Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One for the Money, Two For the Show...

Is it wrong to admit that the "Ting!" of an incoming email mostly makes me flinch? An email usually brings:

1) An obligation I had forgotten about,
2) A payment request which, when filled, will improve the quality of my life in no measurable way or
3) Pictures of animals who, if not adopted by me, will die. DIE! BECAUSE OF ME!

All unpleasant surprises.

So you can imagine my delight when someone I interviewed for the book wrote to me and said, "Hey! The book's for pre-sale, which I'm sure you know!" This was exciting to me because it wasn't an animal on death row and also because I had no idea it was for pre-sale. I clicked over and noted the publication date is August 7th, which was exciting because I hadn't know that. Then I noticed the book is hardcover, which is incredibly exciting and also something I didn't know.

All pleasant surprises. Highly pleasant, in fact. Like many highly pleasant surprises, they made me a little agitated.

I'm of two minds right now. I'm supposed to encourage readers to pre-order a book, because pre-orders mean all sorts of good things to a publisher, a publisher who has gone the extra mile in terms of their faith in my book by putting in in a hardened cover. And yet it's 2012 and I know everyone is counting their pennies and it's hard to justify why you should spend money in January for something you won't have until August. And when I start to think that I'm asking for someone to spend money on something I wrote, a horrible little voice in my head hisses "You expect people pay for your words, plus shipping? You monstrous glob of entitlement! Why not just hire someone to clean the litter-box with platinum bags!"

After much soul-searching and humming loudly to block out the horrible little voice, I had an inspiration, I think. If you pre-order the book and send me some sort of email showing that has happened, I will send you a chapter which didn't make it into the book, which is sort of like getting to read what you paid for at the time you paid for it. I was always fond of this chapter--it was edited and everything-- but it didn't fit into the structure of the book and was jettisoned. Now, it can stop being an orphan and serve as my heartfelt "THANKS!!!" to the pre-orderers. If you don't pre-order for whatever reason (Local bookstores both rock and rule! I agree! Or, you've had quite enough of my writing, thank you very much! I understand!), know that I'm very grateful you're here, reading this. The books have been the sprinkles, but the blog and blog-readers has been the cake and the icing for the past seven years.

CODA: Sara J. Henry, who knows things, reminds me that people don't have to pay for their pre-ordered book until it ships, so it's slightly less awful to ask people to buy the book ahead of time. Good to know. But it still feels vulgar to be the "HEY! Buy my BOOK in ADVANCE!" person, and pre-ordering should still be rewarded.

CODA ULTIMA: If you've pre-ordered, thank you! Let me know by forwarding me a copy of the email the online store sent you. That way I have an email address for you where I can send the chapter. If you've commented that you've purchased, I'm thrilled, but have no email address for you.


Blogger Debbie St.Amand said...

Having gotten my one and only offspring off to college, homeschooling really isn't my thing, but I wanted to say your idea is BRILLIANT! Very nice perk for pre orders!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

Quinn, sweetie, people aren't charged for pre-orders until the order is filled - also, if the price drops, the price is adjusted to the lower price. (But yes, it always feels awkward to point out Hey, my new book is available for preorder!)

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Robin Raven said...

What an awesome blog entry. You're so sweet. As someone who's written far less, I'm all self-promoting when I get something published. haha I love your attitude.

I pre-ordered it as soon as I saw this. I would pre-order it any way, but this is such a lovely idea. Thank you for writing the book. Can't wait to read it.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous --Deb said...

The best part about pre-ordering? Months later you get something in the mail that you'd completely forgotten about yet are simultaneously thrilled to bits to see. It's like a surprise gift from your past-self who knew EXACTLY what you would want!

3:58 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I often go back to the last chapter of Notes from the Underwire on my iPad Kindle app when I need a good laugh. One, I think the line about that other Quinn Cummings and a bunch of things happening to her is so funny. But it reminds me of an interview I saw of Adam West who said that reps on the phone who he called would know who he was before he identified himself (long before caller id so that wasn't it). I have seen your blog videos and I just can't imagine that your distinctive voice didn't make her think you were actually you.

So before I pre-order I just have one question. Is it all serious? All funny? Or a delicate balance of serious and funny? Because I know as a former homeschooler that nothing (yeah, right) funny ever happens.

4:36 AM  
Blogger StevenIre said...

On the negative side, I pre-ordered the 2013 Mayan calendar and that could turn out to bite me in the behind, but I also see myself coming into some tontine money in 2013 so I may be able to swing your book after all.

4:58 AM  
Anonymous midlyfemama said...

Something that would be TOTALLY cool and helpful and probably encourage pre-orders, as if a directors cut chapter isn't enough...a linky link to where one might pre-order said book! Cause I am a lazy poop who cannot remember what she wanted to do 3 seconds after she thought of a great thing to do.

5:39 AM  
Blogger StaceyEsq said...

And the name of the book would be . . .? (I realize I can search by author, but it's much more fun to ask!)

5:48 AM  
Blogger Ale said...


I went to look for your book in Amazon, no picture of the cover? and then couldn't find any description about it! usually the editor or someone gives you an idea about what the book talks about...just ideas so your book is a success since now even when is in pre-order.


A reader.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous babz said...

I pre-ordered last night - It was a pleasure to do a tiny favor for you in thanks for what you give your readers/fans/me.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Amy R said...

I loved your first book (which I got to read from the library) and I've pre-ordered your new book! The name of your first book always reminds me of a certain blogger's picture (not of herself) which she features prominently, of a woman in her undergarments, riding a chariot. Do you know who I'm referring to?

And I want to tell you about a book I wrote a chapter for, A Little Way of Homeschooling: 13 Catholic Families Discover Unschooling by Suzie Andres. It came out about a year ago.

Congrats on your new book!

10:41 PM  
Blogger Runs Like A Gay said...


Now I hope I don't move house in the next 7 months.

9:23 AM  
Blogger MrsDoodlepunk said...

I pre ordered! Can't wait to read it.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

OK, pre-ordered! :-)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Karen Edmisten said...

I'm so happy it's available for pre-order! My happiness led me to pre-order. Now I'm pre-excited to read it.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

I'm late to the party, but I pre-ordered. I'm not going to homeschool, but I love your stories and I love the way you write, so I would read anything by Quinn Cummings.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an incredibly stupid question, but how do we send you an e-mail? I'm not seeing anything to click on that says "e-mail me" on your blog, nor do I see an e-mail address.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Anon,
VERY much not a stupid question. Somehow we lost the link on the right to my email, which is Quinn@qcreport.com. Now, off to fix link...

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, so I know this blog post is from January... but does the offer of the chapter-not-included-in-the-book still stand? I preordered in May. As a fellow homeschooler who loved your first book (seriously, it's in my top 5 favorites of all time - and I can only think of two of the others right now) - I can't wait to read it, and would love to read a chapter ASAP.

8:10 PM  

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