Creating an International Bestseller

The book market is crowded with memoirs every year. But when Books Forward first encountered Barbara Donsky’s incredible true story of her mother’s disappearance, we knew we were onto something special, and the media agreed!

Barbara’s memoir, Veronica’s Grave, caused something of a media frenzy (with a little help from our team!). Books Forward carefully crafted the press materials to emphasize the book’s unusual story and narrative strengths. We also strategically pitched her story as a Mother’s Day feature to a targeted number of Bronx and Manhattan media outlets (Barbara’s home and the setting for her book), emphasizing the book’s local connections.

And the hook worked. The New York Post, New York Magazine and NY1 News all ran features on Barbara’s book. In fact, the story started trending on The New York Post, becoming the outlet’s most viewed story of the day and landing on the home page. From there, Barbara’s story was shared by Bravo TV Online, Yahoo News, Gannett News and the Independent Journal Review.

Coupled with a national radio tour and features on Shelf Pleasure, Women Writers, Women’s Books and Book Pleasures — the fusion of unusual, gripping storytelling, great timing and targeted outreach made Veronica’s Grave a success. The international rights were ultimately purchased by a traditional publisher, and this small press winner received a second life as a traditionally published book!

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