|Anne made signs! How cute is she?|
Unless you have connections, it's challenging to get the word out about a first novel. My publisher has been exceptional -- going above and beyond to get my novel noticed. But it's tough out there. Especially in the fall when I'm up against the biggest U.S. and UK books, and the Canadian prize winners. I've been trying a few things on my end. Tweeting, blogging, shaking hands, attending festivals, doing readings, etc. Some attempts have worked better than others. At a book party in September, for example, I worked up the nerve to initiate a conversation with a big name in Canadian publishing -- only to get shot down. It was a classic humiliation. He turned, gave me a "you are a Zero" stare, and promptly introduced me to the lonely expanse of the back of his plaid shirt.
So it's a grand understatement to say that I've been grateful for the support I have received. Whether it's posting book reviews online, showing up en masse for my book launch, buying more copies than they need, displaying copies at their desks, or writing letters of recommendation for my various pipe dreams, my friends and family have been behind me 100%.
A week ago, one of these supportive humans did a wonderfully generous thing: She threw a book party for me. It wasn’t a book club so much as a night with a bunch of smart, well-read women who value books, yes, but who value supporting each other even more.
I did a brief, nervous reading, answered some questions and sold a bunch of books! Then, as the party wrapped and I hoovered the crackers and hummus, us stragglers sat around and gabbed and drank and laughed. Oh! And I got to pet a dog!!
Thank you for opening your home to me and my novel, Anne. It was a perfect night. And thanks to all of my other friends, family and blog readers who've been supporting me and my little book. I'm lucky to have you.