Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Little Things

My stint in the publishing world is short (three years) and my novels are “critically acclaimed” as opposed to “bestselling”, but I’m satisfied with this venture. It’s the little things that make me feel this way.

Earlier this year, my son’s third grade teacher phoned me. When she identified herself, she paused after her name, as though waiting to see if I recognized it. While it’s been five years since my son left her class, I never forget someone I’ve met and certainly not if I liked them. She was calling because she’d seen my books written up in the local newspaper. She’d run out and purchased them, and she wanted to know if she could come over to our house to have me sign them. Heck, yes. Come to find out, her son works for Harlan Coben’s publisher, and she’s learned a lot about publishing, including how important it is to support new writers.

A couple months ago, my husband suggested I contact Life in the Finger Lakes magazine to ask them to review my second book, For Richer, For Danger, which was set in the region. Before I had a chance, the magazine’s editor contacted me and asked if I could send a copy to their reviewer. Heck, yes. The review came out last month: “A most entertaining tale.”

Over the last few months, I’ve spent a few minutes a week friending people on Goodreads and asking them to check out my books. I always wonder if people find being approached in that manner more annoying than friendly. But in May, two reviewers specifically said they were “so glad” I contacted them.

A family friend doesn’t read often, okay, almost never. But she purchased my first book and read it within a couple days. Her husband said she just finished the second within a day and can’t wait for the third.

When I entered the publishing world, my only goal was to write a book that a recognized publisher would buy. Everything else has been icing on the cake.

So, care to share any of your own warm fuzzies? What little things of late have made your life choices that much more satisfying?


Robin Allen said...

Congrats on all the great press, Lisa.

A couple of fuzzies stand out for me. First, the reaction of my friends along the lines of, "Wow, you can really write." I think they were afraid they would have to come up with something positive to say about my book, but they genuinely liked it and it surprised them.

Another is that my local library has two copies of my book. I live in a small town and volunteer at the library, so I know all of the librarians. They all read and loved my book, and they recommend it to readers. I'll drop in to check out books, and one of them will come up and tell me that a patron read my book and loved it. That feels good.

Lisa Bork said...

Thanks, Robin. I think I got more of a kick out of seeing my book on our library's shelf than anything else--being a big library user myself.

Keith Raffel said...

Congrats, Lisa.

Publication of my Drop By Drop, an ebook original, has been a different experience. No book signings. No books on library shelves. Instead, it's mostly been a matter of readers finding it in cyberspace through online reviews or from friends. The thrill of seeing a five star review on Amazon that's entitled "Wow" or another that says "Drop by Drop is truly an amazing thriller that gets you were it counts - your gut", well, that's as good as it gets.

Kathleen Ernst said...

I think you've captured it, Lisa. This can be a weird biz, but hearing from one happy reader makes everything worthwhile! I did a library program last week and one of the women who came had grown up in the two towns featured in Old World Murder. She was so excited, and I wanted to give her a big hug!

Lisa Bork said...

Thanks, Keith. Reader reviews are the best--so heartfelt and honest.

Kathleen, readers do seem to love recognizing their own haunts. I think you should hugged her!

G.M. Malliet said...

Comments I receive via my web site give me the warmest of fuzzies. I love it that anyone took the time to find me to say how much they liked my books. What a kind thing to do, when you really think about it.

Lois Winston said...

I agree with Gin. It's one thing when friends and relatives say they liked your book; it's another when a total stranger takes the time to contact you and gush about it.

Lisa Bork said...

G.M. and Lois - You guys are so right. I love it when a reader takes the time to email me through my web site--probably a "do unto others" lesson there :)

Vicki Doudera said...

I like the way you are keeping things in perspective, Lisa. When it comes down to it the little things are what matters.

Like health! I am recuperating from pneumonia, if you can believe it. Boy do I appreciate way I can now breathe again!

Lisa Bork said...

Oh, Vicki, so sorry to hear you were ill. Glad you're recovering. What a summer let down!