Thursday, November 8, 2012

One of those days… (And a Giveaway to make it all better!)

by Danielle Jackson

Do you ever have one of “those” days? You know what I’m talking about—the one where nothing goes right, from putting on a shirt that just doesn’t want to fit even though it did last week, to sending out a reply all email when you just wanted to tell one person about your weekend plans, to getting caught behind a tractor on a 4 lane highway on your ride home, only to get there and fall up the front steps swearing loudly in front of your elderly neighbor?

Ok, so not all of these things have happened to me (at least not in one day), but I’ve had some days like that recently—and more than anything, I just wanted to complain. And complain. And complain some more (this last time though, I wanted to complain accompanied by a very large margarita). And whoever it was next to me, be it my mom, my best friend or my boyfriend, they were awesome and listened and let me complain. But after some reflection (aided by said margarita), I thought to myself—what could I have been doing instead of complaining? How much time did I just waste?

I think it’s important to get things out of your system—take walk with the dog, mull things over… I even support a good wallow and mope every now and then. But I also think that being negative only creates negativity, and that energy that gets you riled up can be used in a different way. It’s a lot easier said than done, but I try to not necessarily look on the bright side of things, but at least on the other side.

This often makes me think of my job… it can be tough sending out a book for review not knowing how a reviewer or blogger will like it (if they read it at all). People who work in PR and Marketing often get pigeonholed into a category of people who manipulate what has been said about something into something else, something positive. Let me tell you—you can’t always do that, and even when you can, most of the time it comes across as phony. And while it’s incredibly hard to find a negative review, or see that a blog tour post hasn’t gone up as planned, I try to look at the other side of things, too.

I remember that there are THOUSANDS of books published each year, and reviewers have to make their own decisions about what is included (but I will follow up until I hear a definitive answer).

I remember that most book bloggers have jobs and families, and their blogs are something they do for fun (but I will send a friendly reminder about posting a review before the end of the publication month).

I remember that my authors perhaps do not share that same anal retentive need to get rid of that awful little Outlook Envelope on their task bar (I’ve tried not to answer emails right away, but it’s become a nervous tick).

I remember that it’s my job to try my hardest to find the right reader audience for each book I work on.

Does that mean negative reviews? Yes.
Does that mean guest blogs that get zero comments? You bet.
Does that mean I learn something new from every virtual tour I put together, every blogger review I enter into our database, every magazine feature I pitch or every conference I speak at that I can apply to whatever comes next? Most definitely.

Have you recently had a situation where you looked at the other side? Answer my question, and I’ll choose two winners who will get to pick two books from our current catalog of titles (authors, you’re included, too!). US and Canada only, please leave an email address so I can easily reach you. Winners will be chosen on Tuesday, November 12.


  1. Wallow and Mope. This should be a dance, Danielle, with lots of YouTube videos going viral so we can all be cheered up.

    From one nasty review I learned that many of my keeper authors had been shown the same lousy, mean treatment, (some by the same reviewer). One reader, however, stood up for the book I'd written, in a perfectly pleasant manner, the string of "hit her again!" mean girl comments soon fizzled.

    A nasty review can show you who the decent people are, and who they are not. This is always good to know.

  2. Woohoo, Margarita-Ville!

    My stove went out at Christmas time one year--turkey in the oven. Two hours later my grown son asked why he wasn't smelling the turkey. Dead oven. It had been acting up on and off, so I had him buy me a stove top convention oven Christmas Eve when he went shopping with his wife.

    He cut up the turkey into halves, big job for a turkey that isn't cooked, and my knives are not the sharpest.

    Okay, so we had fun, a delicious turkey, albeit not your usual beautiful turkey all in one piece.

    Now the hard part. I had to get a stove, but my dishwasher wouldn't open if I had a stove with a handle. I had forgotten my dad had taken off the handle and put a knob on one end of the stove, which made it hard to open.

    Okay, the fun part--I would have to have someone remake the cabinet so I could get a built-in stove, counter top burners. That meant replacing the counter top.That meant getting a plumber too. They had old back splash that kitchens don't have any longer. That meant having to redo the walls behind the counters. In the end, I had my workable stove and a new kitchen! Who would have ever thought it would be such a mess to replace one little old stove?

