Some people like to use the expression, “It’s a small world”, but I prefer the one that says, “The world is round, who knows when we’ll meet again?” I can’t decide why I like this better, maybe because of its indication to an active world rather than shrinking it in size. I recently came to experience this and am amazed at how connected the world is.
Years ago, after I had I read Digging to America by Ann Tyler, I wrote a review for it in Iranian.com. A few months later, I received a sweet letter from two ladies in the East Coast, who at the time conducted a book discussion group. Before the session that involved the above book, they had decided that since parts of the novel involved Iranian characters and their culture, they should look into a review by an Iranian writer. As fate would have it, they Google-searched “Iranian/ review/ Ann Tyler” and sure enough, my article popped up.
Their flattering note reflected how pleased they were with my review and they also complimented me on my writing. Learning that I was also working on a novel, they showed interest and wished to someday read it. We exchanged common pleasantries and promised to be in touch.
Four years went by and I became so absorbed in my work that I almost forgot this heartwarming experience. It was two weeks into the launch of my novel when we received the following e-mail:
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of a new indie bookstore in Cedarhurst, NY. I have just finished Sky of Red Poppies and would like to know how we can go about ordering multiple copies to sell at our store.
I have read articles by this author and am familiar with her work. I loved the new novel and would be honored to sell it!
Please send the necessary information.
Blue Door Books
501a Central Avenue
Cedarhurst, NY 11516.
I knew the name immediately and couldn’t believe she still had my e-mail address. I’ve never met her and therefore can’t put a face or voice to the name, but given a chance, I would give her an angelic image and a heavenly voice to match!
Overwhelmed with such support, I contacted the store immediately, sent them the ten copies they had requested and prayed that they’d have no trouble selling. To date, The Blue Door Books has single handedly sold more copies of my book than any other vendor - excluding Amazon. Every couple of weeks, we get a new order from them and by now, I wouldn’t be surprised if people in Cedarhurst NY know me better than San Diegans do! I can’t say it’s just business because this nice lady keeps on generating the energy I need to go on as she continues to send her good wishes along with encouraging remarks:
“...first of all we need another ten books please. We are down to one and getting great feedback. One woman wants to use the book for her discussion group.”
The above picture was attached to her e-mail, oh she must know how happy it would make me to see my novel on the shelf! But that’s not what this article is about. Beyond all publicity, it thrills me to see such affectionate response and what a huge achievement it is to find new friends. Readers don’t reach out because they know me, and nor did this lady owe me any favors. She happened to appreciate my hard work and that’s all I could ever dream. Who knows? With the world being round, we may someday meet, but that’s immaterial because in my heart, I already have a most endearing image.
So, if you happen to pass through Cedarhurst, New York, stop by The Blue Door and visit the people who don’t just provide books, but deeply care about their clients. Good recommendations are why we all became readers and receiving such care is what makes independent bookstores irreplaceable.
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