MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
“Awesome,” “Loved it,” and “Read-aloud audio function is fantastic” are some of the comments on the iTunes Web site about the new release Bumper to Bumper Easy CDL, Study by APP, which is based on Bumper to Bumper: The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations, issued by Mike Byrnes & Associates.
OMG, IT’SFROM OPRAH
To have a celebrity recommend a book, especially a backlist title, is every publisher’s dream, writes Cathy Strider of Malloy, and that dream came true for Red Wheel/Weiser, which learned last fall that The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have would be would be included on Oprah Winfrey’s list of “Ultimate Favorite Things” during the 2010 holiday season.
“A year’s supply of inspiration every day and the perfect gift for yourself and your friends,” is what Oprah said, encouraging her audience to do one of the book’s lessons each day.
Written by Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening was first published in 2000 by Conari Press, now an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser. Malloy has done all the printings since it was released—about 50,000 copies through late 2010, and more than 120,000 in addition during the first six weeks after Oprah’s mid-November comment.
Malloy president Bill Upton calls being part of this sales surge “fun and exciting,” with no one complaining about working overtime. “In fact,” he explains, “the level of enthusiasm has ratcheted up with each additional order. It’s been like going to a concert and hearing the crowd cheer louder and louder with each encore the band performs.”
“Fun and exciting” is only part of how Red Wheel/Weiser would describe its holiday season. “From the day the show aired—November 21—until December 31, we shipped over 125,000 copies,” reports Michael Kerber, company president, who said the printing by Malloy was supplemented by digital printing. “That helped us keep up with the tidal wave of orders in the days immediately following the show’s airing.”
The book was also set up with Amazon.com’s CreateSpace.
The holiday season didn’t end the flurry of interest in The Book of Awakening. Thanks in part to Nepo’s early January appearance on Good Morning America, Red Wheel/Weiser shipped an additional 30,000 copies in the first half of that month, and the book captured the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback “advice and how-to.”
INTERVIEWSFOR SPURRING INTEREST
Looking for promotional ideas for your next book launch? Look at what Imagenet Entertainment has done for its novel The Guardians.
To create buzz prior to the book publication, the company used a street team that interviewed people about the novel’s core themes: firearms, green technology, and citizenship. Interviews were videotaped and posted on YouTube.
Then the street team was off to the New York Comic Con, where the team members suited up as major characters from the book. Besides being photographed with fans, the characters passed out information on giveaways available to everybody who used social media to spread the book’s message.
Next stop, the Miami Book Fair International, where characters from the book again interacted with the crowd, and especially with teenagers, one of the important markets for the book. In addition, Imagenet emphasized the story’s sci-fi elements by showing schematics on solar-powered hovboards, which are similar to skateboards and glide over surfaces with the use of magnets. (These were publicized in the long-ago film Back to the Future II.)
FINDING NEW REVIEWERS
Robert McCarty at Barking Planet Productions has a suggestion for publishers frustrated by the difficulty of having books reviewed by the most important trade publications.
A children’s book publisher, McCarty reports that he decided he needed to find other appropriate reviewers and get them interested in Barking Planet titles. His strategy? Use Google Alerts. Although many of us rely on Google Alerts as an electronic clip service, McCarty uses it to track down people who review relevant books for kids. As he explains, “We ask Google Alerts to advise us daily of reviews of children’s dog books. We explore the Web sites and reviews of those that seem appropriate.”
“We pass on many,” he says, but when Barking Planet finds one that’s well done—both in terms of the reviews it posts and in terms of the blog site the review appears on—the publisher sends a customized email “inviting the blogger to read our books. “
Barking Planet has been doing this for four years, and so far, it has had more than 60 favorable reviews on individual blogs, some of which link to Amazon.com for book sales. Some reviewers post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BN.com, McCarty adds.
Members in the Spotlight is compiled by Linda Carlson (lindacarlson.com), who welcomes members’ news of unusual special sales, licensing deals, significant media coups, movie and television options, and other achievements at firstname.lastname@example.org. The focus of this column is as much about how you accomplish something as what you accomplish, so details and specific how-to’s are important. For her other monthly articles in the Independent, Linda often emails members to ask about their experiences. To be certain you receive these messages, make sure you have her email address in your address book.
Please submit your news for Members in the Spotlight in the text of your email (no attachments) and remember to include your name, title, and the name of your press. Since information for this column is needed at least six weeks in advance of an issue’s publication date, news you submit by March 15 can be considered for the May and later issues. News that is time-sensitive should be directed to email@example.com for consideration by the IBPA e-newsletter, Independent Publishing Now.