Californian Kristy Haile earned an Associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Northeastern University in Boston and then worked as a hygienist in Massachusetts and California. She moved from her hometown of Turlock, CA to Los Angeles, where her two children became actors on TV (The Office, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives), movies (Chihuahua: The Movie) and in commercials. At age 4, son Ty came to believe he was Santa Claus. Haile kept a journal of the funny and unusual things her son said and did over the next two years, as well as of people’s reactions to his self-identification as the “new real Santa Claus.” That journal was the basis for her latest book, I Am Santa. You can visit the ‘I AM SANTA!’ website at www.iamsantabook.com to connect with Kristy.
Thank you for this interview, Kristy. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Some people react negatively to Nicholas, while others ask him what he will bring them for Christmas; still others tell him and his mom that seeing such a jolly little Santa makes their day. His mother decides to support him and let him wear the suit all year, because she wants him to be free to dream and to believe he can be anything he wants to be.
In I AM SANTA!, a four-year-old boy named Nicholas meets a sick old man in a shopping mall who says he is Santa Claus. After some conversation, the man tells Nicholas that he will be the new real Santa. Nicholas persuades his mother to buy him a Santa suit, which he wears all year long, describing to his family his late-night trips to the North Pole.
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?
I chose the virtual book tour because I feel it will present me with the opportunity to reach so many more people since a majority of the population now uses the internet. It is vitally important to the success of one’s book to attempt to reach as many people as possible.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
This was indeed the first time in which I had heard of a Virtual Book Tour. The idea was presented to me and I think it is fabulous way in which to get one’s book noticed.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I wrote my book I AM SANTA! Because I wanted to be able to share the story of my son becoming the new real Santa Claus with everyone because of how much it has touched my life. Therefore, through the Virtual Book Tour I am hoping to achieve the goal of sharing the story with many more people.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
I promote my book I AM SANTA! Online through Facebook and Twitter as well as the book website www.iamsantabook.com where I am able to maintain a WordPress blog which also contains press interviews and book reviews.
Who maintains your website?
Both my publisher and my self maintain the book website www.iamsantabook.com through the blogs which contain upcoming book signings, press interviews and current information about my book I AM SANTA!
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
I have had a fabulous time so far with my offline book signings. I have only had two book signings so far but they were both a great success. I was truly amazed as to the amount of people that showed up to buy my book I AM SANTA! at the book signings.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
Promotion is truly the most challenging aspect when it comes to the sales of one’s book. If money was no object I would choose to have an advertisement for my book I AM SANTA! up on billboards all over the United States.
Thank you for this interview, Kristy. Do you have any final words?
I would love for everyone out there reading this to remain positive in life and to believe in themselves as well as their dreams-following their dreams wherever they may lead.