Author: Stephen Gallup
How long it's been on sale: Sept 1, 2011
Current price: $7.99
Marketing: ARC campaign + provided copies to numerous bloggers who review books; blog + numerous guest posts on other blogs; twitter account & FB page; 14 radio interviews; 1 newspaper interview; publicist contacting newspapers, TV hosts and bookstores nationwide; most rewarding single effort was asking host of instapundit blog to post amazon link
Total sold so far: Approx. 300
Link to book on Amazon: What About the Boy? A Father's Pledge to His Disabled Son
Nobody knew what hurt little Joseph. Perhaps some toxin had invaded his mother's body before his birth. Perhaps it was the difficult birth itself. Or maybe the origin of his disabilities was genetic. Whatever the cause, something had gone terribly wrong — but no one was offering solutions or reasonable guidance.
He cried most of the time, and thrashed about as if in great pain. He wasn't learning how to crawl, talk, or interact normally. His parents sought medical help and were told at first not to worry so much. Later, the professionals recommended counseling to help the parents accept reality. Nothing could help their son, and the quality of their own lives was at risk.
Refusal to accept that advice launched an improbable journey that changed their lives forever.
What About the Boy? A Father's Pledge to His Disabled Son chronicles a family's rejection of hopelessness and their pursuit of a normal life.
First 300 Words:
“It sounds like a gallop,” the Labor and Delivery nurse joked, making a pun on our name.
Judy and I laughed. The fetal monitor strapped onto her belly amplified a signal that did sound like the hollow clatter of hooves. The concussions of that tiny heartbeat reverberated in the narrow room at San Diego’s Kaiser Foundation Hospital, making our baby’s presence real.
We were already calling him Joseph, although there’d been no prenatal tests that might have established the gender. Judy swore she just knew it was a boy. Besides, folk wisdom held that males had slower fetal heart rates, and 134 beats a minute was fairly slow. Still, either sex would be perfectly all right. Did we want a boy or a girl? For nine months our stock answer had been a resounding “You bet!”
“As long as the baby is healthy …” Everyone says that.
Judy’s labor proceeded slowly—or else the hands of our clock were spinning at an improbable rate. Surely that much time hadn’t passed! But the nurse who’d joked about our name had gone home. A new shift of doctors and nurses checked in with us periodically but gave most of their attention to our neighbors, some of whom were not coping well. One desperate voice in the next room kept insisting, “¡No puedo! ¡No puedo!” I can’t! I can’t!—its owner deaf to the urgent advice offered in two languages. Judy just concentrated on the breathing techniques that had been taught in our La Maze course, and, like all anxious dads-to-be, I tried to help by providing cups of crushed ice and deliberately panting through the contractions with her, face-to-face: “Hee! Hee!” A pause, and then a long, drawn-out “Hoooo.” Another pause and we repeated.
Price: $7.99 for a memoir. Is that the print price? This might be high for an ebook.
Title: Heavy topic. Not everyone loves a difficult subject to face. The weight of the issue overshadows the possible (I'm guessing) positive message you may have in the book. Is this books goal to talk about the life of a parent with a disabled child? OR, is there a deeper message. Don't give up. We learned what a wonderful journey we've had. We feel so much joy and love. I don't know the story, but if that is your ultimate message, it may need to be conveyed in the title. Right now, it just sounds depressing to me. (and I just wrote a depressing book so if that's what it is, well, that's what it is and I totally get that.)
The cover: It has a childlike quality...it appears to be a young adult book by the cover. But the disabled son subtitle threw me a little. I am suspecting this book is written for an adult reader. The cover may be confusing readers.
The Description: My gut instinct tells me you're target market is narrow, unless you can somehow in your description of the book and in the title, tell us why this will appeal to everyone. Right now, I would think people who have gone through this type of situation or who are facing it now, will be your audience. Tell me, in your description, what this book will teach me. It's vague right now. I have to assume things it is the author's job to tell. Will this be an uplifting story? Do they achieve great happiness? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for parents of disabled children? Broaden your audience here.
The 1st 300:
AFTER I read the first 2 lines again and again and again...I finally looked back to see the author's name. Until then I didn't get the pun on the name. I kept thinking...is their name Kadung? That might be just me.
Well. For some reason I had to re-read it a lot. Maybe it was that first couple of sentences that put me out of step somehow. BUT, after re-reading yet another time, I think the writing is just fine. Did it grab me? No. Why? Tougher question. Maybe because I've had babies and reading about childbirth bores me. Everything in the 1st 300 was pretty mundane and usual stuff for parents having a baby. We all hope for a certain sex, we all say we'll be thrilled with whatever we get as long as it's healthy. Still, the writing is good. The beginning seems a reasonable place to start. By the end of the 300 I realize something isn't right and it's taking too long. I would suspect, by the end of the 1st chapter or even 500 words, we'll have a sense of something being wrong.
I would have to say I think you might want to play with the book description in the way I suggested above. I know it's hard to change cover and title. I'm not sure those are your biggest issue anyway.
My last thought is, 300 isn't that bad of sales numbers since September. Not in my book anyway. Hang in there.