Thanks to a massive amount of interest sparked by this weekend’s L.A. Times profile piece by Nita Lelyveld, North Hollywood author Peter L. Winkler is suddenly sitting pretty. The disabled first-time writer, who because of rheumatoid arthritis tapped out his tome about Dennis Hopper one chopstick-touch at a time, has discovered just how much of an impact a supportive tweet and Facebook post by Roger Ebert can have.
“The first run [of 1,500] is almost sold out now via Amazon and Barnes & Noble,” Winkler tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “I’ve also talked to some L.A. bookstores and they’re already down to their last, or no, copy. My publisher is now planning a second print run of 3,000.”
Alongside Ebert, other celebrities who tweeted out a link to the L.A. Times article included Dana Delaney and Maria Shriver. The story was also social media fodder for journalists at The New York Times, the Houston Chronicle and elsewhere.
It all translates into a golden opportunity for Winkler, his agent and their publisher, Barricade Books. He says they are going to try and parlay it into additional media interviews, reviews and a more formal endorsement from one-time Hopper director Philippe Mora, who is referenced at the end of Lelyveld’s piece. Kindle sales over the last few days have also helped push the book’s Amazon.com ranking up to 8,327.
Given his druthers, Winkler says his next Hollywood biography project – if things continue to go in that direction – would ideally be about actor Sterling Hayden.