This is already an especially happy new year for us as we move toward the launch of our 20th book in The Adirondack Kids® series in as many years!
Justin was in third grade when I (Gary) I came across the book, How to Make Your Child a Reader of Life, by Paul Kropp. It was then that I learned there were two danger times when children and young people tend to drop out of reading – 4th grade and 9th grade. I had read to Justin nearly every day of his life from the time he was an infant, but decided to try and ratchet up our interaction with words.
I asked him, “How would you like to write with me about adventures at camp?”
“Sure,” he said, “as long as I get to be in it (the story)!”
There were no plans to write a book - just to write a short story based on an adventure to take place at the 110-year-old family camp in the Adirondacks.
Not long after we began writing, I was asked to read at one of the schools in our district for a Parents as Reading Partners (PARP) program, now known as Pick a Reading Partner. I suggested to Justin we read something from what we had written. He agreed, and introduced the characters and I read a bit.
Following the presentation, a smiling parent came up to us and asked us when our book was coming out. That one comment planted a seed that took root and a year later The Adirondack Kids® was born.
During that time Justin not only went through the writing process with me, but together we also learned how to publish the book ourselves.
In the winter of 2001 I used the money earned from coaching high school basketball to publish 2000 copies of The Adirondack Kids® #1 which was fairly presumptuous since we had no idea if anyone other than a few kind relatives would even be interested in reading it, much less purchase a Volume 1 & 2!
Following our first book signing at a small independent bookstore in Rome, NY (God bless the independents!) we had a book signing at Borders Bookstore in Penn-Can Mall (now Destiny USA) in Syracuse, New York.
The signing was promoted in the STARS section of the local daily newspaper – the local television station showed up – and there were over 100 people in line.
A shy Justin introduced the book to those gathered and we sold more than 100 books that day!
To our ongoing amazement, with more than 150,000 copies in the series sold so far, support for the series has never stopped. We are beginning to meet a whole new generation of readers and cannot thank you, our fans and supporters, enough!
Keep your radar up for some special events happening in 2020 during this 20th Anniversary celebratory year for The Adirondack Kids®, including the launch of two books. TWO books?
More about that next time!
© 2019 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.