A Denial Turned Approval…Thanks to Donna Freitas!

So where do I begin…

Probably from the beginning…duh! 

So I know you all remember my review for Unplugged: I raved about the book and several of you added it to your TBRs. In case you want to refresh your memory, here is a link to the review: Teacherofya’s review of Unplugged.

Here’s the cover of the book if that will help jog your memory:


Is it coming back to you yet? Well, no matter if it isn’t…this isn’t the point of the story, just a bridge. A lead-in, if you will. 

So as I was saying, I read Unplugged and I loved it. I gave it ★★★★★. It was amazing. So naturally, when Edelweiss had the sequel available as a requestable title, I jumped on it. It had been pending for awhile, but I made sure to post my review of Unplugged to the site and sent it to the publisher so they could see how much I loved it. I waited eagerly. Nothing.

Then, yesterday I received two emails from Edelweiss: they first denied me for Spindle Fire. Not too upset about it; it was a long shot. I have requested galleys from HarperCollins and HarperTeen before, and I have only been approved for one (Disruption by Jessica Shirvington, which you should all remember I also loved)…and that was actually an approval from HarperCollins AUS. So not technically from the US branch.

The second email was also from Harper: this time it was a denial for The Body Market, the sequel to Unplugged. I about died. I knew Harper wasn’t approving me, but why would they deny me the chance to rave (I’m sure) about another awesome book by Donna Freitas? I was so confused. I had been driving to the mall (don’t check your email and drive, folks!) so I pulled into a spot and parked. I went to Harper’s website to see if there was someone I could contact. I mean, it couldn’t be it, could it? There had to be someone else I could contact: someone who would understand why I wanted this particular book so bad to review! I even talked on my review of Unplugged about the lesson plan I had in mind for the classroom! 

After hunting through several sites and getting nowhere, I went on the author’s page to see if there were any giveaways or tour dates. What I found was a bio of Dr. Donna Freitas, a professor and author. It had her books listed…and a contact email address. I thought about it; should I email the author directly and make my case? What was the worst that could happen? I had already been told no by the publisher. She could tell me I was rude for emailing her, and think I was nuts. That was a major possibility, but I had to try. So I emailed her.


That’s Donna there. She told me to call her Donna instead of Dr. Freitas, so I’m honored to do so. 

When I got a response, I was so nervous. Here’s her response:

Dear Stephanie,

Thank you so much for writing and for your support of my trilogy! How wonderful. I’m honored.

Let’s see: I am more than happy to do a Q&A. Send along the questions (and maybe an occasional reminder since I am busy finishing the third book as we speak and it’s overdue!!) and I will get to them ASAP.

I’m so upset that Harper denied your request for galleys of The Body Market! If you send me your address, I will personally send you a signed galley from my stash. 🙂

Thank you for being such a big fan. I’m so curious about your lesson plan–and excited to check it out! Let me know if I can ever help or Skype in to something you are doing–I’d be happy to. I’m a bit of a social media dissenter, so I kind of stay away from that world myself, though I’m obviously fascinated by it as are all of my college students. I teach on the subject as well.

I look forward to hearing from you again!

Donna


Do you have ANY idea how awesome that was? I spoke to an author I admired, and she emailed me back with an offer to send me a SIGNED galley of her book! Signed! We talked back and forth (I was going to post the emails but it feels a little personal: it’s not the same as posting an auto-response for an approval from Netgalley. She told me she would send me a copy of Unplugged as well, since I checked my copy out from Overdrive. And she said (you’ll never believe this!)…

If any of my friends were interested in reading Unplugged, or if they had and wanted to read The Body Market, just tell them to send me an email and I’ll send them a galley.

What??? Wow! This woman is a-mazing. 

So you heard that: if any of you are interested, let me know via Twitter or comment below and I will give you the means to email her. All you need to do is tell her that I told you about a galley of her book. I don’t want to just post her email here and have a bunch of people emailing her…if you’re interested, she said she would love to do it. Who knows? Maybe it’ll also be signed. 


That’s the sequel. It’s beautiful (#coverlove!) and it’s going to be a TRILOGY, so I’m so psyched. 

