*But I really don’t want to.
Every few years, my synagogue has a women’s seder. A seder is the special dinner we have at the holiday of Passover, in which we tell the story of the freeing of the Israelite slaves in ancient Egypt. A tradition in many communities has emerged to hold a special women’s seder to celebrate the role women play in our communities, in our religion, and in our traditions. The women’s seder in our synagogue is held before Passover (which begins the evening of April 22 this year), as a way to energize us and bring us together before the hectic work of the holiday begins. We hold it every few years, because we rewrite the haggadah (the text that’s read during the seder) to highlight that year’s theme.
True to form, the seder was this past Sunday. Two days before my book pub. Three days before my launch reading. And, it should go without saying, that I’m the chair of the women’s seder committee. Because why wouldn’t I be? I’ve been a frazzled mess the past couple of weeks, as I’ve been doing publicity, recruiting people to participate in the event, prepping the seder itself, oh, and doing all the same things for MODERN GIRLS.
One of my favorite parts of our women’s seder is after we recite the list of plagues that descended upon the Egyptians, we write our own personal plagues on a balloon and then pop the balloon to symbolically rid ourselves of the plague. This was my table’s balloon. Can you spy my plague on the top of the balloon?
My novel is in the world today. I’m a freakin’ insecure mess. I can’t remember the last time I got a full night’s sleep.
People are going to read my book. People I don’t know.
Truth be told, with the advance reader’s copies going out to book bloggers and through the Penguin First-to-Read program, I already have reviews on the Goodreads page. So I have a little taste. But the dam breaks open today and anyone who wants can read it. I have to be prepared that not everyone is going to like it. My ten-year-old gave me advice about this yesterday afternoon, when I expressed my worries: “Just Taylor Swift it, Mom!” I looked at her blankly, so she sang, “The haters are gonna hate, hate, hate.”
She’s right. When it comes, I’ll just have to embrace the family motto: Suck it up.
My book is in the world today. I kind of want to squee with joy.
Lots of folks have asked me how they can help. While I’m not an expert–that’s the joy of being a debut author–a lot of folks in the know have spread around tips. Their suggestions, which I’ve culled from the Web, are awesome:
- Write a review. Pick your site–Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Write an honest review. I can take it. Besides, apparently even a bad review is better than no review, according to NPR.
- Even if you know where the book is in a bookstore, ask for it. It helps the salespeople to take notice of the book.
- Face the book out in bookstores. People are more likely to pick up a book when they’ve seen the cover.
- If your library doesn’t carry the book, request it. Libraries want to stock what their patrons want to read.
- Use your social media. Instagram reading the book in a public place, Tweet that you’re reading it, Pin it, Snapchat it, whatever your social media of choice is. Every little bit helps.
- Recommend the book to your friends and book groups. This is the best way for a book to be discovered: Word of mouth!
Today is the day. I’m a published author.
Crazy, isn’t it?