I love this story.
I received an email last week from a librarian in southern Italy. It reads:
We write from a public library of a very small town in the South of Italy, in
Salento (Puglia), near the city of Lecce (TUGLIE). A library which hasn’t got any financial resources sufficient to buy books frequently. However thanks to the generous collaboration of many authors and editors, the number of books as well as of readers grows day by day.
Since your books are so successful among our young readers that requests are growing increasingly, we will be so grateful if you would collaborate to the increase of our heritage through a donation of your series of books (in Italian), maybe through your Italian publisher.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for your interest.
I was honored by the request. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was a bestseller in Italy, and it’s always thrilling to hear from international readers, and especially librarians. To date, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend has been published in 23 countries worldwide.
By contrast, I have only traveled to one country outside the United States in my entire life, and that was Bermuda for my honeymoon.
Yet almost every day, I communicate with readers outside the United States via email or social media about my book.
I passed the email onto my agent with the request that she forward it onto my Italian publisher, but I also sent it to my mother-in-law, Barbara, who demands to read all positive news about my books and publishing career.
My mother-in-law then proceeded to reach out to the library on her own, using Google translate to send her message. She exchanged emails with the librarian, and once she had secured the address to the library, she ordered Italian editions of my book via Amazon.it and had them shipped directly to the library.
Readers in a small town in Italy will now have greater access to my story thanks to the initiative of a small town librarian, a technology that I use almost every day to seamlessly communicate between languages, and most important, the kindness and generosity of my mother-in-law, who couldn’t stand the thought of readers anywhere waiting for my book.