Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest Blog Rachelle Rogers Knight, author of Read, Remember and Recommend

The Must-Have Tool For Serious Readers

Read, Remember, Recommend gives readers a one-stop shop to keep track of their reading. Featuring 60 cross-referenced lists of literary awards and notable picks (Pulitzer, National Book Award, 100 Best Books of the Century), this journal offers more than 2500 suggestions to help readers discover great literature and new authors. The journal also provides room to record books read, jot down thoughts and ideas, and keep track of recommendations, books borrowed and loaned, and book club history.

Unlike anything on the market, Read, Remember, Recommend keeps readers coming back to bookstores to purchase recommended books, creates opportunities for add-on and return sales, and celebrates the readers' love of books.

How did you come up with the idea for READ, REMEMBER, RECOMMEND?

My inspiration for creating the journal came from a cluttered purse full of reading suggestions on scraps of paper - a lot of which were books I learned about from following award and notable lists. When I set out to buy a journal to keep these suggestions organized, nothing existed that provided the awards and notable lists nor places to kept track of everything I wanted to buy and recommend to others. In addition, as a book club member, I was always looking for ways to keep my thoughts and discussion points about reading available for discussing. The Read, Remember, Recommend journal was the marriage of both needs.

The book was originally self-published. Tell us about your journey from self-publication to traditional publication.

My journey from publishing my book myself to traditional publication with Sourcebooks has been an amazing, exciting experience. When I first created the journal, I didn't think to pursue a traditional publication route. I love projects and challenges and wanted to experience creating the journals from every angle. I started a small publishing company, Bibliopages, found a way to print in China (the format of the books made it too expensive to print domestically), set up a website and went to a few bookseller tradeshows. The sales of my journals was very grass-roots: I did all of the publicity, marketing and sales myself - and shipped boxes from my basement. After I created the teen journal, the volume of these tasks was too much. I wanted to continue on with journals for other genres, but wearing all of the hats of a business didn't allow time to do what I was best at - creating. So, I found a wonderful agent who in turn found me a wonderful publisher. Now, I can concentrate on the task I started and most enjoy; researching great books to read!

What are some recent books you're an evangelist for?

The God of Animals, by Aryn Kyle

Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Mudbound, by Hilary Jordan

What books did you enjoy as a child?

The Littles series, by John Peterson

Timothy and the Two Witches, by Margaret Storey

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle, by Rumer Godden

How to Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell

How do you find about books you want to read?

I read almost exclusively from lists - both notable and award winning. I find that these are almost always trustworthy sources of amazing books. Each person or organization spends so much time choosing their picks, the result is the cream of the crop.

What are your reading habits like?

I read for at least two hours each night before bed, after my kids are asleep. I have to read every night; even if I stay up doing something else, I have to stay up even longer to read - it's like brushing my teeth, a habit I can't skip. I usually get through 1-2 books a week.

Rachelle Rogers Knight is a passionate reader who has enjoyed books her entire life. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Forest Biology from Utah State University and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Weber State University.


Patrick Brian Miller said...

Creating is surely more fun than shipping boxes. So glad that you found success with the traditional route. Despite all the self-publishing hype, agents and editors can never be replaced.

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing. I'm going to order one today.

K. Harrington said...

Terrific idea. Kudos to you for your success. I'm going to check this out!

Laura Marcella said...

What an awesome book! This book is a must for bibliophiles. I'm definitely buying it!

Keetha said...

What a great idea!

I love Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I read it just a few months ago and I'm sure it will be one of the best books I read all year.

Josette said...

Wow, Rachelle's story is indeed inspirational! I have a copy of the reading journal and enjoy using it. It's so useful! :) Now I'm looking forward to the teen version.