This article, from Laurie Lico Albanese, originally appeared on Shelf Awareness on 9/22/09.
Humor author Pamela Redmond Satran offers many lessons. For one, she advises those of us who are not-so-hip that the young and vibrant read vampire romances and graphic novels while assiduously avoiding eternal dieting, perpetual negativity, excessive housework or anything in leopard print spandex.
How Not to Act Old (Harper, $14.99, 9780061771309/780061771309), Satran’s self-help humor book inspired by the eponymous blog site known by its acronym HNTAO, was released August 7 and immediately hit the New York. Times Paperback Advice Bestseller List at the No. 7 slot, thanks to pre-pub orders fueled by the author’s tireless electronic networking outreach.
This included early cross-posting on the Huffington Post, marketing through More.com magazine in conjunction with Barnes & Noble.com and scoring a Best New Humor Website plug in the Los Angeles Times last year.
The lesson in this: as she has before for various literary projects, Satran was able to harness the evanescent attention and lightning-fast Internet connections needed to cross from blog to book to YouTube to Facebook, Twitter, print media, TV and beyond. And she did so on the cheap. Her start-up costs were "zero," plus "my own sweat-equity," she said.
After posting 70 entries on her new HNTAO blog site in July 2008, Satran went from web launch to book contract in six weeks, and from contract to book in a year. The book’s been favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and has taken her to the Early Show, Good Day New York and dozens of radio spots. In July, Slate’s doublex.com Hanna Rosin praised "the great genius of How Not to Act Old," and the New York Times Book Review featured Satran at the top of "Inside the List."
Ironically Satran started the HNTAO blog after trying unsuccessfully to place a piece on the same topic in a national magazine.
"This is a hard market for people to understand," Satran said of her largely over-40, predominantly female market. "Ageism is deep-seated and pervasive and really at its heart is very vicious. I sometimes think that young people secretly wish we’d all go off somewhere and just die."