    But while that was still a mess, because it took me about three months to decide how to handle that, I had flooding in the bedroom, garage and living room...

    And...another disaster on top of that...yes, disasters do come in multiples...especially if you procrastinate and don't take care of each of them right away!

  3. Thank you for an awesome post! Please know that you are appreciated more than mere words can ever express.

    We thought we as authors were the only ones who chewed our nails (thank goodness they don't have fat grams or calories or my bathroom scales would moan even louder when I look at them) when bad reviews, no comments, etc. happen after we've written the best seller of the century. My rule is that when those things happen I get fifteen minutes to "wallow and mope" then I have to put the cookies back in the pantry and go write.

    That said, I do wish that nasty reviewer who gave my upcoming book one star could be moved to the bottom of all those beautiful five star reviews instead of getting top billing!

  4. I had a problem similar to Terry's, except mine started with what we ultimately discovered was a malfunctioning septic system and wound up being a completely remodeled bathroom. I'd rather not rehash the details, however. Not a bit fun!

  5. I think it is just a human nature thing to complain. I complain about my brother's all the time, but I would not have one of them not in my life. Sure they drive me crazy, abut then I know I drive them crazy too. I tell them that I love them, but I just don't like some of the things that they do.
    Our parents are both gone as of last year and I we need each other now more than ever. So I put up with a lot of their 'stuff'. I just complain about it to my friends and other family members. Then I give my self a shake and tell myself to get over it..
    There are more important things to worry about.. Yeah sometimes that works...

  6. Blogs, reviews, and rankings are all part of the business and all I can say is I love this business!

  7. Lots of end of month deadlines meant little sleep and lots of pressure. It felt wonderful to get everything done. Coming off of that, my plumbing went awry with a persistent leak that necessitated dumping a container of water every half hour. The shut off valve that we tried failed, and it took a day and a half for the plumber to get to us. Thankfully, since there were no pending items at work, I was able to have that time off to deal with the emergency with the house. And since I had been seeing so much news about Sandy, I could still see how very fortunate I am.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  8. Danielle, you do a great job, and I have that same affliction as far as unanswered emails. Let me know if you find a cure.

    Bad reviews are just part of being an author and so are some lackluster blog stops. And, to tell you the truth, sometimes I'm glad to have a blog stop with only a few comments because others are super busy.

  9. This was a timely post - I am having that kind of day today and I just want to crawl back into bed and put the covers over my head.

    A short version - after only sleeping a couple hours yesterday I got startled out of bed after a few hours sleep by my home phone and then cell phone with a call from an alarm company for our uncle. Of course they tell you nothing but the police are going to the house. I finally got a hold of them and woke them up as she tells me "they are here" and throws down her phone. They were the police but I didn't know that. They were already on the 3rd floor and they had heard nothing including the fact that the alarm company had called them and their neighbors. And for a laugh they both sleep naked hahaha. 15 min. later she gets back on to say they left. Their front door was open. She doesn't know if they checked the cellar so she proceeds to go down there alone (it's a spooky old cellar in a 100 yr. old home in not the best part of town) while our uncle goes back to sleep. I swear this took a year off my life.
    Then when I finally get back to sleep I get a text asking from my daughter's boyfriend if he can take a shower at 10:30. So trying to get back to sleep. Next thing I know there is knocking at my door - I thought he meant PM and not AM. (They are moving into an old house without a working shower as yet).

    Then later my tv and phone stop working (in the middle of a conversation).

    Then our family gets asked to a family birthday party but we had made plans to celebrate my husband's which was already late. And my youngest daughter works two jobs and special requested this day. So what to do!!!

    And that was only part of what happened today! I have a headache!

  10. Most of 2012 has been a year of challenges for me and my family. My husband got pneumonia and was down for 2 months, we lost our 15 year old cat, among other things. It's been exhausting and depressing, and I had to keep reminding myself to look at the other side, as you say. I had to find the good and pull through and turn our sadness and hardships into motivation to stop the continuous downfall we seemed to be in. So my family and I have adopted the "if you don't like it, change it" attitude, and we have all been quite a bit more energized and we are now making things happen, especially in creative realms like my writing and my husband's music. It's definitely more productive and satisfying if still exhausting at times.

