Author Web site: www.helencoronato.com
The Reviews Are In! (Is It Safe to Come Out?)
At the beginning of August my third nonfiction book, Eco-Friendly Families, was released by Penguin/Alpha Books. Since my first two books were series titles, this standalone felt a little different–it really felt like mine. I was, and still am, really excited about this user-friendly guide for going green as a family; but I was (still am) also nervous over reviews. Were my recommendations too out there? Or not committed enough? Were my suggestions manageable? Or over the top? Was the author photo okay? Or should I have worn the blue scarf? Pressing issues. And pressure that I hadn’t really considered.
When I was writing the book, I concentrated on the content, the writing, and the deadlines. I worked hard weeding through environmental sites and sources to find accurate, reliable research, then combine it with my experience and expertise to create a handbook of commonsense, family-friendly ideas. I picked through mountains of information while picking up dinner, crayons, dry cleaning, socks, shoes, and Legos. And then I put it out there for anyone, anyone, to pick up, pick apart, poke and prod at. Whew, we’re a brave lot, us authors.
What’s been so interesting since the publication of Eco-Friendly Families has been reading about which suggestions and strategies struck a chord with reviewers. Whenever you write a chapter, announce an opinion, include a recipe, or make a recommendation, you do so knowing it excludes other options. You can’t travel two roads at the same time–you gotta make a choice. Those choices set the tone, the pace, the feel of your book. And then it is just out there. (Did I mention how brave we are?)
So far, the responses I have gotten for the book have been extremely rewarding. Since I spend the better part of my day Googling my own name, I have learned that readers and reviewers love the easy-to-follow twelve-month calendar of environmental ideas (starting on page 30), the numerous ways to save gas money (page 67), what to do with a unmatched sock (page 78), why precycling works wonders (page 94), seasonal, locally inspired recipes (page 140), inventive ways to think outside of the holiday gift box (page 183), the “five minute makeovers” peppered throughout the book, and, most of all, the underlying theme that yes, you can make a difference, and no, it’s not too late.
Today, the book (and author) is doing well. And that makes me proud, humble, happy, and a little nauseous. They say the farther up the ladder you go the more people who can see your ass hanging out. Right now, even though I’m only on the first few rungs up, it feels like I’m leaping buildings in a single bound . . . without pants. At least I’m giving people something to talk about.
I should go check. . . .
When not Googling herself, Helen is helping to spread the word about all of the little things you can do today to make a big difference for tomorrow. Eco-Friendly Families is available everywhere books are sold. Pick up a copy today and join the discussion at www.helencoronato.com.