by Sarah Pekkanen
You know the saying “lucky in love”? I’m lucky in girlfriends. During the past decade, especially, I find myself feeling exceedingly grateful for the funny, warm, supportive women in my life – the kind of friends I can call on at a moment’s notice for a pep talk, glass of wine, good laugh, or, best of all, mix of the three. That’s why I’m so happy to be part of this blog, to connect with a new group of writer and reader friends.
Publishing is a funny business. Every one of us cycles through ups and downs, bad reviews and good sales weeks, disastrous book-signings in which two people show up and the manager is forced to make strained small talk with us for three hours, and days when the luminous words in our heads evaporate into wisps at the precise moment we sit down before our computers. It’s why we need to support each other – to offer up a chilled glass of generously-portioned Chardonnay (sip steadily; repeat as necessary).
I’ve heard dire predictions about the future of publishing - “No one reads anymore!” “Kindles will make books obsolete!” – and yet, in the midst of it all, I’ve also noticed a wonderful kind of backlash: Women authors reaching out a hand to others, spreading the word about new books they love and infusing publishing with a fresh burst of energy.
For me, it happened when Jennifer Weiner read an advance copy of my debut novel, The Opposite of Me, and decided to do something extraordinary. She held a one-day giveaway in which she signed and sent off copies of her book to every single person who pre-ordered my novel (yes, I can hardly believe it either)!
It’s an incredible story, but it gets better. Emily Giffin saw what Jennifer did – and held a nearly-identical giveaway for another new author named Irene Zutell, who wrote a terrific book called Pieces of Happily Ever After. Since then, I can barely navigate the Internet without tripping over similar shows of support - Jen Lancaster champions the new Stacy Ballis novel, Good Enough to Eat; Julie Buxbaum turns over her blog to an author who is in turn trying to get attention for yet another author’s books; and now Jen Weiner is launching a big on-line book club (check out her FB page to follow along http://www.facebook.com/JenniferWeiner?ref=ts ). This blog just began, but already, we're all celebrating each other’s new covers, re-tweeting our colleagues’ glowing reviews, and joining forces for book giveaways.
Some people might say this is a tough time to be writing books…. but in a way, I think it’s the best time ever. So, in the spirit of girlfriends and book-lovers, I’d like to offer a book written by any of the contributors to this blog (you can see all the names in the list on the right-hand side of this blog). Leave a comment letting me know which book you’d like and I’ll pick a winner using random.org and buy it for you.
Happy reading – and writing!