Hard as it is to believe, it’s been almost ten years since I sold my first novel, GOOD IN BED at auction to the fabulous Greer Hendricks at Atria Books. (Yes. I am old. Thanks for asking).

If I’ve got one regret about my career, it’s that I’ll never get to be a debut novelist again, never feel the excitement and the terror that goes with it being your first time out of the gate, when you’ve got no audience, no track record, nothing but hope, and a willingness to do whatever you can to get your book into readers’ hands.

The best I can do, ten years later, is relive the experience vicariously. That’s why I am delighted to tell you about Sarah Pekkanen’s debut novel, THE OPPOSITE OF ME, which she sold to my editor Greer Hendricks.

THE OPPOSITE OF ME is a tale of twin sisters: one a high-powered ad executive in New York City, the other engaged to be married back home in Maryland. It’s about all of that sister stuff, about love and family, the smart one versus the pretty one, the choices women make and the prices that they pay.

Booklist called it “funny and poignant.” Redbook says it’s “smart and soulful.” I say it’s fresh and funny and satisfying (right there on the cover!) You can read the first chapter here and see for yourself.

If you follow publishing at all, you probably know that it’s a lot harder now than it was ten years ago for a debut novel to get noticed Newspapers are foundering, book reviews are folding, Oprah seems to have given up on women’s fiction entirely. Too often, it seems like the bulk of the critical attention that’s left is reserved for a small handful of authors.

Sarah Pekkanen is a great, witty, observant writer, who managed to finish a her novel while mothering three little boys. (Respect). She’s also savvy about the realities of the marketplace and how much online sales matter. That’s why she’s urging people to pre-order her book from online retailers ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3.

The more pre-orders the booksellers get, the more likely they are to promote the book on their websites, to recommend it in their newsletters, to spur that all-important word of mouth that matters more than anything, and more, now, than it ever did.

Sarah’s raffling off some fabulous prizes on her blog (camcorder! Fancy makeup! A phone consultation if you want to learn how to sell your book!) to anyone who pre-orders the book on Wednesday, and I’m thrilled to be part of the fun.

So here’s the deal: order THE OPPPOSITE OF ME on Wednesday. You can get it from Amazon! From Barnes& Noble! From your favorite independent bookstore!

Next, head to Sarah’s website to be eligible for her fabulous prizes.

Then send me a copy of your receipt (minus the credit card information, obvs), either at jen@jenniferweiner.com, on my Facebook home page or fan page, or via Twitter. Tell me which book you want and how you want it inscribed, and I'll send out books until I run out, which shouldn’t be for a while.

You’ll get to read a great book, and discover a fresh, funny new voice in women’s fiction. You’ll score a signed copy of one of my books (and if you’ve read them all, they make lovely gifts)...and we’ll all get to see just how much social networking can get a new author on the radar.

What’s not to like?

Jen