How to: Get Your Book Mentioned on Jeopardy!

June 27, 2014


Do you ever watch the hit trivia show Jeopardy! and wish you knew more answers? I know I do. Well, we’re happy to report we have the answer to one question posed on the June 25 episode. Many Christian fiction lovers were pleased to see Chris Fabry’s award-winning novel June Bug mentioned in the Summer Reading category.

To read Chris’s humor-filled take on HOW to get your book referenced on a hit show, see below!


For my fellow writers, here is a proven, easy, 16-step process for marketing your book on Jeopardy! Increase visibility with this simple, straightforward approach to creating buzz for your novel.

Step 1—Have your wife ask you to go to the store for paper towels and a few other things. In the Walmart parking lot, notice an old, beat-up RV and think, I wonder who’s in that thing. Keep reflecting on that as you wander into the store.

Step 2–Once you get inside, smile at the old guy who is greeting you; then glance to your left and see the missing children posters on the wall. Observe one composite photo, altered to show what a certain girl would look like at age ten.

Step 3–Notice a little boy wandering around in the store alone, and ask the question, I wonder where his parents are?

Step 4–Get home, put the paper towels away, wander to the bedroom where your wife and daughter are talking, sit on the bed, and say, “I think I just came up with a really good story.” Stephen King says not to tell that story to anyone, but go ahead. Tell them, “A young boy is riding around with his dad in an old RV. He walks into a Walmart one day and looks at the missing children pictures and sees himself.” Have your wife and daughter say, “You should write that.”

Step 5–Change the little boy to a little girl and pattern the whole story after Les Misérables, where Jean Valjean rescues Cosette from the Thénardier family.

Step 6–Chew on the story for months. Let it percolate. Figure out what happened early in the girl’s life to get her in that RV. Figure out the backstory of her father, the man who drives the beat-up RV.

Step 7–Name the father John Johnson and think that’s really cool.

Step 8–Go to a writers’ conference with the goal of getting something really good for your story about this little girl. You need a name for her—a nickname, something that would be the key to tie her to the land where she was born. Sit in a lecture given by Dave Lambert where he talks about the importance of place in novels, and doodle things from your childhood as he speaks. Write down the words June Bug because you remember tying a string to a june bug and trailing it like a kite. Look at the page again. Stare at it. Then, suddenly, realize you have her name. It’s right there in front of you. And begin to write the story.

Step 9–Have your kids get progressively sicker and sicker and discover the home of your dreams—the place where you thought you would live the rest of your life—is killing you. Vacate the house with only the clothes on your back. Lose just about everything but your cars. And keep writing.

Step 10–Use the pain of all you’re going through to inform the characters on the page. Have the little girl who lives in the RV experience the same feelings you do as you write and edit the book in a pull-along camper your neighbor lends you.

Step 11–Write the last word and weep.

Step 12–Send the book off to the publisher. Go through the editing process. Change some things, massage, tweak, and then let it go.

Step 13–Publish the book and get some good reviews. See sales that are okay but not fantastic. Wonder about your little girl.

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Step 14–Five years later, open your e-mail and get a message from a friend telling you she just saw your name on Jeopardy!

 Chris Fabry on Jeopardy!

Watch the video of Chris Fabry’s novel June Bug on Jeopardy!

Step 15–Wonder how Alex Trebek came across the five-year-old novel and try not to complain that he mispronounced your name.

Step 16–Sigh and hope people who haven’t read this joyful creation that came from such pain will find it and enjoy reading it half as much as you did writing it.


Haven’t read June Bug yet? Don’t miss out on the upcoming e-book promotion of this title:

From July 8-12, purchase June Bug for only $1.99!

Visit Chris online . . .

on his blog

on Facebook

on Twitter

on his hit radio show

Thanks for checking out the blog today. Stop by next week for our June #shelfie of the month!