July 10th, 2012

Lucky number nine

MajorCrushH546About six years ago, my first book, Major Crush, was published by Simon & Schuster. There was no advertising and no fanfare for the book. It went on to sell very well, but on release day I had no way of knowing that would happen. So after months of working the social media angle on MySpace (chuckle) and sending all my author copies to the few online book reviewers out there who were interested in YA, I spent that August day in 2006 alternately copyediting medical journal articles about nasal polyps, staring out the window in a forlorn manner and wondering when the marching band was going to show up on my lawn, and checking my sales rank on Amazon.

I am forlorn no more. Today is my ninth release day, with Such a Rush in stores. There is still no marching band on my lawn, but at least I am not expecting it now. I have a husband to check my sales rank for me and only report the good stuff. Most importantly, I have book due, so I will spend the day writing, which is all I ever wanted. Especially around release day, it's so easy to get caught up in the sales rankings and advertising and anxiety about competition, and it's so important to remember that a love of writing is what got me here. I am very grateful.

SuchARushH518I don't know what this book release will bring, but the lead-up to publication day has been nothing short of wonderful. The book has gotten favorable reads on Zoey Deschanel's site Hello Giggles and at Seventeen Magazine. Thanks again and again to all the book bloggers who have reviewed Such a Rush and posted their supportive comments for other readers to see.

Tonight I'll be signing copies of the book from 5 to 7 at Barnes & Noble at the Patton Creek Shopping Center here in Birmingham. I have a lot of signings under my belt now, too. I still have a lot of anxiety about being late, so I will probably arrive at least 30 minutes early and then not want to go in and look like a dork lurker, so if you are dying to meet me you can probably catch me looking at sandals at DSW next door. At the signing itself, if I have known you less than 10 years I will probably still forget your name (this is just something that happens to me at my own book signings--I am only pretending to be an extrovert and this saps most of my brain power apparently) but I am happy to report that after years of practice, I probably will not misspell my own name when I sign your book. If you approach my Grand Fancy Author Table, faking me out and making me think you are interested in my book, but then asking if your child can have a Hershey's Kiss without you buying anything (psych!), of course I will say yes. If you ask me where the bathroom is, I will say it is behind us to the left under the poster of Gone with the Wind. If there is a lull in foot traffic, I will give thanks that it is not like the lull three other authors and I experienced at a signing during the Alabama-Florida game.

Thanks to Carla Swafford for the video and the narration, and to Christy Reece for telling me I had chocolate teeth.

But mostly I will enjoy your company. A lot of you have told me you will be traveling to the signing to pick up signed books for yourselves or your friends. My local writing group, Southern Magic, is always so supportive of my work. Your friendship is evident daily, but never more so than at a signing. I am continually astounded at the kindness of readers, and I feel so lucky that this is my job and that I am on deadline.