Friday, October 19, 2007

Could a "Comedy of Errors" Get This Book on the Ellen Show????

So...I wasn't going to actually blog about sending the book to the Ellen DeGeneres Show unless I was successful in getting it some airtime, but the events of this week are just too bizarre to keep the details in my own house.

I decided long ago that the first book I would send out as part of my marketing plan would be to Ellen, for several reasons:

1. I'm a big fan, of course. I have been following her (not literally!) since she played Margo Van Meter on the "Duet" spinoff called "Open House" on Fox.

2. I know how much she loves animals.

3. I know that she will often, at the beginning of the show, give some airtime to unusual things, like the "Cheers To You!" CD...which I bought--AND LOVED--after I saw it on her show.

Good reasons, right?

When my three author copies arrived a couple of weeks ago, I set one aside to send to the show. I worked on my letter and packaged it all up to take to the post office, and did so first thing Tuesday morning.

Do any of you remember what happenned on Tuesday's Ellen show?

Hmm. Yikes. Did any of you out there who have been following this story catch what Ellen's hairdresser's daughter's name is? Click "play", below. It's in the first 10 seconds.

Uh huh. Mind-blowing, isn't it?
Picture this scenario in your mind:
You're a staffer at the Ellen DeGeneres show and you receive an ADORABLE little grey envelope that has a colorful little label. Upon taking a closer look, you see that the label depicts--is that a DOG COLLAR?? Oh, and the collar has a little red heart tag on it! What does the tag say?

"Remembering RUBY"? What is this, some kind of joke?

No, it's not...I ASSURE you it's not. And now, I present to you An Open Letter to the Ellen DeGeneres Show:

Dear Ellen and Staff,
Hello. I did not mean to have what I think is probably the worst timing in my entire life when I sent you my new book, called "Remembering Ruby". I am not insensitive; I am well aware of what is going on with Ellen, Portia, Ruby, Mutts & Moms, and most of all, Iggy. My Ruby had her name months before America ever heard of your Ruby. If I had just waited until Tuesday after 4:00 to go to the post office; I would have watched the show and decided to wait a couple of weeks before sending it. Obviously I cannot go back in time but I do hope that you will take pity on me for apparently living in the Twilight Zone. I would really appreciate it.
Your Fan,

Figuring there was no reason to obsess about it (as I am prone to do, about EVERYTHING), I went on with my week, keeping an eye on the story as it is just unbelievable to me what a fiasco this turned into. I really wish that Iggy could be back with Ruby and her family.

Anyway, I spent several hours this morning finishing up some letters and packaging up books to send out for reviews:

It seems like, with all the time I spent on it, the stack should be about triple that size, but whatever...on to the rest of the story.

One of the books is going to Ross the intern on The Tonight Show. Why? He loves animals, especially dogs. Check out his blog to see many videos of him and his dog Louise. It's hysterical. Upon arriving at the post office (a different branch from the one I visited on Tuesday), I put the Ross envelope on the counter and asked for delivery confirmation with First Class Postage. The postal worker, a woman who is very, very nice but also reminds me of Cliff Clavin from "Cheers", informed me that I had to send it Priority Mail in order to get the Delivery Confirmation. I said, "Wha?? I just sent one from the other branch on Tuesday, and I was able to do that."

Sidenote: I wasn't protesting having to pay extra for Priority Mail; I was just flabbergasted that this postal guideline was something apparently taught on the day in Post Office School when the other guy from Tuesday was sick or something. My Ellen book was now in Jeopardy!

She said, "No, you couldn't have done that. The parcel has to be more than 3/4" thick in order to do that. They know the guidelines."

Lucky for me I rarely clean out my purse so I had the receipt handy. I showed it to her and she said, "Huh. Well, what do you know? He shouldn't have done that. It will arrive there 'Postage Due'."


Could there be any more embarrassment associated with getting this book to Ellen? Maybe the pages in that particular copy are blank? Maybe the mailman dropped it in the mud on the way there? Maybe my letter is full of typos???

She went on to ask her co-worker for confirmation on what she was telling me, and she got the head nod from that lady. She was very apologetic to me as if this mistake by someone in another branch reflected on her as well. I appreciated the sentiment greatly but told her it wasn't necessary. I said, "I checked the delivery confirmation on that book this morning and it said it had arrived at the Santa Clarita, California post office and left for delivery...does that mean anything?"

She said, "Oh! That's good news! That means you have about a 50/50 chance of it getting delivered as is. It just depends on if the carrier notices the shortage."

After sending Ross' book with the Priority Mail rate and sending the rest of them First Class (without Delivery Confirmation, of course), I left the post office, reeling. (Okay, that was dramatic. Sorry.) Three outcomes are possible:
1. The book will be delivered.
2. The book will be delivered after an Ellen staffer pays the extra postage.
3. The Ellen staff will refuse delivery and the book will be returned to me, at which time I will return to the post office with my receipt (since I have no purse-cleaning plans for the next week or two) and ask them to fix it.

And now, I present to you, An Open Letter to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Part Two:
Dear Ellen and staff,
It's me, the girl with bad timing and apparently a useless/forgetful/sleepy post office staff. If you received my book with no incident, then I say to you "Halleluyah!" If my book came to you with some postage due and you paid for it, then I am almost as overjoyed as I was when I gave birth to my sons. (almost) I apologize deeply for the error; I know it may seem to you--since you don't know me--as if I tend to blame everyone else for my mistakes, but I assure you that is not true. When I make an honest mistake I am very good at claiming responsibility and making amends. That said, although I did not make the error in computing the postage, I will absolutely refund you what you paid PLUS, let's say, an extra $5 for your trouble. Best wishes to you and your families, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Your Fan,

After all of this, I'm going to hope that fate will get my book on air. This has just been too weird! But I need all of the luck I can get with this one...keep your fingers crossed for me! I'll keep you posted!