Thursday, April 02, 2009

NEW fan mail!

It's been a long week, and I'm stressed about taking so much time off. I feel like I'm lying to clients when I make an appointment for next week knowing I won't be there -- or the week after. Crap. But what can I do? I've minimized the number of clients scheduled for Thursday, since I'll be out on two of those. I'll miss two anger management groups, which might not be a bad thing since several of the participants are either trying to look up my skirt or date me.

I'm too tired to talk about dating. But not too tired to share (i.e., brag about) some new fan mail from a new fan.

Subject: Kudos to you

I came across your blog earlier today; I was showing a colleague Yossie Wohlenders' House of Soul, they did a google search on his name, and your blog came up.

I'm going to show your blog to a few residents of a place I work at part time - many of them suffer from depression, and I think they'd benefit greatly from reading your accounts. Too many of them live with the thought that because of what they've got, they can't have a life.

Much thanks for blogging - just by sharing your posts, you're making a difference.

I wrote back:

Thanks for the validation! Please show the blog to anyone you think it might help. That's why I put it out there.

This week two other fans of mine, and you know who you are, suggested I turn this blog into a book. Which other friends have suggested before. But it took The Kallah to suggest I contact a friend of hers, Dawn Friedman, a blogger, mother, and professional writer. I wrote to Dawn:

The Kallah is a woman I befriended through the blogosphere who is now a friend of mine in real life. I'm also a blogger (isn't everyone today?) and Aidel thinks I have it in me to write a book. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, though, because my blog is about how I cope with bipolar disorder. Anyway, if you're interested, you can read it at

Did you read Dan Savage's book on open adoption, "The Kid"? It's pretty awesome.

Dawn wrote me back within a day:

It's nice to meet you, Ayelet. I have read "The Kid" -- it convinced me I'd never ever take a baby from a sobbing woman. Never say never, I guess! I'll go check out your blog. If I can answer any writing biz questions, please let me know.

Well, since she asked so nicely...

Hi Dawn, thanks for writing back! I guess I'm wondering how I could pitch my work to an agent. I used to work in PR, and I know that unsolicited manuscripts almost never see daylight.

I hear what you're saying about "The Kid," but I think in a way that powerful experience was cathartic and necessary for all of them. As Dan said, they'd be able to tell D.J. that his mother did not give him up lightly and loved him so much, she wanted him to have a life she could not give him and hence made that heartbreaking decision.

Again, she wrote back fast:

It's all about platform right now. They want to know that you have a fanbase that you can work to sell the book so other clips, speaking engagements, a blog following, etc. They've cut marketing budgets so much that they really need the authors to step up and sell sell sell so as you work on your proposal, really think about how you can convince them that you will be able to move books right out of the gate.

My fave proposal book is How to Think Like Your Editor -- not a perfect fit for memoir but still better than the straight non-fiction proposal books!!

About that time I started talking to a guy that I went out on a date with last night, so I got a little distracted. Don't worry, I'll tell the whole story on here at some point.

But -- now I'm thinking. Do I have a fanbase? Not if it's a base of 2. Also, I'm not yet ready to come out of the closet as a clinician with bipolar. I might have a book in me, but I don't know if I have a book salesman in me. Maybe I'll just stick with the blog. Although an old friend of mine who's still in PR has offered to help me publicize the blog...
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Dawn is talking about building a following. Relentless self-promotion isn't for the faint of heart. But it sometimes works. Either way, Ayelet should be on twitter! :) Tell EVERYONE to follow you on Twitter - put it at the bottom of every post. It'll be addictive. And you'll watch your list of followers grow and grow, which is validating. :)


  2. But I *hate* Twitter. Twitter ruined Facebook. Gevalt. Prostituting myself to the bitch-goddess, success...

  3. I wish I could point to people who are otherwise respected and admired, who are all tweeting their latest exploits. But I can't. I can, however, point to people who are building buzz and successful projects via twitter. And there's the rub.