Behind the scenes of a book launch
What a whirlwind!
Today is Wednesday, November 8, 2023. We’re certain of this because we just checked a calendar, but truthfully the last three weeks have been such a blur, the question we often ask each other as we’re on our way to the next event is… “What day is it?”
The media interviews have slowed down a bit, and we’re a little over halfway through our calendar of book signings and author talks. Many thanks to Jim Cihlar and Suzanne Herrick, our talented marketing and publicity team at Minnesota Historical Society Press for keeping us so busy!
Scroll down to see a short highlight video from the past three weeks
Upcoming Author Events
11/9/2023 – Excelsior Bay Books, at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 7 PM
11/15/2023 – Next Chapter Booksellers, St. Paul, 6 PM
11/18/2023 – Cross Roads Community Church, Spicer, 2 PM
Free admission, registration required
11/25/2023 – NEW! – Chase on the Lake, Walker, 2 PM
Free admission, registration required
12/1/2023 – Barnes and Noble, Edina, 6 PM
12/5/2023 – NEW! – College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, 6:30 PM
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The past three weeks
Wow. For the past three weeks, Joy and I have been out and about with the release of Dear Jacob, and it has been delightful. Sharing the stage with Joy has been fun and entertaining. We have an outline, but I seem to wander off topic a lot and Joy has a magical way of bringing it back around. We bounce off one another and try to share some fun parts of the writing process, even though it was often hard and exhausting.
The feedback we’ve been receiving has been fun and heartening to read.
“All the accolades from all the attendees are TRUE. You have a gift (so many gifts) and the way you support and respect one another is beyond inspiring. You sincerely admire each other. What you have created (your “Dear Jacob” book and your relationship) is a rare gift. Everyone who was able to bear witness to that is changed for the better.”
“Dear Patty, thank you so much for your wonderful book, Dear Jacob. I remember hearing the news of Jacob’s kidnapping and being afraid. I was also 11 years old and had one brother and two sisters. Minnesotans have never forgotten Jacob and we never will. I am a history professor now and start class with defining moments that shape our personal history and Jacob is one of those defining moments in my history. Thank you again for sharing Jacob with us.”
“We went to your book signing in Duluth and your book is wonderfully written as well as incredibly inspiring to always be hopeful in life!”
Thank you all so much for your kind words! Over the years, many people encouraged me to write my story and share how I managed to survive such a horrible tragedy. They told me that my perseverance was strengthening to them as they encountered their own life challenges, like illness, injury, or the sudden loss of a loved one. I thought if I could help anyone else through their “stuff,” maybe it could help me keep going, as well.
But then, Jacob was found and I was so lost. After nearly 27 years of searching, it all ended so abruptly. After such a long time, this second round of trauma unfolded in only eight days and left us little time to process, much less heal. We were all left with a sense of, “What Just Happened?”
Writing this memoir gave me the opportunity to reflect. It added meaning to some of the journey. It allowed me to feel the pain, but not to carry it so heavily. Freeing up some of the sorrow made room for more happiness and love to enter. I could let go of the fear of always wondering what Jacob must be going through, and instead, find peace in knowing that no one could hurt him again. I was able to celebrate the gift that he was to all of us who knew and loved him so dearly.
With Joy’s help, Dear Jacob finally became a reality. At each book signing event, we meet many wonderful people who share their own stories with us. Yesterday in Waseca, several police officers waited in line for hugs, which always warms my heart. Later, one woman tearfully shared how she had only been seven years old when Jacob was kidnapped and she remembered how it had affected her childhood. Another young woman shared that she had just had her first child and was so deeply moved as she held her little boy and listened to Jacob’s story. And then, another young mom came through the line and quietly asked for a hug as she fought back tears. She had just lost her baby one year earlier.
Many parents share with me how they have lost their own children, often through violence, accidents or illness. And though it sounds so very sad, there is a collective strength in gathering and sharing with others who get it. They leave amazing notes and letters with me, and I am reaffirmed that we are all in this together.
I thank you all for joining us on this healing journey. I feel Jacob is with us every step of the way and is still guiding us to a world that is kind and fair. We hope that everyone reading the book will leave with a sense of hope, empowerment, and the strength to never give up.
It’s come to our attention that there are scammers on Amazon who are creating pirated versions of Dear Jacob. Often times these scammers create an AI-generated summary of the book, publish it on Amazon, and quickly rake in the profits until they get caught. Amazon removes the book, they change their names, and then they do it all over again.
A few weeks ago, Joy discovered a paperback version of Dear Jacob while browsing Amazon. It had the exact same cover design, but only 100 pages. She immediately reported it, and Amazon took it down, but not before she bought a copy for $12.99, just to see what was in it. Check out the video.
We encourage anyone who received this fraudulent paperback version of Dear Jacob to demand a refund. Perhaps that will encourage Amazon to create a vetting process before allowing scammers to sell whatever they want on their platform.
In addition to this maddening knockoff, there are also “biographies” of me that have some other woman on the cover, and “study guides” for Dear Jacob with who knows what inside. We encourage you to report these fraudulent items as you run across them. Here are a few examples.
Rankings and Reviews
On a lighter note, here’s something else you can do to help us offset the madness on Amazon. If you liked the book, please give it a positive rating and leave a review! We also encourage you to do the same on Goodreads and Barnes & Noble. We love reading your reviews!
Ask for Dear Jacob at your local library
We love libraries, and we would especially love if every library in America had a copy of Dear Jacob on its shelves. Many times there’s an online form you can fill out to request a specific book, but of course it’s just as simple to pick up the phone and call your friendly librarian. Thank you for your supporting your local library!
A short highlight video. Enjoy!
We are so very grateful for the amazing response to Dear Jacob. Thank you to everyone who has purchased a book, attended an event, or offered a kind word. There truly are more good people in the world than bad, and when good people come together, amazing things can happen. #11forJacob