Monday, October 26, 2009

We Interrupt This Blog

We interrupt this blog to talk about the fun part of publishing.

I got to do something really cool today. I got to meet the famous Captain Sully Sullenberger at a book signing at a local Costco. In case you live under a rock, he's the pilot who safely landed an airplane full of passengers into the Hudson River, with only minor injuries. Truly an amazing bit of flying.

He lives about 20 minutes from my house, and has been doing local events, so I decided I should go get some books signed. I got three, one for me, one for my brother, and one for my brother-in-law.

Here's a picture of the book.

Since there were like 500 people in line, he simply signed his name so he wouldn't be there all night.

The cool thing for me, was that I got to talk to him about my aviation thriller, "Lost in the Sky". I gave him a personally autographed copy with the following inscription.

Wishing you clear skies and smooth landings

and of course, I signed my name

He absolutely loved it and after I explained the basics of the plot, he said he definitely was going to check it out. I included a business card in the book if he wants to get hold of me for some reason. (Like maybe hooking me up with his agent, hint, hint)

See, he's reading the first part of the book and actually liking it. (OMG, OMG)

What's interesting is that some people look at Sully, who used a ghost writer, and think how come he got X million dollars for his book, written by someone else, and I can't even get published? Or how come Dan Brown makes so much money on his books and they aren't very good?

I agree sales number aren't necessarily the absolute litmus test for whether a book is good or not, but what successful books do is pump money into the publishing industry, and that's good for all of us. When publishers make money on a book, they have more money to spend, and it's a lot more likely they will publish more books from less known authors, like you and me.

So the next time you pooh-pooh a big dollar book deal by a celebrity that you think might not deserve it, remember, the success of that book could help you get yours published.

I'll return next week with a post about writing.


  1. I never thought about large contracts from that point of view - now I have one less thing to grumble about! Thanks.

    A Costco signing with 500 hundred people in line would be like a dream come true. Sigh. What a great idea, though, to give him a copy of your book. Who knows where that could lead!

  2. Good words of wisdom that apply to just about anything, really.

  3. Interesting stuff.

    He does have a cool story, even if he didn't type up the words. Plus he has been in the news. I'd be interested in knowing if you think the book goes much beyond the info covered in the news.

    Anyway, gutsy move. Hopefully handing off the book will pay off in some way.

    Are you going to keep writing books with planes?


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