Facebook Fairytales!

Not being on Facebook in this day and age is like when people now don’t have cell phones. Who doesn’t have a cell phone? Who isn’t on Facebook? (My parents… that’s who. Thankfully!) I was one of those people who signed up for Facebook back when it was limited to colleges, and was on the list to be alerted when my college was added, since it wasn’t one of the first few. Funny enough, I can’t even remember how simple Facebook used to be, compared to what it is now. I also don’t check it nearly as often as I used to, more so because work has it blocked than anything else, but it’s still on my list of websites/social media outlets to stalk each day.

Because of my Facebook infatuation, when author Emily Liebert asked if I would want to review an early copy of her book Facebook Fairytales, I said “HELLS YES!” Well, I probably said something more like, “Yes, I would very much like to review your book, thank you and have a wonderful day.” 😉

With the wedding coming up, I didn’t have a chance to read it right away, but when I finally did, I thought it was really interesting! Liebert found people with a wide array of stories, everything from finding a long lost love, to helping someone get a new kidney, job searching and advancement, and more. No two stories were alike, which I loved. And even though I was drawn more to the personal stories than the ones involving work, there was nothing I would have skipped. It was also just really amazing to see how much of a tool Facebook has become. This book really shows you that it’s more than just Farmville or whatever other craze it’s currently going through. (Seriously though – enough with the Farmville!)

Also really intriguing was Liebert’s interview with Mark Zuckerberg, the elusive Facebook founder. It’s amazing that she was able to speak with him, because it’s known that he rarely grants interviews. However, her idea for Facebook Fairytales stuck out, and he wanted to be a part of it. (How cool!?)

She was nice enough to answer a few questions about herself and the book, AND agreed to give away a copy of the book to a lucky reader!

How did you go about finding the people to write about? Did you use Facebook as a tool?

Yes, I used Facebook as a tool in more ways than one! I started my story search by posting a query to my Facebook wall saying that I was looking to write this book and asking my friends to repost the query to their walls. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fitting if I could find all the stories through my own web of Facebook connections?’ I did end up getting a few via this method, but not all of them. My next steps were to reach out to Facebook’s press department and to see if Facebook would be willing to support the book. As you can imagine, they get tens of thousands of book proposals and, of all of these requests, they’d only ever supported two books. I submitted my proposal and, to my surprise, got a call a few weeks later giving me the green light! They said they would support the book by feeding me user stories and granting an interview with Facebook Founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. The other stories I found through my own online research. As a longtime journalist, who’s had to track down many sources through the years, the beauty of this process was that all of these sources were on Facebook and were, therefore, relatively easy to find.

Was there one story in particular that stood out to you in Facebook Fairytales? Something that especially tugged at your heartstrings?

The 25 stories in this book feel like my 25 children! I love each and every one of them. Of course, there are professional stories of careers launched through Facebook, but I’d say it’s the personal stories that really resonate with me. One of the most powerful stories, in my opinion, introduces Beth, a young mother from Scarsdale, NY who received a kidney from a stranger named Cathy—another young mother from Tallahassee, Florida—thanks to a mutual friend’s status update, which read: I have a friend named Beth who needs a kidney donor. If you have type-O blood, please visit her website. Beth was dying. She’d exhausted a dozen possible donors who matched her blood type but who still weren’t compatible and her prospects were growing dim. Cathy was so touched by Beth’s plight and, further, felt that the fact that they both had daughters named Olivia meant it was kismet. She saved Beth’s life for no other reason than sheer generosity of heart and soul.

Have you personally had any “Modern-Day Miracles” happen to you? Facebook related or not?

I’d say this book is my “Facebook Fairytale!” The response has been so overwhelming, and now I’m talking to producers and writers in Hollywood who want to turn it into a TV show and/or feature film. This was an idea that came to me out of the blue, so the fact that it’s taken off in the way it has is amazing.

A lot of bloggers would love to write a book of their own – what would your advice to them be on getting their start?

If it’s fiction, you have to write the whole book to even get the process rolling. In this case, my advice would be to tell a story that you feel passionate about, not something you think will “sell.” Of course, that’s important too, but your heart and soul need to be in the project in order for it to be a success. Then edit your work. And have others read and edit your work, until you think it’s as perfect as it can possibly be. Next step: find a reputable agent. Do your research online. Your agent should be your biggest fan. For non-fiction, you can get away with a great idea, a proposal, and a couple of sample chapters. Research your idea to make sure no one’s done it already, but—at the same time—that it’s not so random that there’s no audience for it. Write a kick-ass proposal and sample chapter and then pitch agents. It’s not an easy road. You have to be prepared to get behind your idea/manuscript for the long haul. And, you have to have a thick skin. Everyone gets rejected.

