Today I am pleased to bring you a guest post by Anna Mitchael, co-author of a great read, Copygirl. In addition to her great guest post, Anna is giving away a copy of Copygirl (US shipping only), so enter via Rafflecopter below.
I asked Anna a question that I have always been curious about – ‘What do you think about independent book bloggers and readers?’
“You gonna put your money where your mouth is?” That’s one of those sayings that is nothing but a cliché to most people. But it has always stopped me. How far would I go to stand behind my speak? Would I lay down a dollar? Ten? The money I was planning to spend on a new purse? Beyond dollars to what’s really important—do I believe in what I say enough to lay down my thought time, the hours of my days, or what I put my heart and soul into for, say, two years?
When Michelle and I started writing Copygirl we each had our own set of goals and intentions. This is the beauty of a writing partnership—you have one larger goal: write a darn good book. But then on top of that each of us brings our own personal needs and desires to the table. I wanted very much to write something I could hand to my closest friends—the ones who saw me through my twenties when I, like the heroine in Copygirl, was trying to figure out who the heck I was going to be—and I would be able to say, ‘I hope you laugh your fannies off and see truth in the joy and struggle on the page and most of all, just have a really good time.’
In short, I didn’t want to hand them a book that read like a heavy, serious, weighted pull-out-your-dictionary-twice-in-the-first-chapter book. I wanted a novel that women like me, who packed 8 million things into one day, would want to read at the end of that day. And we succeeded at that. The best review I’ve gotten so far was a text at 12:21 am from a friend who said, ‘I couldn’t put it down! For two hours I forgot everything about my life and I was just IN the book.’
Mission accomplished. But once I knew my family and friends were in for the ride, there was no more distraction from the bigger question of how you get a book to readers without the marketing budgets that are saved for ‘sure things’ and authors who are household names. It didn’t take long to see that the experience of selling this book would require me and Michelle to ‘put our money where our mouths are’.
It doesn’t give too much away about our book or the plot to say that our heroine in Copygirl has to strike out on her own, going against established formulas for success and ‘the system’. Then by following her heart and what’s right for her life—she finds her tribe. When we wrote this story I was all in for our heroine’s journey. On a writing level, a talking-about-it level, and even in my heart—I was all in. Then when we got past the steps of finding an agent and selling the book, when it came time to send Copygirl out into the hands of readers I started to see that the process was going to require the exact same level of faith that our heroine had to muster. We were going to have to rely on our tribe—long-distance members, total strangers, people who just have the same humor and quirkiness and holes they want to fill with some words—to stumble upon our book and then love it.
Some clichés are easy come, easy go. But others require blood, sweat and tears. With Copygirl I have put way more than my money—I have put this book that is my heart and soul—where my mouth is. And the booklovers and book bloggers and individuals out there who read and speak up and passionately talk up titles to their friends have made this leap of faith worth it. I see finding your tribe is more than just an idea that takes us through rough patches. It is an everyday reality that keeps us truly connected, inspired and oh thank goodness for this: reading.
Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa are the authors of Copygirl which marketing folks say is ‘a mashup of Devil Wears Prada and Mad Men.’ Anna and Michelle say it’s hilarious reading no matter how you slice it. You can read the 125Pages review of Copygirl here. Go hang out with Anna and Michelle on Twitter @SassaMitchael.