Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Never Doubt the Power of Social Media - Gregory G. Allen, author of Chicken Boy - Kindle Fire Giveaway

Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism by Gregory G. Allen
March 7, 2012 by MeeGenius

"I have a superhero inside my head. I call him Chicken Boy" proclaims our hero.

What others may see as odd "quirks", a child living with autism explains as all a part of his being a superhero. Told in the first person perspective, Chicken Boy offers a small glimpse into the mind of one child who wants others to understand they shouldn't fear someone simply because that person is a little different.

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Never Doubt Power of Social Media
by Gregory G. Allen 

To say I owe much to social media for the publication of my children's book would be an understatement. But let me just give a little backstory first on how Chicken Boy was born.

The story was based on my ten year old godson who I spend every Wed. night with going to his favorite restaurant with his mother and sister. Because of him, I became much more aware of autism over the years. His sister and I started making up a story one night about our little 'superhero' and that grew into this book. It was important for me to tell it from the child's perspective and I'm so aware this is but one story (one small story) on the large line that is autism. Yet it still felt important for me to share it.

After writing it, a friend told me about the MeeGenius author challenge and I joined 400 other manuscripts that were entered last fall. I had no idea what I was in store for. All the stories were put up online and the next thing I knew, it became a contest for votes. I only know so many people in the world, but boy did they work hard to spread the word. Before I knew it, I was getting wonderful comments all through the voting process with the MeeGenius Author Challenge from people in the autism community that read the story. It was sometimes overwhelming and yet humbling to hear how the story was touching all of these people…these strangers.

People tweeted about the book to get votes. Strangers. Famous people. Autism organizations. It was an incredible feeling. And then the winners were announced and the book won because of social media. Winning the People's Choice Award came with publication of the digital book by MeeGenius, a $1500 prize and a library of the MeeGenius books being donated to my godson's school in New Jersey in the US. 

So many people were asking me if they could get the book in print, I knew it was important to do just that. So I went to an indie publisher (who has published my adult books), took my prize money and used it to get the illustrations and layout design fixed to create a 32 page picture book that I could hand over to this publisher (as they had yet to go down the road of publishing children's books). But now I can give readers the choice between digital and print. And I'm so grateful to MeeGenius for the social media platform they gave me during the voting to come in contact with so many autism organizations. I dubbed my friends #TeamChickenBoy as they took to social media and were able to make contact with so many wonderful people.

About the author:
Gregory G. Allen was raised in Texas, but now calls New Jersey home. His mother (an avid reader) passed on the love of written words to Gregory. He is an award-winning author & composer, a playwright, and manages an arts center on a college campus. He has had several short stories published, a musical theater writer with over ten original musicals produced, and contributes articles and blogs to online sources.

Find out more at, on Twitter, and Facebook.

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