Thursday, January 6, 2011

Major Mini-Miracles

Over the past seventeen years, Gramercy Books (a division of Random House) has published a number of my quotation books. The gift-type books did really well for them with sales of over 400,000 copies. Then, about two- years ago Random House closed the doors to that division. I managed to get the rights back to the books but I had difficulty selling them to other publishers in spite of their track record.

For over a year I sent copies to publishers without any success. I became discouraged. I gave up actively looking for a publisher and put a sign above my desk that read, “The Perfect Publisher Will Find Me.”

Then, one day, I got a notice from the Northern California Book Publicity and Marketing Association, of which I used to be a member. They were having Peter Shankman at their next meeting. I had been following Peter, a
social media guru, for a long time and wanted to hear him speak.

At the event, I took a seat on the aisle. The man next to me was turned around and chatting with two women behind him. He was trying to sell them his idea for a book. They weren’t interested because, as I overheard, they were starting a new division of their company and looking for books that uplift, inspire, enlighten, and bring joy to readers.

When I heard that, I immediately introduced myself to the two women and told them how well my books fit within their mission. They gave me their card and asked me to send them the books. When I saw where their office was located, I knew I found the perfect publisher. They were only five blocks away from where I lived. So I hand-delivered the books the next day and the rest is history.

The publisher was Viva Editions. They have published two of the books, Change Your Life! A Little Book of Big Ideas, and, Inspiration for a Lifetime: Words of Wisdom, Delight, and Possibility. They do a remarkable job of not only producing stunning books but also getting the word out and selling the book. For example, Change Your Life! is in Hallmark stores across the county.

I am so grateful to be working with Viva Edition. And, I’m grateful to NCBPMA for providing the space for the perfect publisher to find me.

Allen Klein,
San Francisco

P.S.- “And now,” as Paul Harvey used to say, “for the rest of the story.”

Shortly after I signed the contract with Viva, they moved their offices to Berkeley. At the opening party, a woman came up to me and said that she was the owner of Viva Edition and that she was delighted to have me as one of their authors. She also told me that she now lives in London, and that she knows me. Since I didn’t know her, I asked how she knew me. She said that for thirteen years she lived across the street from me and saw me walking my dog everyday.

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