Sunday, June 21, 2009

Big News Hits Home

Okay, in the last month I got a job as Vice President of the National Organization on Disability here in NYC, our daughter got a graduate assistantship that will cover all her expenses for an MPA at Pace University and my wife, Andrea, got a job as a nanny – her dream job – for a lovely little boy and family and she can walk to their house.

But, I gotta be honest. The most exciting news might be this.

Barnes & Noble has put in an order for The Sacred Cipher.


Okay, if you were like me, you were whooping … jumping up and down … pounding on any solid surface you could find … scaring the neighbors … and causing dogs to bark up and down your street.

I mean, I’m only a little bit excited … like heart attack, brain freeze, catatonic crazy excited, know what I mean?

Here’s the deal – Barnes & Noble has agreed to promote The Sacred Cipher in its largest stores around the country with “a table-placement in the main aisle” from August 11th to August 24th. They put in an order for 1,500 books. The Sacred Cipher is scheduled to be released by Kregel Publications on July 31.

What does that all mean?

Well, 1,500 books would be one-third of the originally projected initial press run. If initial demand for the book is strong, perhaps the press run will now be increased.

More importantly, the largest book-selling chain in the nation will not only be stocking The Sacred Cipher in its largest stores, but it will also give it a prominent promotional position in the store. “Table placement” means a display of some sort, usually a bunch of your books attractively arranged on a table surface with other similar novels. Not simply stuffed onto a shelf with only the book’s spine showing.

Cat Hoort, my marketing rep at Kregel Publications, and Rachelle Gardner, my agent, both said the same thing. “VERY exciting… this doesn’t happen very often.”

I have an old friend who worked for Zondervan, one of the largest Christian publishing companies in the country, and her take on this was similarly psyched. “It's almost like a trial for the book and if it does well you will see the sales through Barnes and Noble sky rocket.”

So, my faithful readers, we are racing down the homestretch to launch day – July 31 – and the momentum is already building.

What to do?

Well, remember what I wrote last month about BUZZ. Call your local Barnes & Noble, or drop in. Ask if they will be one of the B&N stores stocking The Sacred Cipher. If not, why not! Go to another local book store. Ask, “Will you carry The Sacred Cipher? I know Barnes & Noble will.”

You can still pre-order from or Christian Book Distributors ( The book-selling industry watches Amazon sales closely.

Or, you can engage in some cyber conversation about the book. Below are some websites where you might find readers of similar interest.
An Anti-DaVinci Code Site:
Amy Welborn – author … Catholic issues

A Pro-DaVinci Code Site:
Dan Brown’s bookstore on Amazon … there is a customer discussion section
Dan Brown’s UK fan club site

Barnes and Noble “Book Clubs” Chat Room

Barnes and Noble’s Community Blog “Unabashedly Bookish”
There are different book clubs reading specific books – fiction; mystery; religion & spirituality

Barnes and Noble Community Room for chat
Very active … lots of topics … user info says all views are welcome

Facebook groups:

A Jason Bourne blog that appears fairly current – not overly active

The Book Club Forum … UK … same kinds of chat

Joel Rosenberg

Lastly, I’ve come across some websites of people called “influencers”. These are, primarily, other authors or “book types” who have active blogs or websites and who are regularly involved in book reviews and/or author interviews. For instance, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance ( will be hosting a ‘blog tour’ for The Sacred Cipher from August 14th through August 17th.

I’ll list a lot of these “influencer” sites in the next newsletter.

And if you can’t remember the plot, here’s a short reminder:

History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades. When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.

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