Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Behind the Books: Snowballing

In a post last September, I described how the text for Under the Snow came to me in a burst of inspiration after months of being stuck. I was pleased with the result, but I didn’t have any major expectations for the book. Over the years, I’ve become used to being a solid mid-list author.

When the book was named a Junior Library Guild Selection, my publisher thought it was a sign of good things to come, and they tripled the first print run. That made me very nervous.

But as is usually the case, my publisher was right. The book received good reviews and a variety of honors, including a nod from the Charlotte Zoltow Award committee.

It seemed that with each recognition came more exposure, and more exposure led to additional honors and awards. You know, the snowball effect. How appropriate!

I was especially excited when the book was nominated for the Maine Chickadee Book Award because that’s where my nieces and nephew live. And I was thrilled when it was named a Selector’s Choice by a joint NSTA-CBC committee. For me, nothing’s better than praise from science educators.

But perhaps the best news of all came a few days ago. That big first print run—the one that made me so nervous—has sold out. Hooray!

Generally speaking, a publisher is pleased if a first printing sells out in a year, but every last copy of Under the Snow cleared out of the Peachtree warehouse in just 6 months. Yowzah!

People have started asking me if there will be a follow up to Under the Snow. And I’m happy to report that there is, indeed, something in the works. Stay tuned. I think you’ll like it.

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