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The Next Fifteen Minutes: Advanced Reader Copy

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The ARCs arrived in the mail yesterday. An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy of a book, sent out a few months before publication mainly as a tool for publicity. ARCs are sent to

Still Life with ARC

book reviewers, libraries, magazine editors, television hosts, Oprah, anyone and everyone who might care to know you have a book coming out. And, of course, anyone and everyone that might be able to help spread the word that you have a book coming out.

I feel like a parent watching my child graduate from high school. Dr. Seuss said it best with, “Oh! The Places You’ll Go! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”

I want her (I’m already calling my ARC a her) to soar to high heights. She’s already flying along. Just this morning she took her first walk along the slackline, demonstrating balance and focus and a sort of literary concentration usually only demonstrated by advanced yogis or Cirque de

Quiet the mind, balance the thoughts

Soleil performers. Too bad I didn’t get it on video; it was pretty impressive.

Dr. Seuss continues on in his anthem to all graduates, “Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.” My ARC took her first lap on the SUP this morning, enjoying the sunny calm of Lake Washington. I watched her blissfully negotiate boat wakes and sun glare with the grace and calm of a professional. Needless to say, I have high hopes.

Of course, it won’t be easy. I know this. The ARC, she knows this too. Steep climbs, challenging reviews, maybe even a slump, albeit brief, in sales could happen along the way. Dr. Seuss knows this. “I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.” She will probably become one of those books, those obsessive types that constantly refresh their Amazon Author page, hoping for 5 star reviews, checking her sales ranking when she could be out skiing or running or sipping a latte with other book-friends. No doubt, she will have a crisis of confidence at some point along the way. She’ll falter.

But she’ll get back up again. “On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.” Not even the Hakken-Kraks will keep her down.

That's Mt. Rainier in the distance

She already has her sights set on climbing Mt. Rainier. Crevasses lurk there, hidden below melting snow, and other dangers too, like rockfall and avalanches and urgent changes in the weather. Again, Dr. Seuss would remind her, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”

So here I am, sending her out into the world. She’ll hit the bookstores officially on October 1st, but for a little while longer anyway, she’ll exist as an ARC, her fingertips reaching for success and acclaim, and hoping for the very best.

Most writers would offer to give away an ARC at this point. And I should probably do the same. I started this blog after attending a writer’s conference in which I heard the repeated admonition, “You don’t have a blog? You really need a blog. Every writer has one these days.” And so I started to write a little about my writing, but mostly about other things in life that I find inspiring and awesome. But here I am, blogging about my writing again. It’s not a strong suit for me. It feels a little too metaliterary for me (I just made that word up. See I can’t even stick to the hallowed OED, or Oxford English Dictionary, for you non-bookish types).

Here’s where you, dear reader, come in. Help a girl with an ARC out. What kind of contest

Stand Up Paddleboarding

could I use for this supposedly necessary giveaway? I need some ideas here. This is, of course, assuming that any of you are actually dying to read The Next Fifteen Minutes, and simply cannot wait until the October 1st pub date. And if the only person out there dying to read it is you, Mom, don’t worry. I’ve got an ARC set aside just for you.

But for those of you who aren’t my mom, what say you? Remember, the purpose of a giveaway on a blog is to gain more readers. We bloggers are hungry for readers, for site visits actually, reflected in our blog stats and more importantly, in reader comments. Your comments are the filet mignon of blogging, they are the private powder stash, the uncrowded glassy wave curling just for you. Reader comments tell us that you actually read our blog, that you care. I’m aware just how pathetic this must seem to you non-bloggers, but trust me on this.

I could simply do a contest where I take a random drawing from all the comments left on this post. But that feels a little too much like the oldest profession, like I’m just a little too hungry for love, if you know what I mean.

So, how about some other ideas? I’m all ears. And so is my ARC.

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