Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A puzzle with a message

by Stacey

Following up on my post last week about not taking anything for granted in this business, I had a meeting with an editor this week from Atria Books, and she shared a story I loved and wanted to pass on. She told me about a book on her list, a first novel, that has been doing very well since its release last month, and has become a bit of a sleeper hit over there. She also told me that part of the reason for the book's success is because a major bestselling author (who happens to be edited by this editor) read the book and endorsed it. Most of the time, that's where it ends, a great blurb and everyone is ecstatic! In this case, the bestselling author loved the book so much that she offered to host a contest of sorts where anyone who produced a receipt confirming purchase of the first novel indicating a particular date of sale would receive a signed copy free of charge of one of her books. I'm told that not only did she keep her promise, but she wound up sending out hundreds of signed copies on her own time and at her own expense. This goes above and beyond the call of duty, but it illustrates to me a wonderful camaraderie that exists in books. Authors willing to help other authors, and really remembering to give back when they've already made it. It's such a simple lesson, really, but one that bears repeating and often. This story has stuck with me and made me feel great about publishing and the decent, kind, generous people who inhabit our world. Can any of you figure out what first novel and which bestselling author I'm talking about? The clues should lead you there if you are so inclined. I will send the first person who solves the puzzle a copy of one of my books. Hint: I (unfortunately) do not represent either author. Good luck!

14 comments:

  1. I think my detective skills are lacking, because I haven't been able to find an answer yet. But I think that's an amazing story!

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  2. I don't know, but I love that story! That is so cool.

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  3. Looks like it must be Sarah Pekkanen's new book "The Opposite of Me", which was touted by Jennifer Weiner on her blog.

    Fun idea! I like sleuthing, and I'm glad you chose to share this story with us. Very cool.

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  4. I'm having no luck either, and my 15 month old is very unhappy w/the amount of time I've spent looking. She just came over and bit my leg (a sign that I am giving the computer too much of my attention). So I will have to bow out, and will check back later to learn the answer (and the winner).

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  5. I'll say it's Shadow Princess: A Novel
    by Indu Sundaresan. And the best-selling author is Jodi Picoult.

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  6. I don't have the time to sleuth out the answer, but I would like to know. Hopefully in an other post you'll tell us. Thanks for the great story. I loved it. I hope that one day I can get to a point that I can give back like the author you mentioned.

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  7. Yup, it was Jennifer Weiner who had the giveaway on her blog for THE OPPOSITE OF ME by Sarah Pekkanen. It's awesome to see such a successful author paying it back to someone just starting out.

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  8. Thanks for playing, and Mikal, you are the winner so if you send me your mailing address, I will get a copy of one of my recent books off to you. Why don't you email it to me at sglick@dystel.com and reference the blog contest? Thanks, and good job!

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  9. What a great post and yes, it is wonderful to see the support that goes on in the writing community.

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  10. This is a great story! I know it's a pipe-dream, but imagine how well authors would do if there were people on salary actually working to promote their books, and we didn't need to just depend on the kindness of Weiners!

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  11. This story made me feel all warm and fuzzy - I've found writers to be the most amazingly supportive people! Thanks for this post. :)

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  12. Thanks for sharing such a heart-warming story. And way to go on the sleuthing, Mikal!

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  13. Hi Stacey! I couldn't resist popping by to say I loved this post. Jennifer Weiner is an incredible woman, and I am in awe of her kindness and generosity. I got so many notes from readers and other authors expressing the same feelings. The only thing I can try to do is pay it forward...and wonder how in the world I got so lucky!
    Best wishes,
    Sarah

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