This Halloween, I revealed the cover of my upcoming YA novel on Teen Vogue.
It was a moment for the writer bucket list. A huge win. A personally meaningful triumph.
And if you didn’t have a behind-the-scenes view, you might be tempted to think that my publisher made that happen. That someone at Penguin Random House picked up the phone or crafted an email to a Teen Vogue editor to see if they were interested in revealing my cover and first chapter. After all, a professional publicist is the only one who can get you a reveal as big as Teen Vogue…
(Based on the way I asked the question, I’m sure you’ve guessed the answer.)
I made that reveal happen myself.
I scoured my contacts, crafted the email, sent the follow-up, and scraped my scrappy way to my dream cover reveal.
And I did it even with a lot of well-meaning folks telling me they didn’t think I could. Saying they thought I probably needed a professional publicist to send that email, mine their contacts, make the call. That they doubted author emails made it through the filter into editor hands.
It makes sense that they’d think so. But it also made sense to me that I had nothing to lose. If I asked, the worst that could happen was a no. Or an empty inbox where I’d been ignored. And a bit of my time lost into the ether.
None of those are particularly bad worse-case scenarios. And the potential for a big win was there too.
So, knowing it might be a long shot, I did the work anyway.
Which is why I wanted to bring it up. Because if there’s one thing I’m quite good at these days, it’s this: doing the work anyway. Ignoring the long-shot odds. Asking for what I want. Supporting myself like I’d support a friend.
So, consider this your regular reminder that we have not because we ask not. Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) all it takes is a little gumption. You can’t win if you don’t try. You can’t beat long-shot odds if you don’t play.