A year ago this month (June 2019), Otis Books published GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK: A Memoir of Self-Acceptance (GRAY for short; the acronym, GITNB, sounds like an insurance company). It feels like it's only been a few months ago, and, it feels like another life-time.
So much has happened in the intervening months. Especially the last four. Within my small orbit, and in the world beyond the walls of my personal bubble. I've struggled to find the way, the words, the capacity to "celebrate," something so small and, in any broader scheme of things, insignificant, as a publication milestone.
Yet, I would like to use this anniversary month to express thanks and spread some gratitude around.
To Otis Books, the MFA Writing Program at the Otis College of Art and Design, and especially editorial director, Guy Bennett, for selecting my manuscript out of their submissions pile in the fall of 2018, and giving it physical form as my #LittleBlackBook. A double thank you to Guy and Otis Books for reprinting GRAY this June (2020), almost exactly a year to the day from its first printing (which sold out in nine months).
(For you writers out there, Otis Books will be accepting submissions this October, via Submittable, for spring and fall 2021 titles.)
To Small Press Distribution (SPD) for providing small presses and their authors (like me!) with a reliable system for sales and distribution of books that are often excluded and underrepresented in the literary universe
(GRAY was a SPD nonfiction top-ten bestseller for three of the last four quarters!). To Capital Books here in Sacramento, which carries Gray and has a lovely, prominent display of books from many of our region's authors.
To the readers who reached out to tell me they couldn't put GRAY down, that it was like reading their own story, that they needed this book right now, that they laughed, cried, and related.
I could go on . . . my family ((who, mostly, took being writing about with humor and grace), journals that published parts of Gray, reviewers, the Sacramento writing community, 916 Ink, my writing groups and pals. But this isn't the Academy Awards and even if it were . . . well, suffice to say, I've got a lot to be grateful for, and I am.
Moving on to the spreading gratitude part.
During the few months when GRAY was out of print, which happened to coincide with the quarantine (ergo, more time on my hands), I published it as a Kindle e-book. For the next five days (June 30 - July 4), I offer it as a free download.
The paperback is now back in print, and available from Small Press Distribution, Capital Books and the usual online places, including Amazon. Owing to a handful of events being cancelled earlier this year, I've got books left over from the first printing and I'd like to give five away, one a day from June 30 through July 4. (The second printing is no different in appearance than the first; still, it's a first for me to have something reprinted!)
If you'd like to receive an autographed copy of GRAY, all you have to do is e-mail me. If you are the first to respond on one of the five days, and you provide me a mailing address, your copy of GRAY will be on its way to you!
Dorothy, author of GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.