I received the most exciting news this week about my new novel, Substitute Me. According to a well-known magazine editor at a popular women's magazine, there's already 'buzz' building about my book.
Now buzz is one of those ephemeral things that can't be quantified. It's like gossip. Once it's out there in the world, you just don't know how far it will go. I'm hoping it goes far and wide. All of the work I do writing about the book, tweeting, posting witty Facebook postings, etc, is all in the hope that 'buzz' is generated. That people start talking and whispering about the book. And eventually there is a frenzy at the bookstores and on Amazon to get a copy of this book. Maybe frenzy is too strong of a word, but at the very least people get excited about the book and tell all of their friends. And they tell their friends, and so on and so on. This of course translates into robust book sales, which means of course that I will be able to get another book deal one day, so I can tell more Meltingpot stories. You see how this works?
Perhaps one of the most telling signs that buzz is building for Substitute Me is that (gasp) Walmart has ordered 10,000 copies of the book and my publisher Atria/Simon and Schuster has more than doubled their original print run. Now, I think you all know how I feel about Walmart, but those opinions are about to change. Walmart's support of a book can be life changing. It means that people in middle America, who may not have an indie bookstore to patronize, might buy my book. So thank you, Sam Walton.
Substitute Me comes out on August 24 so I have about seven weeks to continue building the buzz. If anyone wants to help, feel free to post your own comments about the book or talk about it while you're at your local book store. Make sure your book club members know about it. I'd like to see how far this buzz can really go.
And in the meantime, if you'd like to read a book that is already out and is riding high on some glorious buzz, check out 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter. It's a multiculti, modern-day take on the Ugly Duckling fairy tale for smart girls. I don't know Carter personally, but she went to Smith College as did I, so she must be super smart and totally awesome!!! According to the blog White Readers Meet Black Authors movie rights to 32 Candles have already been optioned. Check it out and tell me if you think it's worth the buzz.