View Full Version : thanks for your book, Johnrobison!!

nancy sv
09-28-2007, 01:31 AM
I just started teaching a new class this week, and I introduced myself to the class like usual. Then one of my students asked to introduce himself and he started going on about how he had Asperger's and ADD and ..... I knew it was going to quickly degenerate into one of those, "Poor me, pity me" types of introductions where he wants to set the stage so that I know the kid has problems (this is a Special Ed class) and will maybe go easy on him.

Anyway,I was able to turn the situation around by cutting him off and saying, "You know what?? That's great that you know what the issues are and that you know what you are facing. But the real exciting part of it is that you can make a choice. You can choose to let your Asperger's destroy you, or you can choose to accept it and live with it and make the most of it. You can choose to go on to do great things. And - there is a book that was just released - Look Me In the Eye - about a man with Asperger's. It's all about how he dealt with his issues and didn't let them get him down. You can choose to do the same - if you want to!"

And guess what?!?! Today this kid came up to me and said that he had told his mom about the book, and she ordered it for him.

So - THANK YOU!!! I have a feeling you saved me a whole lot of grief this year!! Now whenever this kid gets on his pity party - I can point to you and say, "Deal with it!"

10-02-2007, 07:08 PM
That's an awesome story, Nancy. The greatest compliment I think someone can get is that his/her story helped someone.

Way to go, John!

10-02-2007, 08:23 PM
I just bought this book last week, Barnes and Noble has a five-foot-high display right in the middle of the main aisle with a double-sized pic of the cover. I just got through reading it last night, and I need to write a review for my blog (along with Augusten Burrough's "Running With Scissors" and "Dry" which I recently read). Long story short, I can relate to a lot of "Look Me In The Eye."

A few months back (and anticipating Robison's book) I read some of Atwood's "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" but I had a hard time going through it - there were repeated references to those with Asperger's being victims of bullying, and it kept bringing back bad memories throughout elementary and high school.

I was in an "Emotionally Disturbed" class for several years of elementary school, back in the '60's. I didn't have any labels for myself back then (and of course the current labels this kid used didn't exist back then), though I knew I wasn't like most other kids. I "found a label" for myself at age 30, but now I prefer to eschew such labels, as I find they can often be as limiting as the "problem" the label describes. My own memoir is upcoming...

10-03-2007, 07:04 AM
I'm glad to hear people are enjoying Look Me in the Eye. I've been busy with book tour and media apearances . . . 14 hour days. But it's wonderful to see how people are touched by my story.

best wishes

nancy sv
10-04-2007, 01:36 AM
The boy told me today that his book arrived, but he only had a chance to read the introductory part. He is excited about reading it - hope it gives him strength and encouragement!

10-09-2007, 04:13 AM
Great book, just finished it!

10-09-2007, 04:23 AM
I was in the orthodontist's waiting room this morning and was leafing through a few-weeks old copy of People magazine... and in the book review section towards the front, there's Robison and "Look Me In the Eye"!

People magazine. I feel like I should genuflect or something.

10-09-2007, 03:34 PM
I don't know if you need to genuflect . . . perhaps buy the book instead.

The People story was certainly one of the more effective publicity pieces for my new book.

nancy sv
10-11-2007, 04:25 AM
You've really gotten a lot of press coverage with this book - congrats! I bet it feels strange huh??

10-11-2007, 04:29 AM
I saw the book in People magazine at the chiropractor's office! It was quite exciting!

10-11-2007, 04:33 AM
You know . . . as much press as my book has . . . most all the books around me on the bestseller lists have even more. It really takes a lot of mass media help to get a book moving today, at least in a big way.

It's really kind of scary, for someone unknown like me.

I'm holding my own, even gaining against the big boys. Climbing a bit for my second week on the bestseller lists.

10-11-2007, 04:38 AM
That's really fantastic, John. Thanks for sharing it with us.

