The Moments That Surprise You

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Me, happy because life is good


Ever since starting this book publishing collaborative journey, I’ve reached out to a lot of writers, illustrators, marketers, and people in the business. During the Kickstarter campaign for Knocked Up Abroad Again, my “Why not? Meter” was at full tilt and I was daringly reaching out to New York Times bestselling authors.

You know, because why not? What did I have to lose?

Well, all of that outreach ended up being tremendously helpful and I received amazing support from NY Times bestselling authors AK Turner, Jen Mann, and Suzanne Kamata (their reviews on are on the back cover!) and I also managed to get looped into their world.

Have you ever wondered how those reviews get onto book covers? Usually, the author or publisher sends around a beta version of the manuscript to other writers and asks for a few review blurbs months before the book is published. These reviews are then featured on the cover and in the inside of the book on the first interior page with something like “Praise for…” or “Reviews of…”

I’m still learning how this all works so there are absolutely zero review blurbs on the cover of Knocked Up Abroad (oops!) and three for Knocked Up Abroad Again, as you can see below.


So you can imagine my surprise when I got an email from AK Turner asking me to provide a review for her latest release, Vagabonding with Kids: Brazil.

Uhh, YES! I’D LOVE TO! (My email was much more professional than the thoughts zinging through my head.) Deep breaths, Lisa, a NY Times bestselling author is asking for your opinion. She wants my review? Where am I? Is this real life?

I tore through the PDF version of the book on my phone and emailed her back within the week three possible options with permission to edit however she needed for her purposes.

A few weeks ago, Amanda pings me on Facebook asking for my mailing address and a nice book-sized padded envelope appears in my mailbox a while later. I set it aside with some other packages because my birthday is in a few days and it’s fun to open packages on one day whether they are actual birthday presents or not (very strategic of me, no?).

So yesterday, on my birthday, I opened up the envelope and saw the bright colorful cover, Vagabonding with kids: Brazil (Book 3) by AK Turner. I flipped through and noticed that my review blurb wasn’t with the others on the interior page. 

“Oh, that’s okay. I guess my review didn’t work for her,” I thought but I was slightly disappointed. I flip to the back cover and read those blurbs. Nope, my name wasn’t there either.

About to close the book, the two bookmarks on the title page caught my fingers and I noticed that AK has signed it with a little message. Wait, WHAT?!?!


Wait, I’m on the cover?!? How did I miss that?

I flipped to the front cover and sure enough, there are my words and my name. ON THE FRONT COVER.

Ahhhhh! I missed it because I would never have thought that she would use my review for the front cover of her book. Ahhh!

So, thank you, Amanda, for helping out a newbie indie publisher who is still learning and is often feeling lost. Your words and encouragement provide a source of validation.

Thank you, for lifting up a fellow writer and for helping a member of our relatively small community. Thank you, for replying to your email and for taking time out of your day to read the crazy beta version of Knocked Up Abroad Again.

Also, this should be a lesson to everyone—don’t be afraid to reach out to BIG names.

If you like someone’s writing, send them an email and let them know. Why not? What do you have to lose?

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You can help me thank AK Turner and go buy one of her hilarious books by clicking below.

You won’t ever regret laughing, I promise you that.

Vagabonding with Kids series

Tales of Imperfection series

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