12-year-old author holds book-signing event, sells more than 150 books
By Brit Milazzo
Public relations, BASD
Bellefonte Area Middle School sixth-grade student Annie Cernuska attributes some of her success as a young author to her “persistence” in being able to write a book and get it published despite some obstacles. That’s why the 12-year-old custom-signed many of her newly-published books with the phrase “persistence pays” before giving her autograph.
Between preorder sales and more individual sales from a book-signing event held Dec. 18 at the Bellefonte Area High School library, more than 150 copies of “The Hunter Voyage,” was sold, which was recently published by ReadyAimWrite Kids – a branch of ReadyAimWrite Publishing that allows students to write books specifically geared toward other kids.
Annie got the opportunity to write her own book after meeting author and publisher Stephen Kozan, who inspired her to write.
Kozan, who was at the book-signing event, said he holds a contest called “Flash Fiction” that encourages students to write a fictional story on only “one side of one piece of paper.” After reading hundreds of submissions, Kozan said Annie was among a group of finalists. Those finalists were then asked to elaborate on his or her idea in just 150 words, and Annie’s idea was selected as the winner.
“It’s rewarding for me because this is the (second) time I get to work with a student author and it’s a unique experience from the get-go,” Kozan said. “Now, seeing her have a book-signing at the school is so cool for me to see this process. Everything started with Annie with Flash Fiction with one simple sheet of paper and now she has a novel in her hands.”
The week before the book-signing event, Annie also held a book tour around the four elementary schools in the Bellefonte Area School District promoting her book and participating in a read-aloud with kindergarten through fifth-grade students.She said her next goal is to hopefully turn “The Hunter Voyage” into a trilogy that could potentially follow other families highlighted in the first book.