Patrick Brown was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He graduated Magna cum Laude from Georgetown University, where he won the Morris Medal for best senior history honors thesis. He currently teaches high school social studies in the Mississippi Delta through Teach for America.
His latest book is Industrial Pioneers: Scranton, Pennsylvania and the Transformation of America, 1840-1902, a detailed history account of the town of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
You can visit his website at http://www.industrialpioneers.com.
Thank you for this interview, Patrick. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Sure—the book is about Scranton, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1902. While most people don’t know this, Scranton was one of the most exciting places in the nation at the time. The city grew from 100 to 100,000 residents in the space of 60 years, and it produced the coal, iron, steel, and steam engines that drove America’s industrialization. It was the Silicon Valley of the nineteenth century, and its history is fascinating.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book? Is this the first time you have heard of them?
I am 23 years old, and I get the vast majority of my information online. While I had never heard of a virtual book tour before publishing my book, the idea makes intuitive sense—of course we should use the internet to promote books!
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I hope that as a result of the tour, people who are interested in the history of industrialization, labor in America, or the city of Scranton will discover the book and decide to read it.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog? Who maintains your website?
I do—my publisher maintains the book’s website, my publisher’s blog contains updates and news on the book, and more information about the virtual book tour is available at on my tour page at Pump Up Your Book.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
I had a very successful book signing at the Lackawanna Historical Society on July 23rd. I attribute the signing’s success to the book’s built-in readership in the Scranton area.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
I would hire hundreds of professional stuntmen to skydive over the city of Scranton. After jumping out of the plane, they would link arms in a well-rehearsed maneuver so that their bodies spelled out, “Industrial Pioneers.” After deploying their parachutes and landing on Lackawanna Avenue, they would shout, in unison, “Scranton, Pennsylvania and the transformation of America, 1840-1902!!!” I would then rise from a trapdoor cleverly disguised as a manhole cover, wearing a bejeweled coal-miner’s helmet, triumphantly holding aloft a copy of the book. Then we would put the video on YouTube.
Thank you for this interview, Patrick. Do you have any final words?
Thank you, it was a pleasure being here. Just remember that all roads lead to Scranton.