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Thursday’s (Final) Pre-Publication Post

March 25, 2010. That was the date of our first “Thursday Pre-Publication Post.” Less than 10 months later, it’s time for the last post in the series. Next Wednesday, January 19, will see the official publication date of my short-story collection, Quiet Americans. And next Thursday, we’ll take this show on the post-publication road. I’m so thankful for the advice and support that you’ve shown me here on the blog in this pre-publication phase, and I hope you’ll stick around to see how this particular publishing story plays out.

Right now, I’m especially focused on launching our Winter 2011 Blog Tour, which begins next week. I won’t tell you exactly how much time I spent last weekend drafting guest posts for host blogs. Let’s just say that it was considerable. Not that I’m complaining! I am really grateful to have these opportunities.

This week, I’ve been shifting a bit from the guest posts to my part of author Q&As. In case you haven’t surmised, this time, I’m the one supplying the “A”, not the “Q.” And I have been blown away by my interviewers’ incisiveness. (Sure, I knew they were smart, but this smart?)

I don’t want to give you any examples yet. Let’s let the suspense build for the tour, shall we? But I will share that working on these interviews, on the heels of receiving excellent blurbs and more recent feedback, I’ve been reminded of a December blog post by Ellen Meeropol on what Elli, as another debut author, has been learning from her readers.

“I didn’t expect to be surprised–and humbled–by readers’ insights into my characters and their story,” she wrote.

Frankly, I didn’t expect it, either. In my case, there’s some especially delicious icing on this cake: readers’ insights into not only specific characters and stories, but also on the collection as a whole.

You’ll see what I’m talking about once the tour is under way. Happily, it’s not long now!

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Thursday’s (Penultimate) Pre-Publication Post

It has been an exciting and eventful week for Quiet Americans (and, therefore, for me).

First, Quiet Americans received an incredibly detailed and perceptive review over on Gently Read Literature. I’m so grateful to reviewer Anne Whitehouse for her careful and generous reading. I can’t resist giving you a sample, so here’s the first paragraph:

The characters in Erika Dreifus’ profound first collection of stories, Quiet Americans, are first and foremost survivors, or else descended from, or married to survivors. They count themselves among the lucky few that got out alive, escaped from the vast conflagration of a people–European Jewry–and their distinguished culture—a broad, liberal, freedom-loving culture that had flourished despite a history of persecution and humiliation, but did not survive the Holocaust. They share a sense of life’s precariousness, of the accidents of destiny. They fear that in an instant they might lose all that constitutes their position and well being. They find themselves caught between a sense of hard reality and a hope for the future. They are “quiet Americans” because they don’t tend to speak out or try to call attention to themselves. They don’t want to make a fuss and are generally grateful to be left alone—“better not to give crazy people any reason to get any crazier.”

(By the way, reviews and press about Quiet Americans will henceforth be collected right here.)

Next, I was thrilled to see Quiet Americans emerge as an enthusiastic subject of conversation on this month’s EarlyWord Galley Chat on Twitter. (Also gleaned that a review will be published in the March issue of Shelf Unbound.) Thanks to everyone who participated in the chat for the surprise highlight of my Tuesday!

Finally (drumroll, please!): Quiet Americans is now available on Amazon.com. Yes, I know the official release date is January 19. But if you know me at all, and you know that I’m working with a micropress where the authors are heavily involved with the publication process, you’re not surprised that the book is available a little bit ahead of time.

In related news: Behind the scenes, I’m continuing to prepare for our Winter Blog Tour and my upcoming events in Washington, D.C.

Please stay tuned for next week’s Thursday post–our last one before we shift officially from “pre-publication” to “post-publication” posts!

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Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: Keeping My Promises

People who know me know that I am a real stickler for keeping promises. That holds both for promises I make, and promises others make to me.

Today, I want to focus on two promises that I made in last week’s pre-publication post. I’m very happy to tell you that there is major progress to report, and those promises have been kept!

