I did not join the Russian mafia. I know, I know, I had this weird site hack last month, where the page would load and then redirect so that suddenly you’d be reading a page that would be all YOU WANT GET RICH?! YOU WORK FROM HOME!! IS GOOD SYSTEM!!! I contacted Jennette, who went into the site databases and found that they were all seething with malware, so she hosed everything down with cyberbleach and I think the hack is finally banished, thank goodness.
And while all kinds of Cyrillic scams were going on here this winter (excuse me, “winter,” since the proverbial Chinook started blowing when, like late February?) I was finishing up the special short ebook I wrote to coincide with tomorrow’s paperback release of The Wilder Life. Yes! Tomorrow! I’m telling you! Except plugging my own stuff always feels a little awkward in a way that makes me almost (almost) wish that this site was still infested with pushy entrepreneurial Russians, because then I could leave the promotional stuff up to them. YOU WANT MORE BOOK?! YOU BUY RIVERHEAD E-SPECIAL!!! IS BARGAIN PRICE!!!
They could also handle the heart-breakingly hard-to-answer comments on the Facebook page that were coming from folks who really want the ebook special to not be an ebook (BUT THEN IS NOT SPECIAL) so they can keep it in their Little House collections (SO SORRY IS NOT FRANKLIN MINT).
But obviously I’m the only one here, so it’s up to me to explain. All I can say is that I had so much fun working on Don’t Trade the Baby for a Horse, and being able to publish it as an ebook was what made it possible in the first place. Nearly a year after The Wilder Life first came out, I got to revisit one of my favorite subjects in the whole universe, write about stuff that I didn’t have a chance to cover in TWL, write about things that happened after it came out, and resolve that nagging regret that out of all the Little House-related activities I did for my book, I’d never managed to discover what it was like blowing up a pig bladder balloon. Of course, now I seriously regret finding out. But it had to be done.
I’m grateful that when TWL came out last year, so many people chose it as a hardcover: it was one of those books that was meant to be three hundred pages long, to be published with a jacket and foil stamping on the spine; the kind of book that needs months and months of advance preparation before it even comes out. Don’t Trade the Baby is not one of those books—it’s a little book, though it is round and strong!—and I’m grateful that I can still publish it and not worry about things like sell-through and returns and earning out. (Though I won’t make a dime on the especial unless copies are sold, which is a trade-off I was willing to try.) Anyway, that’s the story.
I will admit that it’ll be a little weird not being able to autograph copies of DTTBFAH (I did scrawl on the back of a Kindle once, which was strange). I’m thinking about getting some letterpress bookmarks made for LauraPalooza to give to people who have bought the e-special. And if you come to one of the paperback tour events this month, I’ll be happy to sign by proxy any card you can bring, or else any sunbonnet, tin cup, log, china shepherdess, corn cob doll, copy of Millbank, wooden slate, hardtack slab, button-string, iron spider, butter paddle, haystick, or snow-white-gleaming jewel box with a wee gold-colored teapot and a gold-colored tiny cup in a gold-colored saucer on the lid. Because objects are still important.
I’ll tell you a little more on the paperback tour later this week, but for now, I leave you with these: