Earlier today, Kimmy and I conducted an interview with author/vlogger/entrepreneur Kaleb Nation. Kaleb, 23, has two books published already: Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse and Bran Hambric: The Specter Key. Kaleb is also a very successful video maker on YouTube where he gets 2.5 million views per month and his Twitter is nearing 100,000 followers. Kaleb’s upcoming YA novel, a “supernatural conspiracy theory,” is codenamed the #SecretKalebBook. While the book itself remains shrouded in mystery, the viral marketing campaign has already begun with the launch of SecretKalebBook.com.
P2P: We’ll start off with an update: Is Kaleb’s Nation still happening?
KN: Yes, the reality TV show is still happening! But I’m not allowed to say anything about it yet. More secrets.
P2P: What can you tell us about the #SecretKalebBook?
KN: I’m not allowed to say much about that either, but I can say that it’s a “supernatural conspiracy theory story”. You were actually the first site to publish that! The #SecretKalebBook is my first YA novel and also the first in a series, so there’ll be a sequel. It’s set in a town outside Los Angeles, California, called Arleta. It is actually so close to where I live that I drove to the city as I was writing the book, so I could get a feel for the place and for the mysteries it might be hiding.
P2P: How did the idea for #SecretKalebBook come to you: suddenly or gradually?
KN: I wasn’t expecting it at all – that’s how book ideas usually materialize for me. I was just staring at the ceiling of my apartment when an image suddenly popped into my head (I’d tell you it but that’d spoil too much for now!). I immediately started writing from that image, then a few hours and a few thousand words later, stopped abruptly and realized I was writing my next novel. I posted about it on Twitter that very moment so I wouldn’t forget.
P2P: Can you explain the viral website secretkalebbook.com for us?
KN: SecretKalebBook.com is my enigmatic way of announcing my next novel. There’s not much on it for a reason, but the site is designed to grow with more revelations over time. The special thing about the website is the first 2,000 people who sign up will actually get their names inside the book’s acknowledgements! It’s my way of saying thank-you to the people who’ve waited so long for this book. I talk more about it in my video.
P2P: How has the public reacted to the viral campaign?
KN: The site got 10,000 hits this weekend. There are 1,500 people signed up to be in the book already, though a lot more just haven’t confirmed their email addresses yet. My announcement was even a Top Tweet on Twitter! It’s really exciting to watch it go viral.
P2P: Is this the only phase of the viral campaign or is there more to come?
KN: Much more to come. Keep watch for other sites popping up. If people dig around they might find some other things already online. The title of the book is out there somewhere if you really want it (it’s not #SecretKalebBook or “Don’t Trust Anyone”). The people who sign up at the site will also be the first to know the title and see the cover.
P2P: You’re very integrated into the YA audience, what do you think will be the next big thing?
KN: I can’t wait to see the Beautiful Creatures movie! So happy for Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl on that. There is also a ton of buzz for The Selection by my friend Kiera Cass. And City Of Bones: I get a feeling it’ll be The Hunger Games movie of 2013.
P2P: Where can our readers find you online?
KN: Follow me at www.Twitter.com/KalebNation – that’s where I post most often. I also make lots of videos at www.Youtube.com/KalebNation .
And if you want to know more about me, www.KalebNation.com has everything (including videos of my chinchilla, Chilla).