A couple of weeks ago, two selections from Laugh Lines were selected for Book 4 of the Life Well Blogged series (“Parenting Gag Reels, Hilarious Writes and Wrongs, Take 26”). Like most new authors, I was beside myself with excitement at the thought of seeing my writing IN PRINT. When my first shipment of books came (I ordered 10, thinking to use them as advertising if friends and family responded with “No thanks. I already read your blog, so I’m good”), and I saw the box on my doorstep, I tripped over the stair going into the house and almost lost a finger jamming the box cutter into the overtaped edges to get to my beloved FIRST BOOK. I promptly passed out 3 to my biggest cheerleaders (Thank you, Mom & Dad, Marta, and Keren!), then stacked the remaining few in my office so I could periodically stare at them and pet them whenever I walked by.
The next day Kenny asked if I was going to post anything on Facebook about my new book. I excitedly told him about My Big Idea.
I thought it would be cool to offer a FREE BOOK (I had 7 left. That should take care of it) to anyone who signed up as a Laugh Lines subscriber within 24 hours of my Facebook post. “Hmmm,” replied Kenny with a small frown, “What happens if you get, like, a whole bunch of new people?” “Not to worry,” I reassured him, while pointing enthusiastically to my 7 books. “I have these left over. I’ll probably get 4 or 5 new subscribers, and it will be FUN!” “What does it cost to send out a ‘free book’?” he asked. “About $10,” I replied, “but I already have these, and they’re paid for.” “Okay,” he grumbled, “but I just want to go on record as saying I don’t have a good feeling about this.” Since, historically, whenever I pitch a new idea to Kenny, I’ve learned to treat even the tiniest shred of agreement as a full-on green light to go, I immediately posted a picture of me and my first book on Facebook with The Big Offer.
Within the first minute, my computer made the little dinging sound it makes when I get an email. Ding. Mail Chimp says “Congratulations. You’ve got a new subscriber to Laugh Lines.” Whoopee! A minute later, another ding and another email from Mail Chimp. Then another. Then another.
By now, I’m giddy with excitement, feeling like Sally Field at the Oscars (“They like me! They really, really like me!”) doing the happy dance (admittedly more goofy than sexy…kind of a cross between a football touchdown dance and a seizure) up and down our hallway, while Kenny is raising his arms up and yelling “TEN BUCKS!” every time the computer dinged. I’m not sure what the neighbors thought, seeing me through the blinds, shimmying up and down the hallway to the “Doo Wa Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Doo” in my head, while Kenny repeatedly jumped up from the couch yelling “TEN BUCKS!” whenever I went by. One can only assume they thought I was rehearsing a truly horrible middle-age pole dance, but I didn’t care. This was my moment, and I was taking it.
By the end of the night, I had 38 new subscribers and Kenny was wandering around the house grumbling, “I knew it. I knew this would happen.” I crawled into bed, exhausted and happy. As I drifted off to sleep, he leaned over and whispered, “I’m really proud of you, you know.” “I know,” I smiled sleepily. “But I need to order 4 more boxes of books tomorrow.” “No, you don’t,” he sighed, “I already ordered them. Tomorrow, you’ll write.” Done.