What did they wear?

It surprises me to know that authors actually wear something other than sweats and slippers. Or maybe it’s when they go out in public. (I’m totally teasing here, but if you follow any active author on Instagram or Facebook, you’d be hard-pressed to find one who isn’t participating in a sock-Sunday event as the biggest thing of their week). So, this book totally intrigues me.

What do you think? Is there an audience out there for what librarians wear?

One Book, Any Readers?

The concept of one community reading the same book and then talking about it has been around for quite some time. In fact, Lanark County libraries have taken part in the One Book, One Community initiative a few years in a row. Each library bought multiple copies of the same book, based on the theme for that year, and community members read, took part in book talks, author discussions, and fun activities. While it was super popular in some libraries, it didn’t do well in others. The reasons? We really have no idea.

Advertising can be part of the issue, and how community members get their news. Some populations might be more inclined to read everything in their local paper, while others rely on Facebook and other social media outlets. But it also depends on the age of the population that is likely to participate in library events such as this. It’s possible that some communities had a younger population attending adult library events, and maybe they weren’t ones who had a lot of time to participate in several events based on one book. Maybe in other communities, an older popular had more time, or loved book clubs. It’s difficult to say, but often, it comes down to people knowing about the program.

New York City recently tried a venture that stemmed from the Mayor’s Office for Media and Entertainment, and the popular website BuzzFeed. They called it “One Book, One New York”. Essentially, it was what libraries have been doing for decades. They advertised it as the largest book club in history.

Ironically, they tried to launch the same type of initiative two years earlier, but no one could agree on what book to read, so it was scrapped. This time, they allowed New Yorkers to vote on five selections, and they decided on AMERICANAH by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi.

So, did it work this time? Each burrough of New York City reported back with their results—how they advertised, what events they offered, and what they thought about the program. You can read the entire article here.

Overall, it was difficult to measure the success, because it depended upon the area and who you asked. Some places in NYC found it difficult to advertise and get the book to people because they didn’t have any small, local bookstores there anymore. Other places couldn’t keep the book on their shelves. Some people saw ads for the program, but didn’t make it to any events, and felt a little out of the loop, while others read the book with co-workers and were able to have their own discussions.

This sounds typical of community book clubs in general. You can’t have programs that will accommodate everyone all the time. All you can do is try. And try again. And try a third time. And if it still doesn’t fly, move on to a new program.

Grisham is Launching!

John Grisham is going on his first book tour in over 25 years this summer, and along with the tour, he’ll be launching a podcast! Is he reinventing himself?

While book tours are not the norm anymore (publishers just don’t have the money for book tours like they used to), many of the big authors still get to do them. It’s almost ironic to note that many of the bigger authors don’t need to tour in hopes of getting sales, nor do they like to tour. But John Grisham is breaking all the rules this year.

He’s setting out on a US tour to promote his latest novel, CAMINO ISLAND, but maybe he had the podcast in mind all along. In fact, the podcast is called “Book Tour with John Grisham”, and he’ll record a new episode at each stop on the tour with some of the other authors that will be touring with him. Won’t it be interesting to hear about his writing, and about touring as an author? A new episode will be released each week.

It sounds like it’s going to be an interesting summer! If you want to read an excerpt from CAMINO ISLAND, you can check out this link.

When a Tweet Works

Twitter campaigns can be really great for raising money, but they have to be promoted by at least one big name in order to really work. Recently, an author took on a project out of the goodness of his heart, and a small Indie bookstore reaped the benefits.

New York Times Bestselling author Shea Serrano received a fun tweet from a Louisville, Kentucky bookstore employee who was just making conversation. But Serrano thought the employee was so charming, he decided to set out a challenge for Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville to boost its online sales, and set out to get 1000 online orders in one day. He had absolutely no affiliation with the store, nor did he try to promote his own book. He just asked his followers to go online and buy a book–any book–from their store.

Not only did they reach 1000 orders…they did it in less than five hours, and by the end of the day, they had surpassed their normal YEARLY order quota. All because of a generous author.

And what is Shea Serrano known for? His 2015 book, The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed.

Good on him.

Wonderstruck

A few years ago, a young reader came up and handed me Brian Selznick’s WONDERSTRUCK, saying it had changed her life. She wasn’t even going to pick it up…at 640 pages, it’s a HUGE book. But mostly pictures, it tells the story through art and text of two teenagers from two totally different eras…1927 and 1977. Both characters are deaf, and they communicate their stories of love and loss and pain through time, each in their own unique way.

Now, they’ve made it into a film–Selznick wrote the screenplay–and I can’t wait to see how they incorporate both ideas into something all of us can see. (I read somewhere that Rose’s part of the book, which was told in pictures, is going to be shot as a silent film. Isn’t that unique?) It promises to remain as creative and engaging as the book. I hope it lives up to my young reader’s expectations.

You can see the first official trailer below.

ARTEMIS

I remember reading Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN about a year before everyone started talking about it, and I was so excited about this book! Not only was it set on Mars, but it was sci-fi without all the aliens. What could be better than an astronaut book? I loved the way Weir incorporated great science into this book, and eventually, it made it’s way into the spotlight. (If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book instead. It’s WAY better!)

So, I’m not alone in saying where is the next book? Apparently, we won’t have to wait much longer. ARTEMIS is set to be released in November of this year, and it’s being lauded as a crime novel set on the moon, because, of course.

If you’re a library patron, start watching that catalog and get ready to place a hold. This one is going to be a heavy-holds book, I’m predicting!