Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Flying Cat and The Lost Book Reports

True confession: I Google my own name. I'm not sure how often I do this--it could be as much as every day but really, who keeps track of these things? (I know I could set it up to do Google alerts, but for some reason that seems way too deliberate. This is a casual addiction on my part.)

So one day in June, I'm Googling my name, purely for professional reasons, of course, and I come across a book blog, titled The Lost Book Reports (subtitled "For All the Book Reports I Didn't Do in High School"). Such a great name for a book review blog. My name came up on the site because the blogger had a post titled "Want Want Want Wednesday" in which she mentioned three books she really wanted. One of them, I was thrilled to see, was my novel, A Scattered Life.

This is the kind of thing that makes me stop and think. You see, I actually have a stash of my own books here at home. When I give talks I do drawings for book giveaways. I also donate them to libraries on occasion and send them to book bloggers for review. So I could easily send one to this blogger, but will it seem creepy and stalkerish?

I decide to take a chance and email the blogger to ask if she'd like a copy. She emails back and says yes! I'd noticed on her blog that she reviews a fair amount of young adult fiction, so as I'm sending the package out, I add another book, my young adult novel, Favorite. Part of me does this because I'm afraid she'll think A Scattered Life is a little too pedestrian. I mean, I don't think it is, but not everyone agrees. You know what they say: some people like chocolate ice cream, and some people like vanilla...

Fast forward to some time later. I'm Googling my name again  (yes, I know...) and I come across a Youtube video. It's the blogger showing what came in her mailbox that week! She's cute and enthusiastic and even when her cat does some weird flying thing in the background, she quickly recovers and keeps going.

Her cat really cracks me up.

I'm glad to know the books arrived and I keep my fingers crossed that she likes at least one of them.

And then, good news! KThomas (that's her profile name) finally posts her review of Favorite, and it's a good one. :) I like the way she breaks down her review by listing a summary, and commenting on Plot, Characters, Pros, Cons, and Final Thoughts. A very organized way of doing it, and visually very clean. The last line of her review says, "Plus, the play on words with the word Favorite and name, were a very, very, nice touch." I'm impressed since this is an aspect of the story that no other reviewer has commented on.

So I'm really glad she had positive things to say about Favorite. I decide that if she doesn't like A Scattered Life, I'm still good.

So yesterday, KThomas posts her review of A Scattered Life, and whew! to my relief  and complete joy she loves it, she really does, and she says some truly wonderful things about it. For "Cons" she says that there aren't any and the final line of her "Final Thoughts" is:  "All I can say is Simply Beautiful! READ IT! READ IT! READ IT!"

Oh, happy day! It doesn't get any better than that.

Moral of the story: don't be afraid to Google your own name. Also, book bloggers rock.

Have a nice weekend. Get away from the computer and do something fun!




PV Lundqvist said...

What a happy nugget to find, Karen!

Book bloggers do rock. Such an act of sharing and effort. Truly the future of word-of-mouth.

There's nothing wrong with googling oneself, I think. It's almost a business necessity, rather than an act of narcissism nowadays.

Jon Olson said...

OK, I'm furiously googling. Thanks for the post, Karen.

Jon O.
The Petoskey Stone
The Ride Home

Bill B said...

What a happy story! About a story!

In pre-Google days I searched my name and ended up meeting a few other "Bill Bielbys" around the globe. We figure someday we'll have a convention and won't have to wear name tags.

Karen McQuestion said...

PV Lundqvist, thanks for reassuring me that it's not an act of narcissism. It feels like one, though, even when I rationalize it's more about the books than me.

Jon, you don't have to do it furiously. Even if you're not mad, it works just fine.

Bill--more than one Bill Bielby? What a thought!

As far as I know, there's only one other Karen McQuestion. If we got together it would be a very quiet convention.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Well, I hope this makes your day too because last night I finished A scattered life and I loved it. It was so, so readable, easy to be transported (i was late for work on Wed as a result!) and I cried like a baby at the end.

And I bought another one of your books on my Kindle too so I'll come back to tell you about that one.

So lovely to meet you! YOu write beautifully :) said...

Very cool. How exciting! I hope someday I can do the same. Oh, and the cat thing cracked me up too.

Debbi said...

Wow! That's a great story, Karen. :)

I had a similar amazing thing happen when I searched for my new book trailer on YouTube.

This post explains what happened:

I couldn't believe it. :)

christopher herz said...


Thanks for putting your Crazy out there for everyone to see. Please show more. We thank you.

Linda Pischke said...

Way to go, Karen!

Karen McQuestion said...

Marcia, your comment DID make my day. Thank you so, so much for taking the time to tell me you loved A Scattered Life. I really appreciate it. I never had anyone tell me they were late to work because of my book. I hope there wasn't any trouble. And thanks also for buying another one of mine.

tmsouders--I agree, very cool!

Debbi, too funny that we had something similar happen! Aren't we lucky that we live in this era?

Christopher Herz--it cracked my up that you called it my "Crazy." So true. And this is the least of it, believe me.

Thanks, Linda.

Christina said...

Christina - I google my own name too, although in my case it's to find out what reviews get listed and which ones don't - can't for the life of me figure out their system! Then sometimes they do things like list contests I've entered! But the internet is for connecting with people and you're doing just that, rightfully so.

Karen McQuestion said...

Christina, you and I are lucky to have such distinctive names! For Google purposes, it makes things easier.

Kelsey@TheLostBookReports said...

Well, I just google my Blog Name (haha) and to my surprise found this! Definitely made my day!!!

Karen McQuestion said...

Kelsey, your comment made me laugh! Too funny about finding this through a search--what did we do before Google? I can't remember...must have been the Dark Ages.