This week—May 3, 2016 to be exact—marks the six-month anniversary of the launch date of my children’s picture book, Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car. I thought it might be interesting to celebrate the occasion with a breakdown of numbers and other fun facts.
- 783 = total number of books sold so far
- 100 = number of books donated to schools, libraries, and contest winners
- 95 = number of books purchased by customers online through Amazon.com
- 40 = number of pounds that each case of books weighs
- 41 = number of readers who posted five-star reviews on Amazon
- 1 = number of times I’ve been interviewed on a NPR station (Thanks, Kate Archer Kent, formerly of Red River Radio!)
- 8 = number of newspaper or magazine articles about my book
- 5 = number of schools I’ve presented to
- 1,000,0005 = number of schools I wish I could present to!
- 1,400 = approximate number of children who have heard/seen my presentation
- 5,000 = number of giveaway bookmarks I ordered
- 10 = number of Indie book shops and other stores that sell my book
- 23 = number of states my book buyers come from
- 21 = number of months it took me to write and publish my book
- 29 = number of art car parades Houston has hosted since 1987
- 1 = number of art car exhibits inspired by my book so far (Thanks, Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum and Melissa Saye!)
- 1 = number of bearded men driving a Santa Claus car I’ve met (Hi, Bryan Taylor!)
- Countless = number of art car daily drivers and other new friends I’ve met as a result of writing this book.
- Canada = country where my book was printed
- Venezuela = purchase made from the farthest away
- Roswell, New Mexico = most interesting city represented by a buyer (Hmm, aliens?)
- Patsy Stamps Graham = name of person who thinks she bought the first copy of my book (Thanks, Mom!)
- John Cooper = name of person who actually bought the first copy (Sorry, Mom, but I’m finally admitting that he beat you to it!)
- Connie May Bingham = name of person who made the first online Amazon purchase
- Jason Rounds = friend who drove the farthest to attend a book signing event (Jason and his daughter drove 1 hour from Texarkana to Shreveport). Two of my relatives, Shawna and Amanda Cotten, did the same!
THANK YOU, to Bill Megenhardt, for your amazing illustrations and wonderful collaboration. And, THANK YOU, to everyone out there who helped make my publishing success possible. I appreciate every book purchase, every Facebook like or share, every re-tweeted Twitter message, and every friend or stranger who showed up at a book signing event. I appreciate all the creative art car artists who have welcomed me into their fold.
The thing I’m the most proud of is that Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car has inspired so many children to open up their imagination in countless ways. I remember the boy from a Houston school who said, “Mrs. Nickell, I went straight home after your talk and wrote and drew my very own art car book.” I feel like I’ve left a small mark on the world, and it’s been a life-changing experience for me.
Be like Arthur Zarr … be amazing!