As the publication of MWF Seeking BFF approaches (have I mentioned that it comes out on Tuesday? Or that you can pre-order?) I’ve taken it upon myself to reach out to everyone I know, or have ever known, for help. As I explained to them all via email, selling books is hard for first-time authors, and early sales make a huge difference. So I asked them to considering pre-ordering, or to forward my email to friends who might be interested.
I must say, the outpouring of support has been pretty tremendous. It’s fascinating for a few reasons. First, it’s heartening that people are eager to help out an old friend. All you have to do is ask. I know, asking for help isn’t easy. I’m always hesitant to do so, because I know how busy everyone is. I hate interrupting someone’s day with a sales pitch. But assuming you aren’t someone who emails your whole contact list twice a day with cheesy and/or superstitious forwards or who’s constantly selling your brilliant-invention-of-the-week, it turns out friends like helping friends.
Remember that time you donated to a pal’s fundraising efforts? Or babysat her kid when her sitter bailed? Or bought tickets to her community theater performance? That’s what makes you a good friend. And your pals know it.
So, if you need a little help, go ahead and ask for it.
The other fantastic side effect of requesting help from your network is hearing from old friends. I got an email last night from my childhood BFF. Her note made reference to both our childhood love of The Babysitter’s Club (which it seems only one of us has grown out of) and our constant quest for the perfect Blossom and Six hats. (We used to fight over who got to be Six.)
Not only has all this kindness made me feel loved, but it has inspired me to reach out (via Facebook of course) to a friend I’d lost touch with. I saw she just got married so I sent a note of congratulations. It’s like the friendship version of Pay It Forward, without the Haley Joel Osmont shooting or Helen Hunt-Kevin Spacey sex scenes.
Now that we live in a world where everyone is over-scheduled and exhausted, and loves to talk about it (“Hi! How have you been?” “Busy.” “Great to see you! How are you feeling?” “Good, just tired.”), asking for help can seem taboo. It might appear we’re supposed to do what we do, do it well, and do it alone.
So here’s a cry for help. Or, for asking for help. You’ll get the support you need, and your friends will feel important. Like they contributed to your success. Because they did.
Do you hesitate to ask friends for help? Why? Do you have only specific friends you’re willing to ask when you need a hand? Or are you the friend who’s constantly helping?
MWF Seeking BFF is out on Tuesday! If you want to help this first-time author (and I would be SO very grateful), you can: