As a writer, nothing brings me greater pleasure or amazement than to know that somewhere out there some readers may find my book intriguing enough to invest their money and time in it. It’s no surprise then that I’ve often wondered, with a certain sense of awe, where all the book has traveled—to what unknown destinations, and into what strangers’ hands.
So once in a while I would succumb to curiosity and run a quick Google search on the title of my book, Once upon a Mulberry Field. In this day and age, that seems to be the easiest way to gather information on just about anything, and you usually end up with a boatload more data than you ever have time or care to browse, since the bulk of it is generally of little relevance.
On occasion, though, from such data dumps I was able to glean a few heartwarming nuggets: Meetup announcements from unrelated book clubs in Oregon, California, Arizona and Texas that my book had been chosen for their upcoming discussions; A buried item in a newsletter from a Federated Church in Vermont that listed Mulberry Field as its book club’s next month’s selection; Kind and thoughtful comments posted on the Facebook page of a Rotary Club regarding a talk I had just given at its meeting a week prior.
Another surprise that really made my day was when Mulberry Field popped up on the Recommended Reading list of the Poway Unified School District, under “Great Books / Authors — Grown-up Age.” I also recently found out the book is listed in the catalog of the University of Montana Library. And just last week I was bowled over when I received a message through the Contact page on my website, from a couple of students at Oxford University in the UK who are proposing to use my book for their research on post-colonial Vietnam and the Vietnam War.
A quick browse on the various Amazon websites overseas also revealed that Mulberry Field had achieved a (very modest) sales ranking—which means that it had sold—in Canada, the UK, France, and Germany. Readers in Canada and the UK were also kind enough to leave reviews, for which I’m most appreciative.
All these things, even when added together, probably didn’t amount to any significant sales. But for me, they constitute a priceless reward as they help me realize that beyond my own efforts to launch and promote it, the book has gained a life of its own—truly precious, however minuscule.
And so, even as sales have tapered off and a new book is in the works (Tada!), for Once upon a Mulberry Field the beat still goes on. With all my heart, I thank all of you for your support and help in spreading the good word.