As from today, you can now buy copies of Would Like to Meet from most good booksellers and also on Amazon. I really, really hope that you’ll enjoy it, if you do. And thank you – thank you – for buying it, too.
It’s often underestimated how helpful book bloggers can be to authors and their books. Unpaid (and often unappreciated) they read advance reading copies (also called ARCs), and then write thoughtful, considered reviews and draw attention to books they’ve really enjoyed. They do it just for the love of reading, and because they want to share books they’ve enjoyed with other readers.
I’m very grateful to all the book bloggers who’ve taken the time to read and review my books.
Here’s what On My Bookshelf made of “Would Like to Meet”.
My cousin-in-law (the lovely Jayne) just sent me some great news: Saturday magazine (The Daily Express) carried this small piece about “Would Like to Meet” on Saturday. Even better, they described the book as a ‘must-read’.
Thanks, Saturday magazine – and thanks to Jayne, as well!
Just thought you guys might like to know that I’m doing a ‘blog tour’ about my new book soon.
I know it can seem a bit of a weird concept to ‘tour’ the internet talking about your books on other people’s blogs, but I really enjoyed it last time I tried it. That was when I did the blog tour for “Diary of an Unsmug Married”, and it was great – not only did I get to meet lots of really great book bloggers who shared my passion for books, but I also got to chat to their readers too.
I’m chuffed to bits to have been invited to join so many book bloggers this time around, and would like to thank them all for having me, in advance!
Here’s the itinerary for the blog tour for “Would Like to Meet”, and I really hope you’ll join me at one of my stops along the way.
I went to art school and have always been a very visual person – so I’m one of those people who always says “I see what you mean” instead of “I hear your point”. (Mind you, the seeing-rather-than-hearing thing may also have something to do with the fact that I’m partially deaf thanks to a particularly shouty constituent I encountered all too regularly in my last job.)
Anyway, this obsession with the visual means that I like to be able to “see” certain aspects of the book I’m writing as I go along, so that’s why I use Pinterest to help me keep all the images I collect in one place, and to share them with readers, too.
If you’d like to see the Pinterest board I created for “Would Like to Meet”, you can find it here: https://uk.pinterest.com/pollyjamesbook/would-like-to-meet-inspirations/
The reviews from book bloggers have started coming in, and – as if to make up for my having a very bad working week due to my DIY-obsessed neighbour hammering even more than usual – the first review gives “Would Like to Meet” 10 out of 10! I’m SO chuffed. (And relieved.)
Many thanks to Tracey at The Reading Shed for reading and reviewing the book. You can read her full review here: https://thereadingshed.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/would-like-to-meet-by-polly-james/
It’s the moment I guess every author really dreads, or I do, anyway: when the first reviews of your new book start coming in.
Until that point, the only people who’ve read the manuscript that you’ve spent most of the previous year wrestling with are your agent and your editors – unless you’re one of those writers who shares your work with family and friends as you go along.
I’m not one of those, so the first inkling I ever have of whether my book’s going to appeal to anyone who wasn’t involved with publishing it is when someone at Avon Books’ PR company sends me a link to a review. Then I become overwhelmed with nausea and have to sit down for the next ten minutes until the panic starts to wear off. After that, I read the review, with bated breath and my fingers crossed.
That’s what I did first thing this morning, when I heard that not one, but two national newspapers had reviewed “Would Like to Meet” on the same day. Double the reviews caused double the nausea, followed by an extended period of sitting down and trying to get a grip.
Having sort-of done so, I read the first review, which was by Sara Lawrence at the Daily Mail. She really liked the book! (You can read the full review on my media page, or by following this link:
Then I opened today’s copy of the Sun. Would my luck hold out? I had yet another funny turn before I could face reading this next review, but again, Tania Hadley (the reviewer) liked the book. Cue one VERY happy writer. (For at least ten minutes, until the worrier part of me decided that something was bound to go horribly wrong very soon, since today had gone well so far. There’s no pleasing neurotics like me.)
Anyway, if you’d like to read the Sun review, there’s a scan of it below, and also on my media page.
Clue: don’t do as I’ve done. Twice.
When I finished my last book, Diary of an Unsmug Married, it had no sooner gone to print than I remembered loads of people I’d meant to thank for their help while I was writing it.
By then it was too late to add any names, so I vowed to be far more organised about remembering who to thank in my next book.
Famous last words. I never learn.
I started as I intended to go on – by keeping a list of everyone who helped me with research, ideas or just with life in general – but, as soon as Would Like to Meet went to the printer, I realised I’d forgotten to update my “thank-you” list after completing my final edit. Probably because I was so overwhelmed with relief at being able to see the finish line at last, but that’s NO excuse for such monumental dingbattery.
Anyway, what all this means is that I’ve again missed out several very important people from the acknowledgements of Would Like to Meet, so I’m going to try to make up for my latest cock-up here.
(I know being thanked on my website isn’t half as good as having your name in an actual book, but I hope it does at least show how grateful I really am to the people who weren’t mentioned in the book itself.)
So, my sincere thanks are also due (in no particular order) to:
- Jo Marino and her team at Way to Blue for their creative thinking, helpful emails in the middle of the night and at weekends, and for generally being so encouraging and supportive of both me and my books.
- Helena Sheffield and Phoebe Morgan from Avon Books for their great ideas and enthusiasm.
- Julia Kitt, fabulous hairdresser and equally-wonderful friend, for listening to me ranting about my neighbours, my book, and anything else I can think of, every time she cuts my hair. Also for never losing her temper when I say, “I need a fringe”, followed “WHY did you let me have a fringe? I need to grow it back – right now.” She also provides a seemingly-neverending supply of sympathy and encouragement – albeit more in relation to my writing than my fringe-related indecision.
- And last, but by no means least, the lovely Niamh Hilditch, not just for putting up with my almost-constant moaning about the trials of writing Would Like to Meet, but also for her brilliant suggestion about changing the order of the tagline.
Thank you all, so much. (And I’m REALLY sorry I’m so forgetful. I blame either the menopause or pre-senile dementia. Or maybe both.)
I’ve just heard this clip for the first time, and it’s a really weird experience, listening to someone else’s voice narrating words you wrote and that you’ve always heard in a certain way in your own head until now.
It almost feels as if you’re inside a reader’s head, experiencing reading your book as they experience reading it themselves – which is quite wonderful, in a way.
You can listen to the audio clip by clicking here: https://soundcloud.com/harperaudio/would-like-to-meet-by-polly.
After I opened yesterday’s mystery parcel containing a hatbox, fedora and a copy of my book, I realised that other people had been receiving them too, and were posting photos of themselves wearing the hat and holding the book on social media. As I’m the author of the book, I felt I should join in straight away – until I looked in the mirror, that is.
At that point, I realised I hadn’t brushed my hair for days, I had tons of mascara under my eyes but none whatsoever on my eyelashes, and I was still wearing my dressing gown. At 4pm.
Modelling the fedora for a photograph would have to wait until the following day, to allow me time to rebuild myself – or to polish a you-know-what (which might be a more accurate way to describe the magnitude of the task ahead).
The whole process took so long, I only finished the you-know-what polishing exercise a couple of hours ago, so here’s the photo my husband took as soon as I had. (I’ve got a HUGE head, so that’s why the fedora doesn’t hide as much of my face as it ideally should have done.)