Last May, a month or so after I began marketing my novel, In Leah’s Wake, a former agent told me that I would never sell 500 books. A rookie, I had no idea what to expect. When I published the novel, I’d dreamed of selling a 3,000 – 5,000 books, hoping healthy sales numbers would attract the attention of an agent or traditional publishing house for my next novel.
The agent had left New York, but she’d been in the business for a long time, and her words stung. I hung up the phone, heartbroken, depressed. Had I not been in the midst of my first blog tour, I might have pulled my novel off the market that day.
Determined to see the tour through, I soldiered on. On the tour, I met wonderful, caring people, book bloggers, whose kindness buoyed and sustained me.
Over the next few months, In Leah’s Wake appeared on hundreds of blogs. Bloggers opened their hearts and spread the word about this quiet literary novel. In August, In Leah’s Wake hit the Barnes and Noble and Amazon charts. Now, seven months after my talk with that agent, the book has been in the Amazon top 200 for over five months, and we’ve sold just shy of 80,000 copies.
Book bloggers rock! I don’t know how to say it any better. Book bloggers are the fairy godmothers and godfathers of the literary world. They invest their talent, their energy, and their time into reviewing and promoting books – and keeping dreams alive.
Even today, traditional media refuse to recognize or review indie books. In this very real sense, book bloggers are the heart and soul of the indie revolution. Their vision, their energy, and their determination have enabled this amazing populist movement to take hold.
Today, we have the great good fortune of hearing the funny, poignant, intelligent voices of new authors from around the world – voices that, just a few years ago, might have been silenced by the gatekeepers of the old guard. These voices reach into hearts and minds, forging connections, uniting us in a community of readers and writers, searching for and finding, through words, the better part of ourselves. Because, truly, at heart, this is what reading and writing is all about.
Here’s to you, book bloggers! You are and always will be my heroes!
About Terri Giuliano Long:
Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the award-winning novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College.
In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long
The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong. Can this family survive in Leah’s wake?