Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Surprising Dakota Christmas

Conservative writer and editor Joseph Bottum has a surprising hit on his hands, Dakota Christmas, a warm-hearted holiday reminiscence that has soared to the Number One slot among Kindle readers. And, in so doing, Dakota Christmas represents a challenging phenomena to traditional publishers.

My opinion of Dakota Christmas? I'll have to let you know because I just ordered it a few minutes ago.

In the meantime, here's Patrick Hruby in the Washington Times:

A writer loses a plum magazine-editing job in New York City, decamping to his native South Dakota. Out of the blue, a major online publisher asks him to adapt and expand an 11-year-old piece about his holiday memories. The resulting essay, warm and wise, becomes a surprise electronic best-seller - topping works by authors such as Nicholas Sparks and Tom Clancy - and a small beacon of hope for a beleaguered profession struggling to survive in the digital age.

“It’s been sweet,” said Joseph Bottum, who has recently lived that scenario. “What else could one want for a Christmas piece?”

A freelance writer and former editor at the conservative religious journal First Things, Mr. Bottum is the author of “Dakota Christmas,” a top seller for Amazon’s Kindle, an electronic reader and e-bookstore.

By turns serious and comic, the piece offers a richly detailed, loosely chronological account of Mr. Bottum’s bookish boyhood on the Dakota plains, reflecting on both the spiritual and secular meanings of the holiday season in a sentimental, melancholic manner...

Read on to learn more about Dakota Christmas and about the new life being experienced by the author and his family. And then go right here and purchase a (very inexpensive) Kindle copy of Dakota Christmas to enliven your own holiday season.