In which Mara Dyer hits the list.
So yesterday, I announced on Twitter that The Evolution of Mara Dyer debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.
I heard the news on Twitter, actually, due to the S&S infrastructure being down thanks to Sandy, and proceeded to flail in 140 characters. But 140 characters isn't really enough to say what I need to say, and that is this:
You did this.
You read The Unbecoming and you told your friends to read it, too. You handsold it in bookstores and you recommended it to your patrons. You handed it to your students and you reviewed it on your blogs and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com and on Goodreads. You begged your parents to let you buy just one more book. An entire year passed between books, but you didn't forget about Mara and Noah--you rushed out to read The Evolution as soon as it was released.
This is especially astonishing to me because The Unbecoming was not a "big" book. There was no major deal. No fortune to fuel the hype machine. It sold to my first editor, Courtney Bongiolatti, who loved it so much and wanted it badly and because she is determined, she persuaded my amazing publisher, Justin Chanda, to take a chance on it too. A book that many people, if not most, still don't know how to categorize. I still have trouble describing what it's about. The odds of a book hitting the New York Times list is low to start, but the odds of books like mine hitting it? Even slimmer.
I wrote the books as well as I could, and my brilliant editors, Courtney and Alexandra Cooper, worked unbelievably hard to help me make them the best they could be. Lucy Ruth Cummins designed the most beautiful, evocative covers she could conceive of to help fit the books' mood and to try and catch your attention. My tireless publicist, Paul Crichton, and Siena Koncsol, along with the Marketing and Sales teams at S&S, worked to get Mara Dyer into readers' hands. But as hard as they worked, things like the New York Times list are out of their hands. They only have so much control, and as I discussed here, I have even less.
I controlled the words on the page--and that's really, seriously it. I couldn't control whether bookstores would buy my book at all, or whether they would unpack it on time or how many copies they would display or where they would shelve it in their stores. And I heard from several of you who told me that your bookstore didn't have Evolution last Tuesday, or that it wasn't out for days after its release, or that it was shelved in strange, hard-to-find places. But instead of walking away, you did something extraordinary. If you couldn't find it on shelves, you demanded that staff unpack it from the back rooms. If they didn't have it at all, you left that store and went to a different one. You not only preordered hundreds of books from Books & Books, helping to support an incredible independent bookstore, but while waiting for them to arrive, you bought the ebook, too. Many of you started reading it the second it was released at midnight, and you talked about Mara on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and to your friends and customers and students and patrons and you made fan art and posted reviews.
You have been relentless in your support of my strange, unbecoming* characters and Mara and Noah's twisted story since before the Unbecoming even came out, and there are not enough words in the English language to be able to adequately thank you for everything you have done and everything you do. I am humbled and most of all, beyond grateful. Mara Dyer was a dark horse if there ever was one, but not anymore, thanks to you.
*(couldn't help it)