I received an email last week from a woman who’d read my memoir, Getting Lost to Find Home.
I LOVED your book and am recommending it to my book club and my other book-reading friends.
Thank you for writing your memoirs in the wonderful book Getting Lost to Find Home. It is truly a masterpiece.
My mother might have written this endorsement, but she didn’t. Nor is the sentiment expressed unique. Other compliments about the memoir have threatened to make me blush. Even so, I can live with the embarrassment.
Surprisingly, these responses also fill me with sadness. The happy heartbeat each remark brings dies once read, forcing me to become the repository of silenced compliments. After all, what could be duller than an author who croaks the words of others in a veiled attempt to heap praise upon herself?
An author is nothing without an audience. Fundamental as that truth is, it is also true that few of us in the trade have mastered the art of self-promotion. We rely on the enthusiasm of our readers.
At the apex of the holiday season, I pause from my usual essay to wish my subscribers all the joy this world can afford. Should anyone be tempted to return the sentiment, I ask, beg, and cajole them to send it as a message appropriate to be read on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.