Thursday, February 04, 2010

If you've tried to pre-order My Life with the Lincoln on Amazon over the last few days, you've seen that the "Pre Order" button has disappeared. You may have noticed that the "Buy" buttons on various other books have gone missing on Amazon, as well. This is all because Amazon has decided to be a bully and stop selling all books published under the Macmillan umbrella (which includes my publisher, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, as well as St. Martin's Press, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, among others) because of a pricing dispute. I'm too tired to go into the details here--and actually I should be sleeping right now, since the baby is blessedly asleep--but you can read the details of the kerfuffle on the LA Times' book blog, Jacket Copy. Needless to say, it is quite worrisome for authors with books that have just come out from Macmillan or are coming out soon, such as my friend Ariel Gore's new book, Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness--a book I can't wait to read, and one that I find myself wishing I could share with my mom. I linked to Powell's website, since hopefully this hullabaloo with Amazon will remind us to support the wonderful indie booksellers out there (and perhaps it will help to break writers--including myself!--of the compulsive-and-often-torturous-even-though-we-know-it's-pretty-meaningless past-time of checking one's own Amazon rankings.) Of course I do hope that Amazon will stop rattling its saber before My Life with the Lincolns comes out, but I have to remind myself that Amazon really only accounts for a small portion of book sales, plus I think that my book has its best chance in brick and mortar places where booksellers can put it directly into the hands of young readers.

Some more reviews are coming in. Kirkus (which is sadly going out of print soon and whose reviewers are notoriously hard to please) says
Brandeis has created an appealing, quirky protagonist, still childlike in her sensibilities and understanding. Convinced that she is going to die young, like her almost-namesake Willie Lincoln, she diagnoses the pain in her developing breasts as incipient heart failure. She worries that her mother will go crazy and her father will be assassinated. Middle-school readers will know better but enjoy this humorous first-person glimpse into her misconstrued world. Adults don’t see so clearly, either. In her first novel for young readers, the author goes beyond usual stories of the civil-rights movement, demonstrating well-intentioned but tone-deaf gestures of white supporters and the discomfort of change.
Booklist calls My Life with the Lincolns an "informative, clear, personal and passionate novel." And the PhiloBiblos blog has a fantastic review here.

Watch for a contest coming soon and a website relaunch (my husband Michael is doing the web design, which is very cool. He didn't think he'd have time, but it's coming together beautifully!)

Update: It appears Amazon has come to their senses. Pre-order away. :)

1 comment:

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Dang! That sucks to get caught up in a publishing war just as your book is to be released.
But the reviews rock!