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Baseball diamond I have two words to utter on this fine Monday morning:

Thank you.

In case you missed it, there was a fascinating conversation in the ILI comment box last week about whether it is good to be "nice" or not. I encourage you to check it out if you haven't yet. But in that original blog post of mine, I posed a question, an honest question that I was a bit afraid to ask:

How do I continue to promote my rookie novel Life After Yes in a non-offensive, yet effective way?

Here's the deal. Here's why I asked the above question in the first place. I am a new kid on the writing block. A rookie in this delightful game. And, frankly, I am thrilled beyond measure to have a uniform at all. But. Because I am a newbie, an unknown entity, it is hard - and understandably so - to gain exposure. I've been so excited to hear from so many people who have read Life After Yes and loved it, but the plain truth is that there are many many people who will never ever hear of my book or of me because that is the way things work. And this is not a sob story. No. This is reality.

But I am a scrappy little tomboy here and I'm not willing to play dead, to curl up in an air-conditioned corner and pray that strangers stumble upon my words. No. So I asked you guys for some advice, and, man oh man, did you come through. You were full of ideas, many of which I plan to follow through on! And let's not veer too far from reality. Heeding your genius suggestions will most likely not morph me into the next J.K. Rowling (even though my name A.D. Rowley is auspiciously close), but it will help. Because of you and your thoughtful ideas, more people will meet Quinn and that simple fact? It makes me smile. So, one more time:

Thank you.

Here are some of the ideas you all proposed. I list them here because I honestly feel this blog post could prove useful for fellow bloggers and authors and people who would like to get the word out about their creations!

1. Blog Tour

When LAY first debuted, many of my loyal blogging buds wrote reviews of my book or interviewed me on their sites. (You know who you are and thank you!) The result was incredible! There was a tremendous amount of buzz about my book around its birthday. I was also fortunate enough that TLC Blog Tours set up a blog tour on my behalf. Here is the link. Here we are, two months later and I would love to keep touring! If you would like to interview me on your site (about the book or the writing process in general or insecurity or anything), please leave a comment or contact me! Also, if you plan to review or run a Q & A and would like to giveaway a copy of LAY, let me know and I can send one along.

2. Book Clubs

The "niceness" conversation last week was prompted by my visit to a wonderful book club outside of Chicago. It was absolutely fascinating for me to participate in a discussion of my creation and I would love to do this again. And again! If you have a book club in the NYC area and plan to read and talk about LAY, let me know and I will do my best to come (only if you would like me to)! If you have a book club anywhere else and would like me to participate via Skype or a call-in, let me know!

3. Guest Posts

If you would like me to write a guest post on your site (I will link my readers your way), please contact me. Again, I would be thrilled to write about the book, or about almost anything else (within reason!). OR and this is where it gets fun, if you would like to be considered for a guest post here on the weekends, please let me know. I have been planning this for a while, but, hey, let's launch it now. Since I do not blog on weekends, I would love to make weekends my ILI Old School where I showcase your best archived posts (or original posts that tie in to the themes of this blog).

4. Tweet Ups

Twitter parties! I know that many of you are on Twitter and if you are not, I encourage you to join if only to attend one of my forthcoming Tweet Ups. How does this work? I pick a time and we all gather at our computers (hey, we are here anyway) and we chat via Twitter. About what? About Life After Yes. Yes, the book. But more so about life after yes - all of the issues and questions that come up in life after we commit - to a marriage, to a family, to a career. I will post more details about this, but I honestly think it will be fun and juicy.

5. LAY Ambassadors (Passing out free copies! Covertly leaving books in strategic places!)

How to get the word out and gain exposure? Give out copies of my book. For free. Yes, that's right. For free. I have done this a handful of times now. I have walked up to strangers and said, "I just published my first book and I was wondering if you would like a copy?" And the recipients have been excited! I plan to do this some more particularly since LAY takes place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I live. But... This is where you guys come in. How fantastic would it be if I could do this - handing out copies of books or leaving them in strategic places - all over the country? If you read my book and enjoyed it and would like to be a LAY Ambassador, please contact me! I will go ahead an mail you a slew of copies to distribute where you live!

I know this post is a bit boring and technical and lacking existential vim and vigor. But this post is important to me. Because, honestly, I wanted to pause and thank you for your ideas and for your continued support. This might all be for naught (oddly love that word). These strategies might prove to do zip for my literary baby. But still. Still, there is something immensely encouraging about having a virtual team around me, shouting from the sidelines as I go to bat in this game for my very first time. Still, there is something vastly rewarding about standing up there, here, and swinging for the fences. Yes, even if I ultimately strike out.

I'm getting redundant here, but I love redundancy, so:

Thank you, Team LAY.

(Don't worry. Tomorrow, I will abandon this self-promotional sludge and go back to clumsily contemplating the modern cosmos.)

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Please leave a comment and let me know if you have any thoughts or additional ideas! (Additionally, I plan to look into advertisements and video).  Also, please leave a comment or email me at ivyleagueinsecurities [at] gmail [dot] com if you would like to:

  1. Interview me on your blog.
  2. Review LAY on your site.
  3. Guest post here or have me guest post chez toi.
  4. Host a book club discussion around LAY and have me visit in person or virtually.
  5. Attend a Twitter party. (What are ideal times during the week to host these?)
  6. Receive a bunch of free copies of LAY to distribute where you live.

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