Friday, May 24, 2013

Mousenet reviews

Just got a wonderful review by Jen Robinson on her Book Page  site.
Not wonderful in the sense that she loved everything about the book (she had some reservations) but she read the @#$!! thing, and thought about it, and gave her review the sort of care and detail that one would wish for in – oh, I don’t know – maybe an editor?
This contrasts with another review on a site that shall be nameless that put the action in Seattle instead of Greenfield, Oregon, and sent my protagonist to school in Ohio instead of Oregon.

Jen felt that my treatment of climate change became a bit too dominant at the end of the book, and she’s rightly nervous about messages in children’s books, though she adds, "
I have admittedly very finely honed radar when it comes to messages inserted into fiction." Others have also been a little uneasy with the climate change element, but I just came across a review on the site of Climate Today that takes a different view: 

“This children’s book is a very soft approach to the topic of climate change for ages 8- 12- maybe a good place to begin. I read and enjoyed it, then passed it on to a 10 year old girl who couldn’t put it down. The one page (out of nearly 400) where the strategy is explained makes sense- except we just need humans to do it! Now!”

And the reviewer quotes:

“We can help people save the planet
one opinion leader at a time,
one politician at a time
one family at a time.”
Prudence Breitrose, author

Nice of him to attribute the quote to me. Actually it came from the Mouse Nation’s advertising agency.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Watching the Amazon flow

One of the things authors do, of course, is to watch their Amazon sales rank. When the hardcover of Mousenet first came out at the end of 2011, it checked in at a respectable 33,000 out of the three million or so books that Amazon deals with.
 After the first few weeks, it settled back into six figures, where it chugged along quite cheerfully, with a big boost towards the low end of that range when the paperback came out last February.
 So there we were on a Nile cruise ship where you had to pay through the nose for fifteen minutes of Internet. I used some of that expensive time to check up on the old mouse and could hardly believe it. That day, 14,000. The next, 11,000. Yesterday, under 5,000 and change. Suddenly, the mouse has roared.
 No, it’s not because kid word-of-mouth has suddenly made my book the next big thing–it’s the Florida effect. The Sunshine State Young Reader Award. Every year, third through fifth-graders select their favorite book from a list of fifteen–and Mousenet is on the list. Yay!