Our annual Christmas letter to family and old friends had big news wrapped inside the good wishes. “Ho, ho, ho, Marg is entering the revolutionary post-Gutenberg world by publishing an ebook!” They all knew my parents’ romantic story and had lavished praise on the print version. I couched this as a genuine seasonal message but must confess visions of five stars beside my title in the sales catalog were dancing on a hidden agenda inside my head!

My connections are not pushovers; they are mostly hardy, elderly, not intimidated by Amazons and they expect to get into heaven without a password. Still, I needed to line up reviewers even before Kathleen's Cariole Ride was published so I made a polite suggestion and gave simple instructions on ‘how to submit a review to Amazon’ in a straightforward way.

Two months later my book is in the hands of 4,593 readers who likely made their final decision after they saw the four+ star rating.

The Internet-savvy on my list (a niece, a second cousin-in-law once removed, a new friend and the 85 year old Wilderness Wanderer) immediately submitted five-star reviews.

Three octogenarian college friends, one of them almost blind, struggled or got help but managed to do me this favor. R. called himself Accountant’s Vision, in case he made typos. J-M invites her unemployed engineer son-in-law for breakfast every morning and is still hoping this will lead to a review-writing moment. B. said she was glad she had friends who were keeping up with the Internet and thanked me for nudging her into the ebook era. J. is so proud of her new skill she’s gung ho to do it again.

A Christmas letter requesting reviews may be a little out of joint but my friends who used it as a chance to "update their brains" as my sister-in-law says, found a little joy.

February 23, 2012