Authors Jake Halpern and Peter Kajawinski hit upon a novel way to get the word out about their new fantasy novel, Dormia (Houghton, May): a virtual summer “internship” for readers ages 11 to 17.

Copies of the novel—an adventure about a boy who discovers he has amazing abilities (but only while asleep)—were sent to middle-school teachers via the authors’ college alumni networks, with the request that they spread the word about the internship program among their students. According to Houghton publicist Jennifer Taber, the writers were “inundated” with applications; nine finalists were chosen to participate.

Peter Kujawinski (l.), Jake Halpern and
their editor, Julia Richardson, at the
release party for
Dormia earlier this
month in New York City. More
than 150 guests attended.

The interns are responsible for promoting the book—both online and in person—throughout the summer, from home and in their communities. The students have already been gathering promotional ideas, including creating Web sites, Twittering, posting messages about the book on message boards, attending ComiCon and creating Internet videos (one intern plans to create a trailer for a mock Dormia movie).

As compensation, they will receive a signed copy of the book, an Amazon gift certificate and a letter of recommendation from the authors. They will also get the opportunity to write their own blogs on the World of Dormia Web site.