On earning out with Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A few posts back, I showcased my $6.88 royalty check—a check received for my fifth memoiristic volume, Ghosts in the Garden.  Ghosts went out of print shortly before that check made its way to me, but it earned out anyway, thanks to a small sale in South Korea and the many fans of Chanticleer garden, where that book takes place.

Today I learned that Flow, my autobiography of the Schuylkill River, has also earned out its small advance in an equally small, but meaningful way, and I'm taking this moment to honor that—to honor these books of ours that don't slot easily into any proven category, that don't have a logical spot on Barnes & Noble shelves, that don't scream Bestseller to those who dare to take them on, and that find their right readers nonetheless.  Flow is the book that most people laughed at before it was published, and Flow is also the book that changed my place in Philadelphia, this city I love.

I hear more about Flow than nearly any other book I've published.  Not because it sold hugely—it didn't (though this one is still in print)—but because readers are smarter and more willing to stretch than many give them credit for.  "I have no idea what this book is," Micah Kleit, Temple University Press editor, said to me, early on. "But we want to take the risk."

Thank you, Micah, Ann Marie Anderson, and Publicist Supreme Gary Kramer, for taking that risk with me, for giving me a book that I remain most proud of.

(And thanks, Karen Baker, for taking my call.)



Elizabeth Mosier said...

Yay! I love this book!

Melissa Sarno said...

"I have no idea what this book is." That makes me want to read it even more!

Amy said...

Very cool. I love how proud you are of this book.

Flow intrigues me.
I have great & interesting memories of the Schuykill River from my college days. I was a coxswain on my college rowing team. I enjoyed being on the Schuykill, it's beautiful sometimes but I also battled it in freezing cold temps a few November months!

I'm definitely looking into Flow

Lilian Nattel said...

Congratulations. And still in print!

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