Monday, March 27, 2006

No promotion at all.

I've just read a Newsweek article about one of my favorite children's book novelists, Beverly Cleary (author of the Henry Huggins books, the Ramona and Beezus books, and more). Ms. Cleary, a Newbery Award-winning author, has sold more than 91 million copies of her books. By comparison, J. K. Rowling as sold 120 million copies of "Harry Potter." That's not a huge numerical difference, is it?

So what's the major difference between Cleary and Rowling? Visibility. Cleary has chosen to keep a low profile while Rowling has not.

Has her failure to appear in media outlets around the world hurt the sales of Cleary's books? Somehow, I doubt it.

But does reading the Newsweek article make me want to go to a bookstore right now, in the middle of the workday, to pick up a few "Ramona" books to add to my collection? Yes, it does. (I'll resist the temptation for now, but I make no promises about what I'll do after six o'clock tonight.)

If you're a fellow Cleary fan, you'll be interested to know that Ms. Cleary is about to turn 90 years old. Good for her.

Good for us.