Big in Korea

book cover KoreaApparently, I’m big in Korea just now.

HyoungEun is the nice lady who translated my book for a Korean publishing company (whose name in English, as near as I can tell, would be “Aladdin Books.”) She emailed me some questions a few weeks ago and we had a good time laughing about the idiosyncrasies of language. (See blog post “Found in Translation” if you’re interested.)

Apparently, things move fast in the Asian book market. About two weeks ago my agent Pamela tweeted the cover on the left, with a link to the publisher’s website, saying the book was out. That was fun (and fast!). I must say that, of all the translations so far, this cover is the most adorable.

Then late last week HyoungEun sent me a frantic email saying basically, “Can we use the pictures on your shop’s Facebook page to promote the book because a really big national newspaper here has shown interest in it?”

Umm, yes, that would be acceptable. Thanks.

**Wendy and Jack do happy dance around the bookshop front room, cats streaking away in terror as books jounce off shelves** Okay, we now return you to British decorum, already in progress. No wait… *a few more happy dance steps*

So now I have a bunch of Facebook friends whose posts I can’t read (Korean alphabet) and a small red dot forming in the middle of the night on my WordPress Stats site’s Asia map, tracking where people are reading my blog. Every day the Korean dot and its corresponding number grow.

I’m big in Korea? Oh, this is fun. And then this morning a woman married to a Korean engineer stopped by and said, “You’ll never guess. Peter was reading his hometown newspaper online last night, and what pops up but a photo of Jack? He called me out of bed, so excited! ‘Look, it’s the Little Bookstore!’ ”

This is what our friends Peter and Sandy – and the Korean public – saw. One can only wonder what people are thinking now.

crazy bookstoreSo my book has found some fun people to hang with in Korea? I’m down with that. But personally, I think it’s all due to HyoungEun’s excellent translation, plus that cover the Korean publisher designed. Did you ever see anything cuter?

Kitten Cover Theory

silasPeople in the publishing industry work hard to get book covers right. They consider content, style, tone, theme. Twenty theories about what works exist; if you want to see them all, read the Guardian article that detailed them by googling “Scent of a Kitten.”

For it is theory #20 to which we turn our attention today: “Nothing draws a reader to a book like a picture of a fluffy kitten.”

Indeed. Nothing draws customers, either.

kittens 5Meet Clyde Edgerton (that’s him with his nose in the air on the left) Amy Clark (below) and Silas House (getting a cuddle above). We were going to name the girl Anne River Siddons, but a friend is drafting an Appalachian memoir, and what the hey, the kitten looks like her.

We started naming our foster kittens after books because it was cute and funny–and then we found out that people adopted the li’l darlins faster with literary names. Something to do with them being born in a bookstore–the kittens, not the customers.

And that kitten cover theory thing works; these tiny fluffballs cast the glamor over everyone who sees them, including Jack and me. After a hard day of shelving and basement renovation and customer service, we sit upstairs for fifteen minutes while the fur babies climb all over our legs and stare into our faces and make little “mip” sounds that we think will be mews when they’re older.kittens 6

We were away the weekend the kittens turned two (weeks) which is when they began to leave their soft cave of blankets draped over furniture to explore. Kittens handled for the first time will  exhibit stress and fear, so we told our local shopsitter Wes, and Heather our cleaning lady who lives up the street, not to worry, just please feed mommy Tallulah and we’d take care of socializing the kittens when we got home.

IMG_3520Worry, ha! When we went upstairs to greet them on our return, the kids leaped from their cushioned basket (basket? we didn’t leave a basket and we certainly didn’t weave a satin ribbon ’round one) to clamber into our palms. “Start the elevator!” they all but shouted. “Finger ride; finger ride!”

Jack looked at me over the rim of his glasses as Clyde, the adventurer, attempted to climb into his ear. “I guess we know what went on here over the weekend,” he said. Turns out, between Heather and Wes, a steady stream of guests visited the cathouse. Tsk tsk. We’ll be shut down!

But we understand. Nothing soothes the soul quite like three cherubic kittens romping and frolicing. Lowers the blood pressure.

Clyde, Silas, Amy and their mama will be ready to go to their forever homes in about four weeks…..