It isn’t that I never learned to say thank you. You can bet I did. I just never knew about sending thank you cards.
By my middle twenties I had received one or two of them in the mail. As I looked at the words on that small card, I just marveled: gratitude in plain sight. What a cool idea. I tried sending one and it felt just as good from that side. Who knew?
One day while bragging about writing one, which kinda defeats the purpose by the way, a friend told me it was a thing; a task she had been tediously schooled in since childhood. I added this hole in my development to my growing list of shortcomings. It was depressing but I discovered Hagen Daz ice cream around the same time. Life has a way of balancing things out.
Spirit, my Grandfather Horse, has a file folder of thank you cards from little girls who have ridden him over the years. You can tell they were not a forced task. Most have crayon drawings and childish crooked letters. There are lots of hearts. My favorite one came during a December, after a miserable lead-line ride in icy sleet. The girl’s little jaw quivered just below her smile but she was no quitter. Later that week, the thank you note came in the mail. It was a drawing of a white horse with a Christmas tree on one side and a menorah on the other. It was irresistibly inclusive.
Now, as my Grandfather Horse is frail with age, I wanted to add a note of my own to his thank you file. I started writing but the thank you note got a little long-winded. I didn’t want to slight anybody. I named it Stable Relation and it has spawned a contagious frenzy of thank you notes. I am knocked back by the positive response. Everyone is being so kind and I’ve never said thank you more happily. I sound like a broken record and still, the words don’t feel loud enough. THANK YOU! See what I mean?
Have you read the reviews on Amazon? They are perceptive and articulate. I wish I had them when I was struggling with writing my book description. You all found the words I searched for and each one has a slightly different take. Kind of like a discussion at book club.
A couple of friends said the reviews are so well-written that they were a bit daunted to add their own. Please, even as I am floating on these kind reviews, I’ll still ask you to take a minute and post a sentence or two about the book on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s the best way for a self-published nobody like me to catch the attention of book readers and pundits outside my circle. Word of mouth is the magic.
The book will have a life of its own, earned by its own merit. I just want to wind up and give it a mighty throw here at the beginning and I need your help to do it. If you like it or hate it, please cast your vote. The magic number to reach is 50 reviews and there are 15 now. It’s a big number to hit, but I’m optimistic. And thank you. Again.
WEEKLY UPDATE: I have been in a daze–last Thursday my farm was damaged by a flood. We’re all fine but debris tore some fences out and the arena washed away. But each time I got to the computer, there was be a new review or a posting on FB that praised the book. I let all the good and all the less-than-good wash over me. Lots of flooding.
Book sales are a bit over 230, thanks to all of you. That’s amazing considering the short time the book has been available, with no paid publicity. I have Little Engine That Could fantasies. But my favorite part has been people posting photos of their book as it arrived. You all are a creative bunch, so thank you for the fun.
UPCOMING BOOK EVENTS: There’s a book talk/signing in Denver on Friday, August 7th at 6pm. If you’d like to join us, contact me for an invitation. This will be my author coming-out party–a first for me. I’m looking forward to it; my friend Lauren is hosting. Thanks, Lauren. Beyond that Tracey and I are planning a Yoga/Book talk event in the Springs, combining two of my favorite things. Thanks, Tracey. And later a trip to a bookstore in Buena Vista, date TBA. And more events as they are scheduled.
Finally, because I aspire to be that person who sends the note, I had thank you bookmarks printed up–seen in the photo above with the flood survivor. I would love to thank you personally. Contact me link at the top of this page and send your address, along with your name. It would be my pleasure to write a tiny note and send it to you. Because it does mean so much that you all have taken the chance along with me. So, yet again, thank you.
Two typos in this wonderful, heartfelt thank you letter, Anna.
People I’ve forwarded your blog posts to reply that they have been buying your book.:-)
“A couple of friends said the reviews are so well written that they were a bit daunted to add their own.” I can understand. Yours is the first book review I’ve ever written. The reason was easy: You wrote about a world I get, and your book touched me in a very personal way. That said, yesterday I found myself on the phone apologizing to my brother, a published author, for feeling like I wasn’t capable of writing a competent review of his latest book. (Shameless plug: http://www.amazon.com/Addicts-Basements-Robert-Vaughan/dp/1937865231/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437047307&sr=1-1&keywords=addicts+and+basements) Sometimes you can really enjoy a book, but struggle to find the words to express your sentiments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished a good book and thought I’d write a review, only to sit for hours staring at a blank screen when I actually tried. Having a sibling who is a writer has taught me about the struggles authors face today and how the publishing system works now. It’s changed. It’s daunting, and every little public review and blurb really DOES help the author. A good review isn’t a popularity contest, it’s one of few tools a new author has for getting their work noticed and actually receiving compensation for it. Think of a review as a tip for a job well done; you don’t have to do it, but the author will really appreciate it if you do! As usual, I’m my own worst enemy, so thanks to you, Anna, for nudging me past my mental critic. Now I’m off to work on that long-overdue review for my brother! 😉
I hear you. I am new to book reviews also, for the same reason. I finally understood that it meant more on the author’s side than my reluctance. (Your brother’s book looks great!)
By now, I hope you see we are not just “being nice” about your book. We truly enjoyed reading it and continue to let your journey inspire us. So Thank You for a great book!
Ok, ok…. and thank you AGAIN.
I love reading all the reviews. In trying so hard not to reveal anything, I felt (later…why is it never while I’m writing?!?) I left out the emotion of how I interacted with the story. We’re all our own worst critics, right? A review from the heart is going to be an excellent review. How we arrange the words matter much less than getting across how we felt…(I think!)
I am overwhelmed that people like it. Whatever words they use. Huge relief.
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Hi Anna, I’m getting your book on Monday and would like to have it signed. Where should I send it to? Thank you, Leslie Hastings
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Sending you an email. Thanks.