So this is odd: Brian Williams, Christiane Amanpour and former Secretary of State James Baker in a YouTube video promoting a new coming-of-age novel.
Jennifer Miller, author of “Year of the Gadfly,” spent a year getting VIPs to read the opening lines of her story. She then e-mailed the finished product “to every single journalist we knew.”
(What, based on the assumption that journalists can’t resist writing about other journalists? Grrr — we fell for it, didn’t we?)
Miller, 32, spent seven years writing the novel (her first) and sold it to Houghton Mifflin. That was the easy part. Then she started worrying: her 2005 non-fiction account of young leaders in the Middle East had good reviews but poor sales. “I remember feeling very frustrated because I wanted to fight for my book,” she told us Wednesday. “I wanted to do something to get it the attention I thought it deserved.”
She made a list and her dad got into the act. Aaron David Miller, a fellow at the Wilson Center and former advisor at the State Department, reached out to friends: Amanpour, Andrea Mitchell, Sam Donaldson, Dan Rather. It took almost a year to put the video together — Miller sent them the lines and they sent back a tape.
What does any of this mean for book sales? “I have no idea,” she said. “We wanted to go viral, obviously.” It hasn’t: only 1,860 hits so far. “I’m willing to bet that is significantly more views than most book trailers,” she said.
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