now, life goes on. I sit and anxiously await my sales figures and continue to do press and push the hell out of it, and in the meantime, potty training, dog walking, and grocery shopping await.

So, seriously, give me the scoop on autographed copies. Do you buy books based on them?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Well....It's Here!

Before anything else: the fabulous Eileen Cook, whose debut, In the Stars, has been named one of Penguin's lead titles for 2008, was kind enough to do a Q/A with me, which you can find on her site.

Wow, today's the big day! And honestly, I can't remember feeling this stressed since my wedding day! (Let me rephrase: I was super-duper psyched and calm about the actual marriage, but stressed about the whole thing going smoothly. I don't think I ate anything that entire week.) Honestly, I can palpably feel the tension in my body - like the whole thing is curling into itself and forming one giant tension-filled knot. Which is insane, I know! I need to get out there and enjoy this damn thing, right?

So today, I'll try to. I had the dog walked this morning so that I could get to the gym and do the requisite running to exorcise some of my stress. And besides, somehow it didn't seem fitting for a future bestselling author (ha!) to be picking up stinky poop all morning. (We just changed our dog's food, and while you don't need to know any further details, well, things ain't pretty these days with his digestive system.)

So now, I'm going to head out to bookstores around the city to introduce myself and sign stock. Maybe that's when the excitement will kick in and the stress will abate. We'll see...I'll report back tomorrow!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sick of Me Yet? My Pre-Release Weekend

Hee. Well, on the eve of my debut, I have a few Q/As and links to post.

Check out Mia King's fabulous blog (and fabulous book, Good Things - it's in its THIRD print run!) for a fun Q/A with me, as well as an ice cream recipe that ties into the book.

Then head over to the wonderful Larramie's blog, Seize A Daisy, for a few of my inner-thoughts just before the book officially hits stores.

From there, move on to Kerri Campbell-Fivecoat's, Write For You, an awesome blog about the ins and outs of the writing world, for another Q/A on my writing habits and ideas behind the book.

More Q/A links tomorrow!

So, this weekend, I prepped for the book's release in a few ways.

I started Saturday morning at the Revlon Run/Walk. While I run a lot on the treadmill, I've never actually done a 5k, so I was really pumped for it. I got off the subway just in time to spy my girl-crush, Mandy Moore, perform her new song, Extraordinary, and I was rapt. Love her! And was within 20 feet of her too, which thrilled me to no end.

The race kicked off, and I ran it with no problems - though I'll admit to crying through parts of it while I ran. All around me, people wore signs memorializing loved ones they'd lost or who were battling the disease, and it was hard not to get choked up.

But I raised nearly $6,000, and this year, my husband and I promised to match all of the donations with a donation to The MetaCancer Foundation, a foundation that was established in Lizzie's memory, so even when I hit a big hill, I kept powering through because I knew that what I was dealing with was nothing compared to what Lizzie had to go through. And it was a pretty cool feeling knowing that I'd helped raised 12k just by doing this little run! From the beginning, I'd always wanted to give part of the proceeds of the sale of the book back to charity, but donating a portion of the sale of each book is complicated, so this was my way of giving back. I've been very blessed, and I really believe in putting some good out in the world for no other reason than putting it out there.

So that was Saturday. (Topped off by seeing a fabulous movie, Waitress. Keri Russell is one of my all-time faves - I've already spoken about my Felicity adoration - and the movie didn't disappoint. Even my husband admitted to really liking it.)

On Sunday, we walked down to the Border's at Time Warner Center. I was shocked (and a little thrilled!) to see a giant picture of my mug in the window! My son ran up and squealed, "Hi Mommy!," which I think was just about the highlight of my life...all of the joyful elements of my life come together for one perfect moment. Then we went inside, and bam! My husband spotted my book front and center on the new release table. I signed some copies and did my best not to accost book buyers and shove the book down their throats, and then we all left to get some ice cream and with big smiles on our faces.

Very cool weekend, and certainly, a first-in-a-lifetime experience. Oh yeah, and a friend emailed to tell me that the Literary Guild called me "a writer to watch" in their newest catalog! It doesn't get sweeter than this.

More tomorrow, when, on release day, maybe it will!