As we bid adieu to an old year, and welcome in a new year, it is always worth doing a bit of stock-taking.
Happily, 2019 was the best year yet for sales of From Day to Day. Rather than trailing off, sales are still trending upward three- and one-half years since Odd Nansen’s diary was first republished in April 2016.
This was certainly a group effort. Thanks to all who helped (and this is but a partial list—please forgive me if I inadvertently forgot to include you): Morgan Jordan (again!); Jeanne Addison (again!); Shay Pilnik; Gail Gold; Dan Haumschild; Frank and Monica Schaberg; Eve Gelfand; Michelle Dunn; Kathy Wielk; John and Aelish Clifford; Oliver and Patty Bourgeois; Andy Lubin; Lise Lunge Larsen; Judy Campbell; Jack and Peggy Sheehan; Judy Clickner; Billie Emmerich; Michael Mathews and Mea Kaemmerlen; David Sheinkopf; Sudie Wheatle (again!); Judy Cohen; Pam Belyea; Sherrie Polsky; Bob Copenhaver; Kathy Ales and Richard Levine (again!); and last but certainly not least, my dear friend Marit (Nansen) Greve.
Year-end also means doing a bit of accounting work. This year’s royalties and speaking fees totaled $4,630.10, which, following custom, are being distributed 50% to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC and 50% to HL Senteret, the Norwegian Center for Study of Holocaust and Religious Minorities in Oslo. To date such distributions now total $15,364.28.
Here’s another brief scorecard for the year:
70 presentations to over 3,000 attendees in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Oslo, Norway.
29,000+ miles traveled.
10,000+ website visitors (cumulative since 2016).
So, all in all, it was a very good year.
But our work it not yet done. As I write this blog, five Jews were recently stabbed (one critically) in Monsey, NY, in the midst of a Hanukkah celebration (one of 13 anti-Semitic crimes reported in New York State since December 8, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo). Nationally and internationally there has been an upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents over the past several years.
One antidote to such behavior are the inspiring words and actions of people like Odd Nansen. His diary depicts how just one courageous person can change things for the better, even in the midst of a concentration camp. Thomas Buergenthal is a living testament to Nansen’s humanity.
Seventy presentations in 2019 kept me plenty busy. Unfortunately, I can only be in one place at a time, and I’ll probably never get to all the venues I would like to reach.
The solution: publicity. That can come about by word of mouth (i.e., you, my readers) or it can come via social media. This blog will get posted on my website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But an equally powerful social media engine for a book like From Day to Day is Amazon.
And that is why book reviews are essential.
There has been plenty of press lately about retailers who are gaming the system, paying people for positive reviews, or ordering employees to post reviews under various aliases, etc. This phenomenon has even spawned a new cottage industry, which offers to “authenticate” reviews, and weed out the obvious fakes.
The important takeaway is this: companies go to such great (and sometimes dishonest) lengths because they understand only too well the power of positive product reviews. So, as I often mention at the close of my presentations, a book review on Amazon is literally priceless. Please help me make sure Nansen’s words are never again forgotten. Please, my readers, post a review—of any length—on Amazon.
You’ll be glad you started 2020 off on the right foot. I thank you, and I know Odd Nansen would have thanked you as well.
I wish you peace, good health and happiness in 2020. And here’s a proposed resolution: If we all tried acting just a bit more like Odd Nansen, the world undoubtedly would be a better place. Let’s give it a try.