First, I am delighted to announce the superb blogs where my forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans, and I will be stopping along our upcoming Winter Blog Tour. The tour begins the week of January 17 and continues for a month. Please read all about our amazing hosts and the schedule at the Winter Blog Tour HQ.

Next, although it will still be at least a couple of days before you can order Quiet Americans on Amazon, you can now purchase an autographed copy right from this website. (At least, you can do so if you have a mailing address in the U.S. or Canada.)

So that’s the latest from here. We’ll see what gets accomplished in time for next week’s post!

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Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?

So, this past Sunday (December 19) marked the one-month point in the countdown to the publication of my short-story collection, Quiet Americans, which will be released January 19 by Last Light Studio.

If you’ve been following along, you’re pretty up-to-date on the road we’ve been traveling to this point. Most recently, on Sunday, our first two giveaways came to a close. Three lucky readers won free early copies of Quiet Americans via Goodreads, and another two received copies simply by virtue of having been kind enough to sign on to our Facebook page.

In the coming weeks/next couple of months, you can expect to see new giveaway opportunities announced. Join our Facebook page for updates, and check back here for news about anything that will be offered via Goodreads.

There’s lots more to do in the next few weeks before the book is officially “born.” Here are a few things on my to-do list:

  • The pub date is January 19, but the book should be available on Amazon.com before then, and I’ll be checking (as I’m sure my publisher will be!). We’ll keep you posted!
  • Also coming soon: As promised, by early January, you’ll be able to order (signed) copies of Quiet Americans right from this website. My exceedingly talented web designer is working on this right now. (Special thanks to the marvelous Midge Raymond for her sage counsel and example here.)
  • Remember that Winter Blog Tour I told you about a couple of weeks ago? Well, details—including a list of tour stops—will be posted here on the website by December’s end. I promise.
  • Speaking of the Winter Blog Tour, I’ve just finished responding to the first set of interview questions I’ve received from one of our wonderful hosts. Over the next few weeks, I’m expecting to answer more such questions—and get to work preparing all of those guest posts that bloggers have been kind enough to say they’ll welcome.
  • I’m also going to be shipping books to Washington ahead of my early February trip there. (Working with a new micropress, this sort of thing falls to me, but I’m not complaining! At all!)
  • Think that’s enough for the moment?

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    Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: Next Year in Jerusalem

    First, a brief explanation for those who may not be familiar with the full meaning of this post title. “Next year in Jerusalem” is a phrase uttered at the conclusion of the traditional Passover Seder. Many interpretations have been attached to this idea: MyJewishLearning.com offers a good overview.

    But for me, this week, the phrase assumed a very particular, concrete meaning. And that’s because this week, I solidified plans for Jerusalem travels in 2011. Not for myself, unfortunately. Instead, I made travel arrangements for my soon-to-be published short story collection, Quiet Americans.

    As of this week, Quiet Americans was registered to be featured at the 25th Jerusalem International Book Fair, which will take place from February 20th to 25th, 2011. It will be one of the titles brought to Jerusalem and shared with Book Fair attendees by the Jewish Book Exhibitors Association, a program of the Jewish Book Council (JBC). As the JBC notes, this is a terrific opportunity to introduce books of Jewish interest–a category to which Quiet Americans most definitely and proudly belongs–”to publishers who are searching for the best books to introduce in translation in their own countries, as well as to the substantial English-speaking communities in Israel and around the world.”

    Only time will tell what sort of impact my book’s voyage to Jerusalem will have on sales and readership. In the meantime, however, it is deeply, personally meaningful for me to know that Quiet Americans will be part of the literary scene in Jerusalem in 2011–even if its author will be back home in New York.

    To learn more about the JBC’s Jewish Book Exhibitors Association display opportunity in Jerusalem, please click here. NB: Early-bird discounted registration ends tomorrow, December 17, 2010, with a final submission deadline of February 1, 2011.

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