Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to Kathleen Kelly at SpecialMouse.com for her Special Mouse Podcast. The episode went live last night, and you can check it out here. I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you'll give it a listen.
Today's comic at Bug Martini
seems tailor-made for Ben:
One year ago, on a Thursday night much like today, Snow White's Scary Adventures at Walt Disney World closed forever and marked the end of an era not only for the theme park but also for my family. From the spring of 2002 through the spring of 2012 we had spent countless hours on and around that ride, and had watched Ben slowly evolve from "fevered obsession" to "comfortable safety blanket", and then it all went away forever. On the upside, that final night of operation on May 31st, 2012 was a remarkable night that will live in our memories forever. On the downside, Ben lost his favorite thing in the world with no way to really understand why. And so, the most common question I get is, "How is Ben doing now? Is he over it?"
The short answer is, "Yeah, mostly." As usual, the long answer is a little more complex and nuanced.
Last night, just after 10pm, I was snuggled in bed watching a movie when a message popped up from my sister:
I5 bridge collapsed in skagit river people on water send prayers
I sat bolt upright and immediately started searching the news online, while my wife Kris started flipping through the national news channels for more information. The problem was that the bridge collapse was in Northwest Washington, whereas we live in Central Florida. There was nothing on the national news, and even the local newspapers were slow in providing details. At first I wondered if it was some kind of hoax or misunderstanding, until I saw the first picture posted by my sister on Facebook:
This was no hoax, and no exaggeration. A complete section of Interstate 5 in Washington State had collapsed and fallen into the Skagit river. For a little context, if you happen to have read my book 3500 you may recall that in the second paragraph of the very first chapter I mention "...we finally made our way back to ou ...
I missed making my regular weekly post last week, and I have had a few developments with the book, so I thought I might take a moment to post an update for those who are interested.
As of last week, the digital version of 3500 is no longer exclusive to the Kindle. Now that the initial 90 day exclusive window has closed, I have expanded the digital reach via Smashwords. As of this moment you can download the book in multiple digital versions at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/317441, and very soon it will be available for the Nook, on Apple iBooks, and for the Sony e-reader. I will add those links to the book page as soon as they are live.
I also just released an updated print version of the book with a small handful of typo corrections. The print version is currently unavailable on Amazon, but will be back in a few days with the corrected text. The digital version already has the same corrections.
I am looking into creating an audio book version through Audible, but I am sure that will tak ...
It started with a broken arm, and ended with a trip to the emergency room for a manual disimpaction. And in between? Well there’s the tale.
A year-and-a-half after Ben got out of the hospital from the pancreatitis scare, on the very first day of Christmas break, he was in a particularly good mood. With his GI problems finally diagnosed and treated properly he was finally beginning to gain some weight and fill out. Where the year before he was all skin and bones and pale as a ghost, now he had a healthy glow about him and some actual meat on his bones. He was also much more energetic, which was not surprising since he was finally actually absorbing the proper nutrients from his food. He had of late taken up skating, and really enjoyed when I would walk with him as he skated around the block in our quiet little neighborhood.
This past weekend I had a very successful promotion for my book 3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White. Tomorrow I will get back to my regular blogging routine, but I wanted to take a moment this morning to go over the details of the promotion for the benefit of other authors. This is not to say that I am particularly knowledgeable on the subject of book promotion -- I'm not -- but what I did for this promotion seemed to work for me.
First off the results: Over the course of five days, from May 2nd through May 6th, there were 30,422 downloads of the Kindle edition of my book. For all of Thursday and Friday, and for most of Saturday, my book was ranked as #4 in the top Free Kindle downloads on Amazon, and was ranked as #1 in both the Memoir and the Non-Fiction categories. Since Thursday I have doubled my review count on Amazon, going from 25 reviews to 49 reviews, and the vast majority of the new reviews were five-star with a few four-stars rounding it out. As a side effect I sold as many print copies of the book during the five day promotion as I had in the entire month prior. My Klout score also increased by four points to the highest level it has ever been (the absolute number is irrelevant, I find that Klout is really only useful to measure your own relative movement and not to compare yourself to others). Continue reading for a full breakdown.
So, it seems like I am getting a lot of new traffic here this weekend. I just thought I would take a moment to say hello.
First of all, if you found your way here because you downloaded a copy of my book -- thank you so much! In my wildest imagination, I never thought that my promotion this weekend would be so successful. It is somehow simultaneously gratifying and humbling. So again, thank you.
If you are interested in keeping up on my blog, I generally post something new every Wednesday morning. This week is a little odd, for obvious reasons. I will be posting on Tuesday morning this week to summarize the success of my current promotion, mostly for the benefit of my friends who are authors. Then on Wednesday I will get back to writing about Ben and autism.
In answer to the question "do you have another book planned?" -- I have two ideas I am currently working on. Neither is likely to surface until the end of this year at the soonest. But I do try to post a new blog entry on my PostApocalyptica blo ...
If you have been wanting to read my book 3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White, but haven't picked up a copy yet, have I got a deal for you: For the next five days the Kindle edition of the book will be ABSOLUTELY FREE. No kidding, no strings attached, totally free for the taking. Just hop on over to Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/3500-Autistic-Ten-Year-Romance-ebook/dp/B00BFTDHV4 and pick up your copy. Feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else. The goal is to push the book up in sales ranking (even temporarily), and to get the Amazon recommendation engine to sit up and take notice.
Next week I will get back to my regular weekly blog posts. I the meantime, thank you so much for all of your support.
I had my very first run-in with the law when I was in the third grade. I had the full experience –a police interrogation, a tearful confession, and ultimately a day in court in which I had to sit on the witness stand and bare my soul to a room full of very stern and terrifying strangers. For my eight-year-old self it was certainly the most traumatic experience of my life so far. But in the end it worked out ok, because I got a dinosaur out of the deal.