My point to the story, besides sharing with you my unbelievable interaction with a talented author? And the chance to receive a galley of your choice? My point is that even if the publisher denies you, it doesn’t mean the author knows about it. Donna was really surprised. We discussed it and she didn’t understand. My trouble has been with Harper only: you guys know I get galleys from St. Martin, Random House, SOURCEBOOKS Fire, etc.  But maybe you guys are having the same problem with a different publisher, or can’t get a galley at all. 

What I want you to take away from this is that the authors are not the bad guys…either are the publishers really: they think they’re doing their best. But there’s no rhyme or reason to the reasons why you don’t get one but someone else does, and that person never posts a review longer than a few sentences (I know someone like that) or has a blog they haven’t touched. Maybe try asking the author or trying again with the publisher…you never know! In this case, I’m GLAD that I was denied! Look at the relationship I made with an author I truly admire and love. She’s going to do a Q & A and she’s offering to help other readers. After the “A” I got on my Thesis rough draft, this has been a wonderful weekend. 
Before I go skip off to finish a different ARC that I’ve been reading, let me tell you a little about Donna, my new author friend!

Donna Freitas is the author of both fiction and nonfiction, and she lectures at universities across the United States on her work about college students, most recently at Colby, Pepperdine, Harvard, and Yale. Over the years, she has written for national newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, and she’s currently a non-resident research associate at the Center for Religion and Society at Notre Dame. Donna has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and also at Hofstra University in their Honors College.

In 2008, Donna published Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses with Oxford University Press, based on her national study about sex on campus. Her latest book is called The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost (Oxford, October 2016), and it is based on her research for a new study about social media and how it is effecting the ways we construct identity and sense of self, how we make meaning in the world, and navigate our relationships during college. In 2014 and 2015, Freitas conducted approximately 200 in-person interviews with college students at thirteen different colleges and universities, and collected nearly1000 online surveys about these subjects. 

Donna is also the author of six novels for children and young adults, including The Survival Kit (FSG, 2011), named an ALA Best Books for Young Adults and the winner of the Bookstar Award in Switzerland, and This Gorgeous Game (FSG, 2010), also named an ALA Best Books for Young Adults, a winner of the CCBC Choice Award, and a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best winner. Her novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood (FSG, 2008), received five starred reviews and many accolades, including: an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read, Society of School Librarians International Book Award Honor Book, VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers, and the Texas Lone Star Reading List. Donna has also published two middle grade companion novels with Scholastic, Gold Medal Summer (about a gymnast) and Gold Medal Winter (about an ice skater), which just won a CCBC Choice Award. In June, Unplugged the first novel in her sci-fi trilogy about two competing worlds, one real, one virtual, will be out in June from HarperTeen. She lives in Brooklyn.



Happy Reading…hopefully of Unplugged! 😉

65 thoughts on “A Denial Turned Approval…Thanks to Donna Freitas!