10-11-2007, 04:51 AM
At some point word of mouth takes over but mass media is really needed to drive a book into the public's eye in the first place. That's especially true for new authors. Readers are already waiting for the next Grisham or King book. Hence the media blitz you see for Look Me in the Eye.

10-11-2007, 04:54 AM
I haven't read it yet, but a woman I work with has a grandson with Asperger's. She was talking about some difficulties they are having (she wasn't specific) but I recommended your book to her.
She said she was going to buy it.
You have another reader!

10-11-2007, 04:59 AM
That's what we need! Books are sold one by one by one.

And there are so few readers in this country.

This is the big season for selling books. Right now, to hit the bestseller lists you need sales of perhaps 10,000 copies a week. To top the lists, perhaps 40,000 copies a week. But when you break that down, looking at market share in the different stores, that means ONE COPY A WEEK in many independent bookstores and ONE COPY A DAY in every B&N. On average.

That's how few readers there are out there, and they are widely scattered. It's a very tough market.

10-14-2007, 06:00 AM
Congratulations John Robinson...you are living the dream!

I picked your book up at Borders here in L.A. Can't wait to read it as my five year old daughter has Aspergers..amazing child, been reading since three and a half.

Anyway, just in awe of you and in a bit star struck that we are lucky enough to have your priceless input on this board.

Good luck to you!
with love

10-14-2007, 08:48 AM
Wow, thanks for sharing the numbers, John. And a huge congratulations once again. You've been really helpful around the boards in the past year, and it's been great sharing your experiences as you've gone down this road. Much success to you.

10-31-2007, 06:02 AM
How cool!! I was just in B&N today, and saw John's book on a new release table. I was able to tell my husband, "This author is on the same forum I'm always on!" Now I can't wait to read it.

CONGRATS, John!! :)


10-31-2007, 07:43 PM
Let's all give it another boost by recommending it to our libraries. There are tens of thousands of libraries around the country, and libraries are a writer's best friend!

11-03-2007, 06:43 PM
John, I am wondering how your book sales are going? I ordered your book, read your book, and loved it. Just yesterday I was in my local bookstore and saw your book prominently displayed among recent titles.

11-04-2007, 07:41 AM
Well, Shelley, it's been reprinted nine times in two countries, and it hit the bestseller lists both here and in Australia. In another week Look Me in the Eye will have spent two months as an Amazon bestseller.

There are a bit over 150,000 copies in circulation right now, between the two editions.

In addition, we have foreign editions in production, and you'll see those appear beginning next summer and continuing into spring 2009. Translation can be slow.

The co-op period has ended, so whenever you see my book in the front of a bookstore, it's earned that placement, by virtue of strong sales or impressing the staff or whatever.

The reader response to my story continues to be remarkable. I'm touched beyond words by the way people are moved by Look Me in the Eye. I had no idea when I wrote it. I'm just so glad it ends up as a happy, inspirational work. So many stories of growing up turn dark and foreboding at the end. And it's all up to the author, really. Do you focus on the good things that happen, or the bad things? All of us have the making of both kinds of story in us, all the time. When writing a memoir, there's the temptation to look for the ugliest most shocking elements, but my book is really proof that a PG rated story with no graphic sex or violence can still be well received.

11-05-2007, 04:20 AM
Another reader checking in with thanks. What's not to love about this book? It flows, and goes through truly awful scenes without tearing our hearts and guts out. It's written with compassion, and yet sounds "true." The part about the hanging and fire was so hilarious I had to read it aloud, which was difficult because I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Perhaps it was especially poignant about then because I had a friend of sorts in high school who stored dynamite (and who knows what else) under the family bathtub. He is probably Aspergian. And you named your son Cubby. My loveable grandfather's name was Cub (Cubby when he was little), because "he was fat as a little bear cub" when he was a tot. He went by Cub all his life; even Richard Nixon knew this. Your explanations shed light on the behavior and quirks of a couple of family members.

And then it ended on such a happy note. Awesome!

Well done, John Robison. Now what? Will you continue to write, or was this a one-shot thing?

