Children's writing

Clueless in WalMart

I learned about Google Alerts from one of my critique group partners, Linda K. Stanek. What a cool service! You give Google keywords, and they will send emails listing where on the web those keywords are being used. I set up a Google Alert for Clueless in Alaska, not knowing what to expect, but not expecting much. I’ve gotten some interesting results.

The first was a guy with an Irish humor/sports blog. Say what? Why would this guy be talking about my book? I clicked over to his site to see, and sure enough, there was an image of my book and a link to it on Amazon. So I emailed him. Turns out it was an ad that he had nothing to do with. The blog host puts ads on the blog pages. Some program probably matched the word “jokes” in my book description to the humor focus of this guy’s blog. How weird and unlikely is that? But interesting. And the guy was nice–he seemed to think the randomness and e-meeting of a stranger was cool.

Then I get some irrelevant connections. I didn’t put quotes around the title, so I’ll get returns for just the word “clueless,” and you can imagine how often that comes up. Actually, I’m surprised I’m not getting more of those.

Well, to make a short story long as they say, I got an interesting alert tonight. Clueless in Alaska in now available through! Wow! I watched all summer to see if AK WalMarts would have my book–they carry many of the Paws IV books, which is the line that Clueless is in–but they never did as far as I could tell. (Fred Meyer had it from the git-go. Yay, FM!) So I’ll start looking for it at WalMart again.

I’m glad it’s there, but it’s not a flawless glad. The book is discounted, of course, which means it’s cheaper at WalMart than independent bookstores. That’s tough on the indies. As an independent needlework designer I can empathize with their situation.

Right now, however, I’m going to enjoy this bit of news. Next, we need to get the National Park Service to pick the book up for their book stores. I saw the book at some State Parks, but not one of the National Parks.

Categories: Children's writing

4 replies »

  1. Congratulatoins! I understand the mixed feelings, but you should be thrilled to be getting the recognition-and rewards.

  2. Any idea, Jen, who you contact about getting into the National Park gift shops? That would be awesome!

  3. So, does ANHA not carry your book? I assume that is the way into some of the National Parks in Alaska at least. I can ask Scott for a good contact or way in if you want.

  4. No, Beck, ANHA (Alaska Natural History Association) does not carry my book, as far as I know. I was told by someone that each NP has an approval process for screening the books it sells in its bookstores. Not sure how to even get into the process. They carry some of the Paws IV books, so they should know about CLUELESS.

    By all means, ask Scott, nudge, push, prod…