  11. I try to look at both sides. Sometimes that is hard, but I try. Especially, since we moved from Cali it has been hard. However, it could be, we'll I don't like to utter those words, because I did once and it was bad. So, I try to be cheery and hope I can help others be cheery.
    Today I really need to be cheery no matter what, even though there is a blizzard coming through.

  12. Great post Danielle! You do a fabulous job at publicity for us Casablanca authors!!

    I have had a few weeks at my day job that make me wonder why I got out of bed at all. It's important to focus on the positive and let other people's opinions be their own!

  13. It's been a surreal two weeks. We're still recovering from Sandy and then yesterday's big snowstorm really hampered rescue efforts and many people are still without power. We consider ourselves very lucky and doing good compared to others. We've got power and hot water.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  14. I usually try to look at the other side (rarely, I have to cool down first, lol). I try to repeat "this, too will pass" and ask myself "will this matter next year?". Reading "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff" was the best thing I ever did! Thank you all for sharing and I hope you all get past your individual obstacles safely!

    (and yes, remind us reviewers and bloggers that you are waiting...sometimes our piles are teetering and we lose track of where we are on the calendar!)

  15. When I need to get things out of my system I usually go vent off on my sisters... not in a mean just a I'm yelling with you not at you sort of way. They totally get it and do the same thing to me:) After that I immediately feel better.

    I have that "nervous tick" too about answering emails:)

  16. I have been having problems this week getting a medication approved through worker's comp. I have been dealing with these people for 3 yrs now, and I swear sometimes I just want to scream. Especially when the pain is causing me not to sleep, which is the reason for the medication being prescribed. And the medication costs less than $20. But I refuse to pay for it because it is their responsibility and I have no income right now while I am battling to get my disability approved.

  17. 29 Danielle I now have the Limp Bizkit song, He Said, She Said in my head. "Just one of those days..."

    I can't imagine the stress of your job, trying to juggle all of that at once. On the other hand (since I like to look at the positive side of things) you get to work with some incredibly talented people, have the inside scoop on new books, and have fun looking for the right blogs to promote your books on! How fun!!

    At least I hope you are able to think so, most of the time. I recently had a week like this, it was looooong. Until I had enough and decided to suck it up and look at the good things going on. Of course I had an hour in the car by myself, my choice of music and a Cherry is gooood. =)

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

  18. I knew it was going to be a bad day when I missed my mouth while drinking my morning cup of tea.
    The maintenance crew for the apartment complex where I live hadn't gotten around to shoveling/treating the walkways, so I slippped and slid to my car to clean the snow off. Power outage again. Too early to be dealing with this type of weather.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  19. I had a pretty significant loss when I sold my house because I didn't read the fine print in a loan agreement for a first time home buyer's loan from my city. I was supposed to sell my house to a low/middle income buyer, and didn't, so the city not only took the loan amount, they also took 10% of the profit from the sale of my house, which amounted to $24,000. I wasn't happy, to say the least, but then I decided that it wasn't a disaster, I still had enough to pay cash for the house I was buying, and I could cry over the loss or move on and hope that the city could use that money to help other first time homebuyers. I looked it as an inadvertent donation to the city and a valuable lesson learned, always read contracts thoroughly. :D

  20. Great post Danielle! I agree that it's sometimes hard to look at the other side for a silver lining, but I do definitely try to look at a situation from all sides and just think more positively. A recent situation where I looked at the other side would be when I was contacting some people in the hopes of interviewing them for my class project. Took some of them forever to reply to me and I started getting really worried that I wouldn't get the info/data I needed in time. So looking at the other side in this case had me tweak and rethink my topic (my prof wouldn't allow us to change topics at this point) to find other ways of getting suitable data.

    Hope things are going well for you and hey, a silver lining: it's almost the weekend! :)


  21. Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments--I've enjoyed reading them all, and seeing how you have seen the other side of various situations.

    Happy Friday! Have a great weekend,

  22. Thanks very much to everyone who commented! Our winners are

    Shana Galen

    I'll be emailing you both shortly!