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By the dark hills, divided

26/02/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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New fantasy novel by Patrick Carman shooting up in US National Bestseller List.

Scholastic has announced that it's rushing back to press for 50,000 copies of its new fantasy novel, The Land of Elyon Book 1: The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman.

In less than a month after its release, the book has risen on The New York Times bestseller list for three straight weeks and is currently at #6. There are over 150,000 copies of the book in print.

The Dark Hills Divide, the first title in the The Land of Elyon trilogy, was a self-publishing phenomenon in the Pacific Northwest selling over 10,000 copies in three months. In 2004, Scholastic acquired rights to publish the trilogy written by author and Salem-Oregon native Patrick Carman.

Throwing away conventional rules for author tours, Scholastic launched The Land of Elyon with a 22-city United States media blitz which started in January 2005 in Seattle. The tour will conclude in April 2005 in New York City. Patrick Carman is currently visiting hundreds of schools and bookstores as he criss-crosses the United States in a special "Land of Elyon" tour bus.

The bus is also home to Patrick's wife, Karen, and two children, Reece and Sierra, for the duration of the tour. The tour will be promoted by an extensive $200,000 marketing campaign, including radio promotions on stations most popular with tween audiences.

The Dark Hills Divide grew out of stories Carman told his young daughters. It focuses on a young girl, who explores what lies beyond her walled kingdom and stumbles onto a plot to destroy the Land of Elyon from within. Scholastic will publish the remaining two titles in the trilogy, The Land of Elyon Book 2: Beyond the Valley of Thorns in Fall 2005 and The Land of Elyon Book 3: The Tenth City in Summer 2006.

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