  1. That’s awesome Stephanie!! The author is so nice. I like her email and her responses. I will add this series to my TBR. Actually, book 2 is still pending for me on edelweiss. I will look for book 1 on overdrive 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You don’t need to! Message me on goodreads or Twitter and I’ll send you her email: she WANTS me to get people to ask for galleys! And a physical ARC? How awesome is that (though Unplugged is technically published).
      Just let me know! I think it would be a great read for you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so, too! I love that she offered to send more to my friends: we emailed each other back and forth a couple times, and I think that was the sweetest part. She’s so nice and it made my whole month!
      Thank you for being excited with me! I love that you always take the time to comment on my posts. 😊😊😊
      I hope you do read it…if you need a copy, message me on Twitter and I’ll give you her email. I know it’s awkward to email an author blindly, but she assured me she wanted to spread the galleys of Unplugged: she still has a bunch!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is really SO nice, and I think it’s awesome how we, as book bloggers, manage to share a special bond with authors like that. It’s such a privilege, it makes me so happy wonderful things like this are happening to you 🙂
        Ohhh thank you, that’s so sweet! I’d really enjoy this, I’ll message you on Twitter in few, thank you! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Doesn’t it kind of restore your faith in authors? I should have posted her second email: she was so encouraging about school and NaNoWriMo and everything! I can’t stop gushing about her, lol!
      Thanks for being happy with me!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I never really had any before…I knew that indie authors were super nice, but I figured popular authors would be stuck up. I don’t know all of them, of course, but Donna gives me hope. She sent me another email saying she loved the post, so I am thrilled. I do talk to AG Howard a lot on Twitter, but have never requested a galley from an author personally. I was just so mad at Harper…but it turned into a great experience. Sometimes good comes from bad. You know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’ve chatted with some indie authors before [am getting a character named after myself (which is super exciting)] and they’ve all been yes. Yes, I understand what you mean. Ooh, I’m currently reading Splintered. Yeah, well brave of you to do that. I think, personally, I’d just accept it. Awesome that it all worked out.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Dodds…if you loved that, you’ll love Unplugged!
      Do you have Twitter? Let me send you her email so she can get you a galley! I know how hard it is for Aussies to get physical ARCs! If you’re not comfortable with it, I’m going to mail you one for Christmas, damn it! I’ll send it to you! Or go on Amazon.aus and gift you an ebook of it!
      Love ya! Tell Imogen I said hi!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😘
      I’m always amazed at the kindness of authors!
      I can’t wait to share the sequel with y’all! ::does a happy dance::
      I hope you do enjoy the book…it was really refreshingly different than a lot of dystopian literature out there…no tropes, just totally fresh. I can’t wait to see what you think of it!

      Like

    1. Thank you honey! I’m so happy that you’re happy for me! I love being able to share this with you guys!
      I can’t WAIT to review book two: it’s taking precedence over everything else!
      😘😘😘

      Like

    2. Gosh I hope so! It would be horrible if I didn’t like it…the good news is she said she likes this new book better, so I’m so hyped for the sequel! I’m sure I’ll love it. It would be karmic BS if I didn’t, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Boss (not Springsteen)!
      I had to share with my peeps! And I can always tell who my true peeps are by the ones who take the time to say something! So gracias!
      I ❤️ sharing success stories! I love reading your blog as well! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. O.O That is so amazing! Congrats! That’s awesome that she’s so cool. I always worry that authors are just going to be big, crazy jerks, you know? But she sounds really cool and that’s so amazing that she’s going to send you a signed copy! OMG. That’s like every book bloggers dream right there. 🙂 It sounds like it’s been a great weekend for you, so kudos! You totally deserve it. 🙂

    I am totally putting Unplugged higher on my TBR list. I definitely need to check it out. 🙂 And that cover for The Body Market is AMAZING. Totally love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry it took so long to see this comment! She is really cool and I opened her book mail and yours! I don’t know if you saw the post about it or not yet.
      It’s a really cool feeling having am author that you respect like you back! We have been emailing each other still and she’s so super-nice!
      Thanks for Born at Midnight: I’m just trying to figure out what to send you…but I have an idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll definitely check out the post! I’m so glad you got it. I hope you like it. 🙂

        Talking with authors is AWESOME. She sounds really cool. It’s great that you took a chance on her. I’m always too chicken to do it for the most part lol.
        And thanks for looking for something. You totally don’t have to send me anything. I just thought you might like the book 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah, but I know I’ve got something you’d like…and I really like the book mail!
      Maybe you can one day send me a book from one of your “fave authors.” 😉
      Love to read ANYTHING by…them.

