Yes, I know, the dreaded New Year resolutions. Those are the things that everybody makes and nobody keeps. The question is why. Why do so many of us give up on the goals that we set for ourselves? Maybe it's because giving up on something isn't as scary as trying and then failing at it. For most of us, failure is terrifying. What's worse is that we frequently make our New Year resolutions when we're hyped up and...well, drunk. We shout them out at house parties and bars five minutes before the ball drops. "I'm gonna double my salary!" we slur after our friend has announced that they will be working out EVERY day (including those vacation days). When we sober up that challenge may be a bit daunting so we cast it aside and tell ourselves it's foolish to pursue such a lofty ambition.
But the thing is, people DO achieve these things. Maybe you can double your salary but first you're going to have to convince your boss to expand the responsibilities of your position. Maybe you can find the discipline to work out during your vacations but instead of finding a gym you'll have to pack a jump-rope. Maybe when you came up with these ideas you were only unusually-confident-drunk but not stupid-drunk. Of course it might take time, it might even take longer than the year in which you made the resolution but that doesn't mean you should give up on it. You just have to be smart about it. Think outside the box.
And that is exactly what I'm trying to do. My resolution is impossibly outlandish. I want to get on the New York Times bestsellers list. There are plenty of authors who would tell me that I should try for something a little more attainable. Many have correctly pointed out that The New York Times list only tells us what books sold quickly. For instance a book that sells two hundred thousand copies in a month and then peters out will make the list but a book that sells a million copies in three years will never make the grade. Furthermore no one really knows how The New York Times makes their decision about who makes the list and who doesn't. It's not a pure numbers game. They have booksellers fill out a questionnaire about what's selling and then those questionnaires are given different "weights" depending on whether the merchant who filled it out was an independent bookseller or part of a chain. Undoubtedly there are books that should have made the list that didn't. It's also certain that no book has EVER made the list without selling insanely well.
So my point is that while the system may be flawed it's still not bad. Plus that list is like the most elite fraternity/sorority in the literary world and I want in!
The question is, how do you pledge? I could spend a fortune on my own publicist (in addition to the publicist assigned to me by my publishing house). I've done that before and I can honestly say it helped. But I think that I'm at a point in my career where I need to start thinking outside the box. The key is to both embrace and strengthen my most valuable resource.
That resource is you. You, my wonderful and loyal readers. No critic will ever have the influence over your friends that you have. If you tell them that you like a book they'll listen. If you tell them that they might like it too they'll listen even more. So when Lust, Loathing And A Little Lip Gloss hits the shelves on May 26th I'm going to need you to read it and, if you like it, post your review on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com. I'm going to need you to recommend it to your book group and if your good with a video camera, post a book trailer on Youtube.
And if you don't like it, shhhh!
Of course I don't expect you to do something for nothing so I'll have a contest/drawing to help motivate you. I'll give you the details of that in March but for right now I can tell you that there are going to be several prizes. Things like gift cards in not-insignificant-dollar-amounts will be offered for places like Sephora and Starbucks. I can also tell you that the grand prize will be a weekend in San Francisco. That's airfare, hotel room, meals and a personal tour guide (me). I'll show you the places Sophie and her friends hang out, from the restaurant that Sophie and Anatoly went to for their first date to the now infamous Bitches Circle where Sophie discovered Barbie (those of you who read Sex, Murder And A Double Latte know what I'm talking about).
I don't know if I'll be able to achieve my goal with this next book but I do know that I want to try and I want to try with you. Throughout the ups and downs of the last few years the one constant that I've been able to rely on is you. Your comments and emails thanking me for the Sophie books and voicing your support for me during my various personal challenges and triumphs has given me both comfort and strength. I know that my success has always been and continues to be in your hands and I honestly can't thank you enough for what you've done for me. I hope your own resolutions were grand in scale and that you exceed every one. If I could I'd give you the world.
But since I can't I'll just give you San Francisco.
Bestselling Author of:
The Sophie Katz Mysteries
SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING
Pre-order the 4th Sophie book: LUST, LOATHING AND A LITTLE LIP GLOSS on Amazon today!