What are you reading right now?

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. I was just honored at Literary Feast 2010, along with Elizabeth and 19 other distinguished authors. She was such an inspiration that I had to come home and read her new book immediately!

What are you working on now? I’ve read that you’re working on a novel of your own?

I’m putting the final editing touches on my first novel, Conversations with Friends, which will come out next. I actually wrote it before I wrote Facebook Fairytales, but had to put it aside for a few months since Facebook is so timely. I just had the chance to return to it last week. I’m also working on sequels to Facebook Fairytales.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I love THIS question! I guess I’ve always liked the questions about who are the five living people you’d like to have dinner with. My answer would be: Facebook Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and my husband Lewis (I’d want him to have the experience with me!).

If you want a copy of Facebook Fairytales, here’s what you have to do!

1 entry – Comment! Comment with whatever you want, or with a great Facebook story! (Can be anything!)
1 entry – Tweet about it! Make sure to include a link to the tweet in a comment, and also include @EmilyLiebert in your tweet!!

Winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 7!

Comments

  1. Dollface says

    Comment!! I would love to read this and win this in a giveaway, xxxooo

  2. This book sounds awesome! I get on facebook at least a dozen times a day or so it seems 🙂

  3. I would love a copy! Facebook has helped me launch a successful womens networking group in Putnam County, NY.

  4. Sara Lang says

    I use facebook for work to spread news and political stories. This sounds a lot more fun that what I'm normally looking for on Facebook!

    saralang at gmail dot com

  5. Commenting! Also, you commented on my getting dumped post last week and I was thinking, "wait, didn't that girl JUST get married!" Haha, thanks for the comment, it cheered me up.

    xo d

  6. Non Sequitur Chica says

    Comment!! I would love to read this book- it sounds really interesting. 🙂

  7. This is actually really interesting! I would love to check that book out. Thanks for the info. and for the interview! 🙂

  8. Suburban Sweetheart says

    Oh, this book sounds excellent! I've never heard of it, but it sounds great.

    I don't have that many good Facebook stories, but today I did get an amazing message from an old friend who read my blog post about my dad & sent me all of her memories of him. It was so, SO amazing.

  9. Shoshanah says

    What an awesome sounding book! Its funny to think how much facebook has changed thing in the few short years its been around

  10. Jessica (Bayjb) says

    Your parents aren't on FB….YET. That is the key word in that sentence. I thought mine would never be on but lately, everyone is on that bandwagon.

  11. citygalwrites says

    What a great idea! I love to hate Facebook, but it's good to know that amazing things are coming out of the site instead of ex boyfriends detagging you in pictures 😉

  12. Sarah663 says

    I love these types of stories! What a feel-good read. I wanna win!

  13. I feel like I have quite a few interesting stories involving Facebook but the main one had to be last year when I started talking to a guy I fancied in high school and hadn't saw for ten years, ended up playing drinking games with him via the online chat function, told him i used to fancy him and then a few days later he asked me out. It only lasted six months but it would never have happened if it hadn't been for facebook!

    I really like the sound of this book – consider that my entry! 🙂

  14. I would LOVE to read this book! I have a "Facebook Fairytale" of my own! My boyfriend and I reconnected via Facebook over a year ago. We went to the same high school….we were never really friends but we remember each other. I asked to be his friend and, well, the rest is history! 🙂 If it wasn't for Facebook we never would have found each other.

    I have also gotten back in touch with friends I lost touch with over the years. It has been so fun!

    I would love to read the book. It sounds like one I would even buy!

  15. What a great book idea! Can't wait to read it at some point… but I hope I win! Haha 🙂

  16. Classy in Philadelphia says

    Ahhh, this book looks SO amazing. I love anything and everything Facebook, although it has been known to ruin some relationships…hmph.

  17. LegallyBoston says

    Even as FB changes and becomes more complicated, I can't break my addiction!! LOL.

  18. ounds like a fun read! I found some of my cousins in Croatia on facebook, but other than that I don't really have any interesting facebook stories.

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