Sunday, December 03, 2006

Author Go Happy

From Ginny Rorby, author of the YA novel Hurt Go Happy (Tor), who took my Book Promotion 101 workshop in San Francisco last year:

Hurt Go Happy came out in August, but I was already hard at work putting into practice some of the tips I garnered from your class.

I sent out 2500 postcards to all the deaf schools, all the zoos with gift shops, all the libraries nationwide, all the bookstores specializing in children's books, and hundreds of personal friends. I created Google Alerts, so that everything that came out about chimpanzees, sign language or deafness, the title of my book or my name, I got an email. I then researched each person mentioned in the article and sent them a postcard.

The results have been terrific.

Here in town [Fort Bragg, CA], I had to do two readings, both of which were packed with friends. Nearly 400 books have sold locally. I am doing a fundraiser in FL and a reading at Books & Books in Miami. The book was a Junior Library Guild selection (4500 copies), a Scholastic Book Fair selection (they order 63,000 trade paperback copies) and was voted one of the Top 100 children's books of the Year by the NY Public Library Assoc.

It's hard to know if what I did was successful and what would have happened anyway, but I can't help but think that getting it before all those eyeballs helped.

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