My apologies once more to the God of Polite Self-Effacement, if I haven’t already been excommunicated from that church. I’ll try to put a moratorium on “Yay! Someone likes my book!” posts, but there was no earthly way I could let this one pass.
So last Friday I’m at the public library on my lunch hour, checking all the personal accounts we’re not allowed to check at my day job, and I see an email with the subject line “ARC Giveaway Contests.”
My first thought, because this is the ridiculous way my mind works, is that I’ve somehow run afoul of Facebook’s surprisingly strict giveaway regulations and someone’s calling me out on it.
But no. The email is from someone who’s entered the giveaway, and she says, “Please withdraw my name as I already won an ARC from the Smart Bitches/Dear Author podcast last night.”
I open up Smart Bitches in a new window, and by the time the page loads my heartbeat has ramped up to fight-or-flight level. I read: Podcast… audio problems… Harlequin Presents… Plus, we discuss at length a historical romance that’s coming out in December that we both adored and cannot wait to share with readers.
The Frontal Lobe of Polite Self-Effacement makes a valiant effort: Hold your horses; they don’t give the title; it might be someone else’s December book; Random House would’ve told you if but NO! It IS my book! I know it! There’s my name in the post tags, and they gave away ARCs, and I already know Jane read & liked it because she said so right here, and the Lobe of Polite Self-Effacement can STICK it!
Now I’m in the library, recall, with no earphones, and so all I can do is stare at the page and wonder what they said. It gets worse: the family and I have an early flight the next morning, so what with the bustle of last-minute packing, I only have time that night to download the podcast to a flash drive and dash off a quick “OMG did you see this?” email to my agent.
I tried to listen to it on the plane, but between the constant engine noise and the fact I was drugged to the gills (Lorazepam: The Only Way to Fly), I came away with only a general sense that they liked it; they really liked it. Not until the next day did I find a quiet half-hour to set up in a corner of the hotel lobby and listen to the whole thing.
By the end I suspect I was emitting a radioactive glow. Beyond the un-dreamed-of thrill of receiving such enthusiastic early endorsement from two titans of the online romance community*, there’s just such immense satisfaction in hearing – from any individual reader – how your various arrows hit their marks. I wish I could bottle up the experience of listening to that podcast, and pass it out to everybody who creates anything.
There’s a miniature Angel of Polite Self-Effacement on my right shoulder now (he bears some resemblance to gracious & humble Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings), urging me to leave it at that and not link to the podcast, because that would be like bragging.
But on my other shoulder is a tiny Devil of Shameless Self-Promotion (picture a Kardashian, or perhaps Bachelor Jake Pavelka), hopping up and down and screeching, “Link it! Link it! Furthermore, tell them to start at the 8:20 mark so they can skip over all the stuff that’s not about YOU!”
And I’m feeling a bit bad for Jake, who was just booted off The Bachelor Pad, so this round goes to him.
*For those few blog readers – I know you’re out there! – who don’t follow these things, Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books are two hugely important Romance blogs, and for both of them to say not only, “I loved this book,” but “This book is different, and special,” is pretty much the holy grail for a debut Romance author.