Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How To Sell a Book

How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down

Product #: 7084
Price: $19.95
160 pages
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
50 color photos
Pub Date: May 2008
ISBN: 978-0-9790470-8-4
First Edition
A GREEN BOOK: Text printed on reycled paper with 100% post-consumer content

Get selected to be a Vice-Presidential candidate when no one has heard of you!!

From Shelf Awareness:
Senator John McCain's announcement Friday that he had picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate caused a bit of an earthquake at Epicenter Press, the Kenmore, Wash., house that has the only biography of the Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah: How a Small Town Girl Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on Its Ear by Kaylene Johnson.

Epicenter was founded 20 years ago by Sturgis and Lael Morgan, who were both Alaska journalists. The press specializes in general nonfiction titles about the state as well as books about sled dog racing and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. According to the Seattle Times, Sturgis decided to publish a biography of Governor Palin after meeting her at a fundraiser in 2006. "No matter what you think about her politics, she's an interesting and an unusual politician," he told the paper.

To write the book, Sturgis recruited Kaylene Johnson, who lives near Wasilla, the town where Palin was mayor and still lives. Johnson has contributed to a variety of publications and written several books.

Johnson told the Associated Press (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) that while working on the biography of the Governor, she met with Palin twice and corresponded via e-mail. After the book was published, she asked Palin for her reaction, but the Governor said she hadn't read the book because it was "too strange" to read about herself.

On Friday morning, Kent Sturgis, president and co-founder of Epicenter, wrote, "The incoming phone traffic at our little office, mostly from media looking for the author, kept our two lines tied up for six hours, unable to make outgoing calls because of volume. Thank goodness for cell phones!"

By 10 a.m. that day, Epicenter sold the last 3,000 hardcover copies it had of Sarah, originally published in April. Epicenter is distributed by Graphic Arts Center Publishing, which itself is handled by Ingram Publisher Services. By the end of Friday, IPS had orders for 40,000 more copies. On Friday, Epicenter arranged with Ingram's Lightning Source POD operation to print a trade paperback edition of Sarah. By Friday evening, Lightning Source received the necessary files from Epicenter and began printing books. As of last night, some 30,000 copies had been printed and are shipping today. The Lightning Source staff reportedly worked overtime over the Labor Day weekend to make this happen.

The new edition, with a slightly different subtitle, is called Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down and is priced at $15.95 (9780980082562/0980082560). The hardcover was 159 pages.

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