Mark Terry

Monday, May 11, 2009

This isn't publishing, it's something else entirely

May 12, 2009
Here's a link to Rick Riordan's blog. The 5th book in his middle grades series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (the book is The Last Olympian), just came out and he's busy promoting. And when he promotes, as you see in the pictures here, tons of people show up--over 4,000 for this event. He signed for 5 hours! Over 5000 books! Kids dress up in costume. They send him artwork.

Folks. This isn't publishing. This is something different. It's something like JK Rowling (not quite as big, at least yet), but Rick tapped into something. Maybe the Greek Gods are alive and smiling down on him. I don' t know. The rest of us mere mortals can only look on in awe, though.

Mark Terry

p.s. I've talked to Rick and he blurbed my first novel, DIRTY DEEDS, and he's a genuinely nice guy. A very talented and deserving guy who only gave up teaching middle school kids reluctantly. In this rare case I don't feel much if any jealousy (hell, I wouldn't want his touring schedule). Kudos to Rick.


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

The thing about the publishing industry is that it sucks so many ways you can hardly count. It makes no sense. It is probably unfair. But, it is not closed. Despite what so many wannabes claim, it is open. Everyone has their shot. Who can say how much luck is involved. But if you come up with an idea people like you can be a teacher one day and a celebrity the next.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

And an interesting aside about Rick. When he wrote the manuscript for the first Percy Jackson novel, he knew that his agent for his mysteries didn't handle that sort of material. He was curious to see if he could sell it on its own merits without his previous publishing history coming into play, so he put a pseudonym on it when he went looking for agents.

When it sold to Hyperion--parent company Disney--the manuscript was getting copied and sent all over the place at Disney, people giving it to their kids to read, etc., and there was the sort of internal buzz you can't create, it just has to happen. But it got everyone behind him, which is what any successful novel needs.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Christine said...

I adore Rick Riordan's books, as do my kids. I know the first time I read it, I thought, DARN, now why didn't I think of that? What a brilliant premise...

11:34 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I know. I really enjoy his books.

11:37 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I was asking one of my students yesterday if he read (so he could wear headphones and listen to some piano pieces while reading), and he brought up this series. He told me all about it, and I could say that I'd heard of it only because you'd just blogged about it, LOL!

7:37 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

It's a series that lives up to the hype.

7:51 AM  

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