This week I passed my six-month book anniversary and as a result, I’ve been reflecting on TRAFFICKED, where it was and where it has come. Before the book came out, I never could have imagined how busy I would be doing readings, interviews and guest blog posts for the entire six months. Today I want to talk about these guest blog posts, blogger reviews and interviews and how intensely grateful I am to the bloggers who’ve helped me. Without them, there wouldn’t have been radio shows, newspaper and magazine articles, readings, or invites to conferences.
TRAFFICKED did not start out as a big book. It wasn’t a racehorse that was pounding ahead of all the other books even before its pub date (February 16). In fact, I’d say few people had heard about it in the month before it came out. If you looked online, truly, there was nothing. That TRAFFICKED has experienced any level of success is due mostly to amazing book bloggers who got behind the book and started talking about it.
For the month before TRAFFICKED came out, all I did was write guest posts for bloggers who generously hosted me. Many of them also reviewed the book and continue to review the book, even six months later, which is unheard of. Conventional wisdom is if the book doesn’t take off in three months, it’s dead, but TRAFFICKED is the little engine that could.
TRAFFICKED is a little different from most books because it speaks to one of the most important issues of our day, modern-day slavery, an issue more and more people are learning about. As people become aware about the issue, they learn about the book. They go online. TRAFFICKED has received amazing reviews from all of the big reviewers for which I’m also very grateful. Every time one came out, I wept. The first one that came out was Kirkus. I was in the car at a stoplight when I started reading it. I had steeled myself not to care, but I burst into tears, I was so relieved. The light changed and I had to pull the car over. However, the reviews are not what you see online. If you type in TRAFFICKED and Kim Purcell into Google, you will find page after page of bloggers talking about the book or hosting me. They have spread the word to readers. Thank God.
Recently, an author threatened to publish a blacklist of bad bloggers on his blog. He was annoyed that bloggers hadn’t reviewed his book, even though he claimed they’d promised a review. Sadly, he didn’t talk once about all the amazing bloggers out there who are working their butts off – for free.
These bloggers are mostly students and they have jobs. I think back to when I was a university student and I can’t imagine running a successful blog. Every spare minute I wasn’t working or in classes, I was studying or working out. (I was on the rowing team.) I didn’t have a spare minute. When you consider all the books these bloggers read, the hours they must put in is incredible. I barely had time to read for pleasure in university and reading is my favorite thing to do, besides writing. The bloggers don’t just read; they write about the books. They aren’t doing this for free books, despite what that author said. You can get free books at the library. Come on, now. They are doing it because they love books and they want to help us authors, and for that, I’m awe-struck. They have to review the big books for their readers, but they also choose to review the smaller books, just because.
Thanks to all the bloggers for their reviews and blog posts, to all of the bloggers who have even mentioned TRAFFICKED on Twitter and to all the bloggers who will review TRAFFICKED or host me in the future. You are not only making a huge difference to the life of this little book, but you are also promoting awareness about a very serious issue which affects the lives of teenage girls around the world.