BTW, I don't generally read memoirs about abuse. They are too painful. I'd heard of your brother's book and deliberately opted not to read it. I've changed my mind!

11-05-2007, 06:42 AM
Well, Ritergal, I certainly don't think of my book as a story of abuse. The main theme is growing up different and learning how to fit in.

And yes, I am working on a second book right now. Look for more from me in early 2009.

I will have news here and on my blog as soon it's it's more defined.

11-08-2007, 06:49 PM
I have a couple of comments about John Robison this morning,

I did notice his book in my local branch library, Austin Public Library.

Also, in the current events section of AW, the moderator posted that Rosie O'Donnell (rosie.com) recommends "Look Me in the Eye," wow, John this is sure to mean more book sales.

Last, I can't wait for your next book, keep up the great work!

01-08-2008, 09:58 PM
John, I just bought and read "Look Me In the Eye." An absolutely amazing story. There were times when I laughed out loud -- you're a delightful storyteller -- and times when it really made me stop to think about people I know, and how we all interact with one another. I've already recommended it to a number of people. Thanks so much for sharing such a personal journey with all of us.

dolores haze
01-08-2008, 10:18 PM
I worked with children and adults with Asperger's and autism for many years. When I was in that position I sought out books written by and about people with these syndromes - trying to get inside the heads of the people I was trying to teach, trying to understand them so I could do my job better. This book is a wonderful story and an excellent resource. Thank you for sharing your story.

I've got a couple of questions, John, if you care to answer them.
1. Have you read Temple Grandin?
2. When teaching I followed the policy of making/teaching children with Asperger's/autism to make eye contact. Results varied. Given the title of your book, and your own experience, do you have an opinion on this policy?

01-09-2008, 04:02 AM
Patti, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm quite touched by the way my book continues to affect people. I'm hard at work on the sequel now.

03-18-2008, 03:37 PM
Okay, so I'm a little slow, but I finally read it, and found so much to like I have been pondering it for a couple of months. I finally posted a sort of Ode to John Robison on my blog, and have a couple more essays about the book shaping up in the queue. Well, no genuflecting but possibly a little sycophanting. :) Good work, John Robison. When I grow up I hope to follow in your footsteps. Here's the permalink. (http://memorywritersnetwork.com/blog/how-does-john-robison-end-his-memoir-of-lifelong-learning/)


03-18-2008, 10:24 PM
I'm glad to hear people are enjoying Look Me in the Eye. I've been busy with book tour and media appearances . . . 14 hour days. But it's wonderful to see how people are touched by my story.

best wishes
Hey John; let us know where you will be appearing or if you need the names of writers organizations that bring in speakers. We have a very active one in Houston.

03-21-2008, 03:31 PM
Talkwrite, I was just in Houston two weeks ago, at the Monarch School. It's a nice city and I'd be glad to return soon. All my events are posted on the right sidebar of my blog. As to writers organizations . . . I have not been approached by any of them. Mostly, I am speaking to schools and professional groups. There's a link to Lavin - my speaker's agent - right at the top of the schedule.

03-22-2008, 03:53 AM
And guess what?!?! Today this kid came up to me and said that he had told his mom about the book, and she ordered it for him.

So - THANK YOU!!! I have a feeling you saved me a whole lot of grief this year!! Now whenever this kid gets on his pity party - I can point to you and say, "Deal with it!"

Not to mention the fact that hopefully the book will help and inspire the kid instead of him using his condition as an excuse not to try.

03-22-2008, 04:00 AM
Let's all give it another boost by recommending it to our libraries. There are tens of thousands of libraries around the country, and libraries are a writer's best friend!

What a great idea, Ritergal!

Does anyone know if Amazon is carrying the book?

03-22-2008, 06:16 AM
Daehota, most US bookstores (including Amazon) will have LMITE in stock. Crown (as a part of Random House) is very good at ensuring it's widely available.

And Ritergal, you can kind of get a sense of library acceptance of a book through this site:

It's kind of neat - just type any title you want to check and it gives a good sense of how widespread it may be.