Monday, October 17, 2011
My Facebook friends heard me tell this story on Friday, but it bears repeating here. You Are My Only, a little book if ever there was one, a book that nonetheless believed in itself, went back to press last week to boost its presence in bookstores. I'm not going to pretend that the numbers are huge; they aren't. I'm not going to suggest that a second print run gives this writer celebrity status. Celebrity status is a state of mind. No matter what happens, my friends, I will not enter that realm. I like the world in which I'm living.
What mattered to me about the news is this: You Are My Only would not have been given that boost without my book blogger friends. These are people busy with their own lives—their jobs, their children, their partners, their dreams, their book projects, their countless other blogger friends—who stopped and started banging on a drum. Pay attention, they said. A book is coming. They stopped to read, earlier than they'd planned to. They created contests, at their own expense. They entered my own crazy You Are My Only Treasure Hunt, a complicated ditty that took, yes, blogger time. They Twittered and Facebooked and emailed and said, We believe in you, Beth, and in this book. This was a rally based largely on blind trust. There are no thanks great enough. There are names and people I will never forget: Amy Riley, Pam Van Hylckama Vlieg, Danielle Smith, Florinda Lantos Pendley Vasquez, Melissa Sarno, Colleen Mondor, Wendy Robards, Shanyn Day, Becca Rowan, Serena Agusto-Cox, Melissa Walker, Leila Roy, Mandy Stanley King, Ed Goldberg, Lorie Anne Grover, Little Willow, Caroline Leavitt, Aquafortis, Valerie Burleigh, Vivian Lee Mahoney, Jennifer Donovan, The Perpetual Page-Turner, Sarah Laurence, John Jacobson, Lilian Natel, The Story Siren, Susan Taylor Brown, Carol Weiss, Mundie Moms, Medieval Bookworm, Hippies Beauty and Books, Books Thoughts and a Few Adventures, The Reading Zone, Kay's Bookshelf, Bonnie Jacobs, Elizabeth Mosier, Ruth Koeppel, and Books and Movies, who wrote Saturday evening and touched me so deeply (thank you so much, Carrie) with these beautiful words. A huge thank you to Darcy Jacobs of Family Circle.
And for all of you who have been there in the past, for other books and other dreams of mine, don't think for a second that I have forgotten you. It has all made an enormous difference. And if I have neglected any name here (and gosh, I have feared that, especially since I do not google my own name), tell me, and after I pick myself up off the floor from shame, I will make amends.
I have been blogging for four years now. I have been privy, throughout this time, to the conversation about whether or not book bloggers can make an actual difference. I want to say here, again, for the indelible record, that of course they do. Book bloggers give writers hope that their work will be read and considered—no small thing. Book bloggers stand at the heart of a movement; they stand central to stories. Book bloggers have the power to give a small book life and more than that, most importantly, they provide proof of the power of caring. I am proud of my friendships with these artists of hope.