Hello...Chick Lit Guest Post & Giveaway by author BJ Knapp

Guest Post & Giveaway by author BJ Knapp

I Just Published a Book, And It’s Completely Awkward
by author – BJ Knapp

“So, what do you do?” a friend I haven’t met yet asks me at a party.

“I’m not telling you. We’re at a party, why on earth would we talk about work? Instead, let’s talk about what we like to do for fun. Don’t you think that would be more interesting?” I ask. My new friend fidgets for a moment and then agrees. Then I get to tell them about scuba diving, sailing, and writing a novel. And they get to tell me about a home renovation project they’re doing, or going to agility classes with their purebred, or whatever they’re into. Before we know it, we’re enjoying the conversation. I get to learn about a new hobby I know nothing about, and so do they. I get known at the party as the novelist scuba diver, not the person who works for the big company doing some job that nobody understands because they weren’t really interested in my answer to that question anyway.

Before my book came out, it was so easy to say, “I’m writing a novel.” Then they ask what it’s about, and I tell them my well-rehearsed log line, that basically it’s about what happens to a marriage when an ‘80s metal band moves into the house. Then they chuckle and say that they’d definitely want to read it because it sounds funny. And then I say “Oh, I’ll let you know when it comes out.”

But now it’s out. And I feel like a complete weirdo telling people at parties that my book is up on Amazon just waiting for people to buy it and read it and love it. It feels pushy. I know that I have to be my own advocate. I know that I have to promote my book in some fashion to get it to sell. Yet, I clam up when talking about it, because where is the line between just telling people about it and being pushy? To me, those two stops on the spectrum are very close together. Will people at parties avoid me now that my book’s out for fear of getting a sales pitch?
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win a print copy of Beside the Music
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And this is something I am figuring out how to interact with. Just last week I donated a copy of my book to the local library branch down the road from my house. I handed the copy over the counter, the woman working there didn’t connect at first that the name BJ Knapp on the cover was the same as the BJ Knapp that was standing there in front of her. She flipped the book over and saw my picture and said “Oh, it’s you!” I blushed and said “Yup.” The women behind the counter whooped and congratulated me. (Well, they whooped in a whispery way, because they are librarians.) And we talked about how cool it was that my book came out.

Why can’t I just say, “I’m an author” to people, without wondering how they’ll take it? After all, it is what I am, right? Why does my day job have to provide me with legitimacy, but my hard work on my novel does not? And to whom do I need to prove my legitimacy? I busted my butt working on that book. I got rejected by 200 some odd literary agents before signing with Booktrope. Even though I know how hard I worked, why can’t I let that count for something?

It does count for something. My 20-year college reunion is coming up. I graduated from a small business college—the alumni newsletter is filled with all these people who have been promoted to these executive level positions. They are all accountants and managers and marketing officers—Chief of this and VP of that. Not an author in the bunch. Yesterday I filled in the informational card. It asked where I work and what my job is. I scratched out the name of my employer and wrote “Author published by Booktrope.”

They aren’t going to feel awkward about their executive level promotions. They worked very hard for that. I worked hard too. And I refuse to feel awkward for my little spot on Amazon and whatever success it will bring.

BJ Knapp’s novel Beside the Music is available on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Beside-Music-BJ-Knapp-ebook/dp/B0186OSOT0. She was inspired to write it after wondering what happened to all those 80s one hit wonders.  She lives in Rhode Island with her husband Todd and dogs Nemo and Potter.  In addition to writing she enjoys sailing, scuba diving and hiking. Check out her adventures on her blog at http://bjknapp.com.

win a print copy of Beside the Music
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

BJ Knapp


As a former college radio station DJ, BJ was inspired to write this book after asking herself “Whatever happened to all those 80’s rock stars and one-hit wonders?” Her writing career has contributions to RI Fit Magazine. But her prouder achievements are her original angry chick rock songs, usually about bad boyfriends, accompanied by her out of tune guitar. She blogs at http://bjknapp.com.

BJ resides in Rhode Island with her husband, Todd, and dogs Nemo and Potter. She is an avid sailor and scuba diver, and also enjoys pretty much any outdoor activity such as hiking and geocaching as well. She has also single-handedly orchestrated hundreds of failed attempts at cooking.

Find her here:


About her Book:
(click the cover to check it out on amazon)


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I'm happily married to my h.s. sweetheart. We have 3 kids (mostly teens, aahhh). I'm an aspiring chick lit author, book publicist, chick lit review blogger and an avid reader. I homeschool 3 kids, read 2-4 books a week and love interior design.


  • Meredith Schorr

    April 8, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Great post! And extremely relatable, too. I suffer from the same fear – I hate telling people I’m an author because I don’t want them to assume I’m asking them to buy my book. (Even though I secretly hope they will). It’s such a weird feeling to be so proud of one’s accomplishments yet so bashful to talk about them. But I get it!

  • Charlene Ross

    April 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I love the premise of this book! Adding to my TBR pile for sure!

    And I know exactly what you mean about the awkwardness of telling people about your book, hoping that perhaps they’ll be interested enough to buy it, but not wanting to push it. But you worked hard and EARNED it. So yes, OWN it!

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