      Like

      1. Haha, check put Glitch if you get some time. I sent it to you on Amazon, though no rush ob it.. It’s a, uh, Favorite 😉 but I have a physical copy of one that I’ll send you sometime. It’s only a novella and I always thought it was rough, but yeah. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was taking a major chance. I knew she would most likely say no, and that’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when she said yes! I’m so frustrated with HarperTeen for denying me all the time. This felt like a little victory against them, lol. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow this is amazing new Stephanie, and it’s great that even after getting the initial denial email you tried to find another way to get your hands on the book. I think that must have showed the author how in love with her series you are! She seems like a really nice person as well. I hope you enjoy The Body Market as much as you did Unplugged (which I have now added to my to-read list!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am so glad you did. Excellent dystopia that is so non-tropish. No love triangles, no special girl…just a girl that misses her family. So well-written. She signed my book, To my biggest fan! Well, she signed both of them. I’m just glad I got denied so I could have this amazing experience!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s a few dystopian series I can think of like that. One in particular that comes to mind is an all-time favourite of mine! But yeah it just goes to show you don’t need to follow the tropes to write a successful dystopian book!
        That is amazing as well, and it’s great you got such a positive response reaching out to the author as well! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah…I wish Harper would give me that kind of love…I’ve now been approved by HarperCollins AUS and HarperCollins Christian…but not the actual HarperTeen/HarperCollins company. Why don’t they like me?? 😭😭😭😭
        Oh, I got approved for a book from Random House today…a sequel to a book I love by Scott Sigler called Alone. I ❤️ Random House! They know I do the books justice.
        I’m just happy that an author who wants her book read was upset that her publisher turned down a fan and reader. While approving others who haven’t even read the first book! 😲☹️😠

        Like

  4. WHOOOO! I’m jumping up and down for you as well! With lower back problems! \õ/ I’m super duper swamped with ARC’s currently, so it wouldn’t be fair to the author (I’m not on a first name basis with her yet! 😉 ) to ask for a copy. It’s an awesome opportunity for other people, though! I should try emailing an author as well when it comes to books I REALLY want to read. Asking George R.R. Martin to ask where the hell his new book is, isn’t going to bring me any goodies, though, I’m sure :’).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You never know…Martin might send you a keychain? Or a restraining order?
      Yeah, I have a lot of ARCs…but it was the one book I really wanted and I was tired of Harper’s constant denials. I don’t know what made me decide to email her…possession maybe? Glad I did, though. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha XD. I don’t know where he currently resides but if it’s longer than a 1-hour flight away, he shouldn’t be worried. I can’t be on a plane longer than that without having to get some horse tranquilizer shot in me. What’s weird is how I see a lot of bloggers complain about Harper denying ARC’s the whole time. People from the US. I obviously live in an insignificant country the size of a mouse turd on the map, but I haven’t been denied by Harper once! And I’ve requested 5 books there so far. But, back to you: possession can be a good thing clearly. Because it made you end up with awesomeness!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for noticing the awesomeness!
        Yes, your country is small, but I think that’s the point…they probably want global buzz so they approve a lot of “turd-like” countries. 😂😂
        I’m kinda glad others in the US are having probs with Harper…what’s the saying? Misery loves company? Well, my misery demands satisfaction!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s amazing that you ended up making a connection with an author whose work you really enjoy 😃. I have a similar problem as you but with St. Martins Press. I’ve actually yet to get an approval from them (though I keep trying). I checked out your review for Unplugged just now and it sounds incredible. I’m definetly adding it to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Glad you want to read it.
      Isn’t it weird how some publishers seem to just deny us constantly? With you: St. Martins. I have so far had no probs with them. Me: Harper everything (Collins, Teen, etc). Only one approval from HarperAUS, and I’m not even in Australia! It just makes no sense.
      Hopefully, publishers will start seeing that the ones they approve aren’t doing (necessarily) as good of a job promoting their book. Some are amazing at it, but others leave short reviews with no substance or constantly DNF their books. I haven’t DNFed anything yet! I feel an obligation to an author…even if I don’t like the book.
      So I feel you. Crossing my fingers that it turns around for us. This experience with Donna made me feel a lot better about the authors BEHIND the publishers. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is weird. It makes me wonder what exactly they’re looking as far as when they approve requests beyond there stated preferences. Or if maybe sometimes they just go in and approves and deny randomly lol.
        Hopefully! I know when I’m approved I make it a point of mentioning the book in my WoW posts as an extra feature of it. I actually haven’t DNFed anything yet either. I almost did recently but instead forced myself to finish the book. Like you I feel an obligation to the author and then there is the fact that someone who might have really wanted to be approved didn’t.
        I’m doing the same! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I do think they have all their own personal biases that lead the publishers to approve one person over another. But you didn’t hear me say that…😂
      I almost DNFed Vassa in the Night, but it was a library book so I wouldn’t have felt bad. When it comes to an author’s book, the only time I could honestly feel ok about it was if the book wasn’t in my genre…I get asked a lot to review middle grade and I can’t ever get into it.
      Hopefully we both will start getting approved by our problem publishers…😑

