Monday, May 19, 2014

#Gratitude

The Art of Lainey doesn't officially go on sale until tomorrow, but copies of the book are already appearing on bookstore shelves. Check it out!

Looking fancy at a Florida Books-a-Million!

It's such an exciting and terrifying feeling, but mingled in with all that is this tremendous sense of gratitude. And so today I've created a sort of hybrid playlist** and extended acknowledgments page.

I've talked a lot in different blog posts about how thankful I am to have an agent who is the perfect mix of tough and honest and supportive. She's more than that, though. She's insanely well-connected and business-savvy. She's attentive. She's efficient. She puts up with long angsty emails where I basically worry for pages about nothing, and then she manages to make me feel better in two sentences.

I'm also so grateful for my editor, who really understood my vision for the book and pushed me to make it even better. She was always there to say, diplomatically: "a little too much, maybe?" Who? Me? :-) Yes--it's true. I am the Queen of Too Much when I write. I never hold back. It's easier to remove stuff that's not working than remember that thing I wanted to do but didn't because I was too afraid to go for it. My editor also listened to me obsess over irrelevant minutia and fielded an endless barrage of questions about editing things, promotional things, and other burning concerns. Despite all that, her enthusiasm for Micah  the book never waned.


"How about me enjoying a moment for once?"


(I really wanted that to be a clip of Boyz II Men's Thank You, but I couldn't find a licensed video for it. If you do the Spotify thing, you should check out that song too. Oh, and, just a warning. Alanis Morissette is naked in that video. Don't ask me. It's a good song.)

My friends and family have also been awesome throughout this journey, as have my coworkers in Portland, and my lovely YA Valentines co-bloggers. And #TeamLainey--I have a fantastic street team of people from all over the world who are tweeting and posting and making fan art, some of them for a book they still haven't read! Basically, I am incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic support system.



"Oh, and I might fail. Oh, I might succeed
Whatever the outcome is just keep your faith in me
Just believe in me and I will be there."


But here's what really blows my mind: the immense outpouring of support from strangers who read my book and liked it. Part of my self-guided promotional plan involved reaching out to "big bloggers" and asking for reviews. Most of the people I reached out to read the book and liked it. And then, in many cases, they told their friends to read it. Who then told their friends to read it. And suddenly my book was getting reviewed all over the blogosphere and I was being invited to do giveaways and guest posts on sites with high visibility and traffic.

Many authors believe that blog exposure doesn't help sales, but I can see in the comment streams where reviews written and posted by people I don't know literally changed the minds of their blog followers who weren't going to read my book. That is HUGE. That is just, my heart like swells up and splits open thinking about it. You spent your time writing reviews and answering comments essentially telling people to read The Art of Lainey and now they are. And every read matters. I know one girl on twitter who got the ARC passed to her by a friend and she loved the book so much she sponsored her own giveaway. She's been telling everyone to read it. [ETA: Another giveaway has sprung up, sponsored by another kind reader!] You can't buy that kind of enthusiasm with marketing dollars. You guys--the blogosphere--you got the word out for me so that people who would love the book are managing to find it. Every read matters. Every review matters. Every sale matters. No matter how many books I sell, some of those sales will be because of you. Thank you for being so kind and generous.



"For your kindness I'm in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you."


Got #gratitude? What are you feeling grateful for today?


**All videos were uploaded to youtube by the content rights holder and are embedded in this post without infringement.