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Some thoughts on getting published, my book launch, and what's next

Roy Schwartz at Books of Wonder

My first book came out one month ago today. It's been quite the ride.

The Darkness in Lee's Closet and the Others Waiting There is something of an overnight success 12 years in the making. You can read about its journey from idea to published book in my last post.

Not to be coy, but I honestly didn't expect too much from it commercially. I'm an unknown author. This is my debut book and I'm not famous or have a large following. My publisher Aelurus is wonderful, but it's small and they specialize in YA (Young Adult, 12-18) novels, I'm their first middle grade. And fantasy fiction for children is a highly competitive genre.

But the book is doing well. Really well. Maybe not international runaway hit, about to be adapted into a film well (if you know Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro please make intros), but better than I ever imagined.

It came out with a bang, debuting as a #1 Bestseller on Amazon in two categories: • New releases: Children’s Coming of Age Fantasy • New releases: Children’s Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural

Not only that, it was a Top 10 Bestseller in these categories for all books, not just new releases! (To give you an idea, Amazon carries 1.8 million titles.)

The Darkness in Lee's Closet #1 Amazon Bestseller

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd have a Top 100 book, let alone Top 10, let alone No. 1. I'm amazed, humbled, and grateful.

It spent a week at #1 and two weeks in the Top 10. Today, a month since its release, it’s #18 in New Releases and #471 overall in the Coming of Age category (where Harry Potter reigns supreme). That’s crazy!

The Darkness in Lee's Closet

The book launch event took place on Sep. 9 at Books of Wonder in NYC, which is THE children’s bookstore, for those not in the know. (Since you have to be in a movie to be famous, it’s Meg Ryan’s store in You’ve Got Mail.)

It’s been my dream to have a book event there since I was an undergrad at the New School U., passing by the Union Square store almost every day. And it finally came true.

The staff couldn’t have been more helpful or supportive. Amazingly, I even got a storefront window display and prime in-store placement, which big publishers usually vie for (it may have had something to do with my Israeli chutzpah).

The Darkness in Lee's Closet at Books of Wonder
The Darkness in Lee's Closet window display
The Darkness in Lee's Closet store display

The event went great. The place was packed, with no sitting room left and people lined up from the back wall, where I was, all the way through the front door.

I read from the book, did a lively Q&A (interesting to note, most questions were about the writing process), and signed 150 (!) copies. Totally worth my future Cortisone shot.

The best part was the kids. They bring the magic with them.

Author Roy Schwartz signing The Darkness in Lee's Closet

I have a few book tour events coming up this and next month. Check out my Appearances page for details.

There's some more exciting news coming soon, but I’ll wait till things are finalized before announcing. Subscribe in the top right corner to receive my posts in your inbox.

If you haven’t bought the book, you can buy it here or at your friendly neighborhood bookshop. If they don’t carry it already they can order it for you.

Stay tuned….


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