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the same thing. It makes sense. 😂
        Ah the infamous Vassa in the Night, that one is on my TBR but with all the mixed things I’m so hesitant about it. But yeah I wouldn’t have felt bad either. I think I’d only ever feel bad if it was a review book. But I’ve not come across having reviewed something in a genre I’m not into yet. I think I would be okay with it if it came to that too though. I’ve been asked to review a lot of middle grade too and once a children’s book. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy them so I declined. 🙈
        I hope so! I bet one of these days we’ll both get an approval. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I just finished Vassa and it was…strange. Beautiful prose but strange. I don’t know how I’m going to rate it yet. On the other hand, I started Stealing Snow from Overdrive, and though it has all the traditional elements of a story I would love (ie AG Howard’s Splintered series), it’s very poor in the writing dept. Too bad Potter didn’t write Stealing Snow; we’d have good prose plus an interesting story!! Only 24% in, so might get better.
      I foolishly requested Hunted and saw after that it was a HarperCollins book…I’m thinking since they always deny me, they associate me with denials and just keep denying me. If I can request and get approved for a book not published by HC on Edelweiss I might have a chance. I do have two books I downloaded from the Read Now section…maybe if I write those reviews it will look like I have received more approvals?? I have like, almost 300 books listed on there! But for some reason it’s like starting all over on NG again…no approvals from that damn site. Maybe I’ll just focus on the Read Now books there because my stats on Edelweiss are super screwed up: 1 approval, 12 denials!! Ha!
      ::shrugs::
      Someone offered me a middle grade book recently and I felt too bad to deny them so I said ok. It’s pretty short. It’s called Millie and the Red Parrot or something. I just don’t find them interesting…if you go on my GR shelf, I still have a middle grade book marked as currently reading bc I can’t get through it! I’m strictly YA and I don’t think authors realize that if we stray from our preferred genre the review isn’t going to be good. But C’est La Vie!! 😐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See, I’ve heard a lot of negative things about Stealing Snow, more than I have for Vassa. As for, A.G. Howard I need to read her Splintered series. I’ve heard great things about that and I’m super excited for RoseBlood so 😊.
        That’s what I’m thinking about me as far as St. Martins goes because they’ve denied me so often I wonder if that’s why they just keep doing it.
        I actually haven’t used Edelweiss a lot. The whole set up kind of confuses me. I requested a few books at one point and only heard back on one which was a denial email. But if it’s similar to NG as far as the Read Now section goes it might be helpful. I’d try it. 😊
        I don’t find middle grade interesting either. There are a few exceptions but for the most part I can’t get into them. I think sometimes author just see that someone is accepting request so they jump without really reading the specifics on the blog.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Yeah…I finished Vassa and it was garbage. And Stealing Snow isn’t going well either. But I had to know for myself, you know?
      Ugh. Edelweiss is annoying. There’s all these books but they take forever to approve and the setup IS confusing.
      I agree with you as well about the requests. They just see an opportunity to get their book read and reviewed. Ugh again!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, she is wonderful. And it’s so rare to find something that you can use for the classroom and actually make it work…there’s so many wonderful books that get released, but they aren’t always so classroom-friendly.
      I want to make a bunch of lesson plans so that I have something available when it comes to trying to get a job. I know teaching positions can be quite hard to find in my area, and it can be very competitive. I can’t wait to start subbing, though! I’m really excited for that. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been reading that there’s going to be a teacher shortage soon as fewer individuals pursue the major because of the stressful work life/standardized testing/general disrespect from parents. A lot of areas are already seeing substitute teacher shortages. So you may be poised to fill a gap.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Ooh, thanks for the info! Maybe things will be looking up! I’m so eager to get into the field and get a feel for what teaching will be like: I just can’t believe it took me so long to realize my career path.

      Like

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