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Maria Veloso, author of Midwinter Turns To Spring – the first-ever novel with its own music soundtrack consisting of songs that she wrote – stands up to the New York publishers that snubbed her innovative approach to novel writing by taking her plea to Oprah Winfrey. Considering Oprah to be the real benchmark for whether the American people will embrace multi-media storytelling or not, she has launched a never-before-attempted campaign to have her book nominated by one million people for Oprah's Book Club.
"I understand that a new paradigm, such as a novel with a music soundtrack, is looked upon with scepticism, and is often rejected by publishers because there's no evidence that it will sell, but what the publishers don't see is that music is the ultimate way of enriching the fiction reader's experience because it intensifies the emotional involvement of the reader, much like a film score intensifies the emotional appeal of a movie," says Veloso, who self-published Midwinter Turns To Spring.
Outside publishing circles, Veloso's multi-media storytelling has been met with rave reviews from readers, as well as members of the media. Here work has been called "phenomenally important" and members of the media see it as "pioneering a next-generation genre in fiction."
Will this become a future wave or fad of multi-media storytelling, or are we observing an author seeking fame and fortune by uniquely placing herself in a position of public voting that could make or break her novel before it even stands a chance on the shelves?
Has she jumped the gun, disillusioned by rejection slips from New York publishers and ignored all of the other publishing opportunities available throughout this country, and the world, to bring her book to market?
Is this just another Internet gimmick to hype a novel? Or, is this simply a unique approach using available technology? Who's to say? You can – by either voting or not voting. That's what Veloso is looking for by presenting her work in this fashion.
To date, the real-time voting system presents a total of 47,453 votes (as of July 22, 2007). That leaves her falling far short of her desired million. Granted she only started the campaign as of June, 2007 and who was to know that she was even attempting this enormous feat? This is definitely an item of interest to budding and established authors, one that should be watched carefully and, if the outcome is positive, capitalized upon. Even if she achieves a million votes though there's still no guarantee that she will get a nod from Oprah Winfrey.
According to the author, "I just want to share my book and music with all the people whose lives could be changed by it. I obviously can't compete with the mega-bucks of the giant publishers, who often allocate a national marketing budget of a million dollars to land a book on the New York Times bestseller list."
"Therefore, I'm asking the American people and the entire population of readers to nominate 'Midwinter Turns to Spring' for Oprah's Book Club because that's the best chance I have at touching and healing people's hearts through my novel and its music soundtrack. I'm seeking a million nominations in the hopes that Oprah, who has long encouraged reading in America, will be moved and will recognize that the multimedia storytelling approach done through a novel with a music soundtrack may boost readership, especially among those who don't read novels at all." says Veloso.
To see real-time results and to nominate Midwinter Turns To Spring for Oprah's Book Club, visit Midwinter Turns to Spring or text the word MIDWINTER to 47647.
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